Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Which Diet Program Will Work For You : Low Calories

The average person needs to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight. Of course this varies based on how much the person weighs, their metabolism and activity levels, but it is a bench mark. There are two ways to lose weight on a low calorie program, either cut back the number of calories consumed or increase activity levels to burn off more calories.

A pound of fat requires that 3500 calories either be burned or not consumed. A calorie is the amount of energy in food. 500 calories would have to be cut from the average person's daily diet to lose one pound of fat per week. A restricted low calorie program is usually between 1200 to 1500 calories per day. A medium apple has 70 calories, an 8 oz. steak about 425. One tablespoon of fat, oil, or butter has 120 calories. As a general rule fat and oil has more calories than any other type of food. Vegetables and fruits have the least amount of calories.

Increasing the amount of exercise per day can result in weight loss. If you walk for 30 minutes daily you'll burn off 250 calories. The good news is that exercising at a brisk pace, say walking, for 20 minutes will increase your metabolism from 10 to 15% for two to four hours afterward. A brisk pace means that you can still talk while walking. If you can whistle or sing, you're going too slow and if you can't catch your breath enough to hold up your end of the conversation, you're going too fast.
Combining a low calorie program with an exercise program will allow you to burn off the fat faster.
The advantage of a low calorie program is that you can eat a wide variety of food. There are no restrictions on what you can eat, just how much you can eat. If you absolutely have to have a piece of cheesecake you can eat it as long as you include it in your daily calorie consumption.

The disadvantages include sometimes being hungry. Severely cutting back calories doesn't accelerate weight loss; in fact it has the opposite effect. Your body is conditioned to react to starvation, which is what you're doing when you decrease calories below 1000 per day, by lowering your metabolism. So you can cut back and your body will just compensate. The bad news is if you go back to a normal diet it takes your body a while to realize you're not starving and increase your metabolism back to normal levels.

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