Calorie Intake to Lose Weight
Many people turn to calorie cutting when trying to lose weight. Although this can be an effective weight loss method, it also has its drawbacks.
As a personal trainer, I’ve seen both sides. I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the benefits and shortcomings of focusing on calorie intake to lose weight. If you’re considering this particular route to weight loss, you should definitely keep reading. Things may not be as simple (or as easy) as you think.
What are Calories?
First, let’s get a handle on what a calorie is. A calorie is one unit of energy from food that can be used by our bodies. The key word here is can – if you don’t use up this energy in some way (with exercise, for example), calories will go unused and potentially stored as fat.
Different nutrients have different numbers of calories per gram, and this is important to keep in mind when trying to lose weight. Proteins and carbohydrates, for instance, each have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories per gram. Alcohol also contains 7 calories per gram, so you have to watch your drinks as well!
This is why fat reduction is the first step to any healthy eating plan. You simply cannot diet successfully without cutting back on fat. Protein, including that found in protein powders like Optimum 100% Natural Whey, is the perfect dieter’s option. In addition to its low calorie content, it also takes longer to digest, which will boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full.
What are the Advantages of Focusing on Calorie Intake?
Fundamentally speaking, reducing your calorie intake is a starting point to lose weight. In particular, your goal should be to create a calorie deficit, which simply means burning more calories than you take in or eat.
On average, it’s recommended that a calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories each day will lead to safe and successful weight loss (of about 2-4 pounds per week). For some, especially those who don’t exercise on a regular basis, this can actually be a difficult task.
Now let’s look at the drawbacks of calorie cutting…
What are the Disadvantages of Focusing on Calorie Intake?
Although focusing on calorie intake to lose weight sounds like a basic and scientifically supported route to weight loss, it has many limitations. Here are the main ones:
- First, focusing only on calorie intake puts greater importance on diet than exercise. In fact, many calorie cutting diets completely ignore exercise altogether. The best approach to successful weight loss is one that includes both exercise and healthy eating.
- That brings us to my second point – healthy eating. Although calorie cutting is supposed to lead to a healthier bodyweight, focusing solely on number of calories ignores many principles of healthy eating. Some foods that are high in calories can actually help you lose weight, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in these Optimum Fish Oil Softgels. A healthy, balanced diet is more important than a diet low in calories.
- Calorie cutting alone is not a sustainable method of weight loss. The problem is, focusing only on calorie intake will leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry. Over the long term, you’ll be more likely to rebound and gain even more weight. This is why I suggest focusing on a more sustainable, healthy, and balanced diet. In combination with exercise and weight training (which will increase lean muscle mass and enhance your metabolism), you’ll lose the weight and keep it off!
Calorie Intake to Lose Weight – Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, examining your calorie intake can be a very basic starting point for losing weight. It is true, after all, that eating less will likely reduce your body fat.
But it’s not enough. Calorie content should be one of a few things you look at when checking your labels. You also need to be aware of where your calories are coming from. And remember, exercise (including cardiovascular and weight training) is at par with dieting when it comes to achieving weight loss success.
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