By the use of relatively simple math, you can custom-devise a weight loss diet for yourself.
This is based on calories. Nothing fancy. Any bookstore can sell you a book that gives you the caloric content of ordinary foods. Or you can just look it up online.
Most processed foods (sold in cans or boxes) have the caloric content listed on the side. Be sure to pay attention to the "SERVING SIZE," since a can of chili will tell you there are 210 carlories PER SERVING, but there are two servings per can (do you know anybody who has ever eaten a half a can of chili?).
Other foods, such as carrots and apples, you can look up. Soon you'll memorize the numbers, though; an average apple is 125 calories; carrots have 156 calories PER POUND. You can snack on carrots all day long and still be "on your diet."
You'll need to remember two numbers: 13 and 3600.
(1) The average sedentary adult requires 13 calories per day per pound of body weight to maintain his weight. In other words, if I weigh 200 pounds, and I eat an average of 2600 calories per day, I will not gain weight nor lose weight. Six months later, I'll still weigh 200 pounds.
|(2) A pound of body fat is equal to 3600 calories.||
The simplest "exercise program" in the world is walking. In the evening, after work, at a time when there's nothing good on TV, put on some comfortable shoes and walk out your front door. Look at your watch, and select a time interval (30 minutes, or 45 minutes) for your walk. Divide that number of minutes in half. Start walking (AWAY from your house). At the halfway mark, turn around and walk back home.
You don't have to join a club or pay membership dues. You don't have to "go anywhere" or dress up; your "exercise area" is right outside your home.
So: let's suppose that you're that 200-pound man, and you want to lose down to 165 pounds, and you want to do that in four months. We're all in a hurry to lose weight, but the longer you diet, the easier it is, because you don't have to reduce your daily caloric intake so severely. "Quick weight loss" is more painful.
The math works like this:
If you weren't on a diet, you'd eat 2600 calories per day for 120 days. 2600 x 120 = 312,000. That would be your NORMAL caloric intake for that period.
You're going to lose 35 pounds; a pound equals 3600 calories; 35 x 3600 = 126,000. That's how many calories you have to "cut out" over the next 120 days.
Therefore, instead of eating 312,000 calories over the next 120-day period, you'll eat only 186,000 calories (312,000 - 126,000 = 186,000).
186,000 calories over a period of 120 days = 1550 calories per day. That is your weight loss diet.
During the 120 days, you can eat anything you want, as long as it doesn't go over 1550 calories per day. If you overdo it one day, you can make up for it the next day by eating less than 1550 calories. You may even "plan ahead" for days when you know they're bringing bagels to the office.
You can set it up so that you eat 1808 calories six days out of the week and then fast on Sunday ... as long as the net effect is that you eat a total of no more than 186,000 calories over the 120-day period.
One more item: at the end of the 120 days, you won't weigh 165, you'll weigh 161. That's because when you lose weight this way, you also lose about four pounds of fluid (water).
You'll find that after a while, your "appestat" adjusts itself so that the hunger isn't so bad. And your biochemistry adjusts (by slowing down) so that you don't burn calories quite as fast as you used to; you're in somewhat of a "starvation mode."
1. Don't keep any junk food/empty-calorie food in the house. Go through your refrigerator, your freezer, and your cupboard and throw it all out. Yes, it's okay to throw away food (even if you were raised Southern Baptist).
2. Weigh yourself once a week, not every day. You're in for the long haul. What happens in one day, or two days, doesn't mean anything.
3. Don't cheat. If you're absolutely starving at the end of the day, and you've used up all your calories, find a 100-calorie snack. Drink 12 ounces of V8 juice. Keep some raw carrots on hand for such "emergencies." Another good snack is celery dipped in low-calorie salad dressing.
4. Buy a food scale. A good one costs less than $20. Saltine crackers are 12 calories EACH; don't weigh them, count them.
5. Find an old photo of yourself when you were thin, and hang it up near your mirror.
6. Repeat this mantra at least once per day: "There is no food on earth that can make me feel as good as being thin."
7. Think of hunger as a friend, a constant companion, an indicator that you're doing what you should be doing.
8. Avoid restaurants. At a restaurant, THEY control the ingredients and the portions, not you. Before you go out to eat at a restaurant, go online and look up the caloric content of the stuff on the menu (for instance, shrimp primavera from The Olive Garden is 730 calories if you get it for dinner. It's less if it's the lunch portion).
9. Don't expect your weight loss to be "linear" (3 pounds a week, every week, for instance). Biology doesn't work that way. Stay the course. Keep to the code.
10. Hot cereals, the kind you cook yourself, that have no sugar in them, are very filling and very good for you (all that roughage). Find one you like, and eat it regularly.
11. Remember that milk and fruit juices are very high in calories (100-150 calories per cup). They're nutritious, but "expensive."
12. Remember that (as the French say)