This Is How Much Exercise the Average American Needs to Do to Lose Weight

Countless studies and articles will tell you what you already know: Eat less and exercise more to lose weight. Some of these exercise plans are meant to aid people in losing large amounts of weight or are crazy crash diets. But what about the average American who’s ready to commit to exercising the pounds away?

We’ve calculated how much you’ll need to exercise to lose those last 30, 10, even five pounds of stubborn weight while following a healthy diet (for the big reveal, see page 5).

The average American eats nearly 2,000 calories too many

Man about to eat a burger.

You probably eat way more than you should. | Kzenon/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It should come as no surprise that Americans eat a lot more than we used to. The average American consumed 3,639 calories per day in 2016 according to Business Insider.

This is significantly more than necessary to maintain a healthy weight; according to the Pew Research Center, a 40-year-old man of average height and weight who’s moderately active needs 2,400 calories; a 40-year-old woman with corresponding characteristics needs 1,850 calories.

Next: We aren’t exercising enough either!

We exercise 30 minutes less than the daily recommendation

Girl tying a shoelace before workout

Do you think you get the recommended amount of exercise? | iStock.com/funduck

To remain healthy, a Mayo Clinic study found the average person needs to exercise 150 minutes a week.

A CDC study found that most Americans don’t even come close to meeting the requirements for healthy exercise. Only 20.6% of people met the recommended 150 minutes per week. According to the Washingtonian, “researchers found that adults only do 17 minutes of fitness activities per day,” which falls short of the healthy requirement by about 30 minutes per week.

Next: This info is crucial to understanding how you’ll lose the weight.

You can easily calculate how to lose weight

doubt and worry concept

So how does all of this work? | iStock.com/StudioGrandQuest

To lose one pound of body weight, you’ll need to burn an extra 3,500 calories. The average American eats 3,639 calories per day, and therefore may need to burn more than the recommended 250 calories daily and cut more than the recommended deficit of 375 calories.

Use an online calculator to first estimate your daily calorie needs, then subtract 375 calories to total your daily calorie intake target number.

Next: These exercises are the key to success.

These are the best exercises for weight loss

Female runner in forest tying shoe

A HIIT workout will show you results fast. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

  • Running, CrossFit, boxing, and HIIT workouts burn more calories than other forms of exercise.

There are plenty of ways for even novice exercisers to burn the extra 250 calories (on average) a day. Running for 20 minutes at 6 m.p.h. on a treadmill, for example, already burns 230. Combine cardiovascular efforts with strength training like weight lifting for optimal results.

For new and exciting classes that pack both strength training and cardio into 60 minutes or less, try CrossFit, boxing, or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Sixty minutes of CrossFit or 30 minutes of HIIT will burn, on average, 261 calories.

Next: This is how much exercise you’ll need to lose that pesky weight.

To lose weight, you need to do 150 minutes of cardio and strength training each week

Group of people running together.

Get to it! | Jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you’re looking to cut around one pound per week, keep a healthy exercise schedule in addition to cutting your calorie intake. Follow the recommendation to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, then tack on additional exercise that burns around 250 calories per day.

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, the CDC declared that healthy adults will engage in muscle-strengthening activities that work for all the major muscle groups at least two days a week.

Next: You’ll need these resources to help you keep the weight off.

You’ll be twice as likely to keep the weight off if you use a journal

curly girl sitting on big brown bed and reading

Do your best to educate yourself. | iStock.com/DeanDrobot

Losing your goal weight is half the battle; keeping the weight off becomes the up-hill struggle. According to WebMD, only about a third of dieters and exercisers successfully maintain their weight loss.

Assign yourself a cheat day, journal your diet habits, and most importantly, continue to exercise regularly. Continuous exercise will increase your metabolism, improve your digestive health, and help you live an overall healthier life.

Next: The scary fact about Americans…

This is why American’s struggle with their weight

Woman weighing herself with tape measure around her ankles

The average American weight is not decreasing. | Getty Images

Dr. David Katz, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, told CBS News how our modern-day society contributes to the obesity epidemic. “There are many active efforts to combat obesity, but our culture at large is in the business of propagating it for profit, from big food to big media to big pharma. It’s that simple. We do much more, across the expanse of our culture, to foster obesity than to defend against it,” Katz said.

According to a CDC National Center for Health Statistics report, the average weight of men in the U.S. rose from 181 pounds to 196 pounds from 1994 to 2014. The average woman expanded from 152 pounds to 169 pounds.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!