• Do I need to lose weight?
If you are overweight, then yes, you need to lose weight. Doctors define overweight as a condition in which a person's
weight is 15-20% higher than normal, as defined by a standard height/weight chart. If you want to know whether you are overweight, you can check by visiting http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ and imputting your height and weight. Note however that this isn't 100% accurate, and it does not take into account your muscle mass.

  • Do diets really work?
If you're overweight, chances are that a good diet will give you the results you want. The key to losing weight effectively however is not only finding the most suitable diet for your body type, but also incorporating a set of exercises to be carried out daily. It's also important to plan all your meals and exercise time. If you feel that you need help chosing which diet is suitable for you, you can research the various diet plans on the internet and try the one you feel you can execute fully. Don't try a diet which you know you won't stick to. Also, making an appointment at a nutritionist will definately help you with your conquest to lose weight.

  • What is a calorie?
Contrary to popular belief, a calorie is not a measure of fat, it is however a metric unit of energy. So yes, when we are counting calories, we count the amount of energy each food piece contains. The more saturated food is (meat forexample) the higher the calorie count will be, however foods like lettuce which are not saturated, and which are made up mainly of water, are extremely low on calories.
Food is made up of Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates. Protein contains 4 calories per gram, carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram also, while fat contains 9 calories per gram. Calories from fat are more easily stored as fat, than are calories from carbohydrates.

  • Do I need to count calories to lose weight?
It is not a strict must, however I would say that the majority of people that are dieting do count calories. You can do this easily by purchasing small booklets which contain a calorie index of most food types, or simply by using websites such as caloriecounter.com or calorieking.com to look up how many calories the food you're eating contains.

  • How many calories should I eat every day?
The average adult varies around a calorie intake of 2000-3000 calories a day.
Every body type has different needs, if you work out alot, you will need more calories than average, also men need to consume more calories than women. On average the human body needs at least 1200 calories per day to survive and function normally.

A way you can calculate your needed calorie intake is:
Your personal energy requirement=basic energy requirements + extra energy requirements
Basic energy requirement includes your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and general daily activities
- For every Kg (1 kilogram = 2.2lb) of body weight, 1.3 Calories is required every hour(assuming you perform general daily activities.If you have a sedentary job, your required calories might be less).
For a calculation of your BMR, visit http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
-Extra energy requirements- for each hour of training you require an additional 8.5 Calories for each kg of body weight.

*remember-for an accurate evaluation of your calorie requirements, visit a nutritionist*

  • Should I count calories or carbs? or both?
people find it beneficial to eat less carbohydrates (diets suggest eating 20 net grams to 60 net grams of carbs for a couple of weeks) because carbohydrates cause cravings. This is because eating carbohydrates raises insulin, which then lowers blood sugar. This causes a desire (or craving) for more food and, in some people, for more carbohydrates.

I would recommend counting calories first, by finding how much calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. Remember to opt for regular healthy meals. If you eat one meal a day which contains all your daily calorie needs, it is likely that your body will not function properly.

If you've tried the calorie diet, and have had negative or no results, and if you are a big carb eater (eating pasta,noodles, white bread 2-3 times a day) you might want to consider counting carbs. Note: Many low carb diets insist that you buy vitamin tablets.
Some low-carb diets worth mentioning are:
The Atkins diet, Eskimo style diet and South Beach diet.

Some people try combining Atkins diet with calorie counting diet which doesn't always work, as the atkins diet needs fat for the diet to work well. However it is good to keep at least an average calorie intake when on a low-carb diet.

  • How do I know if i am losing weight effectively?
A simple rule is, if you are not losing a Minimum of 2lbs per week, then the diet is probably not right for you. Remember to weigh yourself early in the morning, before breakfast and before drinking anything, for a clearer indication of your weight. Also, make sure to include cardio exercise in you plan (at least 30 mintues a day).

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