The old adage, “calories in, calories out” really is true. If you’re wondering how cutting back on calories is the easiest way to lose weight, the answer is that it comes down to simple mathematics. Once you discover the equation that works with your body, it can be your roadmap to permanent success. Although this process may require a little trial and error, it is the most effective way to lose weight.
Setting Your Caloric Goal
A pound is roughly the equivalent of 3500 calories, according to the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, to lose one pound a week, reduce your current daily intake by about 500 calories. For long-term success, it is recommended that you do not lose more than two pounds in a week. Choose high-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains to provide you with quality calories that help your feel more energetic; they will also help combat hunger by making you feeling satisfied for longer.
Simple Cut Backs
With a few simple tweaks to your diet, you can easily cut out those 500 calories. Drop the fancy espresso drinks (or opt for nonfat versions in the smallest available size) and ditch the cheese on your sandwich at lunch. Stick to three-ounce servings of meat at dinner and load up on veggies rather than heaps of potatoes. Watching your portion sizes can do a great deal to cut back on unnecessary calories as well. As you are likely aware, portion sizes have gotten out of hand in the US and many other countries. No one needs the amount of food that is served on the plates of most restaurants. Too many calories also leave you feeling sluggish in addition to packing on the pounds.
An effective way to monitor what you’re eating is through journaling. You can then analyze where to make changes to lower your caloric intake each day. It also forces you to be more mindful of the kinds of food you are eating. After you have developed new healthy eating habits that have become second nature, you might not find it necessary to keep journaling. Until then, it is a great tool, and one you can always come back to if you notice extra pounds coming back on. The impact that age and other lifestyle factors can have on waist lines may also make you decide to reanalyze your calorie intake through journaling.
Burning Calories and Dealing with Set-Backs
Another great way to improve your overall health and reduce your total caloric intake is through exercise. Burning calories with physical activity, in addition to cutting back on the number of calories consumed, can greatly increase weight loss results. Regular exercise will also boost your metabolic rate, making your body a more efficient calorie-burning machine. Sometimes you may just want to hit the gym because you overate—when this happens, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to indulge every now and then. Work a little harder the next day by being extra diligent about what you eat, and get your body moving.