The most effective method for weight loss is reducing the number of calories you consume - through eating, while increasing the number of calories you burn - through physical activity. As an example, to lose one pound, you will need to undertake physical expenditure of approximately 3,500 calories. You can achieve this either by cutting back on what you eat, changing what you eat, or by increasing physical activity, or ideally, by doing a combination of all three.
Take this situation as an example. If you consume 500 extra calories per day for one week without changing your activity level, you will gain one pound in weight (7 days multiplied by 500 calories equals 3500 calories, or the number of calories resulting in a one-pound weight gain). Conversely, if you eat 500 fewer calories each day for a week or burn 500 calories per day through exercise for one week, then you will lose one pound over the course of that week. Which would you choose?
Perhaps before you start thinking about losing weight you should take a moment to examine what you eat. Sometimes it is not just about reducing your calorie intake, but it is also about changing what you eat – decrease fatty foods and increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Examples of some high calorie popular foods and beverages include:
- 1 slice original-style crust pepperoni pizza – 230 calories
- 1 can of cola – 150 calories
- 1 quarter-pound hamburger with cheese – 500 calories
- 1 jumbo banana nut muffin – 580 calories
Are any of these in your regular diet? If so, maybe it's time to make some changes!
When it comes to weight loss, crash diets are never a good idea. Most health and well being experts will agree that a safe, healthy rate of losing weight is usually around one to 1 ½ pounds per week. Anything more than this means that you are more likely to put your weight back on, down the track. By modifying your eating habits and adding in a little regular exercise, you will be embarking upon the most effective way to lose weight in the long term. It is also the ideal way to ensure that the weight stays off.
Starvation diets may result in rapid weight loss and give you immediate results, but this loss of weight is really hard to maintain over a long period of time. When food intake is severely restricted to something below 1200 calories per day, the body begins to think that it is poor nutrition, so it begins to shut down its metabolic rate. This can make it even more difficult to lose weight in the long run. Candidates who crash diet can also experience hunger pangs, bouts of hypoglycemia, headaches, and mood changes from overly stringent dieting which can all result in binge eating and weight gain.
Since a highly restrictive diet is almost impossible to maintain for a long time, people who attempt to starve themselves thin often start to gain weight again when they stop dieting. Hence, the reason for embarking on a gradual, long term program that increases physical fitness and well being, at the same time.