Dieting is on everyone’s mind as we near the summer months, full throttle. Stores are beginning to advertise their summer garb and patrons are noticing the winter warmth storage around their waists (and other not to be revealed areas).
As mirrors reveal our fascination with holiday treats (and Valentine’s Day), we begin wondering how to remove our excess baggage. Inevitably a number of questions plague us in our search to embrace a considerably-more svelte image.
Here are the top ten common dieting and weight loss questions and answers we hear:
Q1. Do Fad Diets Work?
A: In truth, all diets that decrease the caloric intake, work (with regards to losing weight). Unfortunately, the problem we see in the arena of fad diets is that they “work” for very brief periods of time and are not truly maintainable.
Sure, a juice diet, a syrup diet or a zero carb diet is going to shrink your problem areas, but it will also deplete your body’s nutrients and ultimately cause more harm than good. So, unless you’re in some Beyoncé-esque movie, avoid the fads.
Q2. Is There a Secret Formula to Lose Weight?
A: Well, we suppose there are a number of ways to answer that question, and no doubt some sites would assure you that their products are the answer therein.
However, we’d prefer to be honest with you. Anyone wishing to find success, no matter the endeavor (weight loss included), needs to follow a fairly simple formula: Consistency+Enthusiasm+Endurance=Success.
Translated: be excited about staying with it every day, even when it’s hard; that’s the secret to weight loss success.
Q3. How Many Calories Should I Consume Per Day for My Weight Loss Effort to be Successful?
A: While seemingly a simplistic question, it is perhaps the most difficult to answer as there’s no one-size-fits-all rule (is there ever?) for caloric intake. However, one sure thing is – you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight.
Having said that, calculating calorie burn can be tricky, but experts have come up with an easy way to estimate your calorie burn and here is the formula:
Body Weight x 14 = Total Calorie Burn Per Day.
For example – if your body weight 180lb, your estimated calorie burn per day will be 180 x 14 = 2520. So, you need to consume less than 2520 calories a day to lose weight.
The average man necessitates (based on normal metabolic function) 1200-1700 calories daily while women only require 900- 1400. So, a good rule of thumb is to reduce your personal calorie count by 500-1000 a day.
1lb of fat contains about 3500 calories, so if you want to lose 1-2lbs a week, then your calorie deficit should be 3500-7000 calories a week.
That explained, you can either cut the calories or exercise them off (but we recommend that you do both for maximum wellness).
Another quick way to estimate how many calories you should consume in a day to lose weight is:
Body weight (pounds) x 10 or Body weight (kilograms) x 22
Q4. Should I Avoid Fattening Foods to Lose Weight?
A: We hear this question a lot as people readily assume that the fat count on a package should deter its ingestion. In truth, there really are no “fattening” foods. Any food can make you blow up like a Macy’s Parade balloon if you eat enough of it.
As much as we may tire of the everything-in-moderation mantra we hear these days, it’s true! Of course, it is best not to eat a bunch of energy-dense (or sugar-filled) foods simply because when the body can’t break it down, then fat stores here it comes.
That said, don’t eliminate the cake; just don’t eat it all, or every day!
Q5. Can I Have Cheat Days Once Per Week?
A. The research is still up in the air about this one. It would appear that the problem in determining the answer is how much do you plan on cheating in that day?
If it’s just going to be the day you have that piece of cake, but you’re still abiding by your C+E+E=S the rest of the week, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
If, however, you intend to go hog wild, so to speak, then no, it’s probably not a good idea (you’ll be throwing all your previous calorie counting work out the door- believe us, we know!).
So, in summation, if you want a cheat day, fine, have one meal that’s a little bit above your new norm, or go to a restaurant, or eat that piece of cheese cake (you know you want to), but don’t use it as an excuse to binge all day.
Q6. Do I Have to Feel Hungry to Lose Weight?
A: If you’re spending most of your day feeling hungry then you’re not meeting your minimum energy requirements and that’s certainly not a good thing.
Also, if you’re trying to placate those hunger pangs with low calorie foods, you’ll probably have issues with binge eating and lacking the ability to maintain the final E part of your formula.
Nobody can endure hunger pangs for extended periods of time when food is readily available; you will give in and it will probably be bad.
Therefore, it’s hugely important to follow the caloric reductions recommended here, and exercise, rather than trying to starve yourself or utilize fad diet methodology.
Q7. What Foods are Good for Weight Loss?
A: Foods that are organic or minimally processed will always be at the top of our list. Chemicals have a number of negative qualities (but that’s worthy of an entirely different article) so avoiding them is always in your best interest.
That said, there are some foods that can help you feel full longer and therefore will aid you in maintaining a control on your calories. We recommend fruits because they are low calorie foods with both types of fiber (soluble and insoluble) which help keep you feeling full.
We also suggest that you make sure that half your plate consists of vegetables as they are low calorie foods with tons of nutrients and essential vitamins. Lean proteins are also a good choice as they’ll help with weight maintenance and won’t contribute to artery clogging problems.
On a side note, choose to cook with glass-bottle oils (flaxseed, canola, wheat-germ & extra virgin olive) as they are the healthiest fats to ingest (the omega-3 polyunsaturated kind).
Finally, avoid the diet sodas; they have the potential to increase your sugar cravings. Instead, drink water or a fruit juice and water combo.
Q8. Does Eating Often Burn More Calories?
A: Research suggests that women should eat every three hours to maintain their metabolic rates; while men can last as long as 5 hours between meals.
The concept here is that when the brain experiences a caloric deficit, it slows the metabolism and thereby decreases weight loss potential. If that deficit is prolonged, the body will burn either fat or muscle. Since muscle takes more calories to maintain, it might be the first to go!
Thus, it would appear that eating regular, small amounts will keep the brain satisfied and assist in sustaining your body’s best metabolic rate.
Q9. What are The Best Weight Loss Goals?
A: First of all, any goal has to be both possible and practical in order to be achieved. Anything beyond that will result in epic failure. So, realistically, if you weigh less than 200lbs, shoot for 5-8lb losses per month.
If you’re over 200lbs you can hope for 8-12lb losses. Keep in mind that up to 25% of the loss will be water, in conjunction with some muscle and some fat loss.
Most importantly though, don’t focus so much on your scale as you do your shape. Who cares if you weigh 180lbs if you’re down 2 or 3 sizes simply because you’ve altered your body’s physical appearance (and health) via increased muscle tone?
Some weeks may just be shape shifting ones; don’t get too discouraged about the weigh-in!
Q10. How Can I Stay Motivated?
A: Look, we all know that no matter how many times we’re told not to base our success on poundage, we will get really down-trodden on weeks when the scale numbers don’t move in a downward motion. That can be a real motivation deterrent if we let it.
So, don’t let it! Instead, try these methods of keeping your C+E+E equaling success! Prior to starting this adventure toward wellness, take some key measurements (bust, waist and hip) so that you can see numbers on the inches counter as well!
Don’t forget to measure your upper arms and thighs; imagine the relief found through inch decrease there! Also, pick out some of your tighter attire and try it on every two weeks so that you can note the change in fit (take pictures if you’ve got memory issues).
To wrap this up for you, there are no secret diets, or weapons, that insure maintained weight loss. You do actually have to work on it and it does take time. However, with some of the advice found here you should be able to create a workable, sustainable, and successful weight loss program.
Don’t forget to utilize the online forums and conversation boards for added support and motivation. You can do this and yes, you can even look better before summer hits you square in the hot face!
Feel free to try our recommended weight loss supplements as well! If you’ve got any questions, thoughts, or stories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments section! We look forward to hearing from you!