Dieters have an inclination to reduce caloric intake far too much during the initial stages. Their high levels of motivation and an fervent aspiration to lose weight quickly often drives the desire to cut out too many meals almost instantly. However, cutting back food intake dramatically can often result in weight regain and may have adverse health effects!
To lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit (i.e. eat less than you burn). The dietary strategies to do this, are as follows:
1. REDUCE CALORIES MODERATELY
- Determine your daily calorie requirement first using the calorie calculator.
- For optimal weight loss reduce your calories to 15 – 20% below maintenance.
- Do not go below 1200 calories a day for women and 1800 for men.
2. “CYCLICAL” or “ZIGZAG” CALORIE ROTATION
Basically this system works by reducing your calorie intake over 3 days followed by one day where you eat a little more, i.e. you have 3 low calorie days and one day where you increase you calories to maintenance level (TDEE). This 3-day, 1-day cycle then continues. This allows you to not feel deprived, making it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan.
3. SMALLER & FREQUENT MEALS
If you find that you feel peckish between your 3 main meals and end up snacking a lot between meals, try eating 5 smaller meals instead.
- Frequent eating can help control cravings, which is what tends to happen after going many hours without eating. You’re so hungry, you want food, any kind of food!
- Leaves you feeling satisfied and hunger free
- Your energy levels will not crash.
- Stabilizes blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn help control appetite.
4. CALORIE TAPERING
Avoid eating large meals just before bed. During the night your metabolism is at its slowest, you are less active and therefore burn less calories during this time, so opt for a smaller meal. You should also have your last meal around 3 hours before bed.