So you are wanting to lose some weight and are not sure what to do, well that is why I created this site, based on the experiences of my wife and her weight loss program. You have to realize that this is not a diet, but a life style change! If you go back to your eating and exercise habits that you had before, you will eventually end up with the same weight problem you have now or more.
So where do I start? How long will it take? What can I eat and how much? Do I have to exercise? How long will it take? Will I be hungry all the time? I love the foods I eat now and don't want to eat like a rabbit, can I still eat them? I hope to be able to answer these questions and hopefully a few more. Now let us get started on the weight loss journey.
How much food should I eat each day?
Each of us will have a different amount of calories needed to meet our weight loss goals. If I take my heaviest weight of 208 pounds and I want to get back to my high school weight of 163 in a year, I will need to consume 2090 calories a day. My wife's goal of losing 100 pound in a year resulted in her consuming 1350 calories a day.
So how do we figure out how many calories we should be eating to meet our weight loss goal. (A good goal should be 1 to 2 pounds a week.) Here is link to a weight loss calculator to help you. Put in the pertinent infomation (NO CHEATING, they do not know or care who you are!) Now you should have a number to work with... If the number is below 1200 calories a day, you will need to extend the time to meet a calorie goal of at least 1200 calories per day, any less may compromise your health.
The idea behind calculating your calories for weight loss it to maintain a calorie decifit! You want to consume fewer calories than you burn, that is why in the weight loss calculator they consider your daily activity as part of the calculation for your calorie intake.
What foods can I eat to lose weight?
Pretty much any thing that you eat now! (just limit or eliminate the deep fried foods) Really, it's true, just stay within you calorie limit for the day. Yes you can have ice cream, but eat a normal portion. We prefer to make our own meals rather then making boxed dinners, that way you can control the ingredients and calories. If we have french fries, we bake them to keep the calories down. We do not limit carbs... sandwiches, pasta, potatoes, chips, candy, bread etc. are all included in the diet. Just figure the calories from them into your calories for the day. No sense being on a diet where you hate what you eat... You will not stay on it for long.
Check out this article about the junk food diet experiment by Mark Haub. (The junk food died is not recommended as it most like will reduce your chances for a long life.) From reading the article, one can see that having a calorie decifit is the way to go, as long as you burn more calories than you consume, it will result in weight loss.
As time goes on, I will add some meals and snacks that my wife eats and hopefully it will be a help to you.
How do I know how many calories are in my food?
One of the easiest ways is to read the package, but unfortunately not all food have their calories listed. There are a few easy ways to do this, you can use a site like Calorie King or just do a google search for the calories in the food item. I like to weigh all the ingredients when making a meal so I know how many calories are in it. Foods like packaged bread will have calories per slice, along with the weight of the slice, so I weigh the bread too, as sometimes slices may have more or fewer calories than listed. This is most prevalent in many packaged foods including pastas, soups, chips, milk, etc. Always use the weight calories (calories per gram) not the portion size calories.
Be careful calculating calories
When preparing foods, be sure to weigh your foods. When making oatmeal for my wife the other day, I checked the portion size on the box, and it read 1/2 cup (40g). So I decided to check the weight of 1/2 cup of oats. It weighed 55 grams, over 33% more than the weight used to calculate the calories. So instead of 150 calories it would have been 206 calories! Needless to say, I use 40 grams not the 1/2 cup. The same goes for any food items you use. A packed tablespoon of brown sugar has more calories than the 13 gram portion in a tablespoon serving. Get in the mindset the you are going to weigh all your foods. We bought some pizzelle cookieds the other day and the package said the serving size is 6 cookies (30g) and the calories are 150. Got out 6 cookies and weight them, low and behold 40g not 30 and 200 calories not 150... 33% more than listed. If you are serious about losing weight get a good food scale and weigh your food.
Now that we have covered food you really should consider an exercise routine if you are able. If you looked at the weight loss calculator I mentioned above, it gave you the option to choose a "desk job, little/no exercise" when calculating your daily caloric intake, so you really have no excuse not to lose weight if you cannot or do not have time to exercise. There is a page for exercise, if you wish to read a little more about it. Now that you have the basic idea of where to start, get started and lose some weight and be the best you that you can be.