Everyone’s looking for a weight–loss magic bullet, but the true way to trim down is to control your calories.
Like most people, you've probably heard a lot of weight–loss "wisdom” such as “cut the carbs," "avoid fat," and "pack in the protein." Then there are the many trendy diet plans: the cabbage soup diet, goji berry diet, egg diet, the juice diet, you name it! Some of these might help you lose weight in the short term. But staying on many of them can damage your metabolism — not to mention leave you bored and hungry from their limited menus!
There are also the diet plans you can buy, which typically come with prepackaged foods. While these can be a good way to learn about portion control and may be more balanced in terms of vitamins and minerals, they can be expensive.
So how can you lose weight? Use more calories than you're consuming. It really is that simple. And the two proven ways to do this? Eat less and exercise more. Keep things simple by making sensible choices on a day–to–day basis.
So where do you start? The first thing to do is to see your doctor and learn how many calories you need each day. From there, you can work backward to see how many calories you can safely cut to lose weight at a sensible rate.
Something you can do right now is learn about your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is the ratio of your weight to your height, and the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) online Body Mass Calculator is a handy tool.
You can also start thinking about your caloric balance. Here's a simple explanation from the CDC:If you are...
Lastly, don’t forget to exercise! When you don't exercise, you place the entire burden of weight loss on your diet. Being more active means that you can eat more of the things you like and still lose weight. The key is finding an exercise you enjoy. And whatever you do, try to get one hour of exercise each day. Every step toward healthier living is a step in a good direction.