Weight loss is a difficult process that requires patience, motivation, and a strong will. If you are looking to lose some weight and have no idea where to start, try using a food plan to guide you through your weight loss journey. Consider the pros of using a food plan: meals planned in advance, portion control, time saved, and easy calorie counting. But best of all, reach your optimum weight and health without unhealthy restrictions.
Once you have decided on using a food plan, make a healthy food list. List all of the healthy foods that you love and will enjoy eating. You may want to take a look at a food guide to include all of the food groups. Include colorful and attractive foods to tempt your taste buds and help you feel like you aren’t missing out. Include a variety of taste experiences, while thinking mainly about the nourishment that your body requires to function and feel your best. Plan meals for a week at a time; they can be pre-made and frozen or you can plan the meal and scoop portions onto your plate according to measured serving sizes.
It is helpful to remember that our body requires and burns around sixty percent of the food that we are consuming for basic activities such as breathing. To calculate a healthy calorie restriction for yourself, consider your weight, height, age, sex, and overall health. The average person can lose weight while consuming 1500 calories per day, although, according to your personal circumstances, you may require more or less than that.
If you are interested in figuring out the exact number of calories your body requires, you can easily calculate your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. Just follow this simple formula to decide on how much you can take in each day to reduce your weight. This formula only applies to fully grown adults.
Firstly, calculate your BMR with this formula (or use our BMR calculator here):
Women: 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)
Men: 66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age)
Then do the following calculation to include your activity level
- Inactive: BMR x 20%
- Mildly Active: BMR x 30%
- Moderately Active: BMR x 40% (you exercise most days)
- Very Active: BMR x 50% (you do intense exercising)
- Extremely Active: BMR x 60% (you do hard labor or do athletic training)
Once you figure out the value corresponding to your activity level, you can then decide how many calories per day you will need to ingest to stay below the calculated value and lose weight. Seek the advice of your physician before going on any kind of restricted-calorie diet. Design your daily food plan according to your results. To lose 1 pound per week, you will need to cut back your caloric intake by about 500 calories per day.
Another helpful tip is to keep up a food diary to keep track of exactly what you are eating and at what times. Lose weight at a healthy pace and remember to keep your health the number one priority in your weight loss journey.