Lose Weight The Easy Way With The Low Calorie Diet Plan

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Published: 15th February 2012
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Are you searching for a quick way of reducing those unnecessary pounds so that you can fit back into your old jeans? There are many diets out there that claim to provide miraculous weight loss results. It is part of my job as a dietitian to debunk and refute such diet claims. If you wish to get rid of some body fat in a controlled and healthy manner, I would strongly propose the low calorie diet plan. This diet has been well documented to work.

Let's get the basics right before I proceed on with the low calorie diet plan. We need to compute the amount of energy that the food we consume provides and this is measured in calories (kcal). So why on earth are calories so important for this diet? The problem with most people is they are eating way more calories than they actually need.

Calorie in > Calorie out = Weight gain

If you wish to maximize the full potential of the low calorie diet plan you will have to follow the following 3 steps rule.

Step 1: Find out the number of calories you need daily

This will be determined by your activity level and basic metabolic rate (BMR). Take note that the BMR for a man and woman is determined differently.

Women:
BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kilos) + (1.8 X height in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

Men:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kilos) + (5 X height in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

Use the following formulas to roughly calculate what your daily calorie intake suppose to be:

Sedentary (Your only exercise is typing on the keyboard)
(BMR x 20 percent) + BMR

Lightly active (You exercise 1-3 times a week)
(BMR x 30 percent) + BMR

Moderately active (You exercise 3-5 times a week)
(BMR x 40 percent) + BMR

Very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis)
(BMR x 50 percent) + BMR

Extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training)
(BMR x 60 percent) + BMR

Now let's be realistic. Do not select very active if your only form of exercise is pressing the remote. So let me give you an example on how it works. The estimated calorie requirement for a 47 year old sedentary woman who is 68kg and 163cm tall will be:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 X 68) + (1.8 X 163) - (4.7 X 47) = 1380 kcal

Total daily calorie requirement = (1380 x 0.2) + 1380 = 1656 kcal

Just so you know, a regular western diet consists of 3000-3500kcals and that is twice what an average female requires. This is one of the causes as to why more and more people are gaining weight.

Step 2: How many calories do you need to cut out from your diet

In order for you to burn off your fats, you daily calorie intake needs to be less than what you calculated. A daily deficit of about 300-500kcal would be a good place to start.

So to put it in simple terms, the lady who requires 1650 kcal will lose approximately 1 pound after a week if she consumes approximately 1150 kcal per day. This is in theory. I personally do not recommend anyone to consume <1200 kcal per day as this will cause the body to go into 'energy-saving' mode and greatly slow down your metabolic rate.

3500kcal deficit = 1 pound of weight loss

If you need to lose 10 pounds, you will need to create a deficit of 35000 kcal. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

A healthy weight loss diet is one that helps you lose 1-3 pounds per week. Anything more than a weight loss of 1-3 pounds a week is too drastic

Step 3: Keep precise notes of what you consume

Keeping a food diary can be very useful. You will find that you are actually consuming a lot more than you imagined (assuming you do not cheat).

For 3 days, make sure you record down every single little thing that you swallow. Don't leave out the little details of your meals. .

There are many internet tools that can then help you estimate the amount of calories you are having based on your food intake.

From here, you will be able to single out the food sources that are hefty in calories. You will also be able to identify what you can easily eliminate from your diet to create the calorie deficit I was explaining about above.

As with all dietitians, I love to write meal plans. Here is a sample of a healthylow-calorie meal plan.

Breakfast:

Half a wholegrain bagel with a thin spread of light cream cheese (300kcal)

1 glass of low fat milk (90kcal)

Mid-morning snack:

1 cup of Low-fat yoghurt (130kcal)

Lunch:

Wholegrain sandwich bread, with a spread of mustard, salad veggies and lean meat (chicken/beef) (350kcal)

1 serving Minestrone soup (150 kcal)

Afternoon snack:

1 serving of fresh fruit (70 kcal)

Dinner:

Half cup of pasta with tomato sauce + 1 palm size grilled meat/fish or chicken OR half cup of lean mince (400kcal)

Side salad with fat-free dressing (70 kcal)

1 serving of fresh fruit (70 kcal)

Total Calories: 1630 kcal

From the above meal plan it should give you a rough idea as to how to construct your own diet plan. If you follow through with the food diary activity and get yourself familiarized with the general calorie content of foods, you would have already known by now what are the high calorie foods that you need to reduce your intake of.

Follow these tips to further create a deficit

1) Switch from a full strength soda to a no-sugar added drink

2) Use fat-free salad dressing and low fat mayonnaise

3) Replace processed fruit juices with the real fruit

4) Use a spray oil bottle instead of pouring it into the pan

5) Choose the lean cuts when buying meat

6) Reducing your portion sizes by a quarter

7) Change your usual fried foods to grilled

8) Use low fat dairy products

9) Reduce your alcohol intake

The key to a successful low calorie diet plan is consistency. Celebrate small successes in your weight loss by giving yourself a little treat of your favorite dessert. Don't be disappointed if you ate more than intended for the day. Tell yourself that if you are consistent with your diet over a period of time, you will lose weight. Its only human to slip up once in awhile.

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