It's generally recommended that a person lose weight at a pace of no more than three pounds per week. At this rate, it's quite likely that the weight loss results from fat reduction. Weight loss at that rate requires dedication to an active lifestyle, regular aerobic exercise and resistance training, and a healthy diet that creates a calorie deficit.
Calculating Your Daily Calorie Allowance
Determine your body fat percentage by using a body fat scale or the Skinfold Measurement Procedure and Calculator resources at the end of this article.2
Calculate how many pounds of your weight are attributable to fat: Multiply your total weight in pounds by your body fat percentage (expressed in decimal form) to get fat pounds.3
Determine your body's lean mass by subtracting your fat pounds from your total weight.4
Convert your lean mass from pounds to kilos by dividing the pounds figure by 2.2.5
Calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) using the Katch-McArdle formula:
370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kilos) = BMR
Estimate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) by multiplying your BMR with the appropriate activity multiplier:
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise)
Lightly Active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise 1 to 3 days per week)
Moderately Active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise 3 to 5 days per week)
Very Active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise 6 to 7 days per week)
Extremely Active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise and a very physical job)
The result is your Daily Calorie Allowance for maintaining your present weight at your current activity level.
Creating a Calorie Deficit/Reducing Body Fat
Subtract 500 from your Daily Calorie Allowance to calculate your new Daily Calorie Allowance for weight loss. Use your food scale to monitor your caloric intake. Do not skip meals. Simply eat larger quantities of foods which offer high satiety for relatively few calories such as whole grain foods, lean meats and fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.8
Modify your lifestyle to increase your general activity level. Take every opportunity you can to walk, climb stairs, play a sport, etc.9
Engage in 50 to 60 minutes of high calorie-burning daily aerobic exercise. Options include swimming, cross-country skiing, dancing, stair climbing, boxing or martial arts training, basketball and running. It may help to split your workout into two sessions, 30 minutes in the morning and 20 to 30 minutes in the evening.10
Perform 20 minutes of resistance training every other day to maintain or increase muscle mass.