It seems to be obvious that eating less and weight loss are directly connected, which leads to people, especially youngsters, starving themselves, sometimes till they are hospitalized, in order to achieve size zero. But that not the smartest thing to do, especially if you want to also stay healthy. Losing weight naturally is not about some special program or a fad diet but requires a change in lifestyle.
In fact technically all you need to ensure is that you eat lesser calories than you burn or burn more than you eat. And as long as you can keep doing that, you can continue to eat, with certain caveats, anything you want to, while losing excess weight and then keeping it that way. Research indicates that people who aim to and work on losing weight slowly and consistently, about 0.5 to 1 kg per week (1 to 2 pounds) are a lot more successful. Since a pound is about 3500 calories, reducing 500 to 1000 calories every day will help you meet the weekly goal.
But every body works differently: some people are blessed with a high metabolism that keeps them thin, and a few people are more active than the rest, it is best to first take expert advice to understand your body and its needs better.
A few general but important tips...
Have a Goal, Write It:
According to several studies, those who write down their goals accomplish much more than those who do not. So start with figuring out how much weight you want to lose and then put it on paper. It would also help if you have a more visual and interesting goal, like a dress that you want to get into.
Choose The Right Food:
Your diet should be low in saturated and trans fats as well as sugars, and high in dietary fiber and protein. Avoid packaged and processed foods and choose more natural foods. It is however difficult, if not impossible, to always choose so, and so it is important to read the nutrition on the labels before you buy them. Initially the choices and information might be confounding and so a doctor or a nutritionist can make your life simpler. You can hardly ever go wrong with plenty of vegetables and fruits provided they are from a source you trust, and which are either natural or organic. A balanced diet would also include carbohydrates. The amount is not as important as the type. For example, whole wheat bread, rye, and barley are better than white bread or fries.
Don't Super Size Your Meals:
You can eat healthy food but overeat because of the size of the portion. Most restaurants and fast food joints super size your portions, so it is best to avoid outside food or be aware of how much you are eating. As an example, a healthy rice or pasta portion would be about the size of your closed fist.
Liquids Can Be Solid Too:
Most beverages, especially the packaged kinds, are packed with so called empty calories, that add to your weight but not to your health. Even the teas and coffees can quickly up the calorie counter, especially because of the dairy and sugar, so when possible go for black or green. And ensure 2 to 4 litres a day of the natural, healthy, zero calorie, detoxifying thirst quencher, water.
Don't Bite At Night:
Snacking in the night not just leads to restless sleep but also adds to the pounds since the body has less time to process it. A hunger pang just before sleep is best not indulged. Of course you don't need to sleep on a grumbling stomach, there are a few low calorie and healthy options that can leave you satiated and guilt free (link to Night Snackers)
Focus on your food when you eat and you will be less likely to overeat.
Eat slowly and stop before you are satiated.
Remember that incremental steps are always better, and that the benefits will accrue in a compounding manner.
Keep a food diary to record your intake, your achievements and your targets.