It's true - and you've probably already heard this - that on average, the amount of calories a common person should consume in a day is 2000. I guess you could call that the magic number for calories in wellness. And although it may sound like a large number, it really isn't. An ordinary fast food combo containing a cheeseburger, fries and extra large soda easily contains 2000 calories or more. And that's just one meal. Chances are you eat more than one meal per day.
So what can be done? Do you need to sign off on food you like all together? No. 2000 is the *average* number of calories you should eat every day, it isn't a constant. A lot of weight loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, propose you should eat fewer calories in a day. For some time, you would be advised to eat the same number of calories daily.
This is likely going to be difficult, especially if, like most people, you like to indulge in the occasional pizza-with-friends menu. Also worth keeping in mind is that 2000 calories per day is okay when you want to lose weight, if you also pair that with a daily workout. You eat, you head to the gym, then lose the extra calories in a workout.
You really don't need to sign yourself up for a tough and restrictive diet. Most diets that recommend a constant daily calorie count are often too restrictive. I've seen weight loss programs that treat carbohydrates as villains and restrict people to eating only protein. This is generally the case with diets that want you to lose weight fast (generally with visible effects ranging from one week in, to one month in).
But following a restrictive diet for a longer period of time ends up being bad for your health. Staying healthy requires us to make sure that our body gets all of the nutrients it deserves - carbohydrates included. The best way to lose weight, and this may come as a surprise, actually doesn't require you to go on a specific type of diet. Yes, you read that well.
According to Sophie Deram, a French/ Brazilian nutritionist, going on a diet can even cause people to gain more pounds, instead of losing them. That's because restrictive weight loss programs cause the brain to think that something's wrong, which leads it to creating defense mechanisms for your organism. In more clear words, your body begins to store fat instead of letting go of it.
The secret to losing weight, keeping healthy and maintaining your ideal Body Mass Index (or BMI), is actually found in balance. To find a balance, you don't need to make any massive sudden changes to your life or the way you eat. Which means we don't have to say goodbye to our favorite pizza place, if we don't want to.
We just need to start making healthier choices, one step at a time. Give the body time to adjust slowly, so it doesn't think something suddenly went wrong and it needs to react quick to preserve fat.
So how do you start? Keep it simple. Buy light milk instead of whole milk the next time you go to the store. Get cheese that contains less fat in it. Eat a thinner slice of chocolate cake.