To lose weight, a person has to expend more calories than he consumes on a daily basis, notes the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person wanting to lose weight at the healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week must consume 3,500 to 7,000 calories less than he expends daily. That means having a caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000 daily.
It is important for anyone who wants to lose weight to avoid fad diets, notes Mayo Clinic. Fad diets are those diets that require unhealthy eating habits, such as eliminating a full food group. These diets are not only unhealthy, they also lead to eating habits that a person cannot maintain long term.
Instead of unhealthy eating habits, MedlinePlus suggests eating smaller portions of foods and choosing foods that are low fat and low calorie to lose weight. Bypassing sugary drinks and drinking water instead can also aid in weight loss.
Another important component of a healthy weight loss plan is exercise. Mayo Clinic suggests aiming for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. It is best to spread this exercise throughout the week rather than concentrating it in one day.