There is now a dazzling array of diet plans on the market which promise to help you lose weight. It seems like almost every day, a new expert is coming out with a yet another foolproof way to lose weight and stay healthy.
Yet the sad fact is that in America and around the globe, there have never been so many overweight and obese people. It is estimated that more than six out of 10 Americans is overweight, despite the dieting industry being a multibillion dollar one.
Everything from pills, powders, drinks, herbal supplements, meal replacement bars, and even body wraps and irrigation solutions for your colon, are touted as the perfect way to lose weight.
It can leave a dieter feeling confused, miserable, desperate, and broke.
The good news is that you really don't need a lot of money or diet products to be able to lose weight. A mild or moderate diet can help you take off the pounds gradually, without a lot of stress or expense. If you add a bit of additional physical activity to your daily routine, the pounds will come off even faster.
First, let’s look at what you really need to lose weight. Keeping your eye on the prize in your diet will help you shed those pounds.
So, here is the math: 2000 calories=1 pound gained. 3500 calories=1 pound lost.
The average recommended daily allowance of calories for a woman in the US is 2000. The average for a man is 2500.
So let's look at a mild diet.
If you reduce your calorie intake by 200 calories a day, it will take you 17.5 days to lose one pound.
However, if you start to increase your level of physical activity a few times a week, through walking around the block before dinner, or taking out your bike, you can burn an extra 1500 to 2000 calories a week.
On a moderate diet plan, if you cut back by 500 calories a day, it would take you a week to lose one pound, and by walking faster, or swimming every other day you could burn about 2500 to 3500 calories a week.
Any realistic diet plan will tell you that you can never expect to lose more than 2 pounds a week safely. Aiming for more than that is to doom yourself to failure before you even start.
If the body is starved of calories and nutrition while on a diet, it will react by hanging on even harder to its fat reserves, making it even more difficult for you to diet in order to lose weight.
To be successful on a mild to moderate diet, don't skip meals, starve yourself, or deny yourself foods on your diet that will then make you feel deprived and upset if you don't have them.
Keep a food diary every day in a notebook or online. There are many handy free online calorie calculators and food trackers to help you see your patterns and try to cut out any empty calories you might be consuming (even one small beverage from a popular coffeehouse can carry with it more calories and saturated fat than an entire large Happy Meal of burger, fries and cola!)
Cooking for yourself and always having healthy snacks on hand will also help you stay on track with your diet and trim calories each day.
In addition, adding activity to your daily routine can speed up the success of your mild or moderate diet. Leave the car at home and walk or cycle to work. Don't take the elevator, take the stairs-even going down them will burn calories, and exercise different muscles at the same time. If you go shopping with your car, park it some distance away from the entrance to the store, to force yourself to walk more.
A mild to moderate diet will work just as well, if not better, for weight loss than a "crash diet," and leave you open to success, not failure, in your bid to lose weight.