How to do a moderate diet
There is now a bewildering array of diet plans on the market which promise to help you lose weight. It seems like almost every day, a new weight loss product or plan comes out as sure to help you lose weight and look great. The trouble is that many of these diets are crash diets that can help you lose pounds quickly for a short amount of time, and can cause you to not only regain the weight as soon as you are no longer dieting as strictly, but also gain even more weight because your metabolism has received such a shock.
Crash diets do not work, and starvation diets not only fail, they are dangerous as well. Your best chance of losing weight and keeping it off is through a moderate diet which restricts calories, but not to the point of starvation. A moderate diet in conjunction with increased physical activity can help you take off the pounds gradually, without a lot of stress or expense. In addition, your body will not go into starvation mode and try to hang on to its fat reserves, but will start to burn them like a more efficient machine.
First, let’s look at what you really need to lose weight. We may not like calorie counting on a diet, but here are the facts: 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.
It has been calculated by some scientists that reducing your intake by 10 to 20 percent a day could make a significant difference to most people's health, and that if they weeded out their extra calories vigilantly, and ate more fruits and vegetables, they would soon not even feel like they were dieting any longer.
On a moderate diet plan, the goal would be to cut back by 500 calories a day. It would therefore take you a week to lose one pound safely. By adding walking, cycling, 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. Crash diets disrupt the metabolism, so that your body will not use its calories, but try to store them.
To be successful on a 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. Eat everything in moderation, from all of the food groups on the USDA pyramid.
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 hot drink from a popular coffeehouse can carry with it more calories and saturated fat and carbohydrates than an entire large Happy Meal of burger, fries and cola.)
Cooking for yourself and always having healthy snacks on hand like celery and carrot sticks, or peanut butter with whole meal crackers, 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 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.
At some point in your diet, you will reach a plateau, where the scale does not seem to budge no matter what you do. Even worse, it might sometimes start to go back up. This is where a lot of dieters just give up. But if you are aware your plateau will come, then being prepared for it can help you climb to the next level of weight loss and fitness. Add more exercise to your day, and a few more fruits and vegetables, low in calories, but high in fiber. They will help you feel full and still eating low calorie foods.
A 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, if you count your calories and add activity to your life every day.