When you are trying to lose weight you may consider cutting calories, or creating a low calorie diet plan. Though taking in less calories than you use is important for safe and effective weight loss, even calorie slashing can carry health risks or even prevent you from losing weight. Here are some tips for creating a low calorie diet plan.
Type of calories consumed is just as important as the number of calories in your diet plan. You can cut all the calories you wish, but if your diet still consists of foods that don’t pack enough nutrients, your body will not benefit. You could still experience weight gain if all you eat are sugary foods and refined starches. Your body will know it is not getting the nutrients it needs, your metabolism could slow down and save everything you eat as fat. Although you are not starving, your body may feel that way without adequate nutrition.
Choose whole and minimally processed foods from a variety of food groups so that your body gets enough protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fluids from natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and low-fat dairy products. Avoid specially made low-calorie and low-fat foods. These products may be overly processed and have added ingredients that could actually prevent weight loss.
Too few calories may have the same effect as too many calories. You may think slashing your calorie intake in half will help you lose weight faster. It may at first. But then your body might go into what is referred to as “starvation mode”, where it reduces calories burned and stores the calories as fat for later use.
With too few calories, your body will not have the energy needed to perform daily activities. If you are involved in exercise, it is especially important for you to consume enough calories to keep your metabolism up to get the most out of your fitness plan. Also, with two few calories your body will not get enough nutrition as mentioned above.
Do you really have to count calories? For a true calorie-counting diet plan, you should count all calories you consume in the course of a day. You should divide the total number of calories between the number of meals you eat in a day. Shave some off of each meal to allow for snacks if you choose.
Rather than giving yourself an exact calorie count to follow, it might be better to give yourself a calorie range. Let’s say you would like to follow a 1500 calorie-count diet. Instead of stressing about going over (or too far under) the allotted 1500 calories, perhaps you would fare better with a range of 1400-1600 calories, as an example.
No count low calorie diet. I used what could be called a no count low calorie diet when I lost 60 pounds based simply on changes in my eating habits. I removed empty calorie food and beverages from my diet, those that gave my body little to no nutrition. I then proceeded to make further small lifestyle changes such as not eating seconds at mealtime and eating meals off a smaller plate.
Though this could not officially be considered a “low calorie diet”, it was a safe and healthy way for me to eat less calories on a daily basis. Though the weight came off more slowly than fad diets, I never jeopardized my health, didn’t have to worry about returning to old eating habits at the end of the dieting period and made changes that will keep the weight off for my lifetime.
Creating a low calorie diet plan. Take care when using a low calorie diet plan. If you add too many calories back to your menu after you have completed the dieting plan, you could gain weight back again. The best way to go is to cut calories gradually through food choices and portion control.
Calories are important. You still must consume less calories than you use to lose weight. But emphasis should be placed on the types and nutritional quality of food over simple numbers. Small lifestyle changes go a long way in your long-term health and weight loss goals. Eating less calories may work better for you as it did for me overall rather than strict adherence to numbers. Keep your personal strengths and weaknesses in mind when creating a low calorie diet plan.
SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING ANY WEIGHT LOSS OR EXERCISE PROGRAM.
SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:
Personal Experience and Knowledge
Jolynne M Hudnell; Associated Content/Yahoo!
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