The math is rather simple when it comes to losing weight; eat fewer calories than your body uses. The amount of energy found in food is what we term as calories, and different foods have different calories. Some are high in fat and sugar, and such have a high-calorie count. When we consume more calories than the body uses the body stores the extra calories as excess fat.
Back to the weight loss math and take this simple example; one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you wish to lose a pound per week, you should eat calories fewer than 3,500 per week (less than 500 calories per day). On the flip side, when relying on exercises, you will have to burn 3,500 calories. However, you should talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss program to know which activities will suit you.
So, the secret to effective weight loss is eating fewer calories and burning the excess through exercising (being active). Aim to burn off 250 calories and eat a diet that has 250 fewer calories and you will be doing 500 fewer calories in your system per day. Do this for a week and you will lose one pound, weekly.
Weight loss experts suggest that the right amount shed off per week should not be more than 2 pounds. Anything above that means you are losing lean muscle mass and body water weight instead of the excess fat. As such, your body will have less energy making you less active thus most likely to gain the lost weight.
How often should I eat?
On average, people, do three regular meals and a snack per day. The meals should be the same size and with low fat and sugar content. An example of a healthy dietary plan would include no more than two ounces of meat or suitable alternative to meat, no more than three ounces of whole grain, and no more than two cups of vegetables and fruits.
Some people prefer doing five or 6 meals per day, but in small amounts after every two or three hours. They can do a cup of low-fat yogurt and fruit and then after a few hours, they can do a sandwich made from veggies and whole-grain bread and a bit of fat-free mayonnaise topping.
Skipping meals is not the way to go, more so breakfast, which is the day’s first meal. In as much as skipping meals as a means of eating less does contribute to losing weight, it never offers long-term results. Less eating will make you feel hungrier later on, and thus, you are more likely to eat more during the next meal.
Do small amounts (enough rations) of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you will get accustomed to it in about a month.
Why all the fuss about high-fat foods?
Fatty foods have a high-calorie count and lead to excess body weight. Eating such foods increases LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type, which increases the risk of heart diseases. According to the USDA, people should consume not eat more than 20g of saturated fat while limiting their trans fat consumption to almost zero grams. Click here to know more about nutrition labels.
Not all cholesterol is bad, there is a good kind such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are beneficial to the body. Such fats can be found in certain food sources such as nuts, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
What are empty calories?
Empty calories are the kind that has a high-calorie count but has no nutritional benefits. For example, sugar-sweetened beverages such as processed fruit drinks, sports drinks, sweetened iced tea, processed fruit juices, sweetened milk, and regular soft drinks. These beverages have a high sugar content thus a high-calorie count.
As much as they are drinks that we consider staying hydrated, we should consider having low sugar and calorie count in what we eat or drink. If you want something to drink, then do a diet soda, or non-fat milk, zero-calorie flavored water, or water in its purest form. Discuss with your doctor about the best diet plans or programs for your family that will ensure you eat healthily.
Can diet drugs help?
Some drugs do help with losing weight, but the results are never long-term, and some drugs have side effects. Consider the fact that most of the drugs in the market have not been tested and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so why risk it! Moreover, drugs are never a means of learning how to make the right dietary choices or exercise habits that will see you lose and maintain healthy body weight.