The Basics of Weight Loss

There are a hundreds of different weight loss programs and diets out there. The issue is that many of these only work for a select few people and if they do work, they are usually only a temporary solution. Most people regain the weight they have lost because they haven't made lifestyle changes which they can maintain. 

Today, I want to share with you some basics of weight loss that will lead to a successful weight loss program for anyone.
The key is making maintainable, healthy changes to your lifestyle..

How often should I work out?
5 days per week!
This is the goal you should be shooting for. It will bring you the most health benefits and will increase your chances of becoming thin and staying that way.
If you have been inactive this is going to be too much for you at first. Start out at 3 days per week and progress to 5. 

How long should I work out?
60 minutes!
If you are working out 5 days a week, you should do 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per workout session. 
If you have been inactive you should start at 15-20 minutes and gradually increase to 60 minutes.

Why do I need to work out that much?
Studies have shown that this much physical activity is required to maintain healthy body weight.
This means that even if you work out for 300 minutes each week (60 min, 5 days/wk), you probably won't lose weight.
You will receive significant health benefits from working out this much. 

How can I lose weight then?
Exercise + dieting. 
You probably already guessed this.
You need to watch what you eat as well as exercise. If you cut back on your calories and exercise, you will lose weight. 

What if I work out at a higher intensity? 
Do I still need to do 300 minutes of exercise per week?
If you are doing vigorous-intensity exercise instead of moderate, you can significantly cut back the amount of time spent exercising to about 150 minutes/week.

What is considered moderate-intensity exercise?
Exercise that causes a noticeable increase in your heart rate and lasts for longer than 10 minutes.
On a scale from 1-10, you should feel like the difficulty is a 5-6.

What about vigorous-intensity?
Results in rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate.
On a scale from 1-10, you should feel like the difficulty is a 7-8.

This is when we work out!
How many calories should I be consuming?
It varies.
It depends on your age, gender, weight, height, and activity. 
You can use an online calorie calculator to find out how many calories you should be eating per day. Here is a link to one that I like:
The nice thing about these calculators is that they will tell you how many calories to cut down to lose weight. 

What is the minimum number of calories that I should eat?
1200 Cal/day for women and 1600 Cal/day for men
If a weight loss calculator tells you to eat less than this, don't follow it!
You need at least this many calories to get the vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.

If I'm working can I eat more calories?
It depends.
If you are just trying to maintain your current weight, then yes, you can eat more calories. If you are trying to lose weight, then probably not. You can check this using a calorie calculator. 
However, if you are working out for more than 60 minutes, 5 times per week DO NOT follow the amount that the calorie counter tells you. It will overestimate how many calories you are able to eat.

What type of diet should I use?
Don't use any extreme diets.
The best diet to follow is one that is one in which you eat less calories than you need to maintain your weight. 
Fad diets in which you drastically alter what you eat generally DON'T WORK. They are too hard to maintain and you usually don't enjoy them.
Just eat a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, dairy. In other words, get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Eat your favorite treats, just in moderation
The key is to make sure that you know how many calories you should eat and try to stick to that.
I find that I am most succesful in dieting when I write down how many calories I eat during the day.

Do you exercise for 60 minutes, 5 days per week?
At the moment I do not because I just had a baby. I didn't work out very intensely while I was pregnant. I just did yoga and water aerobics. This means that I'm not jumping straight in to this much exercise. I do 60 minutes of exercise about 3 days per week.

Since I've been talking about working out, I want to share a cute video made by my husband that shows Eve's "workout routine."

My Weight Loss Update!
I lost 1.5 lb this week! I'm down to 135.5 lb.
I exercised 3 times this week and counted my calories.
See, this stuff works!

If you have any questions about exercise/dieting, email me at or leave a comment below!

If you found this post to be helpful or interesting, please subscribe (up on the left-hand side of the page)! I will be writing health posts every Wednesday!


  1. I used to be an exercise fiend and would work out 60-90 minutes a day. With time being more limited these days, even a 30 minute, high impact workout, like Insanity, is just as good if not better than the workout I was getting in before.


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