Can you lose weight by diet alone? This is the common question we come across when we talk to people about healthy eating for weight loss. However, this is a debatable subject with many articles giving discrete findings.
Yes, you can lose weight by diet alone because weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise. But, you will only be healthy and fit if you incorporate diet with a perfect exercise routine.
Besides choosing a restrictive diet, calorie counting is very essential if you want to lose weight with dieting alone.
Can you lose fat by diet alone?
To begin with, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Our bodies get calories from the food we eat. These calories are burnt for energy or stored as fat.
Calories provide energy in form of heat so as our bodies function properly. However, when the body doesn’t fully burn calories that are consumed, it stores the remaining calories as fat.
Different foods contain different quantities of calories for a given weight. For example, milk chocolate has 535 calories per 100 grams while watercress has about 11 calories for the same weight (100 grams).
Therefore, the different types of food you eat will contribute to your calorie consumption differently. Consumption of different foods that are high in calories will result in high-calorie intake after summing up all individual food calories.
People burn calories differently due to various factors. These factors include age, sex, weight, body fat percentage, and activity levels. There is no one figure to estimate the number of calories one can burn.
Therefore, weight loss or gain will depend on the number of calories consumed and burned.
To lose weight, you should be in a calorie deficit. But is this possible without exercise? Exercises are known as great calorie burners; with exercises such as running burning an average of 800 calories in an hour.
It is also important to note that your body needs calories obtained from food to function properly. It is therefore not wise to starve yourself as the body will not have an energy source.
On average, a woman needs about 2000 calories per day to maintain her weight and around 1,500 calories per day to lose a pound of weight in a week.
On the other hand, a man needs 2,500 calories on average per day to maintain his weight and around 2,000 calories to lose a pound of weight per week.
With all the information above, do you think you can lose weight by diet alone; based on your calorie intake and burning?
How can I lose weight just by dieting?
As said earlier, an average woman needs to consume 1,500 calories while an average man needs about 2,000 calories to lose weight.
Here is how you can lose weight by dieting alone.
1. Embark on a low carbs diet plan.
Many low-carb diet plans can help you consume fewer calories and burn fat for weight loss. These diet plans will not leave you hungry but rather keep you satisfied yet ensuring you lose weight.
Examples of such diets.
The keto diet: this is a diet that restricts the consumption of carbs which are the major source of energy for the body. This forces the body to burn fat stores for energy thus weight loss. You can learn more about the keto diet in an article we have written here.
Atkins diet and other low-carb diets can help you lose weight without exercising. These diets eliminate carbs which are the main source of energy for the body. This forces it to burn fat stores for energy.
2. Intermittent fasting to limit your calorie and food intake.
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that involves regular short-term fasts. Fasting for short periods helps you eat fewer calories, and optimize hormones related to weight loss. There are different methods of intermittent fasting and the popular ones are;
- The 16/8 method where you skip breakfast and eat during an 8-hour window. That is to say; from 2 pm to 10 pm.
- Eat-stop-eat: this involves doing one or two 24 hour fasts each week.
- The 5:2 diet involves eating 500-600 calories on two days of the week and eat normally the other 5 days.
However, intermittent fasting also needs calorie counting whereby the foods you choose should be weight loss friendly with low calories.
3. Increase your water intake.
Drinking water is known to boost weight loss in many ways. water is a natural appetite suppressant and it will help you reduce your food intake.
Drinking water also limits taking weight loss unfriendly drinks like sodas that are full of calories.
Taking a glass of water before meals can help you eat less, thereby reducing the number of calories you consume. Also, staying hydrated helps you avoid unnecessary snacking which might not be weight loss friendly.
4. Eat weight loss friendly and healthy foods.
Watch the foods you eat by choosing foods that are low in calories, high in fibers, and trash foods that are high calories or contain added sugars.
Various diets such as paleo, Mediterranean diet, low-fat diet, raw food diets, and others, will help to keep your weight in check.
A review of weight-loss diets can help you learn more about the diets and choose which diet will work for you.
To lose weight while dieting alone will require calorie counting and staying within the weight loss calorie target. This may be hard to accomplish since the foods you eat may exceed the calories at which you can lose weight; That’s when exercise comes in to help you burn those extra calories.
How much weight can you lose dieting alone?
Generally, 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy weight loss. To lose this amount of weight, on average a woman should consume around 1,500 calories per day while a man needs 2,000 calories per day. This means that to lose weight while dieting alone, you should not exceed that calorie intake.
Do I have to exercise to lose weight?
Exercise and dieting is the best strategy for weight loss. As discussed earlier, a woman needs around 1,500 calories to lose weight. However, from our daily total food intake, we may exceed those calories.
That’s where exercises come in to help you burn those extra calories which may be stored as fat by the body if not burned.
Therefore, exercise is needed to create the required calorie deficit for weight loss to take place.
The bottom line.
Dieting and exercises combined is the best strategy for weight loss. Choosing to do one alone may not offer the best results and may have more risks to the body.
If you decide to do dieting alone, be sure of counting calories by choosing to eat weight loss-friendly foods. To learn about weight loss-friendly foods, read this article about weight loss-friendly foods. (breakfast, lunch, dinner). This is an article that will give you a breakdown of foods to include in your diet and those you need to avoid for weight loss.
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