The best way to lose weight is to put your body in to calorie deficit. This means that you should be burning of more calories, consistently on a day to day basis, than you consume through your food.

When you are in calorie deficit, your body will eat in to your fat stores to make up the calorie difference. And this is the key to weight loss. One way to deficit, and probably the easiest way, is to cut calories to lose weight.

How to cut calories to lose weight

The first, and hardest thing to do, is to cut out your junk calories. That means clear out your cupboards and stop buying foods like chocolate, cakes, sweets, and fizzy drinks.

These foods will simply kill off any dieting effort your make. You just won’t lose weight if you keep eating them. If you simply can’t eliminate them whilst in the weight loss phase of your diet, then at least save them for the occasional treat. Maybe save them for key milestones as an incentive, such as every time you lose half a stone, for example.

The next thing you should do is reduce your starchy food intake, from foods such as bread, pasta, rice, pizza, and potatoes. You don’t have to cut them out like your junk calories, as they are a good source of energy to fuel your body, but you should reduce them. Starchy foods like these tend to be high in calories. If you don’t burn off these excess calories they will be converted in to fats and subsequently stored under your skin and surrounding your organs.

So reduce your portion size and frequency that you eat them.

How many calories should you cut to lose weight?

In every pound of fat under your skin there is 3500 calories of energy. So this means that when your calorie deficit reaches 3500 calories you will lose a pound of fat!

If you spread these 3500 calories over a week, then you need a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories to lose 1 pound every week.

It really is that simple. Control your calorie intake to lose weight, ensure a calorie deficit, and you will reach your ideal bodyweight.

Other ways to calorie deficit

Cutting calories is not the only way to deficit. There are two other methods at your disposal.

First off, you can simply be more active. It actually has a fancy name. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT for short.

It basically means that if you simply get off your butt and move around you can burn a load more calories! Walk around the round whilst chatting on your mobile (after all, your mobile is mobile). Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to your local shops instead of driving. There are many ways to burn off extra calories

And last but not least there is good old exercise. If you want to lose weight quickly, then you should really add exercise to your routine as it will boost you calorie deficit massively. And the greater the deficit the quicker the weight loss.

See how to burn 1000 calories every training session to maximise your weight loss. Whether you want to lose a pound, lose a stone, or even 5 stone, this will really speed up the weight loss process.

Health related fitness means more to you than just throwing on your running shoes and pounding the roads to get fitter. It is actually your ability to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, to ward off injuries and illnesses and to recover or cope when they do occur. Sure, aerobic fitness should form part of your overall fitness regime, but it is not the sole component to your health and general wellbeing. That’s because there are several components to health related fitness, and they all work together in unison. Neglecting any one of them will likely cause you some amount of grief sooner or later. So what are these various components?

The 4 Main Components of Health Related Fitness

The four components are your aerobic capacity (or VO2 Max), strength, flexibility, and body composition, and we’ll discuss each of these below. Your aerobic capacity, or VO2 Max, is your body’s ability to utilise oxygen during exercise. By incorporating aerobic training into your health and fitness routine you’ll be able to take part in submaximal intensity exercise such as running and swimming, etc. And for all the other activities you do throughout the day you will find these easier to cope with. To improve your aerobic capacity, you’ll have to get your gear on and do some exercise! It must involve your whole body and last for at least 20 minutes, though 30 minutes or 40 minutes would be better. Even more if you want to. Also, for a long term physiological change you will have to exercise like this at least twice per week, continually.

Strength is an often neglected component of health related fitness, probably because people don’t think of strength as being an integral part of their health and fitness. And because many people don’t like the idea of going to the gym. The good news is that you can perform strength exercises from your own home, without the need for a gym membership. That’s the beauty of home fitness! A great one is circuit training. Basically your strength is your ability to apply some force against a resistance.

For example, if you’re a runner or cyclist, then strong leg muscles are necessary to perform your specific sport and to avoid injury. And there are many different types of leg exercises you can perform, even at home. There are difference types of strength, but for health related fitness it is strength endurance that is most useful. That is your ability to continue working for prolonged periods of time. Flexibility is another component of health related fitness often over looked. It refers to the range of movement around a particular joint. If you have poor flexibility it is because the soft tissues around the joint (tendons, ligaments, muscles) are too tight.

There are different types of stretching, some better and safer than others for different reasons. You should make sure you incorporate these into your fitness regime to help avoid injury. The longer you can remain injury free, the more you can work on your other components without any problems. Take a look at these stretching exercises for more on this. Body composition is the final of the 4 components. This refers to your ratio of lean body mass to body fat. These body fat percentage guidelines should give you an indication of what is a healthy range. But as a quick guide, men should have a body fat range between 10% and 25% dependent on their age, and women between 12% and 25%. More than this can lean to obvious health problems.

Health Related Fitness and Your General and Mental Wellbeing

There has been much research in recent years into the link between exercise and your mood. Basically, there is strong evidence that exercise raises your mood, and can even help with depression. When you exercise your body releases natural endorphins, which are your body’s feel good chemicals. So by performing regular exercise you will naturally feel better about everything and will have a more positive outlook on things. What more of an incentive do you need? And as far as your general wellbeing is concerned, taking a direct interest and taking charge of your health and fitness will have incredible benefits. You’ll decrease your risk of contracting certain diseases and illnesses, include heart disease, strokes, and some cancers. You’ll boost your immune system. You’ll recover quicker from minor ailments and injuries. You’ll feel better and look better. Your confidence and self-esteem will balloon! And so on…

Health and Fitness Questions and Answers

There’s no doubt that you have some questions regarding a healthy, fitter lifestyle, otherwise you wouldn’t be here! If so, ask your questions in the fitness forum, and you will soon have a great answer. You can ask any question you like regarding the components of health related fitness discussed above, or any question at all regarding health and fitness for that matter.

You probably know that calorie deficit is the only way to lose your excess weight. Fad diets just don’t work, and often make you heavier than when you started.

So controlling your calorie intake to lose weight is your best chance of success, to help you achieve your ideal bodyweight.

One way to calorie deficit, and arguable the easiest, is to cut your calories. But what are the best calories to cut to lose weight? If you are like me, and enjoy a wide range of foods, what are the best foods to eliminate or alter in you diet?

Finding the best calories to cut to lose weight

Whether you want to lose a few pounds, lose a stone, or even five stone, follow these simple rules and you will reach your ideal weight.

First of all you should cut out your junk food calories. Unfortunately, this means foods like chocolate, cake, sweets, and fizzy drinks. If you are still in the weight loss phase of your diet, then these types of foods will simply kill off your efforts.

If you really can eliminate them completely, at least save them for the very occasional treat. Use them as key milestone treats, such as every time you lose half a stone. This way they can act as an incentive.

Next you should reduce your intake of starchy foods, such as potatoes, breads, pizza, pasta, and rice. You don’t have to cut them out completely, just reduce them by eating small portions and eating them less frequently.

Starchy foods like these listed are high in calories, and any of those excess calories which you do not burn off will be converted in to fat. Exactly what you don’t want.

Finally you should cut out or reduce your high fat foods. So if you eat a lot of fried food, it’s got to go. Or at least severely reduce them. Go for the leaner option. This goes for all meats and dairy products. Take the leaner cuts and skinny versions.

Other ways to increase calorie deficit

Cutting calories to lose weight is only one way of creating a calorie deficit. Another way is simple to be more active. It sounds silly, but a lot of research has been carried out on this subject, and has even been given a special geeky name: non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT for short.

It basically refers to all the extra calories you can burn simply by getting off your butt and moving around, without specifically exercising. There are countless opportunities each day to increase your calorie expenditure.

Instead of sitting whilst chatting on the phone, stand up and pace the room. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the local shops. You get the idea.

And then there is good old fashioned exercise! If you want to lose weight quickly, then you really should be adding exercise to your routine, as it will boost your calorie deficit massively. And remember, the greater your calorie deficit the quicker the weight loss.

See how to burn 1000 calories every training session to increase your deficit and speed up the weight loss process.

There will likely become a point when you want to perform some aerobic fitness tests to see how far your aerobic fitness has progressed. You want to make sure all your aerobic exercise is paying off, and that you aren’t wasting your time, right?

I believe progression in your aerobic exercise routines is essential for your motivation to exercise, and vice versa. As without motivation, you won’t get anywhere. No motivation, no exercise!

So monitoring your progression with fitness tests is a great way to help you achieve your ultimate fitness goals.

Take a look at the following aerobic fitness tests and see how they can help you monitor the efficiency of your aerobic exercise routines.

Types of Aerobic Fitness Tests

The first fitness test I like to use is the Cooper 12 minute run. After a thorough warm up, the cooper run is basically an all out run that last for 12 minutes. Simple.

The theory is, the fitter you are, the more distance you will be able to cover in 12 minutes! So record your distance as accurately as you can, say to 100 meters. Do this using your bike, or even your car if you follow a road route.

The only downside to this test is that it requires quite a bit of skill to get it right, and will probably take two or three goes before you get accustomed to it. It’s far too easy on your first go to either run too hard at the beginning, leaving yourself burnt out and crawling for the last few minutes, or to go too easy so there’s loads left in you at the end of the run.

But once you get the hang of it, the cooper 12 minute run is a really good aerobic fitness test, and a great way to assess whether your aerobic exercise routines are paying dividends. The next fitness test is the Bleep test. This one is easier to perform than the cooper 12 minute run, but just as tough. It builds up slowly to an all out maximum effort.

The basic procedure is a shuttle run between 20 meter markers, with each shutter run performed in time with a pre-recorded bleep (hence the name bleep test!).

These bleeps get progressively faster, so that you run progressively faster. Once the beeps are going too fast for you to run in time, then the test is over. The fitter you are, the more shutter runs you will be able to perform. Like the cooper 12 minute run, the bleep test is another great fitness test.

A third awesome method of tracking your fitness is to keep a simple exercise journal or diary. Every workout you perform, whether it is a 5 mile run or 30 minutes circuit training, write it down! Jot down how much you do or how fast you perform it and also how you felt. After a few weeks, you will be able to see the difference. If after several weeks you find your times for running 5 miles is coming down, then you know you’re getting fitter. If not, then maybe it’s time to change your aerobic fitness routines around to give your body a bit of a shock.

Using Aerobic Fitness Tests To Monitor Health Related Fitness

Building your aerobic capacity (or VO2 Max) takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. So you don’t want to be performing your fitness tests every few days. In fact, it’s best to perform your tests every month or six weeks. That way, you’ll get a good idea as to the efficiency of your aerobic exercise routines.

Keeping your exercise varied stops your body from getting used to the stress (good aerobic stress). You’ll find that with varied exercise, you’ll progress much quicker, and avoid those annoying, niggling injuries that could put you back several weeks, or more.

So take a look at the list of aerobic activities to see how you can add some variation to your aerobic exercise. You can also sift through the free workout plans and adapt these to your interests or use them as is.

You’ve probably also heard much about the benefits of interval training to increase your aerobic capacity. These are high intensity workouts and are simply fantastic. See the HIIT workout article to read more about these. You’ll find that by adding this type of training to your workout routines will have dramatic effects on your fitness test results.