Step 2: Learn to Set a Healthy Goal
To lose weight, burn more calories than you consume.
That's really all you need. We'll talk more about this concept when we go into calorie counting. For right now, you need to know what constitutes a healthy goal, short and long term. Let's go through some figures you need to know.
In order to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index), you will need to know your current weight. Now might be a good time to buy a scale and put it in the bathroom. This website will tell you your BMI and what category this places you in. It will also tell you what the healthy weight range is for your height. Many people will argue that using the BMI is not always an accurate way to find a healthy weight loss goal because the system is outdated. However, I feel that if you take the healthy BMI range and put your goal somewhere in the middle, you can readjust when you make that primary goal.
Ex: I am 5'7" and I weigh 240 pounds. Currently that puts me in the obese category. My healthy weight range is between 118 and 159 pounds, so I choose to set a goal weight of 140 pounds initially.
Daily Caloric Intake
Now you need to figure out how many calories to eat each day in order to get to your goal. This website has a great calculator for this purpose. If you put in your basic statistics, the calculator tells you exactly how many calories to eat per day during every week of your diet for the first year. It will even adjust the amount of calories weekly based on your updated weight.
If you are following my plan, you'll want to put in moderate on the activity level, unless you also have a very active occupation, such as a job that requires you to walk around and stand for most of the day.
There are some things you'll want to keep in mind when you make this goal:
-A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is about 2-5 pounds depending on your starting weight and current physical condition. If you are planning on losing more per week, I highly recommend consulting a doctor regularly, especially if you currently have any medical conditions.
-A healthy amount of calories to eat per day for most people on a diet is 1200 calories or more. If you put your goal into the calorie calculator and the calories per day numbers are below 1200 calories, you will want to lower your yearly goal so that you can safely lose less weight within the first year.
Ex: I am 5'7" and 240 pounds. My goal is a healthy weight of 140 pounds. I put in the goal of losing 100 pounds in a year, but notice that this puts me under a healthy amount of calories per day toward the end of my plan. I can either choose to lower my yearly goal on the calculator or go with the current plan with the intention of eating at least 1200 calories per day toward the end of the diet for a slightly slower result toward the end. I will be losing around 2 pounds per week. During the first week of the plan, I will want to eat 1762 calories per day.
If you're losing 100 pounds or more and trying to do it safely, expect to spend at least a year working toward your goal and likely more.