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How To Work Out To Lose Weight

Updated on August 10, 2016
prairieprincess profile image

Sharilee and her husband, Vern, live with two cats. Due to Vern's cat allergies, she has done extensive research on the subject.

Work Out To Lose Weight

What is the best way to workout to lose weight? Well, in a nutshell, start doing it! Look, we all know we have to work out to lose weight. But sometimes it intimidates us.

We get caught up in so many questions, such as what kind of exercise to do, and how long we should do it for, and how many calories we should burn. And sometimes all those questions might even stop us from doing it. But the main thing is, that we do it!

Here are five tips on how to workout to lose weight. These are the things I learned from my own personal experience from losing 30 pounds. I still have a ways to go in my weight loss journey, but I speak from one loser to another: let's encourage one another!

1. Set Your Workout Goal

First of all, decide how much weight you want to lose. Set a weight loss goal for yourself. Next, figure out how many calories you want burn off every week in order to lose weight.

You also need to consider how much time you are willing to spend. Take an honest look at yourself, at your life, and at your motivation. Don't set goals that you can't keep, but also try to push yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone.

Remember that to lose one pound, you must burn off 3500 calories than you take in. You can do this either by eating less, moving more, or a combination of both. The healthiest way is to do a combination of both. Read this article for more about planning your weight loss menu to lose weight.

If you decide that you would like to burn off half a pound a week through exercise, you will have to burn off a total of 1750 calories, per week. Let's say that you plan to exercise five times a week.

That means that you will need to choose to burn off 350 calories per session. This is definitely do-able! Remember, this is just an example. I am giving you modest numbers but you may wish to do a lot more every week.

The point is, set your goal and try to stick to it.

Get Yourself Some Workout Gear!

Be sure to get some comfortable, attractive clothing to workout in.
Be sure to get some comfortable, attractive clothing to workout in. | Source

2. Get Some Workout Gear

Whenever we start a new task, we need to get prepared. Working out is no exception. Get your some basic gear to begin this new journey in your life.

Doing this is important for two reasons. First of all, you don't want to be stopped from doing it, because of not having the proper equipment. Secondly, it will give you a psychological boost and signal to your brain that you mean business.

What do you need to get in order to start your program? Well, for the bare minimum, you need a good pair of shoes. This is essential. Splurge on the shoes, even if you can't buy anything else. If you can't walk, you will not keep it up!

Second of all, get some clothes appropriate for your workout. I have written an article outlining some of the excellent choices available in plus sized workout wear. If you can't afford much, try going to your local thrift stores. But get something besides a pair of jeans! The more attractive you can look while working out, the more you will be able to maintain the habits in the long run.

Lastly, make sure you have a good water bottle, something to track your exercise minutes ( a cell phone works great) and perhaps a little bag to carry your keys and bottle.

Tracking With the Daily Mile

This is a screen shot from My Daily Mile,  a program I use to track my exercise minutes, and calories burned.
This is a screen shot from My Daily Mile, a program I use to track my exercise minutes, and calories burned. | Source

Tips on Tracking

Track the number of calories you are burning .... remember the more calories burned than taken in? This how you will know that this is happening.

  • You don't have to be exact, but get an idea.
  • Your weight itself will be a factor in how many calories you burn. The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn. and THAT is a bonus!
  • Your age is a factor. Are you under 30? Count that as a blessing. The older you get, the more your metabolism will slow down.
  • Are you a man or a woman? Well, if you are a man, you automatically burn more calories than a woman, for the exact same amount of exercise.

3. Track Your Exercise and Calories

Once you have decided on how many calories you want to burn off each time, choose a form of aerobic exercise, and see how many minutes you need to exercise, in order to burn off that many calories.

You can do this using online calculators. There are dozens of these available. One of the easiest to use is this one from gyms and fitness clubs.

Using this calculator, I calculated that someone who is 190 pounds, would need to walk quickly, for 45 minutes in order to burn 368 calories.

You can try it for yourself, plugging in your weight, and the exercise that you want to try, and finding your "sweet spot." Don't worry about it being an exact number, but try to find something within your range.

So, once you have set your goal of how many minutes you want to work out, start tracking your exercise minutes. If you use an online program or app, it will also tell you how many calories are burned.

There are numerous ways track your exercise minutes. You can simply write down your minutes in a little book. There are also several places online that help you to track your exercise minutes, including SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, and DailyMile.

If you are very tech savvy, you can also use a fitness phone app to keep track of those minutes! I have not started using these yet, but they are very accurate in keeping track of your minutes.

4. Do What You Can

What kind of exercise should you do? Do what you can. You do need to do some cardio exercise, in order to get your heart rate elevated. but do whatever you can.

I know that when you have gained a lot of weight, it is very difficult to want to exercise, because it can be really embarrassing to try to sweat and move, when your body is big. I understand that completely, but it so worth it, when you start feeling more like a jock!

But just start by doing what you can. If you can only walk around the block, do that. If you have to simply move in your chair because you can't get up, then do that. Start with something, and you will keep getting stronger, as long as you keep doing something, and don't give up!

I highly recommend walking for weight loss because it is so easy that anyone can do it and the fresh air can be very invigorating. Walking is a low pressure exercise and it is an awesome place to start. However, choose an exercise that works for you, and that you enjoy. You may wish to have several choices that you do at different times, so you don't get bored.


5. Add Strength Exercises

The last piece of advice is to add in some strength training to your workout. I say this last, because I think it is important to develop a routine first, and get yourself used to exercising before adding in one more thing.

But once you are in routine, and on track, it is a very good idea to add in some strength training of some kind. Strength training can take the form of weightlifting, circuit training or even simple isometric exercises that you can do at home. The advantage of doing this is that it increases your metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns calories.


Just Don't Give Up

The most important advice I can give is, don't give up! Even if you get off track, just start again and keep going. It's never too late to workout to lose weight and you will always feel better in the end.


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    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      6 years ago from Canada

      @snerfu, you make an excellent point! But unfortunately, just reading is not enough, ha ha! Yes, not giving up is the key for anything, I am realizing. Even if you haven't done something for a while, you can start over again. Thanks so much for the comment and take care!

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 

      6 years ago from Madurai, India

      Hello Carol, The best thing about reading articles about exercising is that you are energized immediately. Good article, especially the ending about not giving up.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Carol, you are so right. The hardest part is to stick to it. Good for you, for being so disciplined. Have a great night!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      These ideas are all great and helpful to staying in good shape and losing weight. Unfortunately most people start out with great enthusiasm and give up. You know all the gym memberships on January 1...But it is a commitment that I made to myself years ago..and it works.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Sandy, that sounds like an excellent routine! I think walking in the morning is the very best, too, although I can't seem to get myself up that early. Thanks for coming by and for commenting.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @newusedcar, thank you so much for your comment. Have a wonderful evening.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Audrey, that's awesome that it is such a regular part of your life, even after 12-16 hour days. That's your secret! I would like to get into more swimming, too. It is so invigorating! Thanks so much for the comment. Have a wonderful day.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @Healthylife, great music is definitely a plus, too! And that's great that you now stand confidently beside all the jocks at the gym. I find that I feel proud of myself when I work out, even if I'm not as far along as others, I am still moving, and that feels so good.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

    • newusedcarssacram profile image


      8 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      Regular exercise and healthy diet can control gaining weight. I find very useful points in your hub. thanks!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Sharilee--I love the way you laid it out in steps...that is the whole thing of it--in for a penny, literally in for a pound--or 5 or 6!!! It is so hard just to get motivated but once you do and you see the results---bam. I do my swim thing every summer (we only have an outdoor pool here in the crazy town I live in) for 3 months and that keeps me going for the summer...then I jump to running the dogs on scooters and an exercise program for old ladies~~~

      If you build in exercise as part of your daily "bread"/routine, it makes it easier to continue it. Once you crash and burn, it's that much harder to jump back on and start all over.

      You make all the great points--weight loss without exercise in my humble opinion is just fluff - Virginia definitely hits it on the head there. A great diet is fabulous but you have to exercise--especially the older we get--to keep it off and FEEL GOOD. That's the part I love the most. I can be dog tired but if I exercise, I feel alive again. That's a good thing considering I put in about 12-16 hour days~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great pointers! I remember when I first went to the gym how intimidated I was. Now I feel totally confident standing in the weight lifting area next to some huge guys on steroids . Another requirement I would add is great music!

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Virginia, good for you, for losing and keeping it off. That is excellent. And I know what you mean about being more capable of doing more when you lose. I found that, too. I still have a ways to go on my weight loss, and have to get going full force again at it. Thank you so much for the kind comment, votes and shares! Have an excellent day.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      8 years ago from United States

      Great job in getting some really practical advice put together. Congratulations on your own 30 lbs lost too! I've lost 20 lbs over the last year and exercise is really a key. What is so encouraging is that as I have kept on exercising and losing weight I'm now able to exercise more. I'm now able to do some machines at the gym I thought I'd never be able to do. You are so right that a person just has to get started and not worry about what you can't do, but just do what you can! voted up and pinned.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @Seeker, I am so glad that it resonated with you! It is hard to know where to start, but starting somewhere always helps us and we start to feel better. Thanks for the comment and the shares! Have a good night.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @MM, thank you so much for your words! Have a good night.

      @Kelley, to me, it is the only way to get real results. Thanks for the comment!

      @Rc, I hear you! That really is the hardest part of changing our habits. I struggle with this, too. Thanks for the comment!

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @Audrey, that's interesting! Well, it's better to do at least one. Maybe the exercise feels more exciting, whereas the food tracking seems a bit restrictive! I know it is a wonderful feeling when you have worked out, and you can track it, and know that you accomplished something that day for your body.

      Thanks so much for your comment and support!

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @Kashmir, thank you so much! I appreciate your support and I hope it does help other people working to lose weight. Have a good week!

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      @Barbie, slow is good, in this case. It is taking me a long time, too. You give very good advice about making it a non-negotiable appointment. Excellent advice!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      8 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Well, I knew you were an excellent writer and this hub has just proven it once again. You were right as well in what you said about us taking so long to decide what exercises and when. With me I do this for so long that I finally get bored with the idea and move on. But following your hub's advice has inspired me once again.

      The information, layout and presentation here are excellent! Voted up + shared.

    • rcrumple profile image


      8 years ago from Kentucky

      You said it all in the first paragraph, yet, it is probably the hardest of all to do..."start doing it." I can't tell you the number of times I've told myself that I need to, but starting is constantly procrastinated as excuse after excuse finds it's way to the forefront. Great advice and methodology!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic advice. I like the idea of tracking your own workout plan and food intake. I find that to be very effective. Voted up! Kelley

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is an excellent article, well written and easy to understand - inspiring too!

      Thank you and voted up!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      8 years ago from California

      I find that I love tracking my exercise and hate tracking my food! So what does that say about me---yikes! Great hub!!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great well written hub with all good information and advice within it to help anyone lose some weight .

      Well done and vote up and more !!!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      8 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Great hub and great tips. I know I have been on a journey to lose weight for a long time. It has come off very slow but I guess that means it is more likely to stay off. The best advise I have is set up your workout like it is a non-negotiable appointment. If you just wait for when you can squeeze it in, you are more likely to skip your workout.

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Julie, thank you for your comment Have a wonderful day.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      8 years ago from Clinton CT

      Lots of great suggestions- and I too love the dividers. Nice job here :)

    • prairieprincess profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Billy, thank you for your comment! I am glad to give out some advice and I hope you are right about the search engines. Have a wonderful day.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the scale dividers between sections.

      Great suggestions Sharilee! This is one of those articles that should do well on the search engines, and I hope it does. It is concise and easy to understand. Nice job!


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