People lose weight for many different reasons:
- Appearance: They want to look, fitter, more attractive or healthier, or simply feel more confident in their bodies.
- Confidence and body image: People who carry excess weight may feel self-conscious about it.
- Overall health: They want to become healthier, live longer, and avoid developing diseases associated with obesity and overweight.
There are thousands of different diet plans on the market that make amazing weight-loss claims.
Some are evidence-based, safe and effective, but others are not. Most health professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists agree that the best results tend to come from combining a healthful, weight-reduction diet with physical activity, especially in the long term.
Fast facts on losing weight
Here are some key points about losing weight. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- To lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you consume.
- A balanced diet and exercise combined are a healthful and effective way to lose weight.
- An adult aged 31 to 50 years should consume 2,200 to 2,400 calories or less each day.
- Crash diets may have short-term results but are unlikely to be successful in the long run.
- Sleeping for 7 or 8 hours a day may help with weight loss.
- Bariatric surgery should be a last resort.
The number of calories per day you should consume to lose weight depends on several factors, including your sex, how much you want to lose, how quickly you want to lose it and your age.
Age 19 to 30 years
- Sedentary: 1,800 to 2,000
- Moderately active: 2,000 to 2,200
- Active: 2,400
Age 31-50 years
- Sedentary: 1,800
- moderately active: 2,400-2,600
- Active: 2,200
Age 51+ years
- Sedentary: 1,600
- Moderately active: 1,800
- Active: 2000 to 2,200
If you want to lose weight, you would have to consume less than the amounts listed above. The less you consume, the faster you lose. However, it is important to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet so that you do not become ill, or lose lean tissue (muscle). Ideally, you should check with a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor.
In some regimes, dieters consume 1,200 calories per day if they are female and 1,500 if they are male. However, do not try to do this yourself without the supervision of a trained expert.
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