The best weight loss program is one that provides you with a well balanced diet with plenty of variety in your food intake. There are a lot of fad diets out there. How do you choose? Low carb, high protein/low carb, the fruit diet, the list goes on. I do not believe it is necessary to go to these extremes. The simple act of following a healthy eating plan and paying attention to the amount of calories you eat combined with moderate exercise will help you lose weight in a steady, safe way.
I personally know that you can lose a safe amount of weight each week without the need for resorting to extreme diets that starve your body of fats and carbohydrates. A safe amount of weight to lose each week is about 1 - 2 pounds (1 kilo equals 2.2 pounds) and no more. It is important to get to learn the calorie and fat values of the food you are eating and plan meals to keep your calorie intake at a certain level each day. We put on weight when we consume more calories than our bodies burn. Once you have a basic idea of the calorie values of the foods you eat in an average week, it is easy to keep a check of your daily intake.
A well balanced diet and moderate physical activity won't produce huge amounts of weight loss but they are sustainable. If you eat a healthy diet, and one that you are enjoying, the better the chances are that you will stick with it and maintain the weight loss for life. A healthy diet does more than help you lose weight; it also helps keep you fit and healthy. Use the food pyramid to help you plan your meals and this will keep you on the right track.
To maintain weight loss you need to be having a diet that you can happily stick to for life. A diet that only allows for very small portions and leaves you hungry will not be sustainable. Similarly a diet that has a limited variety is not only unhealthy but is not sustainable for life. A diet that you can happily maintain for life is one that includes foods that you enjoy eating as well as plenty of variety and enough calories and nutrients for good health.
When deciding on what would be the maximum calorie intake for you per day, you must take into account your weight and how active you are. Most diets allow for a calorie intake of between 1000 and 1500 calories per day. This is known as a low calorie diet.
It is most important that the diet you decide upon allows for plenty of nutrient rich foods. Eat a good variety of foods, using the food pyramid as a guide to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Make sure that your diet is giving you the necessary protein. Protein prevents muscle tissue from breaking down and builds healthy skin and teeth. Your diet should include 2 to 3 servings from the meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts food group. The average protein intake should be for women around 50 grams of protein each day and for men, around 63 grams of protein.
Carbohydrate intake should be around 100 grams per day. Without adequate carbohydrate intake you could experience fatigue and dangerous fluid imbalances. Good sources of carbohydrates are whole grain bread, rice, pasta, fruit, vegetables and legumes. Fiber intake should be around 20 to 30 grams per day to ensure proper bowel function.
Beware of fast weight loss diets like very low carb and high protein/low carb, whilst you may experience an initial fast weight loss, this can be mainly from loss of water weight and lean muscle mass. Not the fat that you are trying to lose. There is also some evidence that you may rapidly gain weight when you go off the diet.
A healthy eating plan and moderate exercise are all that you need to start losing weight today and to keep it off for life. I hope this article has shown you how simple it is and inspired you to make a start towards a happier, healthier you.