Count your calories & Ten simple steps to control weight
If you look at all diets and weight loss plans closely, you’ll discover the underlying common factor is calorie control
All diet books and food plans consist of lists of rules for weight control in addition to regulations concerning “foods to consume” and “foods to avoid”. What, then, is the secret of success? The answer is simple. Reduction in intake of calories contributes to reduction in weight. If you look at all diets and weight loss plans minutely, the underlying common factor is the aspect of calorie control.
How many calories to consume?
Calorie needs are very individual; they depend on your weight, age, sex, activity level, metabolic rate and lifestyle habits. On an average, women require around 2,000 calories a day, and men 2,500 a day.
What about athletes?
An athlete would need more calories. Depending on the sport and goals, he would need to workout his calorie expenditure and add that to his daily caloric needs.
What do you do if you need to lose weight?
To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is ideal. To lose 1 pound a week you need to cut back on 500 calories a day. That is a total of 3500 calories a week. The best way to achieve this is by reducing your calorie intake and increasing calorie expenditure through exercise.
If you do without your 250-calorie chocolate bar and burn 250-calories by running 3 miles, you will create a calorie deficit of 500 calories. Do this everyday and you will have a deficit of 3,500 calories in one week.
How many calories should you consume to lose weight?
To lose weight, the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends a minimum consumption of 1200 to 1500 calories per day for women and 1800 to 2000 calories per day for men.
Ten simple steps to control weight
Choose foods that are healthy and yet low in calories when you plan your meals
1. Planning Set a goal.
Commit time and effort to achieving the goal.
Plan to limit food intake.
Eat meals and snacks at scheduled times.
2. Shopping Shop after eating.
Shop from a list. Avoid packaged foods with added colours or preservatives.
3. Holidays and parties Cut back on alcohol.
Eat a snack before parties.
Do not get discouraged by an occasional setback.
4. Eating behaviour Put the fork down when you are chewing food.
Pause in the middle of a meal to check if you are still hungry.
Do not read or watch television while eating.
5. Meal times Leave the table immediately after eating.
Keep serving dishes off the table.
Use smaller plates, dishes and utensils.
6. Monitoring Use a diet and exercise diary to identify progress or shortcomings.
Make changes that you can handle.
7. Exercise Plan your workout sessions.
Increase exercise intensity, duration or frequency, gradually.
Vary exercise routines to avoid boredom.
8. Be active Increase routine activity. For example, use stairs instead of the elevator.
9. Positive thinking Think about progress, not shortcomings.
Feel good about getting into healthy habits.
Counter negative thoughts with positive statements.
10. Reward Give yourself a well-deserved treat — buy an outfit, go for a haircut.
(THE Hindu, MetroPlus- Chennai, 20:08:2009)