How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day to Lose Weight?
How to Reduce Calorie Intake Without Starving Yourself
Calories are simply a measure of energy. It is known that in order to gain weight, more calories need to be entering your body than leaving it. Conversely, if more calories leave your body than enter it, then you lose weight. That being said, just cutting calories without regards to the foods you eat is usually not a sustainable way to lose weight. Although it works for some people, the majority of people end up hungry and eventually give up on their diet. For this reason, it is highly recommended to make a few other permanent changes to help you maintain a calorie deficit in the long term, without feeling starved. Here are 5 evidence-based diet/lifestyle changes that have been shown to help people lose weight in numerous studies
- Eating More Protein Can Reduce Appetite, Cut Cravings by 60% and Increase The Amount of Calories You Burn
When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Adding protein to your diet is the simplest, most effective and most delicious way to lose weight with minimal effort. Because protein requires energy to metabolize, a high protein diet can increase calories burned by up to 80 to 100 calories per day. In other words, you can easily increase calories out and reduce calories in… just by adding protein to your diet. Protein can also help fight cravings, which are the dieter’s worst enemy. If you want to lose weight, sustainably, with minimal effort, then consider making a permanent increase in your protein intake. Not only will it help you lose, it will also prevent or at least significantly reduce weight regain, in case you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.
Bottom Line: Increasing protein intake can boost metabolism, fight cravings and significantly reduce appetite. This can lead to automatic weight loss.
- Avoid Sugary Soft Drinks (and Fruit Juices), The Most Fattening Items in The Modern Diet
Another relatively easy change you can make, is to eliminate liquid sugar calories from your diet. These “foods” are probably the most fattening aspect of the modern diet, by far. This is because liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories. For this reason, drinking sugary soda doesn’t make your brain automatically compensate by having you eat less of other things instead. Of course, the harmful effects of sugar go way beyond just weight gain. It can have disastrous effects on metabolic health and raise your risk of all sorts of diseases. Although small amounts of natural sugars from foods (like fruit) are absolutely fine, large amounts from added sugar and sugary drinks can be an absolute disaster. It is important to avoid sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, because liquid sugar is the single most fattening aspect of the Western diet.
3. Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss
One very simple trick to increase weight loss is to drink more water. This can increase the number of calories you burn for up to 90 minutes. But when you drink water may be even more important, because having it before meals can help reduce hunger and make you automatically eat fewer calories. When combined with a healthy diet, drinking more water (especially before meals) does appear to be helpful if you need to lose weight. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and green tea are also excellent. The caffeine in them can help boost metabolism somewhat, at least in the short term.
Bottom Line: Studies have shown that drinking water can boost metabolism. Drinking it a half hour before meals can help you eat fewer calories.
- Do Some Exercise and Lift Weights
When we eat fewer calories, our bodies compensate by making us burn less. This is why long-term calorie restriction can significantly reduce metabolism. Not only that, but it can also lead to loss of muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active, so this can reduce metabolism even further. This has been repeatedly shown to prevent muscle loss and prevent your metabolism from slowing down during long-term calorie restriction. If you can’t get to a gym, then consider doing some body weight exercises like push ups, squats, sit ups, etc. Doing some cardio like walking, swimming or jogging can also be important. Not so much for weight loss, but for optimal health and general wellbeing. Of course, exercise also has a plethora of other benefits that go way beyond just weight loss… such as a longer life, lower risk of disease, more energy and feeling better every day.
Bottom Line: Lifting weights is important, because it inhibits muscle loss and prevents the metabolic rate from slowing down.
5. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake, Especially Refined Carbs and Sugars
Cutting carbs is a very effective way to lose weight. When people do that, their appetite tends to go down and they eat fewer calories automatically. Studies have shown that eating a low-carb diet until fullness can make you lose about 2-3 times as much weight as a calorie restricted low-fat diet. Not only that, but low-carb diets also have all sorts of other benefits for health, especially for people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. If you stick to real foods, the exact composition of your diet becomes less important.