The key to choosing a diet that will help you lose weight is simple.
Eat fewer calories than your body needs, or burn them up through exercise, and you will lose weight. It’s that easy.
All the food and drink you take into your body (apart from water) contains calories, and over a day, those calories can add up to a large number.
What you have to do, when you’re thinking about healthy weight loss diets, is make sure you consume less calories than your body needs to maintain its weight. Do that consistently, and you will lose weight.
Healthy Weight Loss Diets: Calculate Your Daily Calorie Maintenance Level
First step is to work out how many calories a day you need in order to keep your body weight where it is now – neither gaining, nor losing.
Use this Daily Calorie Maintenance Level Calculator.
Once you know your daily calorie maintenance level, you can do a simple sum to find out what how many calories you can eat to lose weight. Simply subtract 500 calories from your maintenance level.
So, if your maintenance level is 2000, if your total of calories every day measured by what you eat, less the amount you burn in exercise, is 1500 (2000-500), over a week you’ll lose 1 lb of fat.
We know this, because a pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories, so cutting out 500 calories a day for 7 days gives you a total of 3500.
What to Eat on Healthy Weight Loss Diets
Here are some tips to help you create your own daily diet to help you lose weight.
Use our free calorie calculator to find out the calorie content of the food and drink you include in your diet.
Make sure you’re getting the right kinds of healthy foods. Your daily diet should include:
Protein Healthy proteins include lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs and egg whites, pulses and legumes, nuts (but these are also high in fats, so check the calorie content carefully).
Carbohydrates Look for sources of carbs which contain wholegrain, like wholewheat pasta and bread. Other healthy carbs include oatmeal, pulses and beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
Just as important, is cutting out unhealthy carbs – the junk foods.
Stay away from foods that contain refined white flour, and high levels of fat and sugar – like pastries, cakes, cookies, sweets and confectionery, pies, potato chips, salted crackers and so on. These foods pile on the calories and contain very little nutritional value.
Cut them out of your diet permanently, if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
Fats About one-quarter of your daily weight loss diet should be made up of fat.
Of course, you need to avoid the unhealthy fats (trans fats and saturated fats) found in junk foods and full-fat dairy produce.
Instead, go for healthy fats like olive oil, oily fish like salmon, and nuts. You can also include low-fat dairy products like skim milk and low fat cheeses in your diet.
Take it gradually Try spreading your calories over several small healthy weight loss meals during the day, rather than three large ones. That way, you’ll never get hungry and your blood sugar levels will stay constant.
Remember that regular exercise will make you feel better and help burn off calories. It’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t beat yourself up if you sometimes eat an unhealthy food or exceed your calorie allowance. You’ll find it easier to stick to healthy weight loss diets if you introduce changes gradually rather than completely changing your diet over night.