There are almost as many diets available today as there are people who want to lose weight. Most of these diets don’t result in real weight loss, and some can be damaging to your health. I’ve found an approach that has worked for me in this struggle, and I’d like to share a bit of what I’ve learned.
One of the most important things to know when trying to design a diet is how calories work. If you look the word up in the dictionary, the definition does not provide any insight. It says, “A calorie is the unit of energy required to raise the temperature of a kilo of water one degree in normal atmosphere.”
Instead of going to the science, think of calories as currency and your body as the bank. What you consume is like money you’ve spent and what you do activity wise is what you earn. Each day you start with a certain number of calories needed to maintain the weight you are. Consume more than that and you will gain weight, and consuming less usually results in weight loss.
As you can see by the word “usually,” there is a caveat to that. Your body was designed to work best within a certain range. If you regularly consume twenty or more percent less than you burn, something called Famine Mode (sometimes revered to as Starvation Mode) kicks in and your body will hold on to every calorie it gets. You may even find yourself gaining weight.
There is one more aspect to calories that is important to know. While the strict definition is all right for science, when it comes to your diet, not all calories are created equally. As an example, look at bread. The number of calories in whole grain bread is about the same or a little higher than an equal sized piece of white bread, but they are far different in values.
Whole grain bread provides higher nutrient levels, but that’s almost a side effect to the real reason it is the better choice…and shouldn’t be skipped. It has a lot of fiber, and that is one of your best weapons in the war on weight. Fiber blocks the absorption of cholesterol and sweeps your intestines clean. Both of these are useful.
When you are looking for a weight loss plan, these things should be considered before you select one. Watch out for low calorie, extreme workout plans and for those that cause you to avoid foods that are really in your best interest. You may also want to talk to your doctor and/or a nutritionist, to make sure that you find a plan that is right for you.
For more information, see www.caloriesperhour.com and www.mayoclinic.com/health/calorie-counter/nu00598