To lose 10 lbs. over a period of six weeks, a reasonable goal, you need to eliminate 35,000 calories from your diet during the six weeks. You can do this with a combination of reducing your calorie intake and increasing your exercise. Calculate the amount of calories needed to maintain your current weight, about 12 calories per lb. per day, and reduce that amount by 500 calories each day. Be sure to eat at least 1,200 calories a day, however, make sure that you eat enough nutrients. You also have to increase your physical activities. Most important, keep a written food and exercise diary so you can see your progress and keep yourself on track.
Cut back on starches, refined carbohydrates and fats, not protein, fruits and vegetables advises the University of Illinois. Non-starchy fruits and vegetables provide a lot of nutrients with only a few calories, and you can eat as much of them as you like.
Eat a whole grain, such as oatmeal, whole grain toast or a whole grain cold cereal, with a dairy product and a piece of fruit for breakfast. A serving of dairy could be 1 cup of non-fat or low fat milk, or 1 cup of non-fat or low-fat yogurt. Try low-fat cottage cheese for variety.
Eat protein, whole grains and vegetables at lunch and dinner. Put a 3 oz. serving of lean protein and 1/2 cup of beans, lentils or a whole grain like brown rice on your plate and fill the rest of the plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Snack on fruits during the day, and eat 1 oz. of nuts or seeds every day, choosing dry-roasted or raw rather than nuts and seeds roasted in oil.
Reduce the amount of fats you eat. You need about 2 tbsp. of healthy fats every day to absorb fat-soluble nutrients in your diet. Choose a healthy oil like olive or walnut oil to use in your salad dressings, drizzle on your grains or meat or brush your whole grain toast.
The safest and easiest exercise routine you could choose is just to go for a walk. Try to work 30 minutes of walking into your day. Walk farther in the parking lot at work, walk upstairs rather than taking the elevator, take a walk during your coffee breaks and at lunch. Take a walk in the evening with your family.
Increase the intensity of your exercise by jogging until you are out of breath and then walking while you recover, alternating the two for 30 minutes. At first you might only run for two minutes before needing to slow down and walk, but that will still help you use calories and become stronger and more fit.
Choose physical activities instead of sedentary activities. Go dancing instead of going to the movies, go for a walk with your family instead of playing a board game. Do some household tasks instead of watching television.