Exhausting workouts, tasteless food, caloric restrictions, stress, and no joy – that’s the picture we see in our head when thinking about weight loss. However, it’s quite a distorted vision, which keeps people away from a healthy and strong body. In reality, weight loss isn’t as terrifying, it is just a way to improve the quality of your life through carefully selected workouts and changes in the menu. A balanced daily menu is rich in vitamins, macro-, and microelements, and most importantly, it’s delicious! Let’s discover all the ways of compiling a tasty and healthy menu to promote weight loss.
Why do you need to count calories?
“I eat almost nothing, yet keep gaining weight” – it’s quite a typical phrase to hear among those who are desperate about their weight. If there are no health issues, especially related to hormonal changes, then ‘almost nothing’ is just underestimated in terms of caloric load.
Calorie counting isn’t the most pleasant moment of weight loss, however, it is important to learn the nutritional value of the food you consume. Every time you wonder how to lose 15 pounds in a month, or how to lose fat from the thighs, make sure you don’t overeat.
First of all, it is important to have a food diary, making notes of everything consumed during the day, My Fitness Pall, My Plate Calorie Counter, Calorie Counter – My NET Diary – are helpful apps that provide you with comprehensive calorie trackers, and give an insight into the real calorie consumptions, letting you see the big picture.
How many calories do you need per day?
The number of calories recommended per day is defined by the BMR (basal metabolic rate) – the energy your body needs for functioning, and the level of activity – the lower the level, the fewer calories are required. You can use online calculators, or follow the formula:
|Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)|
|For men: 66.47 + (6.24 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) − (6.75 × age in years)For women: 65.51 + (4.35 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) – (4.7 × age in years)|
|Sedentary lifestyle||Little to no exercise||BMR x 1.2|
|Minimally active lifestyle||1-3 times a week||BMR x 1.375|
|Moderately active lifestyle||3-5 times a week||BMR x 1.55|
|Very active lifestyle||6-7times a week||BMR x 1.725|
|Extra active lifestyle||Two or three workouts a day||BMR x 1.9|
By defining the BMR, you count the number of calories which are required for maintaining the proper work of all the systems of your body. This is the critical level of calories, and consuming less will be detrimental to your health and well-being on the whole.
The ‘additional’ portion of calories is given to cover your calorie expenditure for the activities and effective weight loss exercise. Considering that the majority of us have a rather sedentary lifestyle, the numbers aren’t high.
How to modify the menu and lose weight?
A healthy menu is a delicious menu with a balanced amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It boosts energy levels allowing you to perform during the day.
- Don’t feed your demons
The very first modification, and probably, the most efficient one, is to stop eating to satisfy your emotional hunger. How many times have you started munching something just because you felt bored, tired, stressed, or angry? Every time when you take something to your mouth, ask yourself if you really want to eat, or if you want to feel the taste of food. Emotional hunger is responsible for 30-50% of extra weight.
- No starvation
The logic behind starvation is quite simple:
less food in ➡️ fewer calories consumed➡️calorie deficit➡️weight loss
Bingo! Yet, it doesn’t work, you can lose weight without starving or adding harmful supplements for fast loss of weight.
The first cramps will appear after 5-7 hours without food, increasing the level of gastric juice and making the minutes seem unbearable. Then you just give up, eating up everything on your way, and then, feeling guilty for being not strong enough.
Besides, if you start the periods of starvation, and even manage to lose some pounds, they will quickly get back to you once you start your typical nutrition. It is important to remember that safe weight loss for women isn’t the same as quick and safe weight loss.
- Add some colors to the meals
Peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cornichons, olives – what can be better than a plate of veggies, full of vitamins and microelements? Besides, they quickly fill up your stomach, and you feel full. If you add a piece of chicken and a whole-grain piece of bead – you will have a filling, tasty and healthy lunch.
- Don’t stock a lot of food
Just don’t, especially some sweets, or crisps, or any other kind of snacks. When you know that you can’t control your appetite, keeping such treats everywhere is just unreasonable and too tempting, especially if you work from home.
- Add proteins to your menu
Protein is one of the three main macros of our body, along with fats and carbs. It is responsible for building our lean mass, and keeping us full for a longer time, thus reducing the number of meals per day.
Just do an experiment – eat a piece of cake (100 gr), and record the time until the next moment you feel hungry. After that, eat some chicken meat, or turkey (keeping the same weight) with a salad and record the time as well.
The difference will be obvious – protein-rich food will keep you full for a longer time, bringing significantly fewer calories; a piece of cake, full of fats and carbs, will triple the number of calories, yet the feeling of hunger will get back soon.
- Reduce the hidden sugar intake
Reduce, the amount of hidden sugar, as it is practically everywhere. While we think that we consume sugar only with sweets, we actually have it in practically every kind of processed food.
- Do not make dramatic restrictions
The stricter the rules, the more tempting it is to break them. Don’t cut down on everything that you like, just limit your intake. If you suddenly stop eating all the sweets, you will be at risk of breaking loose after a few days.
Weight loss shouldn’t be taken as just another diet changes for weight loss and constant struggles with yourself. It’s a desire to change the lifestyle and eating habits. Effective women’s weight loss is about creating a calorie deficit – burning more energy than consuming it.
Diet and exercise for women go hand in hand. Unless you modify your diet and tame your emotional hunger, the changes will be barely possible. Pluck up your courage and step by step move towards your goal. Once you start and enjoy your changes, weight loss will never become a burden again.