Counting calories may seem old-fashioned today, given the proliferation of low-carb and high protein diets. However, a number of dieticians maintain that the low calorie approach is actually the best approach to weight loss. While it may seem trite, lowering the number of calories we consume can have a marked effect on our waistlines.
The majority of diets offer dieters 1,000 to 1,500 calories each day. Still, it would be wrong to assume that everyone who needs to lose weight should be on a 1,000 calorie diet. In fact, the amount of calories you need is a function of your current weight, your metabolism, and the amount of exercise you do. Diets recommended by doctors, as well as many of the meal programs found in diet books, are based upon a low-calorie model.
When dieting, you should assume that you will lose only about a pound a week. However, during the initial stages of your diet, you may find that you are actually losing more weight than that because you are losing water. While you can use a standardized diet, it is perhaps best to work with a dietician in order to fine-tune the diet to meet your individual needs.
Still, even if you are curbing your calorie count, you’ll need to make sure that what you eat is nutritious. By paying close attention to nutrition labels, you can determine the vitamin and mineral count of much of what you consume. There are certain general requirements for a healthy diet. For instance, you’ll need to make sure that you are getting enough protein. For the typical woman, this would amount to 50 grams per day; for the typical man, 63 grams per day. Protein is vitally important for strengthening your muscles and teeth and maintaining good skin tone. Protein sources can include lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, and nuts. Experts recommend that you have at least two servings of protein a day.
While low carb diets may be all the rage, a number of dieticians say you need as many as 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. This means consuming as many as eleven servings of pasta, cereal, and bread in order to maintain a healthy energy level. You should also eat at least 20 grams of fiber each day to aid your digestion. Less than a third of your calories should come from fat in order to enable you to keep the pounds off. Only about one-tenth of your calories should be derived from saturated fat. Also, keep your cholesterol count under control in order to keep heart disease at bay.
An important aspect of good nutrition that many individuals forget is water. This might be surprising, however, given the fact that most of our body is made up of H20. Medical experts by and large agree that you should drink at least eight glasses of water everyday. Exercise, however, could make you yearn for additional water. Water is often considered the secret weapon of weight loss, enabling people to shed pounds more easily.
Although it may be tempting, you should not skip meals. This only serves to decrease your metabolism, causing you to burn fat more slowly. Even a small meal is better than no meal at all. Weight loss experts, however, differ about the number of meals you should eat each day. Some recommend the standard three meals with a couple of snacks, while others recommend five or six small meals each day. You should probably check with your physician to see which approach is appropriate for you.
Losing weight can be a difficult challenge, no matter what your age. There are so many temptations around, so many opportunities to boost your calorie count. Also, you might try to follow one diet, only to find that it is difficult to sustain. As a result, the low-calorie diet may be the best method around for consistent weight loss. While you might not be able to lose weight quickly, you can shed pounds eventually. By being patient and committed to your weight loss program, you can ultimately lose the weight you need to.