I remember years ago when my mother would go on a diet. She would live for weeks at a time on nothing but lettuce, boiled eggs, and black coffee.
There weren’t many diet foods on the market back then apparently. The first ‘diet’ soft drink was introduced by Coke in 1963. It was called ‘Tab’. Since then the diet food industry has exploded.
You can find reduced calorie, reduced fat, no fat, low carb, reduced carb etc. etc. etc. on the shelves and in the coolers of every grocery store in America.
The sad obesity statistics are that there are 58 Million Overweight; 40 Million Obese; 3 Million morbidly Obese and it isn’t getting any better. The number of overweight children in America tripled in less than 30 years. Most of those who are overweight are on some kind of weight loss diet….apparently these diets aren’t working wonders.
We have counted fat grams and carb grams. We have eaten low fat, no fat, low carb and no carb and yet we are still the most obese nation on the face of the planet. It seems that no matter what kind of diet comes into vogue weight control always boils back down to calories consumed versus calories expended, doesn’t it?
You can find advice by the ton on the Internet and in every bookstore in every strip mall in America on weight loss. Still, when you take out all of the hype losing weight means that you must consume fewer calories each day than you burn.
You’ve most likely guessed by now that I am not a big fan of higher mathematics but I can add and subtract. I’ll bet you can, too. On a good day, I can even balance my checkbook so here is a simple mathematical formula to determine how many calories (calorie intake) you can consume in a day and maintain your weight based on your height:
Calorie Intake – Start with 1000 calories for your first 5 feet of height and add 100 calories for each inch of height over 5 feet. If you are 5 feet 5 inches tall, you can have 1500 calories a day to maintain your weight. That wasn’t hard, was it?
Now for some more math. In order to lose 1 pound of body weight, you must reduce your calorie intake by 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound of body weight in a week’s time that means that you must reduce your calorie intake by about 500 calories a day….OR expend 500 more calories in exercise a day….OR a combination of both reducing calorie intake AND increasing caloric expenditures by exercising more that totals a 500 calorie reduction.
If you are a woman who is 5’5” tall using a combination of reduced caloric consumption and increased caloric expenditure, this means that you will consume 1250 calories a day and do about 40 minutes of aerobic exercise a day for a week and lose 1 pound of body weight. These calculations are based on the average. They are not hard and fast rules. We aren’t like check books or ATM machines. What goes in versus what comes out is not set in stone. Each of us is different and our metabolisms are different. Some of our bodies burn calories more efficiently than others.
You can find many reduced calorie diets that include meal plans for diets of various daily caloric values each day beginning with a 1000 calorie daily diet plan through a 2000 calorie daily diet plan.
You do need to remember that calories are based on the size of the portion, however.
Today packaged foods are labeled with calorie, fat and carbohydrate content. It hasn’t always been like that but thanks to new labeling laws this information is required to be put right there on the labels where we can read it.
Remember, though, that the totals are usually listed PER SERVING and above that is information telling you just what a serving consists of. Most of the time the serving size is listed as a ½ cup or 1 cup but sometimes the serving size is listed in ounces.
You can find liquid diet plans, as well. Slim Fast was the first but it has a lot of competition out there on grocery store shelves nowadays. Most of these liquid meals contain about 300 calories each which mean that you can replace all three daily meals with a liquid meal and have a few saltine crackers each day to consume only 1000 calories a day. Most of these liquid diet plans suggest that you use them to replace only one or two meals each day.
The single most important thing that you can do in order to gain control over your weight, however, is to learn about food. Learn what foods contain sugars and starches, which foods contain protein and fat.
A healthy diet isn’t a ‘diet’ at all. It is a healthier way of eating that you can stick to long enough to lose the weight you need to lose and when you reach your goal weight you will know enough about food and how your body reacts to it so that you can maintain your weight loss for life.
Calorie Intake – Conclusion: Low fat and low carb diets are still low-calorie diets. It takes eating fewer calories that you burn to lose weight. Weight can be lost through eating less and exercising more.