Thursday, February 05, 2004

Marjorie's Tip For Today: Set Your Calorie Budget

To lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you use. That is the basis of any diet. So, you need to work out your calorie budget - how many calories a day you can eat and lose weight.

Ignore anyone who tells you to eat a really low calorie diet (and that includes some of the advice given in 'Vegetarian Slimming' - we love it for the recipes, not the advice). You won't stick to it for very long. The best thing is to find out how many calories a day you need to maintain your current weight, then eat less. There's a table in the 'Calorie, Carb and Fat Bible' (see Fat Fighters Book Club) or you can use the free trial at Weightloss Resources to find out your 'maintenance calories'.

Once you know this, how much less than this should you eat? These figures show the approximate weight loss you can expect by eating less than your maintenance calories ....

250 less = losing 0.5 lb a week
500 less = losing 1lb a week
750 less = 1.5 lb a week
1000 less = 2 lb a week

Don't aim to lose more than 1 - 2 lb a week on average (some weeks you may lose more, some weeks less, but it's the average loss that really matters). Slowly, steadily and healthily are the keys to losing weighsuccessfullyly and keeping it off in the long term.

I wouldn't recommend eating less than 1500 calories a day, either, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose. Many people find that they can usually eat around 1500 cals a day without feeling hungry, if they eat a sensible and balanced diet.

No comments: