Weight Loss Strategies May Vary Depending Upon Your Body Type

Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis is the best way to lose weight, but the specifics of this plan vary according to several factors, including your body type. In general, the bigger your body, the more calories you need to support your bodily functions. Your age and sex also play an important role in how you should design your weight loss plan. As with any diet program, talk to your doctor if you need help designing a program tailored specifically for you.

The Facts on Weight Loss and Body Type

An effective weight loss approach varies depending upon your body type, as well as your gender and age. For instance, a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet may be the optimal weight loss strategy for a petite adult woman while a women weighing 165 lbs. may need to consume 1,400 or more calories in order to lose weight safely, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. The bigger your body, the more calories you need. It’s also important to note that it’s impossible to spot-target weight loss from any one part of your body; fat is burned from the most concentrated areas first.

Losing Weight too Quickly can be Unhealthy

It’s important to know just how many calories you should be consuming each day for weight loss purposes because consuming too few calories can lead to unsafe weight loss. The Dept. of HHS recommends a rate of weight loss not exceeding two lbs. per week. This will help ensure that you are losing weight while making sure your body is properly adjusting to these changes at the same time. Depending upon your body type — tall, short, pear-shaped and your metabolism — your weight loss pace may vary.

Weight Loss: By the Numbers

Losing weight at the maximum recommended amount of two lbs. per week is the equivalent of a 7,000 calorie deficit, or 1,000 calories per day. This calorie deficit can be achieved through a healthy, low-calorie diet plan and consistent exercise. If you have a heavier-set body type, you will burn more calories doing the same workout as someone half your size, but the average person can burn about 300 calories performing moderate aerobic activity – such as a brisk walk – for 60 minutes-a-day. Cutting back on sugary foods and beverages and focusing on vegetables, fruits and whole grains can help you reduce your caloric intake by an additional 500 to 700 calories in most cases.

Calorie Recommendations

Adult women who are not obese and do not exercise on a regular basis can safely lose weight using a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet plan, according to the Dept. of HHS. However, adult men of the same fitness level need to consume slightly more calories to manage a safe weight loss rate; the Dept. of HHS recommends 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day. If you have an above-average muscle mass, are an athlete or are extremely overweight, you may need to consume even more calories to support your calorie needs. You can use the free MyPyramid tool to determine the ideal daily caloric intake specifically for you.

Body Types

Your body type determines whether or not you are actually overweight. This is because a lb. of muscle is actually one-third the size of a lb. of fat, according to the University of California Los Angeles. So, a bodybuilder may be considered obese according to his body mass index, or BMI, yet that doesn’t mean that he’s unhealthy — his body type is lean and muscular. On the other hand, you may have little in the way of muscle mass, so that can also throw off your BMI as well. Thus, whether or not you need to lose weight, or more accurately lose fat, is directly related to your body type.


A safe weight loss plan varies on a case-to-case basis, so it’s best to consult your doctor, dietitian or nutritionist prior to starting a diet or exercise program. Additionally, diet pills and fad diets may promise exceptional weight loss results, but often times they are unsafe and only work in the short term, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stick to proven weight loss plans designed by reputable health organizations.

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