It is estimated that 45 million Americans go on a diet each year.  Given the current levels of obesity in this country, we can clearly say that the success rate is low.
We want you to give up on the word "diet" altogether. Not only does this word have negative connotations, it usually means that you only do it for a short time, often with the goal of keeping calories as low as possible.
"This makes nutritionists like us scream On the rooftops, this strict restriction of calorie intake – also called diets – is not the answer," says registered dietician Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., in the Foundations of Fitness Nutrition course Bodybuilding.com. "Yes, cutting calories leads to weight loss, many diets initially reduce the amount of calories to a minimum, and they get results, but not forever."
If you stop receiving these short-term results, you can continue to underrate yourself. You feel awful, pull through (or skip) workouts, and set yourself up for disappointment.
You need a more strategic approach than just eating less. And it starts with how you think. Rather than thinking of food as a constraint, imagine the food you put into your body as fuel for the healthy lifestyle you build.
For many people, the required changes are not as big as you think, says Hewlings. You just get great results:
- Replace your usual high-calorie or sugary drink with calorie-free liquids or reduce the amount you drink.
- Create a daily "problem meal" plan where you are most likely to overeat or eat fast food, not nutrients like low-fat protein or whole-grain products.
"Maybe lunch is your weak point because you leave the house hurriedly and do not pack or because your work colleagues like to dine out, maybe it's dinner because you have not eaten all day and come home exhausted, maybe that's it Breakfast is a sugar bomb and has been since childhood, "explains Hewlings. "No matter which meal is the biggest problem, the remedy – and only it – can be a big win, which is better, requires far less work than trying to cook each meal at once, and in many cases, it's like that How to prioritize protein in a meal that would otherwise be empty calories. "
Speaking of calories: Yes, they definitely matter if you want to lose weight! However, before you begin cutting, you must first identify where you are and simply follow the way you eat now. Even if you only do so for a short time, it can make a big difference in the long term, says registered dietician Paul Salter in the article, "Do You Want to Lose Fat Before You Change Something, Do It."
Tracking your diet can, as Salter says, help in a number of ways, including:
- Helps you see portions as decisions, not just something served to you
- ] hidden calories "in your diet that you might not have seen otherwise
For some people, having this information is enough to make a meaningful change, but for many others it can be helpful to provide them with a scientifically proven Compare Calorie Recommendation as found in Bodybuilding.com's Free Calorie Consumption Calculator.
Use this calculator to estimate how many calories you burn during the day through both normal body functions and other activities and exercises. Then you will receive a targeted calorie intake.
Why should you even be concerned with numbers? Because many of us overestimate, underestimate or flatten how much we weigh or exercise – even though we do not realize we're doing that. And even if you are honest with the calculator, it does not mean that the number is 100 percent accurate! In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that this is not the case. But it's a good start.
Once you've set your daily calorie goal, follow it on to see if you need to adjust your calorie intake slightly (not too much!) Because you're not losing body fat.