Originally Answered: Whats the fastest and easiest way to lose weight.?
When going on a diet you might be tempted to cut out all carbs or all fats to limit your calorie intake. Instead, cut out all bad fats and bad carbs. Start by avoiding saturated fats - those from animal products. Eat low fat meats such as chicken, turkey, fish and lean cuts of beef. Try low fat or fat free cheeses and milk. Also avoid baked goods, vegetable shortenings and margarine as these contain trans fat. Next, get rid of simple sugars - those found in candy, sodas and a lot of junk food. Cutting all these foods will drastically reduce your calories allowing you to lose weight and become healthier.
With all the negative publicity recently, you might be afraid to eat any carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our main fuel source. Our brain can't use anything else to power itself with and our muscles will work the best on it. Don't deprive yourself of it. Carbohydrates that you should stay away from are simple sugars that are found in candy, sodas and many snacks. Good carbohydrates such as whole wheats and fruits will keep you energized throughout the day and avoid sugar highs and lows.
Fats are also very important. Without fat, our body wouldn't be able to utilize some of the vitamins we consume. Fat is found in our cell walls and make up a big part of hormones. Fats you should avoid are saturated fats that come in meat, milk and dairy products. Every one should consume good (unsaturated fats) that come from plant sources such as nuts and olives.
With the low carbohydrate craze, many people have turned their attention to fats. They eat more of it and think its fine. Depending on what kind of fat you are consuming and how much of it you take in, fats can be beneficial or detrimental to your health.
There are three main types of fat. They are saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources such as meat and dairy. At room temperature, saturated fats are solid. Unsaturated fats come mainly from plant sources such as olives and nuts and contain no cholesterol. They are liquid (oil) at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are broken down further in monounsaturated (one double bond) and polyunsaturated (more than one double bond).
You might be asking yourself what a fat is saturated or unsaturated with. A fat molecule (without getting into too much chemistry) is made up of carbon atoms that have hydrogen atoms attached to them.
In saturated fats, all carbon atoms have a single bond to another carbon atom and are also bonded to hydrogen atoms. In unsaturated fats, not all carbons are saturated with hydrogens so double bonds form between carbons. Depending on what carbon the double bond is formed determines the fat's properties.
Trans fat is man made fat. It is made by taking an unsaturated fat and putting hydrogen through it in a process called hydrogenation. Trans fat is very bad for your health. Whole saturated fat increases LDL (bad) cholesterol and very slightly increases HDL (good) cholesterol, trans fat increases LDL cholesterol and decreases HDL cholesterol.
Knowing how to properly read a nutrition label is very important. It not only gives you calorie content, but can also show you some ingredients that you may want to stay away from such as hydrogenated oils, refined flour and high fructose corn syrup.
The first piece of information listed on the nutrition label is the serving size. This label is for a potato that weighs 148 grams. It is very important that you measure out the serving size correctly for the label to give you accurate details on what you are eating. If your serving size is bigger than the 148g listed , you will be eating more than 100 calories.
Amount Per Serving
Next, the label will tell you the amount of calories (and calories from fat) per serving. In this case, a potato that weighs 148g will have 100 calories of which 0 are from fat.
% Daily Value
Percent Daily Value gives you a percentage that tells you how much of a certain nutrient you are getting relative to your daily intake of calories. For example, if you are eating 2000 calories in a day and a food has 10g of fat (90 calories of fat) the percent daily value would be 5% since 90 calories is 5% of 2000. The bottom of the label tells you what diet they are basing this number on. In this case, it was 2000.
Fat will be listed as, total fat and as the types of fat contained in the foods. All foods will have saturated fat content and have recently added trans fat amounts on their labels. Sometimes, unsaturated fat is not listed. In this case, add up saturated and trans fat. Subtract the number you get from total fat.
Cholesterol is listed under fat. In recent years, the emphasis has been taken off of cholesterol and moved onto your total saturated fat intake. Some foods such as shrimp (which are healthy) are high in cholesterol and low in saturated fat.
In some, sodium intake is very important. It can raise blood pressure to levels that are considered hypertensive.
Potassium, listed under sodium, has been shown to be very healthy for your heart.
The number beside total carbohydrate will tell you just that. Under, the total carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, fiber and sometimes other carbohydrates.
Protein does not have a daily value because it differs from person to person depending mainly on weight.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are listed at the bottom of the label. Since there are different recommendations for vitamins and minerals for different age groups, the amount that is listed on the label may not be appropriate for you. To be sure use the Daily Vitamin Needs Calculator.
On foods that contain more than one ingredient (eg: peanut butter, bread and cheese) the ingredients are also included at the bottom. They are ordered according to how much of that ingredient is in the food. The first ingredient is the most while the last is the least.
Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel, especially for our brains. Completely eliminating them from your diet isn't a very good idea. Simple carbs such as soda, candy and other snacks that provide our body with no vitamins and minerals, justpure energy are known as empty calories. Too many of these can lead to obesity and diabetes.
On the other hand, complex carbs provide us with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some examples of foods that contain complex carbs are 100% whole wheat breads, cereals made from 100% whole wheats, fresh fruits and vegetables.
A major source of these good carbs are whole wheats. The more a food is processed the more nutrients are taken out of the food. When white bread is made, it is processed thereby removing nutrients. Some vitamins and minerals are added back into the flour but most of the fiber is not. Fiber has been shown to protect against colon cancer and lower cholesterol levels, so it is very important in your diet. A major source of fiber, vitamins and minerals are fruits, vegetables and whole wheats.
Failed diets and out of control obesity may lead you to believe that losing weight is difficult but it is quite easy, at least on paper. The only thing you need to do is keep the calories that you burn greater than the calories that you eat. So why is this article so long?
Your first step is to figure out how many calories you are burning each day. There are a few formulas that have come out over the years that estimate how many calories you burn per day based on your sex, age, weight, height and physical activity. When using these formulas, keep in mind that the number you get gives you an estimate not a number that never changes day to day. It will fluctuate.
Safe weight loss is considered 1-2 pounds per week. While it is possible to lose more, it is extremely unhealthy to do so. So how many calories do you actually have to cut out of your diet? One pound of body fat equals about 3500 calories. If you want to lose one pound in a week, you need to cut 3500 calories out of your diet per week. While this might sound like a lot, per day it comes out to a 500 calorie deficit.
Your next step is to ask yourself how you want to get rid of any unwanted weight. You can cut 500 calories out of your diet per day, or increase the amount of calories you burn by 500 calories per day. A combination of these two methods is the best way to go.