Before all of these famous diets came out such as the South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, low carb diets etc, the way most people lost weight was by reducing the amount of calories they ate each day.
Most researchers have realized that weight loss is fundamentally the difference between calories that have been eaten and calories that have been burned.
A lot of dieticians and physicians have agreed that if you eat less than 1200 calories per day your body’s metabolism slows right down because it goes into starvation mode which in turn slows down your weight loss.
It’s important to know the difference between a low calorie diet and a very low calorie diet plan. If your physician has agreed that it is safe to do so, some individuals have attempted a very low calorie diet which means 900 calories per day or less.
The purpose of this is to jumpstart their diet weight loss, however this is only ever done for a very short period of time.
It is not always about losing weight but also about maintaining and achieving overall health. Dietitians, physicians and researchers will all agree that that is the most important part of dieting; to achieve a stabilized weight and improve the health of the body.
Body mass index (BMI) is not as heavily relied on now as what it used to be in the past by doctors.
The reason for this is because it does not take into account the variances between people that have a high amount of muscle versus fat.
It just determines their overall weight. 2 people may weigh the same, however, one person could have a much higher amount of fat than the other and therefore have a higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
The waist to hip ratio is another great indicator of your overall health.
This is the measurement of your waist divided by the measurement of your hip.
It is advised that a woman’s measurement should not be greater than 0.85 and a man’s ratio no greater than 0.90.
The reason this is a great indicator is because it shows you how much fat there is in the belly and how much could be carried in other areas of the body.
Both BMI and the waist to hip ratio are used when assessing the risk of health disease and weight loss assessment.
If you are thinking of attempting any sort of very low calorie diet, which is anything under 1200, you should work with a physician and dietitian.
The reason for this is because you may get a lot of side effects such as constipation, nausea, fatigue and this is the body trying to accommodate the way it is being deprived of what it is used to.
A very low calorie diet should never be attempted for more than a week as rapid weight loss can cause more severe complications and side effects.
A lot of people are now incorporating a 24 hour fast into their diet every 2 weeks.
This gives the gastrointestinal system time to rest and recoup for 24 hours and it also reduces your calorie intake.
During the fast you are allowed to drink water and also if you are struggling with energy levels, a few glasses of vegetable juice or fruit juice is acceptable.
Remember that you also need to change your ways and your nutritional intake when dieting.
If you eat foods that are high in nutrients and fiber and low calories you will find you are more satisfied with eating fewer calories and will lose the weight and keep it off.
You can still lose weight by eating cheesecake and chocolate believe it or not! As long as the amount you are eating is less than what you are burning.
However, that is a diet that is based on smaller portions of calorie rich foods and you will find that you will only have a temporary weight loss and experience a lot more hunger.
“You will need to get in the mindset of changing your nutritional intake for good if you want to succeed.”
Long term weight loss is achieved by increasing the amount of fruit and veg you eat, by eating more fiber and by getting more exercise.
Remember that a healthy weight loss is not about counting calories, eating one specific food group or trying out every new fad diet that comes along.
It is always advised to see your physician before attempting any low calorie diet (under 1200 cals) or a very low calorie diet (under 900 cals) due to any medical conditions you may have.
They will be able to monitor you and give you recommendations that are best suited to what you are trying to achieve.