Is a Low Calorie Diet Right For You?
The best diet program for weight loss is the one that works best with your body and your lifestyle.
Since you’re reading this, you’re probably planning to go on a weight loss program or you’ve tried one or more that just didn’t “work” for you, right? We bet your research has turned up dozens of potential diet plans – low carb, low fat, low sugar, etc.. How do you know which one will work best for you? Our goal is to help you figure that out.
You may have read diet reviews on other sites. They may be informative, but what we want to do here is go a step further and give you reviews based on experience. In most cases, we don’t just describe the diet to you, we actually “do” the diet program. That way, I can give you first-hand experience!
A low calorie diet can help you lose weight, but some can be darn-right dangerous! Let’s take a look at which ones can help and which to avoid.
The first type of diet you might run into when searching the web is a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). These diets are sometimes used under a doctor’s supervision for obese patients. They usually consist of a diet of 800 calories or less, combined with vitamin supplements.
A very popular VLCD is the HCG diet. This diet uses a controversial hormone – in the form of drops or injections – that is supposed to curb your hunger. This is combined with a diet of only 500 calories. Besides the questionable safety of the hormone, a daily calorie intake this low is not healthy and can be dangerous if not properly supervised. However, many people are recently using hCG drops for a safer use. What you need to do is to find a respected hCG drops diet supplement website which suggests good brands to buy.
A Crash Diet is another type of VLCD, but it’s more of a fad diet. These generally aren’t recommended by doctors.
Other low calorie diets can be very healthy. These diets focus on consuming less calories, but are not so drastic as the VLCD diets. A few of these include:
- The Truth About Abs diet and exercise program.
- The Okinawan Diet
- The Weight Watchers diet program
Why Count Calories?
Some experts will tell you that losing weight is just a matter of burning more calories than you eat. This is only partially true. The truth is that not all calories are created equal.
A 2000-calorie-per-day diet of simple carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, sugar) will put more fat on you than 2000 calories of lean protein and vegetables (chicken breasts and salad). Not to mention the difference in nutritional value. I know this from my own experience and I think this would be true for you too.
That said, lowering your calorie intake, say… from 2000 calories per day to 1500, will help you lose weight (or stop gaining), no matter what you eat.
But I Hate Calorie Counting!
I used to say this myself. But once you get used to it, I’m sure you’ll find it’s no big deal. For packaged foods, just look at the nutrition label to find the calories per serving. Once you learn how many calories are in a serving of food, it’s not hard to add them up to see how many calories you’re consuming in one meal.
The new labeling law in the USA makes it easier than ever to count calories when eating out. Most of the big restaurant chains (including my favorite daily destination, Starbucks) now list the amount of calories contained in each food and drink item.
If you do need help, there are tools available to help you keep track of the calories you eat. A calorie tracker or food journal may be what you need. Or, just a simple calculator might be enough.
So, is a low calorie diet right for you? If you like to eat a wide variety of foods and don’t mind keeping track of what you’re eating, then it just might be.
If you’re morbidly obese and have tried everything else, you might want to ask your doctor about a VLCD. Otherwise, stick with cutting back on your calories in a sensible way. There are plenty of diet programs to help you do that.