Above all, according to the United States Dairy Association’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a woman between the ages of 26 and 50, who is moderately active should need about 2,000 calories every day. Regrettably, how many calories you burn each day is difficult to estimate and depends of things like your age, height, sex, and how active you are.
Because one pound of body fat is roughly 3,500 calories, to lose one pound in one week you need to avoid eating about 500 calories each day of the week. So if you need 2,000 calories daily to maintain your weight, to lose one pound in a week, you will have to get by on 1,500 calories each day of that week.
Sounds easy right! However, when you start running a 500 calorie deficit, your body thinks there is a famine. As a result, the body starts shutting down unnecessary activities so that you can survive the famine by reducing the body’s metabolic rate. Consequently, instead of burning fat, you end up losing muscle tissue and/or lean tissue. Furthermore, you start having mood swings, and you start feeling hungry, get intense cravings for food which in turn makes you irritable.
Meanwhile, because a 500 calorie deficit may be too much stress on your body, it makes it very difficult for you to sustain that deficit. In fact, a more realistic alternative is to plan on losing half a pound each week or 250 calories each day. So instead of a 1,500 calorie diet, you end up on a 1,750 calorie diet, which is a much more reasonable number. Consequently, you may lose four pounds if you maintained that diet for 8 weeks. As a result, you may be motivated to continue with the diet, and at some point in the near future reach your target weight.
However, avoid counting calories because counting calories is next to impossible to do. Besides counting calories creates stress, which, in turn releases the hormone cortisol and you to end up with more belly fat.
A better approach is to change your diet and eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. In fact spinach, broccoli, and fruits are low in calories and they will satisfy your urge to eat. Also, don’t forget to cut back your portion sizes. Finally, getting some aerobic or cardio exercises like speed walking, jogging, riding bicycle will help you burn calories and fat.
Furthermore, to help you reach your goal, research has shown that weighing yourself frequently actually helps you lose weight. In fact, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine reported weighing yourself daily makes you more likely to lose weight. Meanwhile, the study was based on 1,042 adults with an average age of 47. Moreover, these adults weighed or did not weighed themselves as they normally did. And, after a year, adults who never weighed themselves or only weighed themselves once a week or so, didn’t lose any weight. While, adults who weighed themselves six or seven times a week lost nearly 2% of their body weight.
Especially noteworthy, weighing yourself every day helps you keep a close eye on your weight. Consequently, you can relate the scale readings to what you ate or that you went to the gym.
Meanwhile, weighing yourself every day isn’t for everyone. And, in particular, people struggling with their weight, body image, or battling eating disorders. For them, looking at the scale, could bring about anxiety and even depression. Or, even other unhealthy patterns like not eating enough or binge eating. Finally, daily weighing is too much for those with a history of disordered eating.