But eating less is not the only way to lose fat. Being physically active and eating less is the most efficient way of losing extra fat.
Sadly, muscles go away much faster than fat does. Read this articles and learn how to prevent that!
Planning diet for weight loss
Calculating calories is dull and boring and for most people counting calories is too much of a science. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way you should first know how much calories your body needs per day and what is the minimum calorie intake before your body starts starving.
Balance your diet well
It is important that the food during your weight loss diet is well balanced and that it contains all the necessary nutrients.
It should contain as much complex carbohydrates (whole grain bread, potatoes, pasta, rice) as possible and minimize simple carbohydrates (foods made with granulated sugar: cakes, candies …). Your diet should also include protein, a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, a lot of water and minimum fat (best is to consume fat rich in omega 3).
How many calories can you consume?
All your meals must contain fewer calories than usual (before your diet), but still enough to cover the caloric needs which your body needs for metabolism at rest – also known as BMR, basal metabolic rate. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate using our BMR calculator.
Avoid low calorie diets, avoid starving at all costs!
If you want to try out some special low-calorie diets promising fast results than think twice! Ask yourself – did you gain weight very fast? Probably not! It added up over the months / years. And you expect that you can easily get rid of that extra fat in a week or two? It’s not going to work because your body does not work like that! What adds up slowly cannot go off fast. Simple and natural.
If you consume less than 1000 calories per day, that will have the opposite effect of what you want to achieve. In a short time you will be able to lose a lot of weight, but after your finish your diet you will gain even more weight than you managed to lost.
Weight loss does not automatically mean fat loss
Why? Because that weight (and I write weight not fat on purpose) you’ve lost with starvation (which eating 1000 calories per day IS) is mostly due to lost muscle mass and by losing water out of your body. By starving you lose most muscle, and least fat.
Researches have shown that the most successful weight loss program is the weight loss program in which the individual loses most weight by decreasing body fat percentage – meaning an individual loses the most weight on account of getting rid of the fat. There is a difference in losing 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of weight by losing 1 kg of muscle mass or by losing 1kg of body weight by losing 1 kg of body fat. I believe you all want the second option.
Weight loss and weight loss calculator
Daily energy needs for efficient fat loss for women are somewhere between 1000 to 1200 calories (example a 1200 calorie diet) and from 1200 to 2000 calories for men. All diets where the daily energy intake is less than 1,000 calories are harmful!
Men needs on average about 1 kcal per minute (for stationary work), that is about 1,440 kcal per day. Women needs less, about 0,75 kcal per minute, that is about 1080 kcal (for stationary work). Calorie intake number should be modified with increased physical activity. For more accurate weight loss plan and allowed calorie intake use our weight loss calculator.
Fat loss vs muscle loss
See below table on muscle vs fat loss. We’ve talked about this in “Weight loss does not automatically mean fat loss” chapter above.
The proportion of muscle and fat loss for various weight loss programs
|Diet / calorie intake per day||Lost muscle %||Lost fat %|
|Ketogenic / protein diet (less than 1000 kcal / day)||65||35|
|Mixed food diet (less than 1000 kcal / day)||40||60|
|Mixed food diet (more than 1000 kcal / day)||32||68|
|Mixed food diet combined with physical exercise (more than 1000 kcal / day)||21||79|
As you can see starvation is not the answer. You will lose weight that’s true, but mostly because you will lose muscle mass. Try eating 10-15% less than your BMR plus your daily activity consumption is. That way you will lose fat most efficiently!