Weight loss is a concern to most people especially during the summer season. Losing weight seems like a pretty easy idea, when you think about it. You diet, exercise more and the weight should come off. But what happens when you go off that diet plan or stop that exercise program? You gain the weight back. The secret to maintaining the right weight lies in changing the way you eat and move.
The Department of Health recommends that women consume 2,000 calories a day, and men 2,500. Factors that affect your personal daily calorie needs include your age, height and weight, your basic level of daily activity, and your body composition. In order to lose weight you need to eat less calories per day than your body needs. To lose 1lb a week you need a negative calorie balance of 500 calories per day. To lose weight at 2lb a week you need to reduce your calorie intake by 1000 calories a day.
Everyday diets contain sources of calories that you may not take into account. And some ‘energy dense’ foods have many calories in a small amount. I was amazed at some of the hidden calories in foods. These ‘hidden calories’ all add up and can cancel out the positive steps that you may be making elsewhere in your diet.
You may know about the 580-calorie Big Mac, but how about the 700-calorie cup of coffee and 590-calorie muffin. Also one plate of French Fries and fried fish can go up to 2,400 calories. For the same amount of calories, you can have 16 dishes of green salad with French dressing. As for sweets, an innocent snack of shake and a cookie can add up to 1500 calories. Here are more fun facts:
- One 8-oz bag of chips is 1,216 calories can equal 5 baked potatoes.
- One serving of apple pie is 411 calories can equal 5 fresh apples.
- One piece of fig Newton has 110 calories can equal to 2 full fresh cantaloupes.
Here are some general recommendations for a low-calorie diet (A low-calorie diet is used to achieve weight loss of 1 lb to 2 lb per week):
- Reducing calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men. Women should not restrict themselves to fewer than 1,000 calories per day and men to fewer than 1,200 calories per day without medical supervision.
- Limiting fat intake to no more than 20% to 35% of your total calorie intake. For those following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating no more than 35 to 60 grams of fat per day.
- Choosing complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. About 45% to 65% of your total calorie intake should come from carbohydrate. For those following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating between 170 to 240 grams of carbohydrate per day.
- Choosing low-fat protein sources, such as fish, poultry, preferably legumes (for example, pinto beans, lentils, and split peas). About 15% to 25% of your total calorie intake should come from protein. For those following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating between 55 to 95 grams of protein per day.
- Eating 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
To help keep a healthy weight for good, it’s important to form long-term healthy habits, including eating a balanced diet, and being physically active.
Enjoy life 🙂