Defining Your Personal Weight Loss Plan
Prior to embarking on a weight loss program, it is highly recommended that you take the time to develop a health and fitness program that facilitates a systematic approach to obtaining your personal weight loss goal. Although taking the time to develop a personalized, detailed weight loss plan may seem unnecessary, doing so will greatly increase the probability of actually attaining your personal weight loss goals.
The intent of this article is to provide an outline that you can utilize to define and create your personal weight loss plan. Once complete, you will have a well thought out approach to safely and effectively losing any excess body weight required to achieve your personal health and fitness goals.
In order to effectively lose weight and obtain you optimum weight goal, a plan must be created that will facilitate a systematic approach to your weight loss. The systematic approach to defining, creating, and thereafter implementing your personal weight loss plan is as follows.
Determine Your Optimum Weight
The first step in defining your personal weight loss plan is to actually determine what your optimum healthy weight level should be. There are various approaches that you can utilize to determine your optimum body weight level. Several of the methods used to determine your optimum weight level may have multiple approaches within the method. The methods, and the approaches within each method, are discussed in detail, allowing you to make an informed decision as to which method will work best for you. The approaches are listed below and are located under the Your Optimum Weight area of the Weight Loss section of our website.
Once you have determined your ideal weight, the next step is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Determine Your Basal Metabolic Rate and Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure
An individual's Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is essentially the minimum number of calories required to sustain their life in a state of rest. In other words, an individual's Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy (measured in calories) needed by their body to perform all of the various bodily functions that are required to sustain life while remaining asleep in bed all day.
Since most individuals do not remain in bed all day, BMR is only a starting point. As such, it is necessary to determine the average number of calories an individual typically burns in a day.
The actual number of calories an individual burns in a day is defined as their Total Daily Energy Expenditure Value (TDEE). The TDEE value takes into account all physical activity performed by the individual, making it more precise than an individual's BMR.
The next step is to define the weight loss approach that will be employed to support the actual process of safely and effectively losing weight.
Define Your Weight Loss Approach
The intent of this step is to determine the weight loss approach that you will implement to begin losing weight. There are three basic approaches from which to choose.
Define your Caloric Intake
The importance of this step is to gain an understanding of how to calculate the actual number of calories you are consuming on a daily basis. This will require you to add up the number of calories consumed for all food that is eaten each day. We have provided caloric intake calculators and tables to assist in monitoring your daily caloric intake.
You will also need to become familiar with reading and understanding food labels. For example, you will need to calculate the total number of calories consumed by determining the total amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein calories in your meal (1 gram of fat accounts for 9 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates accounts for 4 calories, and 1 gram of protein accounts for 4 calories).
Determine and Set Your Personal Weight Loss Goal
The final step in defining your personal weight loss plan is to determine and set your weight loss goals. It is imperative that you take the time to define a weight loss goal that is detailed, concise and achievable. For example, an individual's personal weight loss goal may be as follows:
Once you have set your personal weight loss goal, it's extremely important to monitor your progress on a weekly basis at the very least. By doing so, you will be able to determine whether you're on track to obtain your personal weight loss goal in the specified time frame. In the event that you fall behind schedule, you will need to evaluate and understand why you're not on track. Once you have determined why your are not on schedule to meet your weight loss goal, you will need to make the necessary adjustments to get back on schedule. By taking this approach, you'll be more focused, more committed, and have a higher probability of achieving your personal weight loss goal.
Example Weight Loss Plan
Step #1: Determine Optimum Weight
Subject chooses to utilize the Hamwi Approach.
A height of 5 feet exactly equals 100 pounds of body weight. Add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet in height. Since our subject female has a small body frame, we will need to subtract 10% from the calculation.
Subject's Weight = 100 pounds + 25 pounds (5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet) = 125 pounds of body weight
Subject's Optimum Weight = 125 pounds - 12.5 pounds (subtract 10% due to small body frame) = 112.50 pounds of body weight
Step #2: Determine Subject's BMR and TDEE Values
Standard English BMR Formula:
Women BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Subject's BMR Value = 655 + (4.35 x 147) + (4.7 x 65) - (4.7 x 32) = 1,449.55 calories per day
TDEE Value = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
Subject's TDEE Value = 1,449.55 X 1.375 = 1,993.13 calories per day
Step #3: Define Subject's Weight Loss Approach
Subject will decrease her daily caloric intake to 1,500 calories per day and add an exercise routine to her weekly schedule.
Daily caloric deficit = 493.13 calories per day (1,933.13 - 1,500)
Weekly caloric deficit = 3,451.92 calories per week (493.13 x 7 days in a week)Subject will increase her physical exercise to burn an additional 1,650.00 calories per week through jogging twice per week and performing aerobics twice per week.
Total caloric deficit per week = 3,451.92 (through diet) + 1,650.00 (through exercise) = 5,101.91 calories per week
Average body weight loss per week = 5,101.91/3,500 = 1.46 pounds of body weight lost per week
Step #4: Determine and Set Subject's Personal Weight Loss Goals
Ready to Start
At this point, our subject is now ready to begin her personal weight loss plan. It will be imperative that she monitor her progress on a daily/weekly basis to ensure that she is on schedule to accomplish her weight loss goals within her specified time frame. In addition, by taking the time to monitor her weight loss progress, on at least a weekly basis, the positive results that she realizes will help to ensure that she maintains her focus and motivation.
As is evident in the previous example, it is worth the time to determine a specific weight loss plan. By doing so, you will increase your probability of achieving your personal weight loss goal within the time frame specified.
An important aspect related to participating in a weight loss plan is to believe that the goal is actually achievable. In addition, in an effort to avoid the weight gain/weight loss "yo-yo effect" associated with weight loss programs, it is important to realize that what is really required is a lifestyle change - specifically, one that focuses on health, fitness and mental well-being as a way of life.