Do Low Calorie Diets Work? Eating Less After 40 Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

When considering making lifestyle choices various diet and exercise plans are considered important. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I describe and make recommendations for the diets and exercise programs that I know work. I do include low calorie diets….read on to find out if they work or not.

Do low calorie diets work?

I am asked that almost daily, and I often will get some interesting rebuttals when I say of course they do! I will be told that low calorie diets damage metabolism and that the weight lost will just come back. But here’s the rub, fat just doesn’t find it’s way BACK, it is redeposited when one stops following a low calorie or balanced calorie diet. Low calorie diets work until they are not. My favorite analogy to prove my point is that abstinence works until you stop practicing it, it is the same principle.

Calorie Balanced Diets

Eating a calorie or energy balanced diet will allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Eating plans that provide too many calorie will increase your fat/weight, and low calorie/energy diets will result in weight loss.

You can find research that will support any side of a controversy if you look hard enough. I have read both sides and I know which side I land on. With lower calorie eating plans, I have seen patients lose weight, maintain weight, gain health, lower medications, fit into a favorite dress, sleep better, enjoy increased vitality and joy and MORE.

Lower calorie eating plans don’t have to be complicated. How about doing something as simple as eating LESS of the food that you like. Unless you are on a steady diet of ONLY processed or fast foods, you will likely be taking in adequate micro and macro-nutrients. If there is a concern about micro-nutrients, add a good quality multi-vitamin. Home cooking is another way to eat less!

Maintaining a normal sized body is NOT out of the question! You can do this by eating enough food for health, and moving enough for health.

Think about this, this is one of my favorite eating plans.

Breakfast: coffee with half and half (22 calories)

Lunch: peanut butter sandwich- with an apple and a diet drink or water (435 calories)

Snack: nuts- almonds, pecans (approx. 210 calories)

Dinner: steak, salad and baked potato with butter and salt and pepper (431 calories)

Snack: homemade brownie and milk (260 calories)

Total Calories: 1358 calories

This is yummy simple food! Don’t complicate things, just eat what you like, in smaller portions and balance it out. Make choices for clean, wholesome foods and eat when you are hungry.

Moving Enough is Important

Moving enough during the day will increase your energy expenditures! I don’t usually recommend adding in additional calories based on your how many you burn exercising, but it certainly allows for the occasional dietary indiscretion!

Calorie Balance and Activity

So low calorie diets do work until they are not, and you can lose weight and maintain a healthy weight by having a balanced calorie diet with an active life! You can go into your mid life feeling joyful and with energy abounding!

How Many Calories for Weight Loss?

If you are looking to lose weight, I discuss this in my ebook. I recommend determining your Basal Metabolic Rate, then subtracting 500 calories and making this your daily goal. If this takes you less than 800 calories per day, it is recommended to do it under medical supervision!

Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories that your body needs just for basic life processes and does not include any activity. The attached link is a simple calculator!

BMI Calculator

Providing your body with clean foods with appropriate energy to your activity level will help you lose or maintain your weight! See my other blog titled “Is a Calorie a Calorie? Finding Joy in Clean Eating After 40!”.

In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I can help guide you to the eating plans, and movement plans that will benefit you.


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