When most people think of dieting in a traditional sense, they immediately associate that with the notion of losing weight. And, when it comes right down to it, many people diet exclusively to shed pounds. In those cases, it’s important to have goals, and it’s important to prioritize your health over your look. Let’s put it this way: generally, changing the way you eat is a great way to lose weight, but there are long term consequences to short-term fixes. The most successful weight loss diets involve a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. But we know you want to lose weight. Learning how to diet to lose weight starts with gaining knowledge.
Your body might seem like it operates on a simple formula: calories = energy. Use more energy than you have calories and you’ve created the kind of deficit that, eventually, translates into weight loss. But your body is a complex organism, and it looks at starvation as a threat to your existence rather than an intentional dieting mechanism. When you starve yourself, your metabolism slows down and your body will actually start storing fat more efficiently. Starving yourself is actually incredibly counter-productive when it comes to dieting.
That said, maintaining a healthy calorie deficit is also important when it comes to losing weight. You just don’t want to reduce your calorie intake so much that you risk health complications or force your body into “starvation mode.”
Everywhere you look, there’s another diet on the marketplace, a new fad on all the fitness websites. And, of course, this new fad is the one that will finally make dieting easy and make the results last. Here’s the thing: if you’re looking to change the way you live when you lose weight, if you’re looking for the results to last, there are no short cuts. Fads are a distraction. So you need to ditch the fads and concentrate on living a healthy lifestyle. That lifestyle can be summed up by one, simple word: greens.
One the best ways to improve your diet is simply to start eating more vegetables. Now, this can be challenging, because vegetables don’t have a very prominent position in most Americans’ diets. In fact, most American meals are significantly meat-focused. That’s okay, because that’s something which is slowly changing.
This isn’t to say that your entire diet should be composed of vegetables or that the only way to lose weight is to go vegan. Rather, it means that your portions of meat should be smaller and your portions of vegetables should be bigger. This is also true of fruits (though, fruits do tend to contain a lot of sugar—something that can add some carbohydrates where you aren’t looking for them).
Carbohydrates are energy, and when your body doesn’t use energy, it gets converted into fat. If you burn all the carbs you eat, there’s no problem, but that usually requires a pretty significant expenditure of energy, which is not necessarily something we can all muster on a daily basis. Sugar—or glucose—is a type of carbohydrate. Under the right conditions, it’s great for providing energy and it burns quickly. But sugar has a tendency to stick around in your system and, you guess it, turn into fat.
Key to any diet you undertake where you’re trying to lose weight will be the avoidance of sugars and excessive carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you have to give up bread (especially if you love bread—and there’s a lot to love about bread). It simply means that you have to eat less of it and replace it with something else: vegetables, probably. This can take a concerted effort as, generally, we all love carbs.
There are some aspects of your body you simply cannot control. That’s the way of the world. But dieting gives you some control over how your body looks (though not total control, it should be noted). This is especially true if you want to lose weight. However, getting long-term results is much more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle over a long period of time—so that you’re around to enjoy those great results.
If you want to lose weight, dieting is a great way to feel comfortable and confident in your own body. You can learn more about contouring your body through the use of diet by exploring all of our articles on the subject. Take a look around and dig into something you like!
In order to lose one pound of body weight, you will need to burn an extra 3500 calories.
Most nutritionists recommend that dieters aim to lose no more than two pounds per week.
There are roughly 111 calories in a glass of orange juice. Be sure to take liquids into account!