A low calorie diet is typically one you follow to eat fewer calories than your need. Some rules of the thumb for weight management are the following: You maintain your weight when calories consumed equal calories burnt.
You will gain weight when calories consumed are more than calories burnt. You will lose weight when calories consumed are lesser than calories burnt.
Write in a daily food diary to help you keep track of the food you eat and your calorie intake. Consult a dietitian to guide you how to eat right to manage your weight and maintain good health.
Oftentimes, people starve themselves to lose weight and then just get fed up, give up and stuff themselves with food and go on a binge eating spree.
To avoid these unhealthy yo-yo’s which can play havoc with your health, it’s a great idea to know how to ‘eat healthily’ and ‘eat right’. What is eating the right low calorie diet all about?
A healthy weight loss happens when you lose 1-2 pounds a week.
You can achieve this by cutting down 500 calories from your current daily food intake. On a low calorie diet, we are tempted to complete eliminate some foods e.g. go on a fat free diet and eat too much of other food groups e.g. fruits and vegetables.
It is not advisable to go completely fat free or drastically reduce food intake.
Drastic low calorie diets play havoc on health as they result in haggard looking and wrinkly skin, vitamin and mineral deficiencies which affect health adversely.
Low fat, low calorie, high fiber foods, carbohydrate and protein rich foods are advised by dietitians for a steady weight loss.
A low calorie diet should be followed only with guidance from a dietitian or nutritionist. Low calorie diet foods are whole grains, wholesome fruits, vegetables and salads, beans and seeds, lean meat, skimmed milk and its products.
Beverages like herb teas, green tea, vegetable juices, water are healthy low calorie alternatives than their sweetened alternatives, sodas and even fruit juices.
- Low calorie foods Fibrous fruits (e.g. orange, apple, pear)
- Seeds (e.g. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
- Vegetables (e.g. Lettuce, leafy vegetables, onions, tomatoes)
- Lentils and beans
- Skim milk Low fat cheeses (e.g. mozzarella, Monterey jack)
High Calorie foods have concentrated calories and are usually low in nutrients specifically vitamins and minerals.
High calorie foods are high fat high sugar foods like desserts, pastries, chocolates, fried snacks.
A low calorie diet is useful for overweight and obese people for weight management.
Foods which are low in calories are usually high in nutrients and provide a lot of healthy nutrition. For example, a soup is low in calories but rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Even when you follow a low calorie diet, make sure you seek help from a dietitian or nutrition specialist to ensure you are getting adequate supply of proteins, iron, vitamins and minerals in your daily diet.