ACSM Recommendations for Weight Loss
The ACSM recommends the following guidelines for weight loss programs 33.
- A cardiovascular exercise program of a minimum of 3 days per week, 20 - 30 minutes per session. Ideally, a 5 day per week 30 minute per session (or 150 minutes of cumulative exercise per week) should be performed. Additionally, there may be additional benefits in progressively increasing exercise to 200 - 300 (3.3 – 5 hrs) per week. The program should be at a minimum of 60% HRmax in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Additionally, strength training may provide benefit through the development of lean muscle mass.
- A diet that provides a minimum of 1200 calories per day for normal adults to meet nutritional requirements
- The diet should include food that is acceptable to the individual in terms of nutritional needs, sociocultural background, taste, cost, and ease of acquisition and preparation.
- The difference between energy intake and expenditure should provide a negative caloric balance that does not exceed 500 - 1000 calories per day and results in gradual weight loss without metabolic abnormalities. Weight loss should not exceed 2.2 lb per week.
- Behavior modification should be instigated in order to identify and eliminate dieting habits that contribute to improper nutrition.
- New eating and physical habits should be reasonable, manageable, and appropriate. This is important if such habits are expected to be continued for life.
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