When it comes to losing weight, most people assume that dramatic results take dramatic measures. While in some instances this may be true, for most people making a few small changes can lead to permanent weight loss over time.

If you're looking to trim down but aren't interested in joining a bootcamp or undertaking a strict calorie reduced diet, you can still make little changes to your routine that will yield results.

First off it is important to understand the basics of weight loss. A pound of fat consists of 3500 calories. So in order to lose a pound a week you would need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, or alternatively to burn these calories through exercise or some combination therefore. Whatever your choice, you can lose this pound a week through the proper application of this formula.

Obviously if you want faster results you will generally have to work a little harder. Assuming you want to lose 2 pounds a week (a healthy and reasonable goal), then you will need to drop 7000 calories from your weekly diet through either food restrictions or exercise.

Although this may seem like a lot, the truth of the matter is that most of us don't realize how many calories we are eating. Trimming 500 calories from your day can be as simple as foregoing your morning mocha. Add an hour of moderate to intense aerobic activity and voila, you've burned 1000 calories essentially.

For some people doing an hour of aerobic activity each day sounds way too intense. In such cases you may want to try an hour walk or a thirty minute walk and a more intense bike ride alongside greater caloric reductions.

Chances are if you haven't been paying any attention at all to your caloric intake you'll easily find ways to reduce five hundred calories or more. Making healthy substitutes is one of the best ways to go.

For instance, substituting your mocha for a delicious Americano coffee with skim milk can save you a bunch of unnecessary calories. Or perhaps you opt for lightly salted popcorn with nutritional yeast as opposed to your movie theatre variety drenched in butter.

Other options include choosing to drink water with lemon instead of soda. Soda pop is one of the very worst offenders when it comes to weight gain. These fizzy drinks load you up with calories and are terrible for you teeth. So if you must drink pop and can't bare to let it go just make sure you opt for a diet, sugar free variety.

Obviously one of the best ways to start loosing weight is to start a daily log of your foods. You can start writing down what you eat before you even start dieting to get an idea of just where you can cut out some fat.

For most people, keeping this daily log will shed light on why they've gained weight in the first place. Instead of wondering just why you aren't slimmer than you are, you'll begin to see hard facts about how many calories you're actually consuming.

You will also want to do a thorough investigation of how many calories your particular body needs to maintain its weight. For easiest results utilize one of the many online calculators available. Some are more sophisticated than others, but basically with your height, gender, weight, age and activity level (or some combination thereof) you will find out around how many calories your body requires just to stand around and breathe.

Once you have this you can then do the math. If you find you need 2000 calories to survive and maintain your current weight, you'll need to reduce your caloric intake (through diet and exercise as described above) by 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week or 1000 calories a day to lose 2 pounds.

Diets of less than 1200 calories a day are however generally not recommended and are considered crash diets. You may do harm to your body and metabolism by doing crash dieting too often so you should just stick to 1200 calories or above and add in more exercise or be satisfied with a pound and a half or slightly more weight loss each week.

Losing weight doesn't have to be a gruelling battle. Just learning some of the weight loss basics and starting to pay a little more attention to your daily caloric intake can make a world of difference.

If you're not in a hurry to lose weight but do want long lasting results than start with these small changes. In a few months you'll be a size or two smaller and this is certainly worth the wait.

Author's Bio: 

Dale Miller is a health, sports, fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He operates http://centurysupplements.com/, http://centuryhealthsupplements.com/ , http://centuryhealth-nutrition.com/ and writes a blog at http://centurysupplements.com/blog/