Below are five evidence-based tips to sustainably reduce your calorie intake and promote weight loss without going hungry.
How many calories should you eat on average?
On average, a woman needs to eat around 2,000 calories a day to maintain her weight, and 1,500 calories a day to lose 500g of weight per week. The man, meanwhile, needs an average of 2,500 calories to maintain weight and 2,000 to lose 500g of weight per week. This obviously depends on many factors, including age, height, current weight, activity level, metabolic health, and several other factors.
What are calories?
A calorie is a unit that measures energy. Calories are generally used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day.
How to Reduce Calorie Intake Without Starving Yourself
Calories are simply a measure of energy. It is well known that in order to gain weight, more calories must enter the body than leave it. Conversely, you lose weight if more calories leave your body than enter it.
That said, cutting calories regardless of the foods you eat is generally not a sustainable way to lose weight.
While it works for some people, most end up feeling hungry and giving up on the diet.
For this reason, making a few other permanent changes is highly recommended to help you maintain a long-term calorie deficit without feeling starved.
Here are five diet and lifestyle changes that have been shown to help people lose weight.
Eat more protein
When it comes to weight loss, protein is the king of nutrients. Adding protein to your diet is the easiest, most effective and delicious way to lose weight with minimal effort. Studies show that protein increases your metabolic rate and helps reduce your appetite. Since protein needs energy to be metabolized, a high-protein diet can increase calories burned by 80 to 100 calories per day.
Protein is also by far the richest nutrient. A study showed that people who consume 30% of calories from protein automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day. In other words, it’s easy to increase the calories you eat and reduce them by simply adding protein to your diet. Protein can also help fight food cravings, which are a diet’s worst enemy. In one study, consuming 25% of daily calories from protein reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the urge to snack late at night by 50%.
If you want to lose weight sustainably and with minimal effort, consider permanently increasing your protein intake. This will not only help you lose weight, but also prevent, or at least significantly reduce, weight regain.
Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices
Another relatively easy change to make is to eliminate calories in the form of liquid sugar from your diet.
This includes sodas, fruit juices, chocolate milk and other drinks with added sugar. These products are among the most fattening aspects of the modern diet because your brain doesn’t register liquid calories the same way it registers solid calories. That’s why drinking sugary soft drinks doesn’t allow your brain to automatically compensate by making you eat other things in smaller amounts.
Studies have shown that sugary drinks are strongly linked to an increased risk of obesity, one study in children showed a 60% increased risk for each daily serving of a sugary drink. Of course, the harmful effects of sugar go beyond weight gain. It can have disastrous effects on metabolic health and increase the risk of many diseases.
While small amounts of natural sugars from foods like fruit are okay, large amounts of added sugar and sugary drinks can harm your health in a variety of ways. These beverages have no physiological benefit, and the long-term benefits of eliminating them from the diet can be enormous.
Drink more water
A very simple trick to increase weight loss is to drink more water. Drinking about 8 glasses (or 2 liters) of water a day can burn about 96 extra calories. Even more important, however, is when you drink water, because drinking it before meals can help reduce hunger and automatically cause you to eat fewer calories.
In a study that lasted 12 weeks, it appeared that drinking 0.5 liters of water half an hour before meals caused 44% more weight loss. Combined with a healthy diet, drinking more water (especially before meals) seems to be helpful if you need to lose weight.
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and green tea, are also excellent. Their caffeine content can boost metabolism somewhat, at least in the short term.
Reduce your carbohydrate intake
Cutting carbs is a very effective way to lose weight because it reduces appetite and automatically makes you eat fewer calories. Studies have shown that a low-carb diet until you are full can cause you to lose two to three times more weight than a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Plus, low-carb diets have many other health benefits, especially for people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. But it is not necessary to follow a low carbohydrate diet. Just make sure you’re eating high-fiber, quality foods, with a focus on whole foods.
Cutting calories doesn’t have to mean starving yourself. A few simple diet and lifestyle changes, such as exercising, hydrating properly, increasing protein and reducing carbohydrate intake, can help you lose weight and feel fuller.