You have decided it’s time to lose some weight, and you are searching for the best way to do it. You have tried a few different diets in the past with no lasting success. Maybe you have even tried a fad diet where you eat only specific foods for a short period of time. If that is the case, then it’s time for something new.
You need to understand how many calories you should be eating in order to achieve your desired weight. There is no exact weight loss number, but there are some general guidelines which can help you achieve your goal more quickly. The number of calories you consume determines how much weight you will lose.
How Many Calories Should You Eat To Lose Weight?
There are two ways to lose weight, one is by increasing the amount of calories you eat and the other is by increasing the amount of exercise you do. Many people who lose weight do so by strictly limiting the amount of calories they consume and greatly increasing their workout regime. The problem with this method is that it can be extremely difficult to maintain, and it is nearly impossible to lose weight without some form of yo-yo dieting. That is why many people prefer to lose weight by increasing the amount of calories they eat and decrease the amount of calories they burn through exercise. If you want to achieve long term weight loss then this is the more preferred option.
The number of calories you should aim to consume each day in order to lose weight depends on a number of factors. These include your age, sex, and whether or not you exercise. There are also formulas which can be used to estimate the number of calories you should eat based on your current weight. The general guidelines for calorie consumption are as follows:
- Eat 25-30% of your daily calories during the day (between meals)
- Eat the same amount of calories after exercise as you did before exercise (within 30 minutes of finishing your workout)
- Consume fewer calories if you are older than 65 years old (adjust according to your age)
- Consume fewer calories if you are female
- Consume fewer calories if you are already at your desired weight
- Consume fewer calories if you have a high metabolically active body type (i.e. if you have more muscle/lean body mass)
In general, you should try to eat around 3,500 calories each day. For individuals wanting to lose 1-2 pounds per week, they should aim to consume around 2,500 calories. For those wanting to lose 2-3 pounds per week, they should aim to consume around 2,000 calories.
What Types Of Food Should You Eat To Lose Weight?
There are several foods which have been linked to weight loss, and the key is to incorporate these foods into your diet, either by eating them or making them part of your recipes. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods which have been shown to help with weight loss are the following:
- Dark leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale, or bok choy)
- Artichokes (lemons are best)
- Black beans
- Red peppers
- Dried fruit (e.g. figs, dates, or raisins)
When it comes to picking fruits and vegetables to consume to aid with weight loss, it’s important to remember that some are more helpful than others. For instance, tomatoes have been proven to increase the body’s metabolism, making it easier to burn calories. On the other hand, strawberries have been found to reduce the body’s metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Knowing which fruits and vegetables increase or decrease your body’s nutrient requirements can help you pick the right foods to incorporate into your diet. For example, if you are on a weight loss program and don’t have enough iron in your diet, then you should avoid tomatoes and eggplants (which are rich in nutrients but also in iron). Conversely, if you are already at your desired weight and want to prevent further weight gain, then you can eat eggplants and tomatoes without worrying about exceeding your daily calories.
When choosing foods to help with weight loss, it is important to keep your diet varied. You should avoid all foods which are highly processed as these have been linked to increased risks of cancer and heart disease. You should also try to avoid foods with added sugar, as these will dramatically increase your calorie intake, making it more difficult to lose weight. Instead, choose foods which are as natural as possible and which contain the essentials for life. For example, dark leafy greens are excellent sources of nutrients, but being mindful of your sugar intake, it is best to eat them cooked, not raw.
How Much Exercise Should You Do?
While it is important to eat a diet rich in nutrients in order to lose weight, it is also essential to incorporate some physical activity into your lifestyle. Simply staying inactive will cause you to gain weight, even if you eat healthily. For this reason, you should try to do at least 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This could consist of 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of cycling, or a swim session on the water. If this is beyond your current level of physical activity, then you should look into taking up a sport which you enjoy, as this will increase the amount of calories you burn, and allow you to lose weight more quickly. Once you have reached your goal weight, you should continue with this lifestyle, as it will help to keep the weight off once you have reached it.