Forget all the glitzy adverts for the latest must have diet product. The only way to lose weight successfully is by following the calorie reduction diet.
Fluctuations in your body weight are caused by consuming more energy than you use up. Our system converts surplus food to fat and we put on pounds. Our body is actually protecting itself by storing food to prevent starvation if we do not have enough to eat. Worked quite well in the old days when people often went hungry but these days, the result is a nation suffering from obesity.
If you want to slim down, you need to expend more energy than you consume. Sounds easy right? So just how many calories a day do people need to reduce in order to lose weight? Well it depends on the individual to a point. If you are losing weight under medical supervision you should follow your doctor’s advice.
If you are trying to do this on your own, the World Health Organization recommends that all adults have at least 1200 calories a day. If you try for less than this, your body may think you are in fact starving and slow your metabolism right down. This will stop you losing any excess pounds.
Crash diets i.e. those that restrict you to less than 1000 a day will result in rapid weight loss at first. But you will be miserable and starving and the results are not sustainable nor is it healthy.
The bigger the deficit you can cause between the amount of food you consume and the energy you expend, the more weight you will lose. But studies show that if you reduce your weight by one to two pounds a week, you are more likely to maintain your new waistline. So if you increase your level of activity you won’t have to impose a huge calorie reduction. You will also preserve your muscles and they help to burn fat and keep your metabolism raised.
You can cut down quite simply by changing the way you eat and cook. Most of us rely too much on takeaways and packaged meals. These contain a lot of hidden fats and sugars. It is much healthier and cheaper to cook the meals from scratch at home. You can reduce your consumption by using semi-skimmed milk in recipes rather than the full fat version. You probably won’t notice the difference. Using tomato based sauces also helps as does eating brown pasta and rice as opposed to the white versions.
Fruit and vegetables contain few calories and little fat. Increase your consumption via smoothies, salads and juices. They are great at filling us up and if we put a little extra effort into preparing our meals, they are very tasty as well. Eat little and often and keep carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch not your evening meal.
So if you are serious about that new figure, try the calorie reduction diet for yourself.
photo: Henrique Félix