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Lose Weight without Starving

Updated on October 10, 2017
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Dani Alicia is an actress, writer, and entrepreneur. She writes about topics that interest her.

There are so many diets, excercise plans, pills, and surgeries for losing weight that it can be very confusing and frustrating trying to figure out what is right for your body. Some say excercising is key, some say eating right is key, and still there are others that say its a matter of genetics. I've personally tried everything from going to the gym, to hiring a personal trainer, to crazy fad diets, to pills--I even auditioned for The Biggest Loser. I've read several online articles, purchased books, seen a dietician, had a doctor prescribe appetite supressants. I tried Sensa, Zumba (which is awesome), yoga, kickboxing, Hydroxycut and more. Out of all of the people I talked to and all of the information that I read, there is one thing that is entirely consistent throughout--cut calories.

I decided to focus more on cutting calories than all of the other stuff, and so far I've been losing weight steadily.  One major mistake that I was making was trying to completely switch my eating habits all at one time.  I grew up eating all of the wrong stuff 99% of the time.  So trying to reverse that was very hard.  I would stick with it for about a week, but my cravings would be so strong that I would give in and end up binging on tons of unhealthy foods.  I finally realized that the key to this whole cut calories deal was not to change everything I eat, but rather to mix up the things that I eat.

As I stated before, they key to weight loss is cutting calories. This basically means eating less calories than you burn. This does not mean to only eat fruit and vegetables for the next six months. The very first step you should take is to find out how much calories your body burns each day. There are many ways to do this. One way is to purchase a scale with a calorie analyzer. I purchased the Taylor "Cal-Max" Digital Scale with calorie counting. Since I needed a scale anyway, this was a great choice for me. The weight readout is accurate and it tells you how many calories you burn each day right on the display each time you weigh yourself. The calorie readout is a general number for a normal amount of activity in your routine. If you are extremely active, your number could be a little higher. If you are a couch potato, then it could be lower. You could also visit FitDay. This website allows you to input certain statistics about yourself and your daily activities, and it will tell you how many calories you burn each day, as well as your BMI. Once you know how many calories you burn each day, you simply eat less than that and you will lose weight. Simple, right? That's it. Just eat less calories than you burn.

Video of A Zumba Class, I Love This Song!

Now, how much less should you eat becomes the question. Based on a very general scientific equation, you must burn 3500 calories in order to lose one pound. So, for example, if you burn 2500 calories per day, and you decide to eat 2000 calories per day, after a week you will have lost a pound. This, as I stated, is a very general equation. There may be other factors that can cause you to lose weight slower or faster, so it is important to consult a doctor and/or registered dietician. It is also important to eat enough calories to sustain your body throughout the day, and to eat several times a day so that your body's metabolism can stay raised. Make sure you consult with a doctor if you have some sort of health condition before you reduce your calories and/or change your diet.

Having a good workout routine will help you burn even more calories, which is why it is important to have some type of exercise regimen while on your weight loss journey. Any type of cardio-based activity will do. I recommend Zumba. Zumba is fun and you can burn somewhere around 500 calories per one hour class. Other calorie-burning cardio activities include bike riding, swimming, tennis, walking, or basically anything that gets your body moving and raises your heart rate. There are also more general cardio exercises such as walking on a treadmill, planking, or doing the 30 minute circuit at Planet Fitness.

If you learn to simply control the amount of calories that you eat each day, you can eat almost any food that you want. If you want icecream, eat icecream. You want chips? Eat chips. This does not mean to eat four servings of icecream or the whole bag of chips. You still have to eat in moderation. Look at the serving size of what you're eating, and measure it out. Subtract those calories from your daily balance, and you will know how many calories you have left for the day. You balance this out by incorporating low-calorie foods into your diet. If your first snack of the day was icecream, let the second snack be some type of fresh fruit or vegetable. Of course, you do have to use common sense as far as fats and sugars go. Just don't eat a whole lot of high-fat and/or high-sugar foods because these won't keep you full for long, which then results in you starving yourself to keep your low calorie diet. But there is no need to count fat grams and sugar grams, and all those other grams. Just keep count of your calories and replace some of the unhealthy foods with healthy foods. And most importantly, enjoy the yummy foods that you love.

Cut Calories from Keri Glassman, Registered Dietician

Please note:

I am not a doctor or registered dietician. I am simply someone who has studied and tried multiple weight-loss methods and, through trial-and-error, has discovered certain ways that work and that don't work. Always consult with a medical professional before embarking on a weight loss journey.

© 2011 Dani Alicia


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