Weight loss, weight gain and weight maintenance is no magic. It is simply a ratio of calories-in and calories-out. By “calories-in” we mean how many calories you are obtaining from your food on a daily basis, and by “calories-out” we mean how many of these calories you are burning in the same day.
If you want to lose weight, your calories-in should be less than your calories-out everyday until you reach your weight loss goals. If you want to maintain weight, there should be no significant difference between your daily calories-out and daily calories-in. If you want to gain weight (for too thin people), your calories-out should be less than your calories-in daily until your reach your desired body weight.
It is recommended that a big part of the calories-in for the people trying to gain weight should come from protein sources, so they gain muscles rather than body fat.
Your Weight Management Goal: Your Daily Calories Intake
Lose Weight: Daily calories-out more than Daily calories-in
If you want to Maintain Weight: Your daily calories-in should be equal to your daily calories-out
If you desire to gain Weight: Your daily calories-out should be less than your daily calories-in
Now, the question is how we calculate calories-in and calories-out. Your calories-in can be calculated with the help of a dietician, who would calculate the calorie equivalent of the food that you consume in general on a daily basis. There are also software available to do the same calculations that you can search over the internet.
The calories-out are in general more than your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories that your body naturally burns in a 24-hour period without doing any activity. Many dieticians and gymnasiums offer the RMR calculation test. Also, there are software available to calculate your RMR that you can search over the internet.
In order to lose weight, the general rule is that you need to consume fewer calories per day that your body burns naturally anyway. Either with the help of a dietician or these nutrition software, you can come up with certain foods or their quantity to cut down from your daily diet in order to start losing weight.
At this point, it is crucial to know that you only need to cut down on your calories-in, but you still need all other nutrients for good health. If your weight loss plan includes cutting down on certain foods and their amounts, it is recommended that you include the supplements of these minerals and vitamins to make sure of your daily optimum nutrition.
About author: Dr. PJ Prakash has a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the Univ. of Rhode Island (USA). You may download your Free 10-Step Weight Loss eCourse on his nutrition website, or to find advice on best nutrition to lose weight.