“I am going on a diet”. This is a pretty common phrase to hear right? When I hear it I always ask how many calories are you consuming daily to which I too often hear back either, “I’m not sure I am just going to watch what I eat” or “I don’t know it’s a prepackaged food program”. Not knowing the total calories you are consuming is a poor way to go about a diet. This is supposed to be a learning experience, you are suppose to learn what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat and you are suppose to learn about calories both total daily calories and calories in individual meals, Once you get off the program you are going to need to know calorie counts to keep that lost weight off. To help you here are some basics on calories.
Do you know how many calories you should get in a day? Well there are formulas to figure out exactly how many calories your body burns in a day based on your size and activity level but that gets overcomplicated and we can keep it simple, a healthy semi active, normal sized person needs two thousand calories a day to keep their body running. That’s it two thousand a day, and to think some restaurants typically serve two thousand calorie meals! Ok so what does it take to lose weight? Easy a reduction from that two thousand calories. Now I can hear you now, you are thinking “wait I am a larger person so my body needs more than two thousand calories it needs like four thousand so if I cut to three thousand a day I will lose weight”. Well you are right but this isn’t just about short term weight loss which will only come back on. This is about learning how to eat and to be healthy you want a two thousand calorie a day diet. So if you cut down to 1500 calories a day (which is typically what I advise people who aren’t willing or able to do a prepackaged meal plan, or those who are ready to come off a prepackaged meal plan) you will not only lose weight now but when you go back to a “normal” diet of 2000 calories you will keep that weight off.
I always say never exceed five hundred calories in any one sitting. The reason for this rule is you are going to be eating five to six meals a day so you don’t need to exceed five hundred calories since the next meal is only two to three hours away. Remember your body can only use so much of those calories at any given time for fuel the rest go into the far reserve.
Make sure you know the calories in everything you eat. I hate empty calories, they don’t real satisfy you and you get to suffer for eating them, not a good deal in my book. If you don’t know the calories in something look it up online, if you can’t find it find something else to eat.
The art of caloric restriction has become way too complicated. People make a lot of money trying to make it more confusing that it has to be, follow the simple rules above and rest assured the pounds will begin coming off, it worked for me and if it worked for me it will work for anyone.