To lose weight, you have to know how many calories you're eating. You can do this by tracking your food. Then you need to make sure you burn more calories than you're eating. How do you know how much exercise you'll have to do to burn your target number of calories? Well, it depends upon your weight and what kind of exercise you do. Heavier people burn more calories during physical activity than lighter people do. More intense physical exercise, such as running, burns more calories than easier exercise, like walking.

There are several ways you can find out the calorie expenditures of various forms of exercise for a person of your weight. First, you can look in a book about exercise that has a robust listing of different exercise forms and their caloric expenditures based on various weights (some do not specify weights). Second, you can use this excellent online activity calorie counter. Third, you can use exercise machines, such as stair climbers, treadmills, or stationary bikes that prompt you to enter your weight ahead of time and tell you how many calories you burn during your workout.

Here are some examples of the energy expended by a 150-pound person in 30 minutes of continuous exercise:

Aerobics 200-250 calories
Bicycling, Stationary 250-300 calories
Bicycling, Actual 300-400 calories
Running, 5-6 mph 300-350 calories
Stair climber 200-250 calories
Swimming laps 350 calories
Walking briskly 150-180 calories

Figure out what sort of exercise you're going to do, where you're going to do it, and when you're going to do it, and create a schedule you can follow. It's important to do this before you start, so that you don't become frustrated and quit when you can't figure out what to do. If you like to use exercise equipment and you don't want to buy any, you're going to need access to a gym. If you want to run or bicycle, you need to figure out how to do that without hurting yourself. Sort it all out ahead of time and it'll be a lot easier when you're actually working out.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW lose weight?