How to Lose 20 Pounds by Containing Calories

curvy woman holding a scale

Even the most precursory online search will reveal numerous websites promising you the secrets of weight loss for a price. The truth is, losing 20 pounds requires the use of proven strategies like counting calories. More realistic approaches may take longer than the time promised by the makers of miracle diets, but they work and can even help you in developing healthy habits that can aid in keeping the weight off too.

Why Does Counting Calories Matter to Lose 20 Pounds?

First, you need a realistic weight loss goal. Dietitian Jenna Anding, Ph.D., RD, of the department of nutrition and food science in the Texas A&M System at College Station, notes that cutting 500 calories daily can help you lose one pound a week. Exercising will also help.

If your goal is one pound each week then you need to consume fewer than 1,200 calories each day and eliminate or burn off 500 calories a day. Reducing your caloric intake by a minimum of 500 calories daily will potentially result in your losing one pound every week or approximately 20 pounds in roughly five months.

Cut back on Carbonated Drinks to lose 20 Pounds

Giving sweet drinks is essential. Soda, sweet tea, sweetened milk, coffees, and waters are out. Drink sugar-free drinks, low-fat milk, and plain water. Recent research reveals that eliminating sweet drinks for 18 months led to even greater weight loss than cutting down on food calories. One theory was that while your body can tell you when you are full of food, it cannot let you know when you have taken in too many liquid calories.

Physical Activities Play a Major Role

Physical activity not only burns calories but improves your health. Try to exercise half an hour daily. Walking briskly for between 30 and 45 minutes will burn between 100 and 200 calories. Burning 200 calories by exercising means you need only cut out 300 food or drink calories in order to meet your daily goal.

Eating strategically will reduce weight. A study of overweight subjects in four well-known diets revealed that regardless of the specific diet, a persons weight loss is determined by cutting calories. You can still eat filling portions if you substitute high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods that have a lot of water, like vegetables and fruits. Another research project of obese individuals showed that those who ate a low-fat diet with some vegetables and fruits lost as much as five pounds more than those who just ate a low-fat diet.

Keep a Written Record of the Daily Activity

Keep a written record of your calorie counting. List the food you eat, the serving size, condiments you add and so forth. Both exercise and journaling make a real difference when it comes to managing your weight in the long-term. An Assistant professor at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Gail Curtis, concludes that keeping a journal can help you record your successful moments and determine where you need to replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie alternatives or cut out more calories. Get out your calculator!  Get out and exercise!  Work it!

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