The most straightforward and only guaranteed way to lose weight is to reduce your calories so that you are consuming fewer than you are burning off. In other words, the more you exercise and the less you eat, the more you will strip away fat and gradually get towards your target physique.
As it turns out, low carb diets appear to be more effective than low fat diets and there are various other strategies you can use to accelerate the benefits of dieting. That said though, these options are still contentious and at the end of the day you still need to cut back on calories. This is the unglamorous truth of weight loss and a good strategy will combine reduced calories with smart food choices.
What this doesn’t mean, is that you should get so carried away with counting calories that you end up obsessing over it. Regardless of what some people will tell you, counting every single calorie going in and out of your body is effectively impossible and certainly soul destroying for any beginner.
Better is to cut your calories without counting them. Here’s how to do that…
How Much to Cut Your Calories
If you’ve been roughly the same weight for the last few months and haven’t been gaining or losing weight, then chances are that you’re probably at an equilibrium. In other words, the amount that you’re eating and burning off are roughly even. This is the case for the vast majority of people.
In this case, you then know that reducing any amount of food in your diet is going to result in a caloric deficit. If you maintain the same level of activity, but reduce the amount you’re eating, then your body will change favorably – simple.
You can choose to lose weight faster by removing more from your diet, but ultimately anything you do is going to move you in the right direction.
On the other hand, if you’ve been steadily gaining weight, then you will need to cut a little bit more from your diet. Again though, you don’t need to do this by counting anything – rather, think back to what you were eating the last time you were steadily maintaining a weight you were happy with and then try and mimic that amount.
How to Cut Calories
So if you’ve calculated that you need to eat a little less than you currently are, how do you cut back significantly without having to do any challenging math?
The best solution, is to find a way to cut back on one of your regular meals, or to remove something big from your diet without replacing it. For instance, if you currently drink a lot of fizzy drinks, then simply switching to water can make a lot of difference. Alternatively, if you normally eat a chocolate bar after lunch, then you can simply remove that from your packed lunch.
Unfortunately, if the only change you make is to remove one chocolate bar, you’ll find it’s a long time before you start noticing any profound changes in your body type. Instead then, you should seek to make as many of these changes as you possibly can: you could switch from soda drinks, take the chocolate bar out of your lunch box and have one fewer pieces of bread. And if you’re not losing weight fast enough? Then you remove something else from your diet too.
The point is, that you don’t have to count every last calorie that comes in and out of your body as long as you’re being sensible and you know you’re increasing the amount you burn and decreasing the amount you consume a significant amount. It might sound like guess work, but as long as you measure the outcome and keep adjusting in accordance with the changes you see, that’s good enough.
And more importantly, living this way isn’t as depressing or as time consuming as counting everything you eat.