Formulating a Weight Loss Plan: Comparing and Contrasting Calories, Carbs, Fat, and Sodium

Formulating a Weight Loss Plan: Comparing and Contrasting Calories, Carbs, Fat, and Sodium


Weight loss is a widely common goal, regardless of the reason, for many different people all over the globe. Some people lose weight for health reasons, while others shed pounds in order to improve their overall appearance. Many individuals might have the desire and a good motive for losing weight but that does not mean that they know the best route to take in order to get rid of extra pounds. Below I have outlined some important information that will help people learn how to formulate a weight loss plan.

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Understanding the Science of Weight Loss

In order to lose weight effectively, people must understand that calories are the main determinant in deciding weight gain or weight loss. According to the Institute of Medicine, all people should consume between 1,000 to 3,500 calories a day. Calories are vitally important to a person's ability to gain or lose weight. It's simple. People who consume more calories than what they need they will gain weight. People who take in fewer calories than what they need will lose weight.

According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, it takes about 3500 calories to equal 1 pound of body weight. This means that a person who eats more than 3500 calories than what they are supposed to consume will gain weight. People who consume fewer than 3500 calories a day will lose weight. Keep in mind 3500 is an averaged total and some people will naturally gain or lose pounds with more or fewer calories. This is also dependent upon certain other factors as well.

Naturally, it seems like losing weight would only require a person to eat fewer calories. The truth is that the process is a lot more complicated than that. For example, an overweight person who is moderately active and has to consume at least 3,500 calories a day to maintain their current weight, would probably need to consume around 3,000 calories a day in order to lose weight.

How to Formulate a Weight Loss Plan

The first thing that a person must do in order to effectively lose weight is to figure out how many calories that they need to consume on a daily basis and then try to determine how fewer calories they are supposed to consume from that estimated amount.

A person can figure out how many calories that they need to consume by using a Body Mass Index equation that will give a person a pretty good estimate about the amount of calories that they will have to consume to maintain their current weight. This formula can be completed in pounds or kilograms.

Next, a person should create a list in order to determine what types of foods that they will and won't consume while on their diet.

Then an individual should prepare a few exercise routines that they will be able to stick to for the purpose of losing extra calories.

However, people must have the commitment, will power, and understanding to realistically lose weight. If people are consistent with their weight loss regimen, they should expect results to occur over a period of time. It is very important to note that any weight loss that results in a sharp decrease in weight over a short time period is unhealthy and can be dangerous.

There are other factors that can hinder a person's weight loss plan and they include things such as genetics, level of commitment and certain food substances such as carbohydrates (carbs), fats and sodium.

Genetics play a huge role with the loss of weight and people must be realistic about the amount of pounds that they should lose. Since some people are naturally larger than others or societal expectations then they probably should consult a doctor to determine if their weight loss plan is feasible for their particular situation.

The body uses carbohydrates to make sugar which is then converted into energy for carrying out activities (walking, running, est.) and body functions. Many healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) have many carbs and they do not add extra calories. Foods such as sugar based sweet drinks, snacks and desserts are also high in carbs but they lack nutritional value.

Fats provide fuel, they help infant and adolescent children in the development of their bodies and they also help to maintain key vitamins that are needed within the human body. Fats also protect the nervous system and they are the building blocks of hormones. Each of these functions are important to the body. Many foods contain fats that are not good for the body and there are many fats which are needed by the body. Fats typically are high in calories and though people need them in their diet they have to be careful about the types and amount of fats that they put into their diets.

Saturated and trans fats are the worst fats of all since they are associated with foods with low nutritional value and they have the ability to cause disease. Unsaturated fats are the best of all since they are found in healthier foods. The American Heart Association states that people should consume around 60 grams of fats as a part of their diets or at least 30% of their total overall caloric intake should come from fats. Sodium is another important body substance and it is needed for muscles and nerves as well as controlling blood flow and volume. Sodium doesn't put weight on people but it does have the ability to retain fluid inside of people under certain circumstances. Excessive amounts of sodium can lead to problems with the cardiovascular system and/or high blood pressure.

Exercise is also needed in order to lose weight. Even though it is a fact that people will eventually lose weight just by consuming fewer calories the fact is that exercise will help them to do it at a faster pace. The primary benefit of exercise is that it reduces calories. Therefore, when a person consumes fewer calories and then exercises on a regular basis, the eventual result is weight loss. This could even happen in a relatively short amount of time. Exercise is also good for the various organs and systems within a person's body. This is a simple way to develop a weight loss plan that will work best for a person and their individual situation. If people wanting to lose weight have the commitment to stick to their plan, will power, understanding, and patience, then they will be on their way to successful and healthy weight loss.

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