Many individuals who are trying to lose weight often begin the process by trying to cut down on their food intake. Some diet plans advise cutting out certain food groups, such as carbohydrates or fat, while others limit calorie intake. According to medical organizations, such as MayoClinic.com and the American Academy of Family Physicians, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet based on the Food Guide Pyramid because eating enough of the right types of foods is critical to successful weight loss.
Effective Diet Planning
Meal planning and food selection is critical to weight loss. If you're trying to lose weight and you plan to cut down on your daily calories, follow the recommended daily servings for each of the major food groups. Cutting down on eating in general may not be as effective as cutting back calories and selecting healthy foods, such as fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and small amounts of healthy, unsaturated fats.
Exercise and Metabolism
Weight loss results when you burn more calories than you consume. Cutting down too drastically on your calories can hinder your weight loss progress. According to MayoClinic.com, if you are following a low-calorie diet, you should calculate how many calories you need to consume daily to support your body according to you height and weight. This can be anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800 calories. If you're also exercising, you will be burning additional calories, so it's critical to provide your body with the fuel it needs. If your body has fewer calories than needed, your metabolism will slow and you will burn muscle instead of fat.
Long-term Weight Management
The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that weight management strategies should be designed to be sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes. If you're planning on losing weight, you should develop a diet that can be maintained once you reach your weight loss goals. Cutting back on food intake may result in weight loss, but your plan should include balanced meals and healthy nutritional habits. If you use extreme dieting techniques, such as food restrictions, you may find that you'll return to old eating habits and eventually regain the weight you lost.
A way to plan your weight loss strategies is to meet with your doctor or a nutrition specialists. These professionals can assess your current health, body, mass and diet, and they can help you construct an effective eating plan. They may advise you to cut down on your food intake, but they will provide guidance with meal planning, so you select the correct types of foods. In addition, they can help you learn how to account for daily exercise in your diet.