One of the most basic tenets of weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. It is not terribly complicated, but it can easily lead to one of the most common weight-loss misconceptions: The less you eat, the more you lose.
This truth does apply to a certain extent — if you eat more calories than your body needs to maintain your weight, you will gain weight. However, if you suddenly drop your caloric intake too low, your body will think you are starving and go into survival mode. If you do not eat enough, you will sabotage your weight-loss efforts.
A healthy diet generally will not drop your caloric intake below 1,200 calories, but you will need to find your “magic number” for optimum weight loss. Research suggests that women who consume less than the optimal amount see their resting metabolic rate plummet by as much as 45 percent.
Don’t be surprised if you need to adjust your calories several times throughout your weight-loss journey, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. Your calories will need to be adjusted to account for your changing weight, activity level and metabolism.
The best way to lose weight is to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders by eating enough calories, which can be accomplished by following these simple steps:
Always eat breakfast. may be there is no time for breakfast, you are not hungry enough and you can save some calories by skipping it. But this is completely wrong. While you are asleep, your metabolism slows down, and it does not pick back up until you eat something. Eating breakfast is crucial for boosting your metabolism first thing in the morning and burning more calories all day long. It does not need to be a hot-cooked breakfast that takes long to prepare, either.
Even if you just grab a piece of fruit and a string cheese on your way out the door, you need to at least eat something to get your system going in the morning.
Eat more often. That is right, eating every two to three hours will not only keep you from gorging at meals because you are starving, but it also keeps your metabolic rate higher because it takes more energy to digest food. Shoot for eating smaller meals and snacks — yes, you can snack! Aim for 200 to 400 calorie mini-meals every few hours and keep your metabolism stoked.
Plan your meals. It does take a little work to learn to plan ahead, but once you get into the groove, it is a piece of cake. You will find that by knowing what and when you are going to eat, you have more energy throughout the day and you will have a steadier stream of nutrients supplied to your body. The other key is to make sure you have proper snack foods on hand, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts — anything that is high in fiber is helpful, too.
Once you get your body used to a regular healthy routine, you will be on your way to serious weight loss without the starvation associated with it.
Source: The Daily Star, January 24, 2008
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