5 Easy Steps to Lose Weight

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Weight loss is a topic which has intrigued a majority of the population since time immemorial. The quest to look good and achieve ideal weight is not restricted to a particular geography , as per googletrends it is one of the most searched topic the world over. There have been countless researches, books, articles which are already available on weight loss, so an obvious questions rises, how different this article is going to be ? Well the article is different on 3 major counts:

1) The concept of weight loss is explained in detail along with other related terms, which you must know, before embarking on this journey,

2) We are not talking about crash dieting, rather a sustainable balance diet which an average person can follow and stick around,

3) I have personally followed this process and seen the results coming through.

The process being shared here is the one that has worked for me in terms of favourable outcome over the years. Just to give a background, like an average Indian I am also a foodie who relishes paranthas, puris,chole bathure, pizza etc.I also have a tendency to put on weight, just like rest of us(excluding a lucky few who struggle with putting on weight instead of loosing it).In my view, if I can do it then anyone can..So let’s get started and see for yourself, what’s in store for you.

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Table of Contents

#1.Concept of weight loss

#2.Weight loss principle

#3.Understanding the Key terms associated with Diet and nutrition

#4.5 Easy steps to lose weight with example

#5.General Dietary Guidelines & weight loss friendly foods

#6.Other Guidelines

# 7.Resources(Diet Calculator)

#1.Concept of weight loss

Before jumping the gun and starting on the weight loss journey, its important to understand the science behind it.

Weight loss is primarily a function of two broad parameters-Diet(80%) & work-out(20%).Meaning, what we eat is much more important than what kind of physical activity we are engaged in. This is also contrary to the popular belief that, if you are working out or physically active then you can eat anything.

#2.Weight loss Principle

The basic principle of weight loss is to consume less calories, then you burn during the day or alternatively burn more calories then you consume.It doesn’t means that you should starve yourself .With starving you may loose weight, but it won’t be sustainable and has its own side effects.What we are talking about is mindfull eating rather than emotional eating.This can be decided by answering 3 basic questions:

1.What is the daily calorie requirement of our body ?

2.How much to eat?

3.What to eat ?

4.When to eat ?

5.How to create calorie deficit ?

As we move along, we will be dwelling on various aspects to finally answer these questions.

#3.Key Terms associated with Nutrition & Weight-Loss

What is calorie?

A Calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition and dietary terms, it specifies the units of energy which an individual will gain on consumption of particular food item. In simple terms, human body requires energy to function, which is measured in calories.The input source of this energy is food, hence the nutritional value of the food is referred or measured in calories.

What are nutrients ?

Nutrients are compounds in foods essential to life and health, providing us with energy, the building blocks for repair and growth and substances necessary to regulate chemical processes. There are six major nutrients: Carbohydrates (CHO), Lipids (fats), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water

What are the macronutrients ?

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy and are required in large amounts to maintain body functions and carry out the activities of daily life. There are three broad classes of macronutrient: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

What is Body Mass Index(BMI)

Body mass index is a common tool for deciding whether a person has an appropriate body weight. As per NIH, it measures a person’s weight in relation to their height.

BMI=Weight in Kg/Height*Height(In metres)

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • A BMI of less than 18.5 means that a person is underweight.

  • A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal.

  • A BMI of between 25 and 29.9 is overweight.

  • A BMI over 30 indicates obesity

What is BMR ?

BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate)-BMR is the minimum number of calories required to perform basic functions while the body is at rest.For further ease of understanding, it can also be referred as calories burnt by human body while at rest. Anything that results in an increase to your metabolic rate will increase your BMR. This includes exercise, stress, fear and illnesses.Your BMR is relative to body mass, age, weight and height. It is also affected by your gender; as it widely regarded that men need more calories than women.

BMR Formula

There are 2 formulae used to calculate BMR, in [kcal / 24hrs] for men and women respectively:

BMR for Men = 66.47 + (13.75 * weight [kg]) + (5.003 * size [cm]) − (6.755 * age [years])

BMR for Women = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight [kg]) + (1.85 * size [cm]) − (4.676 * age [years])

An ideal daily intake of calories varies depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things

What are Maintenance Calories?

The daily calorie intake required to maintain your current weight is referred to as maintenance calories.

Once you’ve calculated your BMR, this is then put into the Harris Benedict Formula , which calculates your total calorie intake required to maintain your current weight. Maintenance calorie requirement depends on your daily physical activity level and is calculated as under:

§ Little/no exercise: BMR * 1.2 = Total Calorie Need

§ Light exercise: BMR * 1.375 = Total Calorie Need

§ Moderate exercise (3-5 days/wk): BMR * 1.55 = Total Calorie Need

§ Very active (6-7 days/wk): BMR * 1.725 = Total Calorie Need

§ Extra active (very active & physical job): BMR * 1.9 = Total Calorie Need

What is Ideal Body Weight ?

Ideal body weight is the optimal weight associated with maximum life expectancy for a given height. Before the use of BMI to quantify obesity, TBW above 20% of IBW was defined as being obese.

Formula for Ideal Body Weight Calculation

Ideal Body Weight for Men=50+(0.91*(Height in CM-152.4))

Ideal Body Weight for Women= 45.5+(0.91*(Height in CM-152.4))

#4. 5 Easy Steps to Lose Weight

Having understood the key terms, its time to go through the step by step procedure to be followed for Weight loss, with the help of an illustration.

Example :- Mohit is a 20 year old male with height of 5.6 inches(167 Cm or 1.67 metre).His Current weight is 73 Kg(161 pounds).He is a student in DU and currently preparing for CAT exams. Sedentary lifestyle and lock down due to COVID-19 has further compounded his weight problems. He wants to loose weight but is not sure how to go about it.

Let’s help Mohit to loose weight following our procedure as under.

Step 1: Determine the Ideal Body Weight for Mohit, using the formula mentioned below:

Ideal Body Weight for Men=50+(0.91*(Height in CM-152.4))

As per the above formula, Ideal Body weight for Mohit is 63Kg, which means Mohit s overweight by 10 Kg(73 Kg-63 kg).To reach ideal body weight for his height, he must loose 10 kg.

Step 2:Calculate the BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate)

BMR for Men = 66.47 + (13.75 * weight [kg]) + (5.003 * size [cm]) − (6.755 * age [years])

Using the above formula the BMR for Mohit works out to be 1771 calories at his current weight of 73KG.However for Ideal Body Weight of 63kg, his BMR is 1633 calories

Step 3: Calculate the Maintenance calorie requirement

Maintenance calorie requirement depends on your daily physical activity level and is calculated as under:

§ Little/no exercise: BMR * 1.2 = Total Calorie Need

Referring the formula above, daily maintenance calorie requirement for Mohit is as under.

At current weight of 73kg (Assuming little or no exercise) : 2125 calories

For ideal Body Weight of 63 Kg(Assuming little or no exercise) : 1960 calories

Step 4: How to create calorie deficit ?

Having determined the daily calorie requirement for achieving the target weight of 63 kg, next step is to create a calorie deficit, so that he can start loosing weight. This will be done in two parts:

PART 1.Designing a balance diet as per the target calorie requirement

PART 2.Physical activity to burn the stored fat

PART 1. Designing a balance diet as per the target calorie requirement.

Since we have arrived at the daily calorie requirement, next step is to work out the macro nutrient break-up so that we can design the diet accordingly. The recommended composition of macro-nutrients for balanced diet and sustainable results is as under:

Protien-30% ;Fat-20%; Carbohydrates-50%

This means, the combination of food items in your daily diet should be done in a way so that 50%of calories are derived from carbs, 30% from protein and 20% from fat.

For Mohit, using the enclosed calculator, diet composition works out to be as under:

Daily Calorie Requirement: 1960

7 day diet plan for weight loss

Sample Diet Plan

Enclosed is the sample 7 day diet plan for weight loss, which was used by me during my weight loss process. Since I am vegetarian, hence the plan has been prepared accordingly. However, you can prepare your customized diet plan basis the information shared above and ensuring the diet has required combination of Protein, fats and carbs. Recommended food items to be included in diet are shared in healthy guidelines section towards the end.

PART 2.Physical Activity to burn the stored fat

After having fixed the diet, let’s understand how many calories Mohit needs to burn daily.

0.45 kg of fat=3500 calories, which means a daily deficit of 500 calories will help in loosing 0.50 kg in 1 week.Our target is to loose 10 Kg, so at this rate,it will take 20 weeks(5 months) to achieve the goal. An increase in weight loss on weekly basis can help in reducing the time.

Let's now have a look at the various recommended weight loss exercise/activities for burning approx 500 calories/day.

Option 1-Walking

Walking 10,000 steps daily.By walking 10,000 steps on daily basis, you can burn approx 500 calories. It will take nearly 1 hour and 40 minutes and is equal to 8 kms.The schedule can be split in morning and evening sessions of 50 minutes each

Option 2-Cycling

Since walking 1 hour 40 minutes is time consuming, hence next best option is cycling for 1 hour at moderate pace, it can also help in burning similar number of calories

Option 3-Body Weight Training at Gym or Home.

Body weight training increases the heart-rate and is very effective in burning the fat, even after the work-out session

Enclosed is the body weight training plan for reference.

Body Weight Training Plan

Option 4-Weight Training at Gym

For Gym lovers, there is nothing better than hitting the gym and pumping the iron. Like body weight training, this also increases the heart rate and very effective in burning the stored fat.

7 days weight loss exercise Plan

Sample Workout Plan

Enclosed is the sample 7 days weight loss exercise plan, which I had used during my weight loss journey.

Any of the above method or a combination can be used for working out. It all depends on your interest, what you enjoy and most importantly what you can do consistently on daily basis.

My personal recommendation would be an active lifestyle which involves around 45 -60 min moderate intensity workout and 30 minutes-walk in the evening, post dinner.

Step 5. Monitoring Mechanism

The famous saying goes, whatever gets measured and monitored, gets done.Its very important to track the results so as to ensure that things are proceeding on right track and timely course correction can be done (if required).The question rises, how often the measurement should be done? I would recommend tracking on weekly basis. Before starting the programme, take a note of your waist and weight measurements on a notepad or chart or diary or whatever you are comfortable with.

Do mention the date while capturing the measurements, so that you can track and record the weekly progress.

*A Word of Caution*

Initially results would be faster, since the body will be in state of shock due to change in daily regime. However, later it might slow down, so don’t get disheartened, be persistent. Once you hit the plateau, increase the intensity of work-out.For example- Increase the pace of walking or running or cycling, lift slightly heavier weights or increase the number of reps if you are doing weight training.

Objective is to push the body out of comfort zone and keep surprising it so that you get better results

For the initial 2 weeks, you may aim for losing 0.5kg per week and may increase it to max 1 kg/week in later weeks by increasing the work-out duration depending on your strength and fitness level.

#5.General Dietary Guidelines & weight loss friendly foods

  • Choose wholegrain foods that contain fibre like: Bajra, Jowar,Whole grain Wheat,Oats and Ragi

  • Use more of whole pulses and legumes like :Green moong dal,Black channa,Chickpea (Choley) Kidney Bean (Rajma )Black urad and Whole masoor

  • When mixing cereals with pulses flour or oats bran/wheat bran for chapatti use in following proportion- (4 parts cereals +1 part Pulse)

  • Use De-starch or brown rice instead of white rice .

  • Oil intake has to be 2-4 teaspoon per person per day.Opt for any of the following oil:

  • Canola Oil ,Rice bran Oil,Mustard Oil,Olive pomace oil.

  • It is advised to change and use all above mentioned oils after every 2-3 months.

  • Remove cream completely from milk and use toned/double toned / Slim Milk.

  • Increase water consumption up to 2 -3 Lt/day.

  • Avoid refined cereals like refined floor( maida ),cornflour and its products.

  • Avoid intake of fried foods and bakery products.

  • Avoid Red meats like meat mutton and egg yolk.

#6.Other Guidelines

  • Always have Pre workout and post work out meals 30 min prior and later to workout.

  • High Protein intake is recommended. Have more of protein dense foods like pulses, soy and soy products, low fat milk and its products,Egg whites, Fish and poultry.

  • Take vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits,sprouts,etc to aid and stimulate muscle growth.

  • Recommended intake of water is upto 3 lt/day.

  • Include green leafy vegetable like Spinach( Palak),Bathua,Fenugreek (Methi), Mustard Leaves Or vegetable Greens and bright color vegetables with lunch and dinner as salad ,raita etc

  • Prefer taking fruits over juices.

  • Have almonds and walnuts , Flaxseeds,Fenugreek seeds (methi dana ) and Sesame seeds

  • Use peanut butter and avocado as healthy fat sources.

  • Prefer white meats like egg white,chicken and fish.

  • Replace tea with green tea.

  • Replace salt with lemon, herbs ( oregano ,parsley,thyme etc) and spices to flavor foods.

  • Avoid extra sugary products like jellies,jams and candies,cold drinks,packaged juices, soda and alcohol.

  • Avoid cashew nuts,pistachio,raisins.

  • Avoid use of salt shakers and salty items like pickles,papad,chips,snacks.

  • Avoid intake of fresh ,dried coconut and groundnut and their chutney


You can use the enclosed calculator to determine the below parameters which are required in step by step process to be followed for weight loss.

  • Ideal Body Weight

  • BMI

  • BMR

  • Maintenance Calories

Diet Calculator

The mantra of getting ahead is getting started. The only way by which this article would help you is by execution. So stop procrastination and get moving. Looking forward to meet a fitter you. All the best !!!

Thanks for reading till the end. Since you are reading this, I hope you have liked the content and enjoyed it. Do Like, Comment and Share on the article before leaving the page.

Disclaimer :The details and content shared in this article are for general information based on my personal experiences. In case of specific health condition pls consult your physician .We will not be responsible for any adverse condition or side effects which may arise, due to the content shared in this article.