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If you’ve noticed your weight is on the rise, you’re probably eager to ditch the fat pronto. Although you can’t remove fat from specific body parts, a sensible weight-loss plan will cause your body to burn stored fat from all over, shrinking problem areas as your weight drops . When you eat more calories than your body burns, your body stores the extra energy, or calories, as body fat. When you eat fewer calories than your body burns, however, your body dips into those fat stores to access the needed energy. Therefore, you lose fat by creating a calorie deficit, which you can achieve by reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity .    Here are 3 key factors for success:   1. Counting Calories Calorie counting is a reliable way to lose weight, and works best if you write down all the foods you eat and tally the calories to make sure you stay within your target calorie goal . One pound of body fat contains about 3,500 calories, so you’ll lose roughly 1 to 2 pounds each week by eating 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you burn every day. Y our daily calorie expenditure depends on factors such as age, weight, gender and body composition, and your doctor can give you the most accurate estimation of your daily calorie needs . Then, you just need to perform some simple subtraction. For example, if you burn 2,300 calories per day, you should eat 1,300 to 1,800 calories daily to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.   2. Choosing Foods Wisely Food choices can make or break your fat-loss success . The best options are those that fill your stomach but are low in calories, such as fruits; vegetables; whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa and whole-wheat noodles; and lean proteins like tofu, water-packed tuna, egg whites and low-fat cheese . Also eat small amounts of healthy fat from nuts, olive oil, avocado and other plant sources. Although fat has more calories than protein or carbohydrates, it’s digested slowly and may help you feel more satisfied .   3. Move Your Body Accelerate your calorie burning with regular exercise. At a minimum, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ advises doing  150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate cardio activity , such as fast walking, or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous cardio , such as jogging. You also need strength-training exercise to build lean muscle, which will increase your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat. Two to three times weekly, lift weights, perform yoga or Pilates or simply do pushups, sit-ups and squats to tone all your major muscle groups .   References & Resources Counting Calories: Get Back to Weight-Loss Basics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management: Cutting Calories While Controlling Hunger 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Summary Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Metabolism Myths and Facts About the Author   // <![CDATA[ var url = ‘/get_cme_cached/’; $.ajax({ url: url, success: function(data, textStatus, jqXHR) { var writer = $.parseJSON(data); $(‘#byline’).text(‘by ‘ + writer.display_name + ‘, Demand Media’); $(‘#author’).text(writer.display_name); if (writer.about){ $(‘#authorAbout p’).text(writer.about); $(‘#authorAbout’).show(); } }}); // ]]>
Source: Complete Nutrition

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