If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have decided to start a diet to lose weight, reduce fat, and overall recontour your body lines, you may have started searching the internet to find effective weight loss diets. This can lead to information overload as there are literally tens of millions of pages written about dieting in just the English language search results alone. If you aren’t trying to find out about a specific weight loss diet, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with a few basic dieting concepts.
Dieting Fundamentals to Help You Get Started
Here are several suggestions to help you start a good diet that suits your needs.
- Know the difference between weight loss, fat reduction, and slimming. Weight reduction is an outcome of losing fat. If you’re trying to improve your look, your goal should be fat reduction or slimming.
- Weight will fluctuate throughout the day. You will accumulate and shed water during your day-to-day activities. What you weigh in the morning, for instance, can be several pounds different than what you weigh at night. With this in mind, avoid wearing shoes or clothes when you’re weighing yourself.
- The same diet may yield different results between two individuals.
- Not all diets work the same. Find the proper diet for you.
- A calorie-neutral diet is one where your body burns the number of calories you intake on a daily basis.
What Is a Calorie Neutral Diet, and Why Should You Consider Starting One?
Your daily calorie balance can be positive, negative, or neutral. A calorie-positive state means that you’ve taken in more calories than you’re able to metabolize. A calorie-negative state means burning more calories than you’re taking in. Finally, a calorie-neutral state means that you have only consumed the amount you will burn through your essential body functions and exercise.
If you’re already at your ideal weight, you should strive for a calorie-neutral state. In a calorie-positive state, your body will store the excess calories as fat. If you are in a calorie-negative state, your body will start to draw energy from your stored fat, and you will lose weight.
Calorie-neutral diets are a simple and effective way to reduce or maintain weight. Here are some of the advantages of a calorie neutral diet:
- It’s easy to understand – You only have to track your calorie intake and your calorie usage. There are many free tracking apps that can help you with this.
- You can make small offsets with exercise – Exercise doesn’t allow you to eat whatever you want, but you can offset a few hundred extra calories with some additional exercise.
- It’s healthy – You can get lose or maintain weight without sacrificing nutrition.
- You can choose calorie-negative foods – This will help you burn your calories and lose weight even faster.
How to Calculate a Calorie Deficit
There are many free and premium apps that you can use to calculate a calorie deficit, but it’s really not difficult to do manually if you gain extra motivation from writing things down. To calculate your calorie deficit:
1. Calculating Your Dietary Intake
The easiest way to do this is to input individual food items into a tracking app. Some restaurants will helpfully post the calorie count of their menu items.
2. Calculating Your Maintenance Calories
You will need to know how many calories your body needs to maintain its weight. A simple formula for calculating your daily maintenance calories is to multiply your pounds by 15. 15 is the number of calories required to maintain a pound if you’re moderately active. If you’re a bit more sedentary, you may need a lower multiplier, like 13 or 14. If you’re active, then use a slightly higher one.
3. Estimating Excercise Calories
If you know how many calories your exercise burns, you can use those totals for the calories deficit calculation. However, as with foods, there are many apps that also calculate calorie burns for different types of exercise.
4. Calculate the Deficit
Your deficit (or surplus) will be your Dietary Intake minus Maintenance Calories minus Exercise Calories.
Negative-Calorie Foods That You Should Be Eating
Certain foods will give you a bigger bang for your caloric buck. In other words, they make you feel fuller without driving up your calorie intake. Many foods have the added benefit of making your body work harder to digest them, which is beneficial for weight loss. Negative-calorie foods can be extraordinarily helpful when dieting since they provide you with essential nutrients but require more energy to digest than it provides. Many types of fruits and vegetables are negative-calorie foods. Examples include grapes, apples, pears, berries, some citrus, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, etc.
You can lower the net calorie intake of meals by combining lean proteins and grains with negative-calorie vegetables. For instance, eating chicken breast in a spinach salad takes a low calorie-positive food, like chicken, and combining it with a calorie-negative food reduces the overall impact of the meal.
Alternative Fat Reduction Techniques
One of the frustrating realities about dieting is that, even when successful, it often doesn’t yield the results we want. That’s because most people are trying to rid themselves of unwanted fatty deposits. If you lose weight and tighten muscles via diet and exercise but still don’t look the way you thought you would, you may need to consider a fat reduction procedure. Fortunately, there are a few non-invasive fat reduction techniques that are safe, effective, and painless.
Laser fat removal, for instance, targets fat cells below the skin with a low-intensity laser. The laser bores a small pore in the cell wall. Depending on the process, the laser will either kill the fat cell or simply emulsify the fats inside and allow it to drain. With a cold laser fat removal technique, like Emerald Laser by Erchonia, the laser allows the fat cells to remain alive. This is considered a superior outcome. With hot laser techniques or fat freezing, the cell dies. If the patient later gains weight, it could concentrate the fat in other areas, including around the organs. This is an undesirable and potentially dangerous result.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dieting
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about dieting and calorie-neutral diets in particular. If you are seeking professional advice about how to start a diet, contact your physician or a nutritionist.
How Much Weight Can I Lose With a Calorie-Neutral Diet?
The amount of weight you can safely lose with any diet is dependent upon the amount of excess fat you are carrying. The goal of a calorie-neutral diet, however, is to maintain your body weight, so you won’t lose any weight unless you adopt a calorie-negative diet.
Once I Achieve My Goal Weight, What’s the Best Way to Keep It Off?
Once you have reached your goal weight, a calorie-neutral diet can help you stay slim. If you have stubborn pockets of fat, laser lipolysis — laser fat removal — can help you eliminate them painlessly, safely, and conveniently.
If I Increase My Excercise, Do I Need to Diet to Lose Weight?
Most people benefit from an overall healthy lifestyle, including a clean diet with nutritious, negative-calorie foods and regular exercise to promote muscle tone and cardiovascular health. For best results, you may require a multi-faceted approach that also includes diet, exercise, and a medical fat-reduction technique.
For years, Emerald Laser has been helping individuals achieve their ideal body goals. Emerald was the first laser to receive FDA market clearance for overall body circumference reduction. It has been clinically proven to reduce fat in multiple blind studies. Contact an Emerald Laser provider to schedule your initial consultation.