How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

The fitness industry will never die because almost every American wants to lose weight and keep that weight off. It shouldn’t be that difficult, right? Just eat less cookies and… voila? Unfortunately, there is so much more to it!

My goal today is to set out a small picture of how you can achieve your weight goals and keep them once you get to that sweet spot! I’m going to do that by outlining what type of exercises you should do and how many calories you should aim to eat per day. Remember, not every calorie is equal. 10 calories worth of kale is not the same as 10 calories worth of chicken. You need to eat a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat with every meal.

This can get so involved. We can look at best time of the day to eat based on your circadian code, we can analyze how many grams of protein you should consume per day, etc. Keep in mind that this blog is not meant to give you an in depth analysis of your diet and lifestyle; its purpose is to give you a small picture that you can build from. If you want more guidance, you can reach out to us directly for private training, small group training, nutrition counseling and more.

Today, let’s go over the basics:

One pound is 3500 calories. So if you consume 3500 calories more than you burn in a week, you will gain a pound. If you eat 3500 calories less than you burn in a week, you will lose a pound. Your body naturally burns calories throughout the day while you type, talk on your phone, fold your laundry and more, so don’t think that you have to spend 7 hours per day on the treadmill. The best way to keep track of your activity throughout the day is to use an app like MyFitnessPal or a smart watch to track your steps.

If you want to lose weight, don’t aim to lose a lot all at once. The moment you start eating normally again, your body will think it’s the last chance for it to eat, so it will hold onto all that food in survival mode and you will gain back everything you lost, plus some. Instead, aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week through a healthy diet of whole, clean foods and through exercise.

Week 1:

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, aim for 30 minutes of steady-state cardio. This could be a bike ride, stand-up paddleboarding, running, etc. Do something you enjoy that will keep your heart rate steady for at least thirty minutes. Remember how much fun you had jumping rope, climbing big rocks and swimming in ponds when you were a kid? Allow yourself to have fun doing that as an adult because those are killer workouts!

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, warm-up with 10-15 minutes of light cardio followed by a full-body strength workout. You don’t need dumbbells or fancy machines to do a weight workout (though, if you have access to those, use them!). Your body weight can go a long way! Try air squats, push-ups, planks and lunges, just to name a few! Try to only allow 30-60 seconds of rest between each exercise set.

You will burn APPROXIMATELY 1500-1700 calories per week doing this. Obviously, intensity and what you choose to do influence that number, as well as current fitness level, current weight and gender.

Week 2:

Same set up with cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but increase the duration to 45 minutes! Add in some yoga or Pilates on Friday as well to work on flexibility and strength.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are still devoted to strength, but decrease your rest between sets to 30-40 seconds.

You will burn APPROXIMATELY 1750-1900 calories this week.

Week 3:

Cardio stays the same. How are those yoga classes?

During your strength sessions, try combining movements so you do a push then a pull movement back to back. This is referred to as a superset and allows you to work one muscle group while resting the other then switching the roles of each so that you don’t have to rest in between.

Expect to burn APPROXIMATELY 1900-2000 calories this week.

Week 4:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, aim for 45-60 minutes of cardio of your choice!

The strength portion of your workout will be the same as you did in week 3.

You can expect to burn between 1900-2200 calories this week.

Aim to eat 1600-1800 calories for women and 2000-2200 calories for men per day. Twenty percent of those calories should come from protein. Again, MyFitnessPal is a fantastic app for keeping track. It shows you if you go over in calories per day, grams of sugar per day, etc. Plus, it even shows you the spread of your macronutrients! I highly recommend checking it out!

Once you are ready to maintain the weight, the exercise load will stay pretty consistent to the first four weeks. You should change the amount of calories you consume though! Women should aim to eat 2100-2400 calories per day and men can aim for 2400-2700 calories per day!

Never hesitate to reach out to us with questions regarding diet and exercise!

Stay sweating!

Ashlee Francis