IntroductionThe foods which we consume get metabolized in our body and energy is liberated. These little units of energy itself is known as calories. If we consume more amount of calories than required then we put on weight. If less number of calories are taken in, we decrease weight. If we maintain the same number of calories then we maintain our current weight. It is essential to calculate total number of calories required in a day depending on age, sex, weight and activity level. Those who are trying to lose weight should create a calorie deficit in that total number. This itself will lead to weight loss and successfully fight obesity.
Calorie valueIt is very essential that we know our daily calorie requirement because it will avoid us from under eating and over eating. However, we need to focus more on quality of food rather than quantity. Real foods are healthy and directly obtained from mother nature. Also, they do not have to be counted in calories because they make us feel full before we consume them in too much amount. Some of these real foods are fruits, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, unsalted nuts etc. All of these foods are rich in nutrients supply and are fiber rich. Protein in animal-based food stuffs and fiber in plant-based food stuffs signal brain. This will prevent over eating. Also, some of the fruits and vegetables we eat are negative calories i.e., they require more amount of calories to get metabolized than the amount they carry.
Practice calorie tapering for successful weight lossBreakfast should be the biggest meal of the day. Lunch should have less amount of calories than breakfast. Dinner should be the smallest meal. We begin our day with breakfast and thus calories should be in abundant amount because the foods which we consume will continue providing us energy throughout the day. As the day ends, we require less amount of calories, especially just before going to sleep. Thus, dinner should be the smallest meal of the day. Also, our metabolism slows down during the night and thus calorie burning is also decreased. Those who are trying to lose weight should practice calorie tapering and make sure that they eat dinner at least 3 hours before they go to bed.
Reduce calorie intakeFirst we need to determine how many calories we need in a day. If we maintain this intake then we will maintain our current weight. If we are hoping for weight loss then we need to create a calorie deficit by daily decreasing our calorie intake by 500. In a week, we will be able to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 which will effectively help us to reduce 0.5 kg of weight. Losing more than 0.5-1 kg in a week is not healthy and we will tend to lose more muscle mass rather than accumulated fat from our body. Also, there are chances that body may go into starvation mode. This mode will store all the calories provided in the form of food and there will be no weight loss. Thus, dramatic cutting of food will not bring successful weight loss. Instead right amount and right type of food will do the magic. Calorie counting helps to lose weight. Read more about calorie counting here Calorie counting to lose weight.
Chew food properlyChewing food properly will help us to breakdown it into fine pieces which is then further passed into digestive tract to reach digestive system. If we chew food properly, less load is exerted on the digestive system. Also, more amount of nutrients get excreted from the food which is finely chewed. We have to chew every bite for almost 40 times. However, it is noted that we do it for only 15 times. More chewing will decrease calorie intake as chewing will lead to slow eating and within 20 minutes brain will send signals of hunger been satisfied. Thus, chewing food not only reduces number of calories, but also helps us to calmly enjoy the food and appreciate its color, texture, taste etc.
Use a smaller plateHuman brain is a complex object and very well determines eating behavior. It will determine what to eat, what not to eat and how much to eat. To lose weight we need to trick our brain into thinking that required amount of food is been consumed. One such trick is to use smaller plates for eating. When plates are small, portion size seems larger and when plates are large, portion size seems very small. Small plates use very little amount of food to fill up and brain gets tricked into feeling contented with even smaller amount of food eaten and fewer calories consumed. Bigger the plate, more food we will be able to put on it. Smaller plate can hold only small amount and helps control portion sizes.
Include protein in every meal to lose weight fastProteins take longer time to get digested when compared to carbohydrates and fats. Our metabolism rises almost 20% to metabolize protein. Thus, we need to include protein in all our meals to keep our metabolic rate high throughout the day. It will also help us to consume fewer calories. It makes us feel full quickly and keeps that feeling for a longer period. This will again decrease the need to binge on other food stuffs every hour. There are variety of ways where we can include small amount of protein in all our meals. We can include dairy products like milk and curd to fruits. Sprinkle a little cheese over chips. Lean meat can be added to vegetable salad. In this way even small amount of protein intake will hep us to consume less calories and thus should be included in all the meals.
Snack in the afternoonIt is advised to split our entire day's food into 5-6 smaller meals instead of eating 3 big meals. However, we can exclude 1 meal if we are trying to lose weight. This will help us in slimming down quickly as well as in fighting obesity. There is no reason to eat a mid-morning snack cause there exists very little time between breakfast and lunch when compared with the time between lunch and dinner. Mid-afternoon snack thus makes sense but mid-morning snack can be easily avoided. One less snack consumed will decrease the amount of calories consumed which will definitely create calorie deficit leading to weight loss. Weight loss occurring will be at a sensible rate cause calorie deficit created in this way is at a mindful and sensible level.
Play little tricksWhen we watch a movie, popcorn has become an essential entity to us and we feel as if movie watching would be incomplete without it. If we cannot avoid such food stuffs then at least we can decrease their intake by playing little tricks. In these cases, environmental cues are the ones which make us consume such food stuffs and eating is not because of hunger. We can totally watch a movie without eating popcorn. Trick that can be played here is that we need to switch eating hands. This will make us consume less and thereby calories consumed will get decreased. Make use of chopsticks because they don't allow large amounts of food to get gulped down in one go when compared to feeding oneself with spoon or hand.
Eat foods which are low energy density and high in fiberHigh water content in food makes it low energy density. It has been proved that individuals who eat food which is low in energy density, lose more wight when compared to individuals who eat foods with high energy density. Fruits and vegetables have very low energy density i.e., we can consume them as much as we want and still lose fat because they carry very small amount of calories in them. Also, fiber present in them makes us full. Thus, it is essential that each of our meal should contain low energy density foods and half of our plate should be filled with them.
Cut down on carbohydrates and fats to lose weightDecrease carbohydrate and fat intake which automatically will reduce calorie intake. Both of them carry abundant amount of calories and thus decreasing their intake will automatically lead to weight loss. Decrease the intake of sugar, potatoes, bread, sodas to reduce carbohydrate intake. Decrease the usage of butter, ghee and replace them with coconut oil which will increase fat burning.
ConclusionCalorie counting will help us to consciously allow calories to enter our body as they play an important role in losing weight. Learn simple ways to reduce calorie intake for weight loss because these simple tips itself if practiced for certain time will help us to achieve our target weight. If we make few changes in our diet then we can easily lose weight without even starving. Right kind of foods will keep us full, reduce appetite, keep our metabolism high and help us shed all those extra pounds we have stored in our body. It will make us swap unhealthy foods with healthy ones and develop healthy eating habits which will sustain for a longer period and bring us good health without making us feeling deprived.
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Do not fall for "low fat"
Studies show that we end up eating 50% more if we read the label on the product as "low fat" or "no fat". We feel that the product is healthy and thus we end up eating more. This is known as 'halo effect'. Low-fat products are added with more amount of sugar when compared with regular products. This is done to mask the taste as well as give that mouth-feel. Though low fat is mentioned, but sugar will however make up for the calories and since we are consuming more in amount, we will gain more calories than if we would have eaten regular one. Rule here is to eat mindfully. While consuming even low-fat version of any product, we need to take care of portion size and eat the same amount of it as we normally would have eaten fat version. This will definitely result in cutting of calories.