There are many fad diets and pills claiming to assist people in losing a significant amount of weight in a very short period. However, to lose weight and maintain the weight loss, it is necessary to reduce your calorie intake and increase your exercise on a consistent basis. Learn about a few time-tested methods to reduce calories to lose weight.
Make a list of all of your food intake for a typical week and the number of calories in each food/drink that you consume. See Resources for how to calculate the number of calories in foods.
Decide on a realistic goal. According to "How to lose weight the healthy way," reviewed by John Pillinger, GP, as a general rule, eating 300 to 500 fewer calories each day should result in a 1 to 2 lb. weight loss per week. If you are heavier or have a very high-calorie diet, you may want to consider further lowering your calorie intake, but make sure to eat at least 1,500 calories a day.
Cut down on your food intake in small and manageable increments by taking actions, such as reducing the size and number of the snacks you eat, not taking seconds and leaving part of your meal portions on your plate.
Replace high-calorie foods with lower-calorie foods that you still find tasty, such as vegetables, cottage cheese, poached white fish and lentils. See Resources for a more complete list of low-calorie foods.
Cook at home and only eat out on special occasions. In general, restaurants serve larger portions that have far more calories than you would cook for yourself.
Stop drinking your calories. Soda, juice, beer, alcohol and even smoothies all contain a high number of calories. By replacing high-calorie drinks with water, you will lose weight.
Keep track of your food intake and weight by keeping a food journal and weighing yourself weekly so that you know how much weight you have lost and gain knowledge about the food you are eating.