- Diet & Weight Loss
Weight Loss: Facts and Figures
So it is time to drop a few pounds...
Losing weight can be tough. Insure that you do not make losing those extra pounds any more traumatic then it has to be.
There are a few simple tips that may help to make your weight loss plan just a wee bit easier to follow. Knowing these tips and tricks can help to increase the odds of meeting your goal.
It is common knowledge that in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. You can do this in two ways, firstly by consuming less calories and secondly by increasing the amount of physical activity that you participate in. Most successful programs are accomplished with a combination of these two factors and include both an exercise program and a healthy diet plan.
Consume protein to increase your energy and keep you healthy.
Know the facts….
Insure that your weight loss program is one that you are going to be able to follow through on. In other words know the facts, and figures, in order to insure that you set realistic goals to accomplish.
The recommended daily calorie intake for moderately active women is 2000 calories per day while the recommendation for men lies between 2500 and 2800 calories per day. It all depends on how physically active you are. The average healthy calorie intake figures during dieting are 1500 calories per day for women and between 2000 and 2200 per day for men. Again, these figures all depend on how active your lifestyle, or how vigorous your exercise program is.
The best way to find your starting point for losing weight is to use a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you should be consuming each day. This will give you an accurate starting point to begin your diet plan.
Keep in mind that there are approximately 3500 calories in each pound of fat on your body. This means that you will have to burn 3500 calories for each pound of fat that you wish to lose. Reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day will result in a one to two pound weight loss per week. This is a very realistic goal to set for yourself.
Skip the bread and have your sandwich on lettuce instead.
Diet plateaus and YoYo dieting
Around the third week of dieting your body begins to realize that you are losing weight, it mistakenly believes that you are starving, and it will take a protectionist stance against allowing this to occur.
Your body slows down your metabolism to make weight loss more difficult, it also begins to make better use of the calories that you do ingest, and your brain starts sending you messages to make you feel hungrier. You feel like you are starving! This event is known as the diet plateau. Your weight loss slows down, or stops, and you become frustrated with the dieting process.
This diet plateau period is the time when most dieters abandon their diet plans. The worst news yet is that studies are proving that your body remembers this past information, and during future dieting attempts, it will kick into it's protectionist state sooner. This is the reason why rapid weight loss programs, or YoYo diet plans, do not work in the long term. They may actually be making losing weight a more difficult process than it would have been in the first place.
So how do you get around this diet plateau?
There actually is a way to trick your body into not noticing that it is losing weight, this new method of dieting is known as cycling calories, or as calorie shifting. You create a period of dieting days intermingled with non-dieting days. You create your pattern and then change it on a regular basis to continuously confuse your body into believing that everything is okay.
You might eat regular for two days, diet for one, eat regular for two, and then diet again for one. Then flip to two days of dieting, three regular food days, one day of dieting, and two days of regular foods.
You can even alternate the food groups that you eat throughout the day to add to the overall confusion. You could consume protein for one meal and then carbs for the next one. Then flip this system on the next diet day so that your body falls into a false sense of some new form of confusing food intake that it now mistakes for normal.
The trick to this form of dieting is self control. You have to insure that you do not over eat on your non-diet days. You must not consume any more calories than you normally would have on these non-dieting days.
Stay clear of fad diets. They usually come back to haunt you.
Make your exercise program fun….
Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself, but instead develop an exercise program that you will want to succeed at, and then do it! There are hundreds of fun ways to get fit and you just have to use those that are right for you. Walk, swim, bike, dance, participate in a yoga, hiking, or gym program. Join a bowling, baseball, basketball, badminton or tennis team, but just get out there, and get burning more calories than you currently do.
Exercise programs do not have to be a long and tedious affair, you can space your activities out throughout your day, thus making them appear less time consuming. Do a quick jog or dance from room to room every couple of hours; hop on a treadmill for ten to fifteen minutes a few times a day, do a few quick stretches or pushups throughout the day. Instead of sitting down in front of the television after supper, get up, and go for a walk.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and tend to hang around the house,
or office for lengthy periods of time, insure that you stand up to participate in a bit of exercise several times throughout your day.
Keep the fun factor upper most in your mind, exercise is never
work, if it is play. Just make yourself play a little more than you currently do. If you increase the amount of calories that you burn, while decreasing the amount of calories that you consume, then you are virtually guaranteed to be successful in your weight loss program.
Don't be too hard on yourself or hold out unreasonable expectations for yourself. You did not put those pounds on overnight so it is going to take a little time to successfully remove them. Remember that weight loss is always the most successful, when you get your facts straight, and diet responsibly.
It is especially important for younger dieters to know the facts on dieting. There are many teens and preteens who now participate in drastic, and often times, dangerous diet plans. Because their body is still growing, and developing, younger individuals have unique nutritional needs.Youth activity levels also vary considerably making it difficult to prejudge an allotted daily calorie recommendation for youths. If you are under the age of eighteen and considering losing weight please consult with your local health practitioner before you do so.