How Much to Eat in Order to Lose Weight without Risking Your Health
How many calories should I eat to lose weight if it is possible to still look natural? This is a question that a huge number of people have asked themselves. In fact, there are over 2.1 billion people in the world who are obese or overweight.
Losing weight is not only important for your looks but also for your health. Some of the most common health conditions caused by obesity include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart diseases such as heart attack and stroke
- Diabetes type 2
- Certain types of cancer
- Sleep apnea
Because healthy weight loss and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand, getting in shape can help you with various other medical issues. When you start eating a healthy diet, you will stop ingesting all sorts of potentially harmful substances.
For example, if you ditch fast food, you will get rid of unhealthy carbs, simple sugars, and a number of different food additives. That said, choosing a diet regime that’s healthy should be your main goal. Even if you don’t lose weight quickly, you will still maintain or even improve your overall health.
Healthy Diet Equals Healthy Weight Loss
The truth is that there are lots of diets out there that promise a quick weight loss. The problem with them is that a big majority of them simply doesn’t work. There’s an even bigger problem, however, such diets can be very dangerous to your health.
The so-called fad diets can help you lose weight in only a few days. Unfortunately, you won’t lose fat, you will lose water. This is something that can lead to dehydration and a various other issues. So, our advice is to stay away from fads that promise unrealistic results. These include everything from the grapefruit diet, cabbage diet, the sacred heart diet, the Hollywood diet plan, and so on.
Instead, you need to change your diet regime to one that will promote your overall health. If you do that, weight loss will come on its own. So, which diet we suggest? The Mediterranean diet!
This is a diet that’s been proven to promote general health, while recent studies have shown that the people who adhere to this diet also have a much lower body mass index.
What is Mediterranean Diet and Why is it So Good for You?
It is a fact that people living in certain parts of the world live longer than others. For instance, the average life expectancy in Crete is 82 years, which is more than 10 years longer than the world average. Obviously, something like this cannot come by accident.
This is why scientist started investigating the eating habits of people living in Crete but also in other parts of the Mediterranean. They concluded that all of the people in this part of the world have basically the same diet.
The main aspect of the Mediterranean diet is a high consumption of olive oil, which is their main source of fats. When it comes to protein, the staple of this diet is fish but also protein-rich plants such as nuts and legumes. The main sources of carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diet are whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables.
There are all kinds of scientific evidence that this diet is beneficial for the human health. The foods used in this diet are known to help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer, diabetes type 2, Alzheimer’s disease, and so on. On top of everything, the Mediterranean diet is known to help the people who have problems losing fat.
The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
The bottom of the pyramid is made of the foods that are recommended to be included in almost every meal.
Those foods are whole grains, cereals that contain the germ, bran, and endosperm.
The difference between whole grains and refined grains is that the latter contains only the endosperm.
Because of this difference, whole grains are a much better source of dietary fiber, healthy carbs, as well as all kinds of minerals and vitamins.
Some of the cereals that fall into this category of foods include oatmeal, rice, wheat, rye, quinoa, chia, and so on.
Apart from whole grains, the Mediterranean diet also recommends using olive oil in most meals. The main reason is that this type of oil is full of omega healthy acids, which have anti-cancer properties. They also promote the cardiovascular health and even help with weight loss. Another reason why olive oil is one of the best sources of fat is that it’s pretty tasty. But, if you don’t like the taste of olive oil, you can use other types of plant oils, such as canola oil, almond oil, etc.
Fruits and vegetables should also be eaten frequently. The same goes for nuts and legumes, which should be consumed at least once per day. Some of your best choices include hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, chickpea, and so on.
When it comes to the foods of animal origin, your best pick is saltwater fish. You can eat fish like tuna, anchovies, sardines, cod, etc. about 4-5 times a week. It’s a similar case with poultry and eggs. The consumption of red meat should be reduced to at most once a week.
Dairy is a type of food of animal origin that’s recommended to be consumed on a daily basis. Think Greek yogurt, kefir, feta cheese, and so on.
How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight According to the Mediterranean Diet?
If you spent a whole day in bed, you would still burn a certain amount of calories. The so-called Resting Metabolic Rate is the number of calories a person burns each day just to provide enough energy for basic body processes. It amounts to 60% of all the calories burned a day.
According to the scientists, an average person needs to inject between 1,000 and 1,400 calories a day just in order to maintain basic body functions. What this means is that about a thousand calories is the bare minimum you need to ingest each day.
Of course, most people don’t spend their lives sitting and lying in bed all day. This is why the recommended calorie intake is much higher. Most doctors agree that an average woman should eat between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day. An average man needs at least 500 calories more.
What’s more important is where those calories are coming from. If you’re eating a 2k-calorie diet full of sugar, it won’t bring you any good. You need to have a diet, with the right balance between protein, carbs, and fats.
There’s a consensus among doctors and dietitians that the protein intake should be about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight (0.43g per pound). Generally speaking, this amounts to about 75 grams of protein per day for men and 60 grams for women.
When it comes to the daily intake of fat, the rule is that about a quarter of all calories should come from fat. So, if you’re eating 2,000 calories a day, the number of calories coming from fat should be about 500. That accounts to about 50 grams of fat a day.
How many carbs should I eat to lose weight? It is recommended that up to 50% of your daily calorie intake comes from carbohydrates. So, if you’re ingesting about 2k calories a day, you should eat about 250 grams of carbs on an everyday basis.
However, some dietitians suggest that reducing the number of carbs to no more than 100 grams a day would be beneficial for weight loss. Low-carb diets like the Atkins or the keto diet have been proven to work great in terms of fat burning.
Still, we believe that you shouldn’t throw away all carbs out of your diet. Instead, simply replace the bad ones with the good ones. Healthy carbs will improve your overall health but will also make you fill full. This is a property that can help you a lot if you’re feeling hungry while on a diet.
Best Carbs for Weight Loss
Some historians argue that the carbs were essential for the development of the human civilization. They provide us with enough energy to lead an active lifestyle. This is why the human civilization started growing exponentially when agriculture became a common thing.
Carbs are found in all foods of non-animal origin. This is why they’re the foundation of almost every national cuisine in the world. They’re found in cereals, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and so on.
When you ingest carbs, your body breaks them into simple sugars. They then get into your bloodstream providing you with energy. However, if you eat more carbs than your body needs, they will be turned into fat and stored as energy reserves.
But, not all carbs are the same. Some types get turned into simple sugar more easily than the others. In turn, this causes your blood sugar levels to rise and drop quickly. This has an effect on your energy levels but can also have a devastating effect on your metabolism.
Different types of carbs have different effects on the blood sugar levels. The glycemic index or GI is a measure used to rank carbohydrates according to the impact they have on blood sugar. Foods with low GI should be your choice if you want to lose weight. They will not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels but will be slowly digested, providing you with a constant inflow of energy throughout the day.
Here are some low-GI carbs that you should include in your weight-loss diet:
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
- Sweet potato
- Butter beans
- All kinds of nuts
- Non-starchy vegetables (spinach, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
The last food on our list is probably the best source of healthy carbs. Chia has a super-low glycemic index of just 1. Apart from being a great source of healthy carbs, this food is also rich in protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber. It’s genuinely considered a superfood for those looking to lose weight.
Speeding Up the Weight-Loss Process
The answer to the question of “How many calories should I eat to lose weight“ is between 1,500 and 2,000. By creating a calorie deficit, your body will use the stored body fat as energy source. But, simply cutting down the number of calories is not enough – you need to make sure to eat healthy foods in order to ensure your physical well-being.
Unfortunately, the process of healthy weight loss is not quick. People sometimes need months to lose even a single pound of body fat. Luckily, there’s a solution to speed up the process. We’re talking about working out!
Any physical activity will make your body burn calories. And if you don’t eat too much of them, the body will have no other option but to start burning fat. This means that if you work-out hard, you won’t have to starve yourself!
How many calories should I eat to lose weight if I exercise regularly? Well, you need to be careful to be very careful in order to ensure your body gets all it needs. About 2,000 calories seems perfect if you’re leading an active lifestyle, working out moderately on a regular basis.
Actually, it’s not so much about the calories, but about the essential nutrients. If you starve yourself with an unhealthy diet regime, your body won’t get the needed nutrients. As a result, all kinds of diseases may occur. Catabolism is one of the most common medical issues among those who work-out hard while not eating properly. Basically, your body starts using muscle cells as a source of energy as the last resort.
The solution is to eat a healthy diet but also to rest properly. If you haven’t been working out for years, it’s not wise to start with a hardcore exercise regime straight away. It’s best to let your body adapt to the new lifestyle.
Here is a list of some common physical activities, together with the number of calories they burn per hour. Hopefully, this will help you choose the right type of workout for your current condition.
- Slow walk – 255 calories/hour
- Slow cycling – 365 calories/hour
- Low-impact aerobics – 455 calories/hour
- Weightlifting – 455 calories/hour
- Jogging 5 mph – 755 calories/hour
- Swimming – 890 calories/hour
It takes about 20 days to create a habit. So, eating healthy and exercising won’t be easy at first, but if you manage to do it for 3 weeks, you’ll never want to go back. Furthermore, once you start seeing (and feeling) the results of the healthy lifestyle, nothing will be able to take you off this road.