Need for a Low Calorie Diet
Anyone would love to stay in tip-top shape, be healthy and be on the right weight. From the thousands, if not hundreds, of diets introduced in the market, low calorie is perhaps one of the most popular types of diets that most people follow in order to lose weight. A lot of people have claimed that low calorie diet plans are indeed effective and have worked for them but there have been concerns regarding its side effects on long-term weight loss control and in the general health of the person engaged in the diet.
The question now is, is Low Calorie diet a really helpful tool towards becoming healthy and shedding off weight? To answer this question, read along to find out more about what low calorie diets are really about, how it works, it’s health benefits and it’s down sides as well.
What is a Low Calorie Diet?
Low Calorie diet is a diet for weight loss that is done by restricting a person from consuming foods that contain calories. The main thought here is that, if a person burns more calories compared to the amount of calories consumed, the body then turns to the fats stored to use it for energy thus eventually losing weight. Low Calorie diets are also used for other reasons other than weight loss.
It may also be used for people who needs weight management to avoid or to cure a current health disease but most of the time it is used by people who wants to shred those extra pounds. On a regular basis, people consume around 2,000 calories each day but when on a low calorie diet, around 1,500-1,800 calories is being consumed per day. Some people even go the extra mile and eat below 1,500 calories; this is called very low calorie diet but it is a different case.
What are Low Calorie Diets for?
As mentioned earlier, low calorie diets are mainly used for weight loss. According to health experts, 1 pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories (1 lb. of fat = 3,500 calories). So if a person loses 500 calories every day, a weight loss of 1 pound every seven days can occur. Low calorie diets may also be recommended for people who have slow metabolisms and those who do not do much physical activity. A diet that has less than 2,000 calories a day can already help a person stay in a healthy weight range. Because men and women have different metabolisms, the recommended lower daily limit on low calorie diet for women is 1,200 calories and 1,500 calories for men.
Why do people get into Low Calorie Diets?
At this point, you now understand that low calorie diets are mainly used by people who wants to lose weight but it is also followed by those who wants to have a nutritionally balanced diet making sure that they stay on a healthy weight. But because a low calorie diet like any other diets involves making changes to our bodies, it is highly recommended that a person first seeks health expert’s opinion on this particularly a dietician for that matter.
Basically, a low calorie diet involves consumption of less than 2,000 calories in a day. This type of diet is often recommended to people who suffer from obesity or are overweight. Low calorie diets are not recommended for children and pregnant women. It will only be allowed if a person is recommended to do so by a dietician after a thorough assessment of the person’s nutritional intake. Low calorie diets also come in different forms because it is mainly based on an individual’s need.
How is Low Calorie Diet helpful?
A Low Calorie diet definitely has a number of advantages to its followers. When it is used moderately and gradually decreasing calories, a low calorie diet is perhaps one of the healthiest ways to shed off those extra pounds. You get the advantage of choosing different kinds of food while getting the utmost nutrition needed. Apart from this, there are lots of other things that makes low calorie diet helpful to people who follow and its benefits are as follows:
- Helps slow down aging process
- Dieters can lose 4-7 pounds in a week
- Dieters becomes conscious of health thus eating healthy foods
- Aids in preventing diseases such as hypertension, stroke and other heart diseases
- Increases life span based on other research conducted
- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Lessens risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Helps improve sleep pattern
The great thing about low calorie diets is that it is very easy to follow just so long as you can measure your food proportion and know what to add and subtract and everything else is easy to do. You just need to make sure that you keep track of your daily caloric intake to ensure that you are on the right road towards a healthier you.
Another advantage of following a low calorie diet is that you need not restrict yourself to any types of food. The reason for this is because what are being taken note of here is your daily caloric intake and not the type of food you will be eating. The key here is if you splurge on a certain food, say for example ice cream that basically has around 300 calories, you may need to adjust your caloric intake on the next meal you will be eating.
How can Low Calorie Diet be harmful?
There has been lots of research done to finding out what the adverse effects of low calorie diets are. Like any other diets, low calorie diets also have side effects. One of the most prominent result which is a negative effect of low calorie diet is the formation of gallstones and is mostly found among people who lose more than 3 pounds a week. People who are above 60 years old should keep away from low calorie diets because it increases risk of hip fracture. Other negative effects of low calorie diet are:
- Temporary weakness – usually occurs among people who lose weight rapidly
- For people who are used to eating large proportions of food, a low calorie diet might be hard to adapt as it entails a dieter to eat smaller portions of food
- Fatigue, diarrhea and nausea are often the common side effects of the diet but will gradually disappear
- Even if a dieter has completed the whole low calorie diet program, if there is no change in lifestyle and eating habits, regaining weight easily may happen.
Now that you know how a low calorie diet can be helpful or harmful, there is that conclusion that the diet can be free from all these harmful effects as long as the nutritional needs are met and that the weight loss process is not done rapidly.
After a low calorie diet plan, a person may need to place him/herself in a long term weight maintenance program to keep that healthy weight but this won’t be necessary if a person has the discipline and will to stay healthy and in good shape. Being on a healthy weight can improve many aspects of a person’s life. A low calorie diet is perhaps one of the easiest diets to follow as long there’s proper guidance and of course, exercise.