Many people find losing weight a very difficult task. They struggle to drop the pounds, then when they eventually achieve this they struggle even more to keep the weight off. As I have mentioned previously, regular exercise and healthy, well planned meals are the best tools for achieving your weight loss goals in the long term.
To begin any weight loss plan you first need to calculate how many calories per day are required to maintain your ideal weight. A quick way to work this out is take your ideal weight and multiply it by 12 if you are female and 14 if you are male. So if your target weight is 150lbs then you will need to consume approximately 1800 calories if you are female and approximately 2100 calories if you are male. Alternatively, you can try this Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator.
Then you need to break down these calories into several small meals to be eaten throughout the day. This is because your body will store less fat if you are eating regular, small portions as it knows that more food will be coming soon. At first you will have to count the calories every day and make sure that the calories in all these meals do not exceed the calories required for your target weight. However, it will not take long for you to start memorising calories instinctively and soon you will be able to look at a dish and know the correct portion size and roughly how many calories are in it without the need for counting.
As you start paying more attention to the calories you put into your body you will start to learn more about nutrition. Why? Because you will want to be getting as much nutrition as possible out of the reduced amount of calories you are consuming. The technical term for this is Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON) and it has a number of health benefits which you can read all about at The Calorie Restriction Society.
By following the above advice you will lose weight gradually until you reach your ideal weight. Once you are there you will be able to maintain this weight provided you stick with the same meals and daily calories as before. Here are some final quick tips to help you:
1) FOLLOW A SOLID PLAN:- One of the best weight loss tools is a strong plan which you stick too. It is much easier to focus when you have a step by step plan written down rather than having no plan and being unsure of yourself.
2) SET A TARGET GOAL:- Wanting to lose weight is quite different from actually taking the action to accomplish weight loss. You need to set more specific, realistic targets and meet them. For example, lose 5lbs by the end of the week, lose 30lb by the end of the month.
3) DISCIPLINE:- It is very easy to become lazy but you will fail if this happens. Keep looking at your targets every day and make sure you achieve them, even on the days you do not feel like it.
There you have it. Once you know how to lose weight by reducing your daily caloric intake you just need three things; a solid plan, target goals and discipline. Simple really.