Free Personalized Weight Loss Plans

Not all effective weight loss plans are expensive. In fact, some diet and exercise programs are free to use. It’s important to find a weight loss plan that is based on proven scientific research and promotes safe weight loss. So, rule out any weight loss plan that eliminate certain nutrients from your diet, such as carbs, fats or extremely low calorie diets. Consult your doctor if you have a question about a diet or exercise program.

The Facts

Weight loss occurs when you create a caloric deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than you burn. Create a deficit by combining a low-calorie, nutritious diet with exercise. Daily caloric needs vary, depending on your age, gender, body type and physical activity. Physically active people require more calories than sedentary individuals.

Caloric Intake

You can determine the ideal number of calories you need each day to lose weight safely by using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s free online dieting tool called MyPyramid. This comprehensive tool takes just a minute or two to provide you a personalized diet plan that includes the exact number of calories you should be targeting each day and which foods to focus on. It also recommends an exercise plan.

Exercise

Frequent physical activity can help you lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, offers free weight loss plans at CDC.gov. This information focuses on exercising for body weight maintenance and improved cardiovascular health. Children need about 60 minutes of exercise a day, while adults need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Moderate aerobic activity includes jogging, walking briskly or riding a bicycle at a moderate pace. Cycling can help a 155-lb. person burn more than 550 calories an hour, according to NutriStrategy.com.

Weight Loss

The CDC suggests that to lose weight at a safe pace, you should aim for no more than 1 to 2 lbs. of weight loss a week. They offer a free food diary to help you attain this level of weight loss. This can effectively help you eliminate 500 to 1,000 calories a day, or 3,500 to 7,000 calories a week. Reducing your intake of high-calorie snacks and soda can help you achieve a caloric deficit. Focus instead on nutritious foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Combine this strategy with exercise to reach your goal of cutting 500 to 1,000 calories-a-day.

Warning

Talk with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program to ensure it’s well-planned and right for you. For example, people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol may have special dietary needs or may not be able to participate in certain types of exercise programs. Start slow — ease your way into a new weight loss plan.

Photo: Flickr — Pink Sherbet Photography

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