Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition For Weight Loss’

How many calories per day to lose weight

If you’re looking for how many calories per day to lose weight the answer is not as straightforward as you might think since every individual has different caloric needs. But it is possible to calculate your requirement of calories per day to lose weight.

What is a Calorie?

A ‘calorie’ represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree centigrade. Of course, a calorie is not the only measure of food energy used worldwide. The World Health Organization recommends use of kilojoules. One calorie is equal to 4.184 kilojoules. Some countries use kilojoules in the nutritional info on food labels while others use calories. Some products include both. Even though I come from a country that uses kilojoules I tend to think in calories. Scientists have calculated one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.

So how many calories per day to lose weight do you require?

The minimum number of calories per day should be 1200. Less than that causes the the body to go into ‘starvation mode’. This means that your body interprets the lack of food as a famine so it slows your metabolism (metabolism refers to the ability to burn calories) and retains fat stores in order to survive for longer. Hence, crash diets involving less than 1200 calories per day only work short term (like a week or two at most). While you may think that’s all you need if you’re only looking to lose a couple of pounds, you need to keep in mind that crash diets also tend to have short term results. In other words, you quickly regain the weight lost plus more.

Every individuals calorie needs are different. There are many factors that affect how many calories per day to lose weight are required including;

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Activity level

Lets deal with these one at a time.

  1. AGE: Individuals in their mid twenties require an average of 2300 calories per day, as we get older, that amount reduces partly due to physiological changes in our body, partly because as we age, we tend to become less active and our bodies just naturally tend to increase fat content which burns less calories than muscle.
  2. GENDER: Males require 5-10% more calories than females of the same size. This is due to the fact that men have greater muscle mass than females. But if a woman is pregnant or breast feeding she requires around the same amount as a male of the same size.
  3. WEIGHT: The heavier we are the more calories we require to maintain our weight. Even fat cells need calories to maintain themselves. For this reason, as we lose weight our calorie requirement reduces accordingly. This is one of the reasons that we reach a ‘weight loss plateau’ and need to mix up our routine a little to get past it.
  4. HEIGHT: Again, the taller we are the more we tend to weigh, the more muscle we have (to cover bone structure etc), thus our calorie needs are higher.
  5. ACTIVITY LEVEL: And this, of course, is probably the most crucial factor. It doesn’t just refer to what we traditionally think of as ‘exercise’… this is only one aspect of it. It also refers to lifestyle, careers etc. For example; A builder or brick layer will not need to cut as many calories per day to lose weight as someone who sits at a desk all day because their calorie needs are higher. I don’t have a drivers license (never have had one) and because of that I tend to catch public transport or walk everywhere which means that on average I walk at least 2 or 3 miles per day… this is a lifestyle example of something that results in higher calorie needs.

How many calories per day to lose weight do you needOn average, 60-65% of calorie intake is expended in bodily functions such as breathing, blood purification, heart beating, maintaining body temperature, etc. Another 10% is expended in digestion. The rest is used to supply energy to the body.

As you can see, determining how many calories per day to lose weight are required is not a simple question to answer.

You can use the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator below to calculate roughly how many calories per day your body needs to maintain itself.

 




As mentioned earlier, scientists have calculated that one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. So in order to lose one pound per week without extra exercise you need to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories. Extra exercise in conjunction with reduced calories will result in even greater weight loss… even if it’s only taking a 15 minute walk per day.

If you’re looking for foods to eat that will allow you to reduce your calories without reducing actual food intake then there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, close to nature is much lower in calories than processed. For example, a piece of fruit is higher in nutrients and lower in calories than a cookie, cake or snack bar. Take a look at these calorie free noodles for a product you can substitute for noodles that are traditionally high in calories. Why are they calorie free? Because they’re made with 100% dietary fiber mixed with water. Fiber passes through the body without being converted to energy. In fact, the body is incapable of converting fiber to energy. So that is why they are effectively calorie free. Find out more about miracle noodles.

cut your calories per day to lose weight by eating these

So there you have it! Now you have the means to calculate how many calories per day to lose weight you require. Good luck in your weight loss goals.

Healthy Eating Facts You Should Understand

It’s really incredible there is anything experts can agree on when it comes to what we eat. It seems like we are inundated with new scientific findings and new diet plans on a daily basis. To make matters worse, it regularly seems as though this information is contradictory. But there are several fundamental dietary principles that haven’t altered, nor are they likely to.

Let’s begin with calories. A lot of “trendy” diets try to confuse the issue. They talk of “negative calorie” foods, or how certain foods increase metabolism and help burn fat. However, everything comes down to this: calories are energy. Therefore, if you wish to lose weight, then you have to consume less calories than you burn.

If you want to gain weight, then you do the opposite. Also, should you limit your caloric intake too much, your body will go into starvation mode, and will burn off calories extra slowly because it thinks there is a scarcity of food, this makes it more difficult to lose weight (if that’s your goal). So, that means you shouldn’t restrict food intake too much, but rather eat smarter.

Another significant feature of calories is that all of them should count. That does not mean you should count every calorie to the point of obsession. What it does mean, however, is that all of the calories you consume should provide nutritional value, or that they should count for something. This means getting rid of any empty calories. Certainly one of the largest sources of empty calories are sweetened soda drinks. these are loaded with sugar and have zero nutritional value. In fact, one non-diet can of soda contains as much as 160 calories. Imagine if you were drinking four of them per day, they would constitute an extra 640 calories, none of which are doing anything to satisfy your hunger or provide nutrients. Another example is fruit juice… yes, fruit juice! ‘But that’s healthy and full of vitamins’ I hear you say… you’re correct, but it’s better to eat the fruit than drink the juice because that will satisfy both your appetite AND your thirst! Whereas the juice will only satisfy thirst and is almost as high in sugar and calories and non-diet soda.

Now let’s examine the fat in our diets. It was relatively recently when food producers decided to provide low-fat variations of many different products. This was with the desire of capturing a piece of the health conscious market. While it is a fact that fat contains 9 calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates which only have 4 calories per gram, not all fats are the same.

For example, it’s generally acknowledged that there is no healthy amount of trans fats; therefore you should do your best to completely eradicate them from your diet. Saturated fats are also unhealthy, but if you limit intake of them your body is able to deal with them. Then there are the two different types of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Although you can’t consume these without considering their impact, if you are going to be consuming fats (and you do need some), then these are the better choices. Then of course you have essential fatty acids which are worth mentioning here, they’re not fats per se but they are certainly healthy and help control blood cholesterol levels. Rich sources of these include salmon, sardines, tuna and other type of fish and shell fish. This is one of the reasons that nutritionists recommend you consume at least two serves of fish per week.

So all eating really comes down to those two basic things: calories and fat. What diet plan you follow doesn’t matter so much as how you eat. Therefore, when choosing a diet plan, ensure that it takes a sensible approach. When you do that, you’ll not only feel better about being on a healthy eating plan, you will also be much more likely to stick with it.

Diabetic Weight Loss Diet

If you are diabetic and overweight, you need an effective diabetic weight loss diet to not only manage your weight but also stabilize your blood sugar levels. Maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar level is crucial in reducing your chances of suffering serious healthy complications associated with diabetes.

We all understand that one of the most important keys to losing weight is to select healthy foods to eat. Foods that control insulin production and release are beneficial too. Some people find learning to eat a balanced diet difficult. An vital part of controlling blood sugar levels is learning to balance your consumption of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Controlling carbohydrate consumption is essential because some carbohydrates convert almost instantly into sugars which causes the pancreas to overproduce insulin to counteract the massive rise in blood sugar. This can result in hypoglycemic attacks and even diabetic coma. If this isn’t controlled, you could find yourself facing additional issues to diabetes.

Some people even find that losing weight causes such an improvement in blood sugar levels that taking medication or injecting insulin becomes completely unnecessary. Perhaps your diabetes can even disappear if you become fit and healthy. An example of this is Sean Holbrook, a contestant in the Australian Biggest Loser competition. He started out at a massive 386 lbs (174 kg) with blood sugar levels off the planet and now weighs 208 lbs (94 kg) and no diabetes. You can read Sean’s story here

Nutritionists and doctors have modified their thinking that all diabetics are identical and all require the same general diet. They can’t. A sensible diabetic weight loss diet these days is tailored to individual patients and promotes optimal nutrition for optimal health. Simple carbohydrates consumption is restricted and sources of protein that are high in Omega-three fatty acids are encouraged. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in fish with the best concentration found in sardines and salmon.

Diets low in fat and cholesterol and high in green leafy vegetables and high fiber foods like whole grains are very important in controlling diabetes. Fruit should be consumed in moderation because of their high natural sugar content that makes blood sugar levels spike then fall rapidly thanks to insulin overload.

Have you ever wondered why it is important to test your blood sugar levels so frequently? The reason is to receive an accurate idea of how the food you consume affect your levels particularly when attempting to lose weight. Diabetes is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly and if you are a diabetic trying to lose weight you need to be extremely careful. Take things slowly, maintain accurate records of blood sugar levels and keep a food journal, too. You can download a FREE software program with a food diary on our Free weight loss downloads page.

Get some meal plan ideas for meals and snacks by going to the American Diabetes Association’s website and studying the diabetic food pyramid. You will receive accurate information about diabetes and diet on the site which will make it easy to place what you learn into practice.

With type II diabetes in epidemic proportions in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and many other nations as a result of of the obesity epidemic, following an effective diabetic weight loss diet is as vital as the diabetic medication or insulin you have been prescribed.

Why Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

We’ve all heard the old expression that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But have you ever wondered why breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I always used to wonder myself until I went on a diet to lose the weight I gained when I quit smoking.

As the name suggests, breakfast is when we ‘break our fast’, in other words, it’s the time when we first consume food after a long period of not eating.

Our metabolism slows down the longer we go without food. If we starve ourselves it doesn’t help with weight loss because our body starts conserving energy and burning calories slower to preserve itself. During periods of sleep our calorie consumption reduces to around one calorie per minute compared to the minimum ‘at rest’ consumption during the day of around 1.5 calories per minute.

Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism and gets it burning calories at a faster rate. If we don’t eat till two or three hours after we get up then our metabolism is running at the lower rate for longer.

In addition, as weird as it sounds I have discovered from personal experience that eating breakfast actually REDUCES my overall calorie intake for the day. I suppose it is logical when I think about it. If I skip breakfast, when I get hungry several hours later I am REALLY hungry and I tend to either overeat or eat the wrong types of food because my body starts craving high energy foods to combat the dwindling blood sugar levels. However, if I eat a banana or a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, then my blood sugar levels don’t drop, I don’t crave the wrong foods and I don’t overeat.

Let’s take a look at the math:

If I skip breakfast then it reduces my early calorie consumption by 120 calories. However, then I have around 80 calories for morning tea (a piece of fruit or snack bar) and when lunch time arrives I am super hungry and I will consume my normal lunch of around 350 calories plus a couple of donuts or chocolate which increases my calorie consumption up to around 600 calories.

On the other hand, if I eat a breakfast of oatmeal with 120 calories followed a couple of hours later by morning tea of around 80 calories, when I have lunch I am satisfied with 350 calories.

Breakfast: 120+80+ 350=550 calories.
No breakfast: 80+ 600=680 calories

If you were on a diet, which calorie intake would you prefer? 550 or 680? Which would help you lose more weight?

So in summary, eating breakfast;

  • Increases your metabolism
  • Helps stop cravings for high energy foods
  • Reduces overeating

So have a healthy breakfast every day to increase your metabolism and improve your weight loss results now you understand why breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Monosodium Glutamate Side Effects on Obesity

Aside from it’s main purpose of making food taste better, there are several monosodium glutamate side effects. MSG stimulates the taste-buds, making them more sensitive to flavor. This tricks your brain into thinking the food tastes better.

If that was all MSG did, there wouldn’t be an issue. But it isn’t. Monosodium glutamate side effects go far beyond this purpose, and not all of those side effects are positive. Equally unfortunate is that the FDA has not acted on the issues and MSG maintains the status of “generally regarded as safe”. Considering the negative side effects, MSG should be banned, especially since it is abused by the food industry so much.

Monosodium glutamate side effects?

monosodium glutamate side effects - danger msg symbol

  1. Some people are allergic to MSG: A small amount can cause anaphylactic shock. Like other allergies….peanut, wheat, citrus, shellfish etc. the reaction varies from mild to being life threatening. Because MSG is used in so many products, it should be banned. The reason is simple. When someone has a severe peanut allergy, they avoid peanuts and products containing peanuts. Products containing peanuts or potential traces of them are required to mark this on the packaging. Compare this with MSG where most processed foods contain it but, because of a loop hole in labeling laws, it does not have to be listed in the ingredients. This creates a very dangerous situation that needs to be addressed. Companies should at least be forced to label the foods correctly.
  2. MSG is addictive. When you eat it, it stimulates your taste buds and and makes you want more of the same. This causes you to overeat: Have you ever wondered why you can’t stop at one potato chip? These Monosodium glutamate side effects are the reason. You can be physically full, but MSG stimulates your hypothalamus which controls your appetite and makes you want to eat more. Long term use of MSG permanently damages the hypothalamus. This means that your body has no way of telling you when you are full so it is easy to overeat. MSG also makes insulin levels spike. When insulin spikes, blood sugar levels drop and this causes hunger. Food manufacturers know this and use MSG to make their foods addictive. MSG takes away a person’s choice in what they eat by causing an addiction. That is immoral and should be illegal. MSG can also be viewed as a major contributor to the incredible increase in diabetes in our society. It’s also a major factor in bulimia. MSG encourages people to binge. That’s why snack producers use it, so we will eat more of their products. Thankfully, people are becoming savvy to this and choosing not to eat food containing MSG. But companies deny even this personal choice for people. Because of the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) designation, they are permitted to include MSG as an ingredient in a list of so-called “secret ingredients”. These are ingredients that are not required on food labels because it may allow competitors to copy the recipe and steal the business. Take this one step further, some of these contain MSG and if companies list that product, they do not have to label the individual ingredients. The names of these common products include ‘Natural Flavorings’, ‘Naturally Flavored’, Artificial and Natural Flavors’. THESE ARE PRODUCT NAMES rather than FDA designations. These names hide the fact that those products are additives. The primary ingredient in most of those products is MSG, anytime you see them in the ingredients list, just replace the word with MSG…because that is what it means. Also be on the watch for ‘hydrolized vegetable protein’, ‘yeast extract’ and ‘glutamic acid’ (additive 620) as these are chemically identical to MSG.
  3. The most controversial of the monosodium glutamate side effects is what it does to your appetite: MSG is an “excitotoxin”. This is a chemical that stimulates your nervous system using a mechanism normally used to fight infection or remove damaged tissue. The human brain is normally sterile and doesn’t have the same type of immune system as the rest of your body. The main immune system is based on an inflammatory mechanism. Inflammation in the brain is potentially deadly, so your brain uses a glial system instead. The glial system secretes chemicals that rip invading particles apart and stimulate the brain. Guess what the mechanism of action for MSG is? Guess what the side effect is? The long-term effect of this is slow degradation of surrounding tissue. In effect, MSG kills neurons (brain cells) by exciting them to death! MSG has also been implicated in Alzheimer’s.
  4. MSG causes rapid growth in certain cancer cells: According to Dr. Russell Blaylock some cancers have glutamate receptors. “The total picture is, if you’re consuming a diet with glutamate in it, particularly high levels, you’re making your cancer grow very rapidly. I refer to it as cancer fertilizer.” Cancers with these receptors include several brain cancers, colon cancer, breast cancer, and others as well.
    1. monosodium glutamate side effects - obese mouse

      As you can see from these monosodium glutamate side effects, MSG should be avoided. Most modern Chinese restaurants understand this and have now removed this ingredient from their cooking.

      The main problem now is packed and processed foods, and those at fast food restaurants. The bottom line is this. The only way to avoid large quantities of MSG is by not eating those foods.

      Take a look at this great post about monosodium glutamate side effects from the Food Intolerance Network. Another great article about MSG can be found at CBN.com – The Hidden Danger In Your Food. The CBN article is a three part series on monosodium glutamate side effects.

      This post does not constitute medical advice nor should it be substituted for professional medical advice. This post titled “Monosodium Glutamate Side Effects on Obesity” is intended for informational purposes only. Click the following link to read about more food additives to avoid.