You may often hear people say that dieting is the most important factor in weight loss. What really counts however is the caloric deficit you create and how you can personally best accomplish this deficit.
If you consider that there are 7,700 calories (32,250 kilojoules) in 1 kilogram of fat then creating a 550 calorie (2,300 kj) daily deficit will result in a ½ kg of body fat loss per week. This can be accomplished by increasing your level of exercise or restricting your calorie intake.
As an example, 550 calories are used in (based on a 70 kg person):
- running at 10 kph for 45 minutes; or
- walking at 6.5 kph for 120 minutes.
Examples of the calorie content of some foods are:
- 30 gm of Cheddar cheese – 115 calories
- 1 slice of bread – 65 calories
- 1x 100ml glass of wine – 65 calories
- 1 Banana – 105 calories
For most people, weight loss is best accomplished by a combination of increasing exercise and activity, and decreasing portion sizes and cutting out some high fat foods.
Another thing to consider in your quest to lose weight is varying your calorie intake depending upon your level of activity on a particular day. For example, I am currently in Queenstown, New Zealand for a week of skiing and even though I am eating more than I usually do (I mean a lot more), my weight is decreasing. Simply due to the fact those 6 hours of skiing each day expends more energy than what I would ordinarily use.
My suggestion is to use a combination of increasing calorie expenditure via specific exercise or general activity, and decreasing your calorie intake through portion control and decreasing high-fat foods. Then, monitor your progress and adjust your exercise and eating plan accordingly.