Counting Calories - Is It the Only Weight Loss Solution?

Nutrition support

We've all met someone who claims they can eat anything and still managed to keep his slim body, without any healthy diet plan for weight loss. But this is true only for a few rare lucky ones.

Like engines, our bodies need fuel. We store and "burn" calories as fuel. The logic behind losing weight by eating fewer calories than your body burns each day is clear. However, a calorie isn't a ‘’thing’’ that only people who want to lose weight count; it's a unit of measurement for energy in the food and drinks that we consume. We all need this power to live and stay healthy. So, calories are essential for everyone! How many calories you need per day, depends on whether you want to maintain, lose or gain weight, as well as various factors such as your gender, age, height, current weight, your activity levels, and metabolic health.

The typical US daily menu contains 3000 calories. But scientists all over the world agree that optimally it should contain roughly 2300 calories, slightly more for men than for women. If you are active when dieting, you should reduce your calorie intake to around 1200 calories, and if you are more of a sedentary type, you should cut your calorie intake to about 600 calories a day. If you're not sure, it is safe to start with a 1,500-calorie meal plan (a calorie level that most people will lose weight on). To estimate how many calories you need each day to stay at the current weight, multiply this weight in pounds by 12. The magical equation for losing 2 pounds per week is to cut 1000 calories/day from that, or if you want to lose 4 pounds in a week, you need to reduce it for 2,000 calories/day.

This goes for the most diet plan to lose weight fast if you are math inclined and prefer only to count calories. However, one of the nutrition myths is that all calories are the same.

Although in the strictly controlled lab setting 100 calories of broccoli and 100 calories of candies would release the same amount of energy this doesn’t translate in the same way in real-life conditions. Since protein and carbohydrate have less than half of the calories per gram than fat does, many dieters try to limit the amount of fat in their diet. But some types of fat are necessary for a healthy body, and some carbs are also healthier than others.

Hence, merely cutting back on calories without getting good nutritional information could mean missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. And this is where the ‘'calorie math'' gets more complicated.

Multiple studies in past 15 years claim that the initial phase of popular Atkins low-carb diet with under 20 grams of carbs (low-carb vegetables like leafy greens) per day for two weeks will kick-start the weight loss while eating as much protein and fat as you want, without the need for calorie counting. The main reason why low-carb diets are so effective for weight loss and lead to various health improvements is that a reduction in carbs and increased protein intake lead to reduced appetite, making you eat fewer calories without having to think about it.

To sum up, the most important thing to remember is not to cut calories too drastically, as it can cause your metabolism to slow down in a long run and even more serious health problems, including reduced fertility and weaker bones. The best healthy eating plan for your weight-loss goals is to take one step at the time, and as you progress on your weight loss journey, you can cut more calories.