Many health professionals believe that the most effective weight loss methods are calorie based diet plans.
Choosing to start a diet plan that involves counting calories is a simple, basic way to lose weight. However, often dieters are not sure of the number of calories they should consume to achieve successful weight loss. The key to losing weight is to take in fewer calories, or burn more calories, than your body needs, creating a calorie deficit.
Each pound is the equivalent of 3500 calories. To lose approximately one pound per week you would need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories each day, or reduce it by 250 calories and exercise enough to burn the additional 250 calories.
Choosing the Right Calorie Based Plan for You
Dieters are often not sure which calorie based plan is best for them. Many arbitrarily pick a diet plan they think has the correct number of calories for them such as a 1200 or 1500 calorie plan. This is generally not the best way to decide how many calories your body needs daily to receive proper nutrition and remain healthy. The decision should be calculated on your current weight and activity level.
Calorie Based Plans
Once you have chosen the proper number of calories for your diet plan, choose your foods based on a nutritionally sound and balanced diet. If you do not want to figure out your food selections yourself, there are many excellent websites with food plans, menus and recipes for calorie based diets ranging from 1100 to 2800 calories.
Changing Shape offers the following meal plans for calorie based diets:
- 1300 calories
- 1400 calories
- 1500 calories
- 1600 calories
- 2200 calories
- 2800 calories
Weight Loss Resources
Weight Loss Resources offer calorie plans that include:
Although there are diet meal plans that recommend diets as low as 600 to 800 calories per day, taking in that few calories may not give you the proper nutrition your body needs.
Useful Online Calorie Counters, Tools and Resources for Calorie Based Diet Plans
The following websites also offer tips and tools to help you maintain a healthy weight.
The American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society website offers a useful online calorie counter tool to help you understand how many calories you need to take in to maintain your current weight, with suggestions on how many calories you need to reduce in order to lose one pound per week. Another helpful tool on this website gives the number of calories burned during common activities.
As we grow older our calorie needs decrease. Diet Bites offers a helpful chart titled Calorie Needs Based on Age and Activity Level. Also on the Diet Bites website are more calorie based food plans, tips, recipes and a community support group.
Keep a Food Diary
Keeping a food diary is a great dieting tool that helps with any type of diet plan. Used with a calorie based diet, it helps track the food you eat and how many calories you have left for the day. Writing everything down, or recording it online, helps you to realize that the handful of raisins or the extra slice of turkey really does count in your daily calorie total.
Select a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Calorie based diet plans allow you to choose the foods you want to eat while dieting. If you decide to put together your own menus, it is important to make sure that your diet is healthy and balanced. There are many websites and books that offer calorie based diet plans with written menus, recipes and tips that are easy to follow and nutritionally balanced.