Why must we go on a reducing diet if we want to lose weight ? The answer is simple : Because consciously or unconsciously (and probably both) we have been on a weight-gaining diet in order to put on our added pounds. we have been systematically overfeeding ourselves with results that now show up on the scale and around hips, waist, and chin line, and probably elsewhere. Now we must reverse the process.
we are going to be underfed-but only in one important respect. we are going to supply the body with each and every nutrient it needs for daily life and to keep up its reserve-except fuel. The diet is going to be calorie-deficient.
This means that for some of the energy it needs for activity, body will be forced to burn its own fat. If this calorie-deficient diet is continued for long enough, we shall gradually shrink into a form that is more to our liking. Most of the surplus fat that makes us looks and feel overweight is stored in the layers beneath the skin. It is this excess fat that, with the a consistent calorie-deficient diet, will gradually be used up.
WHAT IS A CALORIE?
A calorie is a unit of the heat-producing, or energy-producing, value of fuel. It is not itself a nutrient. When we say that a glass of milk has 116 calories, we mean that when burned in the tissues of the body, the food will produce a certain amount of energy that can then be expended by the muscles or by other body activity. The nutrients and the fuel we need to get from our food are found in proteins, fats, carbohydrates (sugar and starch), vitamins, and certain minerals. Proteins, fat, and sugar and starches all can be burned in the body to produce energy; the energy they provide is measurable in calories.
When we count calories, we are counting units of energy-and this is why we can count the energy we expend in activity as well as the food we take in when we are planning a reducing program that will work for us. To lose a pound a week on your diet you will have to take in 500 fewer calories (or use up an extra 500) than you require each day. This 500-calorie deficit will then be made up from stored body fat.
WHAT ARE YOUR CALORIE NEEDS?
Energy (measured in calories) is needed to digest and store the food you eat-and energy is also used to keep other body processes going. The beating of the heart, the circulation of the blood, the activity of the brains and other organs-these all consume fuel. The average 120-pound women uses about 1,300 calories in 24 hours, even in a state of rest. This is, however, an average figure only. A great deal depends upon body size, metabolic rate, and so forth. You can, however, assume that your basic body need for fuel is about 0.45 calories an hour per pound. For example: 0.45 calories x 120 pounds x 24 hours = 1296 calories per day-or In addition to the calories needed to keep the body processes going, body fuel is needed to meet the demands of the muscles. Your daily calorie requirement thus depends to a great extent upon how active you are. The more active you are, the higher the calorie allotment on your weigh-loss diet can be. And this is why it is suggest that you increase your activity along with cutting calories-your calorie cut can be less drastic if you burn up more fuel daily in your work and play.
Age is another factors. Your basic body calorie needs gradually decline as the body processes gradually slow. For each decade of life after age 25 this calorie allotment must be reduced
Today a 1,500-calorie diet can be considered a weight maintenance diet for many 40-plus women. For other particularly younger women it will be reducing diet. How will it work for you?
PLANNING YOUR DIET
The best way to find the diet that will lower your weight by a pound a week is to go to doctor and let him work it out for you. You should do this anyway if you have any health problem, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are 10% or more overweight.
If you have a reasonable number of pound to take off, you can work out your diet for yourself.
Start by making a list of all the foods you ordinarily eat each day. be sure the list is complete and includes snacks, the extras such as mayonnaise, sugar, and cream, and fairly accurately estimated portions of any food meat, vegetables, desserts, and so forth.
With this list in hand, calculate each item for its calorie content and total them-this is your average daily calorie intake.
Are you gaining on this diet? If so, multiply the number of pounds you have gained by 3,500 and divide by the number of days it has taken you to gain this amount. This will give you your average daily calorie surplus. Deduct this number from your daily calorie intake, and you have what should be your daily calorie intake for maintaining your present weight. By cutting another 500 calories from this amount, you will have a calorie budget on which you should lose a pound a week.
If you are simply maintaining your overweight on your present diet, you need only drop to a calorie count that is 500 below your present diet, and see how rapid is your weight loss. If 1,500 calories a day would maintain your weight, drop to the 1,000-calorie-a-day diet or to the 1,200-calorie-a-day diet and increase your activity by another 200-calorie expenditure daily and again you will have a loss of about pound a week.
The simplest method is to assume that the daily calorie allowance for your desirable weight will be a reducing diet for you.
HOW LOW MUST YOU GO?
With any diet there has to be some experimenting you have to see how you respond. If you gain or maintain your weight on the program you set up for yourself, you will have to decrease the calorie allotment still further or increase your activity still more.
But take care to give your diet a fair chance before you decide it is not working. In the early weeks of a diet, water may replace fat and your weight loss will not immediately show up on the scale. Or you may at the start lose as you expect to and then maintain weight on the diet for the several weeks that follow. Again, this may be a result of water fat balance. Or you may also have to consider weight gain from retention of body fluids in the monthly cycle.
At the end of six weeks you should know whether you are actually losing and whether the weigh loss is going on at a reasonable rate.
If there is no change by this time, you may have to reduce your calorie intake by dropping to a still lower calorie count.
Sometimes it is necessary for the reducer to take in no more than 900 or even 800 calories a day to realize an adequate weight loss. Any diet under 1,000 calories should have your doctors approval and supervision. All foods needs other than calories can barely be provided in an 800 calorie diet. Planning of menus at this low calorie intake must be extremely careful to ensure that you are not losing needed nutrients as you cut calories.
WHAT ABOUT SKIPPED MEALS?
It is usually advisable to set up your menus on a three meal-a-day plan. The gives you food intake during the day when you are using most fuel for activity. Blood sugar will thus not fall bellow normal, and you will not be overcome by lassitude or fatigue. With a three-meal-a-day diet the meals eaten at the same time of day each day a rhythm of eating and fasting is established that can make it easier to stay on your diet without snacking.
Each of us is, however, an individual and we have to use the plan that works well for us. Recent medical studies have shown that some women who could not lose on a 1,000-calorie three-meal-a-day diet could lose on an 1,100-calorie daily ration if they consumed their food on a two-meal-a-day basis. Another study has shown that a NIBBLE diet six small meals a day has been effective for some person who could not lose weight on conventional three-meal menu plans. If you get along perfectly well by skipping lunch or another of your meals and find that everything goes better that way, no one will gainsay your doing what works best for you. It is important to realize, however, that diet planners who work with large groups of would-be reducers suggest that the three-meal-a-day menu plan be followed
BE AWARE OF BODY CHANGES
For any dieter some or many of the hunger that threaten a weight-loss plan will be emotional. Food can serve as a substitute satisfaction for many needs other than those of the body for nourishment. The needs to give yourself a treat, the needs to relieve tension, the need for companionship are a few. Still, some of the seemingly psychological urges to break your diet can arise from the changes that are going on in your body as you loss weight.
For the body to burn its own fat rather than to get instant fuel from food intake means a change in body processes. Your constitution may well express alarm at having to call upon its reserves for its present needs. And you may well react emotionally with a feeling of depression, of deprivation, and of anxiety. Compare the situation with the desperation you might experience if, in an emergency, you had to start making a cake from basic ingredients when always before you have had instant cake mix.
To force your body to burn its own fat, your diet must be calorie deficient. But your diet must also be planned to satisfy many of your physical and emotional needs.
Your diet will go better if each of your daily portions is planned ahead to be most satisfying to both these needs. Realize that the meal plan you use should be the one that works best for you. The generally accepted food allotment pattern is 40% of your calories at breakfast 20% at lunch, black coffee only at morning and afternoon snacks, 40% at dinner. The milk allotment can be kept,if desired, for between-meal or bedtime snacks.
Some women prefer to eat a smaller portion at breakfast and more at lunch and dinner; some women get along perfectly all right without snacking. Other feel they must have a large allotment for their between meal nibbling. So long as you do not go over your daily calorie quota, you will lose weight no matter at what time of day you take your food.
YOUR DIET AND FAMILY MEALS
The menu plans and recipes in this guide are designed for a women who will be eating with the family and it should be possible for you to eat at least some of many items your family eats. Sometimes breakfast, lunch, and between- meal snacks can be planned for you to eat alone, but dinner for family women should be a family affair
Plan ahead what portions you will have, what foods you can share, and try not to call attention to what the family can eat and you can not touch. Keep mealtime a relaxed and cheerful occasion, and this means: Do not complain. Stimulate conversation and eat slowly so that you finish with the family even if they go on to second helpings.
A good deal of your diet success in the family eating pattern will depend on your planning your food allotment for the whole day and in your knowing clearly what portions you can have.
It is also important that the different calorie needs of family members be considered. Family member also differ in nutritional needs. Each of your family members will probably have a higher calorie requirement than your own. Your husband can probably take in more calories because of body size and activity. Children need calories for both growth and activity. The need for added calories persists through teen years.