Eat healthily, the only way to lose weight

Written by BrusselsLife Team - 07 Sep 2008, 00:00 (Updated: 13 Dec 2012, 07:59)
Eat healthily, the only way to lose weight
The world is full of diets ... some balanced, some eccentric, some even dangerous for the health. They all promise miracles and speedy weight loss. However, the only way to lose weight soundly and sustainably is to learn how to eat healthily. That's what any professional dietician will tell you.

Losing and Gaining Weight

For a full understanding of how weight is gained or lost , you have to grasp the notion of Energy Need (EN). This EN is the daily energy that the body needs for moving about, for making its organs work, for breathing, for keeping its temperature constant,... in a nutshell, for living. It depends on size, age and weight, and on the level of physical activity, and therefore varies from one person to another. It's usually somewhere around 2,000 kcal for women and 2,500 kcal for men. When you ingest exactly as many calories as your EN, you neither lose nor gain weight. On the other hand, when you consume less than your EN, you lose weight, and conversely, you gain weight if your EN is exceeded. It's thought that a deficit of approximately 6,000 kcal is needed in order to lose 1kg of fat. Thus, if your EN is 2,000 kcal, and you consume 1,400 kcal every day, you have a daily deficit of 600 kcal, and it will take you ten days to lose one kilo.

Eating Healthily

Someone who weighs 60kg and has an EN of 2,300 kcal and who starts a high-protein diet at 1,000 kcal per day will lose weight very quickly. But unbalanced diets of this kind cannot be sustained for long: physically the body will be unable to bear it, and the person will succumb. At best, the person will resume his or her former habits at 2,300 kcal, and will return to the previous weight of 60kg.This is the yoyo effect. This shows that counting calories is not enough for a lasting weight loss. You must also give the body what it needs, and in the right quantity. The winning formula is 55% of the calories coming from carbohydrates, 30% from lipids, and 15% from proteins. This proportion meets the body's needs and limits the feeling of hunger. Beyond these basic principles, a balanced diet requires drinking at least 1.5 litres of water and eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. It's by changing your dietary habits which you'll be able to reach your desired weight, and that can be done with everyday products: no need to buy "magic" powders or pills, always ineffective in the long run.

By putting these few words of advice into practice, you'll easily be able to control your weight, without being hungry. It's true that this can seem a bit complicated, but there are free tools on the Internet that enable you to calculate your EN and to know your consumption of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates by entering the food that you eat. You can also find a similar kind of tool on

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