When it comes to weight loss, everyone has an opinion on how the latest diet will help you. To their surprise, these diets don’t work for all people. For lasting weight loss it’s time to go back to the drawing board and learn the basics.
Let’s start with how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis. For women, a healthy daily caloric intake is 1,800 calories. For men, the number is slightly higher at 2,200 calories. For either group, ingesting less than 1,000 calories per day is considered dangerous. The body needs at least that many calories for daily maintenance activities.
Most of us ingest more calories than that in a day. The deciding factor in any diet is the number of calories being eaten on a daily basis. The facts are still the facts. To burn one pound of fat, 3,500 calories need to be lost. Dieticians say that a healthy weight-loss program will have you losing no more than two to three pounds a week. That doesn’t seem like much, but it will add up to 104 pounds in a year!
Losing weight is a numbers game. Taking fewer calories in means more weight lost. To lose that weight, a lower calorie diet is combined with some form of physical activity to move fat from your body’s stores and have it be used as fuel for your activities.
If you are active in sports, go to the gym or walk on a daily basis then you have half of the battle started. However, all of this is for naught without a proper eating plan. For that you don’t have to go to the bookstore or turn on the television to learn about the latest fads. Simply school yourself on the basics of nutrition and then formulate your own balanced plan.
One thing that you need to know about fad diets: They are not healthy and won’t lead to permanent weight loss. The infomercials say that they take all of the guesswork out of dieting but they are taking away your right to know the science behind it. There needs to be guesswork, that is part of
the learning process. Learning how your body reacts to certain foods, if you need a higher protein or a little higher carb diet, these are all things unique to your body. Science and others can only tell us how the average person should eat, but there is always a trial and error period.
If you don’t learn anything else, know that all foods are not equal. There are always alternatives to unhealthy foods that you can create. For instance, white bread is made from processed white flour which is not the healthiest for you. Whole grains (foods contain the endosperm, germ and bran) are not processed and contain a lot of fiber which regulates the digestive system. Eating that bread increases your fiber intake and fills you up without raising your blood sugar.
Eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state provides more nutrients and fewer calories. Eat an apple instead of a glass of apple juice. Juice has 100 calories as opposed to 40 calories for an apple. The apple contains fiber which will hold off hunger longer.
Get yourself a good nutrition guide and read it cover to cover. Armed with how food works in the body and which foods give you more bang for the calorie, you can design a weight-loss meal plan within your calorie limits but filled with great tasting foods and no hunger pains.