To lose a 1lb per week you need to create a deficit of 500 calories this can be done by either reducing you calorie intake or by exercising and burning off those calories. I always recommend to do both, so follow a healthy and balanced diet so you get the calories you need and exercise to burn off the extra calories.The estimated daily average calorie intake for women is 2000 and 2500 for men, this is an estimate and will depend on your age, height, body composition and how much activity you do.
If you reduce your calorie intake by 500 and burn off 500 calories per day you should be able to lose approx 2lbs per week, which is a safe and realistic amount to lose.
Here are various different ways you can burn off those calories and how long you need to do them for.
Circuit Training – 50minutes
Join a circuit training class or create your own circuit in the gym. Alternate between upper and lower body and include some cardio and you can burn 500 calories in 50 minutes. More info on circuits.
High Intensity Interval Training – 25 minutes
Burn off your 500 calories fast by doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIT). Instead of jogging at a steady pace for 60mins or running for 44 mins you can reduce your work out to 25mins by incorporating intervals. Start off with a 5 minute warm up, then do 30 seconds at your regular jogging/running pace, then run or sprint for 30 seconds, return to your normal pace for 30 seconds, keep alternating for your 25 minute session then cool down for 5 minutes and you will have burnt off those 500 calories faster than by jogging at your steady pace. HIT does have to be just for the treadmill or jogging outside you can use the same method for swimming, cycling, rowing, elliptical/cross trainer any of your cardio workouts. Remember in order to burn off the 500 calories fast you need to make sure you are working at high intensity so be prepared to push yourself to work at that higher pace.
Dance – 40-50 minutes
Dance off those 500 calories. A Zumba class will get your burning off the calories in 40-50 minutes. It doesn’t have to be Zumba any type of dance class will have you burning off calories so pick something you enjoy or learn something new – the amount you burn will depend on the intensity. You don’t even have to join a class turn on your music at home and just start dancing.
Cycling – 65 minutes
A bike ride at 12-13mph for approx 65 minutes will burn off those 500 calories. With summer coming it makes a nice change to cycle somewhere instead of jogging or going to the gym. Get others to join you and enjoy the outdoors either after work or on the weekend. Alternatively you could cycle to work and back, depending on how far you live a 30 minute cycle to work and a 30 minute cycle home will burn off your 500 calories and save you money on public transport or petrol.
Sports – 50-55 minutes
50-55 minutes of frisbee, volleyball, tennis, or boxing will burn off those calories and by being involved in a sport that relies on you to be constantly alert and have quick reflexes you wont notice the time fly by.
Skipping – 20-45 minutes
Grab a jump rope and burn calories at home, outside, at the gym, the great thing about a jump rope is it is easy to take anywhere. Skip at moderate intensity for 45 minutes and you can burn off your 500 calories or go for high intensity and burn them off in 20-25 minutes.
Walking – 60-90 minutes
Low intensity exercise will have you burning fewer calories than any other exercise listed here but it doesn’t mean you can’t burn 500 calories. Go for an 60-90 min hike and you will burn off your 500 calories, make sure it’s not a slow stroll though otherwise you will need to go for longer. If you don’t like the idea of hiking then you could burn those 500 calories by shopping, as long as you are walking around in and out of shops for 2 hours you will burn off those calories without even noticing. If the gym is not your thing you can burn your 500 calories in other ways, if you have a garden mow the lawn, do some gardening or house cleaning. All activities burn calories, the amount you burn depends on the level of intensity.
You don’t have to do everything all in one go, walking, cycling, jogging can all be split up throughout the day. As long as your total time adds up at the end of the day you will have burnt off the 500 calories.
Don’t think you have to stick to just one activity for the set amount of time, mix them up to make your workout more enjoyable, why not skip for 20minutes and then cycle or go swimming.
All the above are estimates of how many calories you can expect to burn during the stated times, this can vary depending on your weight, muscle composition and your fitness level.
The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn so remember to add strength training to your work outs and you will speed up your metabolism and burn more calories.