Calorie Control Diets
If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a slump when it comes to your physical fitness, it might be time to consider going on a diet. A calorie control diet is fairly straightforward and one of the most basic, yet effective forms of dieting out there.
The basic premise is that you want to burn more calories than you eat throughout the day, creating a calorie deficit, making you lose weight. You can choose a slower loss of weight or faster one, depending on the amount of deficit that you choose.
Basic Principles of a Calorie Control Diet
Calorie control diets work off of the idea that if you burn more calories throughout the day than you consume, you’ll lose weight. This idea has been proven to work pretty well, giving great results for a wide variety of people and body types.
Even if you’re trying to build muscle and shooting to gain weight, all you have to do is flip the amount of calories in and calories out and consume more than you burn. This is what leads to most people’s unhealthy weight gain in the first place, but if you do it right and eat the right foods then you’ll have a healthy gain in weight easily.
The first thing you want to do in a calorie control diet is figure out what you actually burn throughout the day naturally. Your body naturally burns calories just by simply being there and breathing, and how many calories you burn changes depending on how much you weigh, how tall you are, and a few other factors.
This diet is great for people who like having very clear representations of what they should be eating and exactly how much. If you like having explicit instructions and rigid form to your plans, then this diet is perfect for you.
You’ll be eating a certain amount of calories every day, and burning a certain amount as well. With this diet, you can have exact and precise meals measured out well ahead of time, and you’ll know exactly what to eat and when throughout the day.
There’s little to no guessing or assuming, because everything is done by the numbers. You also rarely do things on the fly, because counting out calories and measuring your foods can get tedious if you’re hungry.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like doing things well in advance, then this diet may not be for you. A calorie control diet requires a great deal of planning, organizing, and to an extent, patience.
If you don’t think you can follow this diet correctly, then you may be better suited to another option. However, if you like being organized and well planned, then this diet can help you through any point of your fitness journey.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or even maintain weight, this diet can help you achieve your goals, with a few minor changes as you get more advanced.
Who a Calorie Control Diet Works Best For
Calorie control diets work really well for people who are good at planning well in advance, and can take all the time they need to precisely measure out calories and do the math.
You might need to use online calculators and trackers to keep track of the calories you’ve eaten and burned. Unlike many other diets, calorie control diets aren’t just used for losing weight.
It can be used to gain or maintain weight as well, as some people are too skinny or want to stay right where they are. All you would have to do to change it is adjust the calories in and calories out to fit your desired results, making this a pretty good diet for any body type.
This diet is very applicable to people who like having a very organized structure to their day to day lives. You basically have to be able to plan your meals out at least a day in advance, possibly even taking the time to make them.
The reason you want to plan ahead of time is because if you’re new to calorie counting, you might accidentally use up all of your calories on foods that won’t satiate you for long, early in the day – resulting in hunger the rest of the day.
There are a few people, however, who wouldn’t find this diet to be that helpful. First, beginners might struggle with it. If you’re used to eating unhealthy foods, and you suddenly limit yourself to 1,500 calories per day, you’ll either blow through your calories too quickly or go over your limit.
Instead, you’d want to be more used to eating healthy foods and have an idea of the proper balance you want of macromolecules. This means having the right balance between fats, proteins, and carbs.
If you eat too much of one macro group and not enough of another, it can have some pretty negative effects on your body. This diet would also prove to be pretty difficult for people with a very busy schedule and not a lot of free time.
If you’re always on the move and don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals in advance, you’ll find it way more difficult to measure out all of your meals on the fly. Even if you’re not always busy, some people just work better with diets that are less restrictive and more open and flexible.
Calorie control diets also require a lot of logging and recording of information, such as exercises, time spent exercising, and how much food you’ve eaten. If you’re not too keen on recording so much information, but would instead rather work out without worrying about how long you’re running for, then perhaps calorie control isn’t quite your thing.
You have to keep track of exercise data to know how big your calorie deficit actually is. Essentially, this diet works great for all of the time management and planning people out there, but not so much for people who are more prone to doing things spontaneously or on a whim.
How to Get Prepared for a Calorie Control Diet
Before you begin your calorie control diet, there’s a fair amount of preparation that will have to go into this first. By getting properly prepared, your diet will go smoothly and you’ll have an easier time sticking with your diet.
First, you’re going to have to calculate how much of a calorie deficit you’ll have to maintain to achieve your desired amount of weight change. There are plenty of online calculators that you can use to find out how many calories you should be eating per day depending on your height, weight, BMI, and activity levels.
Once you have a good idea of how many calories you’re going to be eating per day, there are a few kitchen devices that can help you. First, a digital scale can be extremely useful for foods like meats, fruits, and yogurts.
Many serving sizes tell you the proper serving size in grams, which is hard to tell just by hand. A scale lets you get the exact measurement of how much food you’re getting so that you can see how many calories it is.
You might consider downloading an app that can help you track your calories eaten. For example, the MyFitnessPal app allows you to easily keep track of how many calories you’ve eaten and how many you’ve burned throughout the day, and gives you a visual representation of how well you’re doing with your calorie deficit.
Alternatively, if you have a Fitbit, you could download the Fitbit app. Fitbits are very useful because once you enter your information, they can keep track of how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day based on your heart rate and steps.
The app also lets you log food and water to make sure you’re staying hydrated. If you’re not so technologically inclined, you can also get a journal to keep track of the foods you’ve eaten and how many calories are in each meal.
The information on the calories and servings is typically found somewhere on the packaging, so you don’t need technology to be able to keep track of your diet. One thing you’ll find really useful for this diet is a variety of plastic containers to keep premade meals and snacks in.
You can even label them for each day of the week so that you have your entire day’s calories all set out ahead of time. You can get plastic containers in all different shapes and sizes and then refrigerate them.
Make sure they’re microwave safe so that when you want to eat them, you can heat them up again. If your plastic containers aren’t microwave safe, they can melt all over the inside of your microwave and even catch fire.
Finally, you should get all of the foods you’re going to need for this diet, making sure it all fits together within your calorie limits. Some good choices are fruits, meats, salads, vegetables, and nuts.
It’s okay to have some of your favorite indulgences in your meal plan, such as candy or snacks – but just make sure they’re calculated and don’t take up too much of your limit, so that ensure good health along the way.
Sample Meal Plan for a Calorie Control Diet
Meal plans for calorie control diets will vary from person to person depending on how active you are, how much you weigh, and what your goals are. The more you weigh, the more you’ll naturally burn, and you’ll also burn more calories the more active you are.
For example, if you typically burn about 2,000 calories per day, and you want to lose weight, you could opt for a 1600 calorie diet, so you burn more calories than you consume.
You want to still eat enough to keep you properly sustained and healthy, while still going under the limit. Online, you can find tons of premade diet plans with recipes and all of the ingredients you’ll need to make them.
This makes it very easy to plan out your diet and make your shopping lists for the required foods. For example, for breakfast, you might keep it light with some non-sugary cereal, some low fat milk, and a fruit.
This gives you enough energy to start your day off right without taking away too many calories for the rest of the day. For lunch, you could have a basic sandwich with just some meat, spread, and maybe vegetables.
Pair this with some nuts and fruits, like almonds and grapes and you’ve got yourself a very nice lunch. The meat and nuts will make you feel fuller faster, while the grapes and vegetables will give you necessary nutrients.
By the time you get to dinner, you’ll be left with enough calories to have a filling dinner. You can get some white meat like chicken and cook it in a healthy way, like grilling. Get some nice vegetables and even a light sauce to go with it, and you’ll have a flavorful and healthy dinner.
You can always switch these things around and make your breakfast more calorie dense than your lunch and dinner, as long as you stay within the limit by the end of the day.
Some people prefer a lighter dinner or a lighter breakfast, so just find what works best for you. For snacks, be sure to keep it light. You want something filling, but not calorie dense.
Some great examples of this are yogurt, grains, and watermelon. Watermelon is a great food for this diet, especially considering it’s mostly made of water. It’s so low calorie that you can have a ton of it and be completely full, but still have eaten less than 150 calories.
Some foods to avoid are anything processed like chips and soda, which won’t leave you satisfied but are very high in calories. This is why it’s so easy to eat so many chips and gain a lot of weight.
Tips to Increase Success on a Calorie Control Diet
When you first get into the calorie control diet, it can be pretty tough. There’s a lot of calculating and measuring, and it can get confusing and overwhelming very easily. However, you can follow a few tricks to make the whole situation a lot less stressful and more enjoyable.
For example, you should always measure out your calories before you eat a meal, not as you eat it. This means you should never eat straight from the box or the bag. Fully measure the whole meal out on a plate before eating.
Try to avoid going back and getting anything extra, because then you might forget to add those calories to your total count. You should stick to foods that are more natural, because they’re often more filling and lower in calories than processed foods.
This means you can have more of it to fit your calorie limits, and it will make you feel more full when you’re done. One great way to cut back on the amount of food you eat is to slow down.
When you eat really quickly, you don’t give your body enough time to tell your brain that you’re full, so you often end up overeating. By slowing down, you give your body enough time to digest the food and you’ll end up feeling fuller quicker than you normally would.
One great way to slow down is to stop eating while you’re distracted by something like TV. TV will make you focus more on what’s happening in the show and less on what you’re eating, so you won’t be conscious of how much you’re eating.
Another way to slow down your eating is to eat foods that required a bit of a process to eat. For example, tangerines need to be peeled and taken apart, so you’re actually focused on what you’re eating rather than something else around you.
Another good option is pistachios, or any other nut with a shell. You can also help control your portion sizes by buying plates, bowls, and containers that fit your portions. If you have a big plate, you’ll want to fill it, so you’ll eat more calories.
But if you get a smaller plate, you’ll still feel good having filled it, but you’ll be eating less. Finally, drink lots of water with your meals. A lot of needless snacking can be solved with just having a glass of water whenever you’re feeling like you want to snack.
You don’t have to add it to your calorie count since it contains no calories, so you can drink just about as much water as you’d like to satisfy that snacking urge. You can find other low to no calorie drinks to help increase your water intake as well.