If you want to lose weight the healthy way and keep the pounds off for good, you should slim down at a slow and steady rate. Most experts recommend that you lose roughly 1-2 pounds per week. So how do you reach that goal? You simply adjust your energy balance to reach the correct calorie deficit.
To lose one pound per week, you need to reach a total calorie deficit of 3500 calories per week or 500 calories per day.
To lose 2 pounds per week, you need to double that number. So you need to reach a 1000-calorie per day deficit or 7000 calories per week. Sound complicated? It’s not too hard, once you get the hang of it.
Budgeting your calories is like budgeting your money. Mandy Levy explains it perfectly in her hilarious new diet book called Calorie Accounting. “Calories add up to pounds just as spare change adds up to a dollar. A dollar, or one hundred cents, can be distributed in many ways: 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, 4 quarters…and countless combinations thereof. There are just as many ways to distribute your calories.” If you can budget your calories to come up “short” by 500-1000 calories each day, you’ll lose weight. It’s a simple equation, but it’s not necessarily easy.
Excerpted from weightloss.about.com