Forget the pills and the "get-slim-quick" advertisements; the key to losing weight and staying in shape is a healthy diet and exercise. The recommended minimum amount of calories a person should consume on a weight-loss diet is 1,200. This amount of calories gives the body what it needs to sustain itself, but is low enough to promote weight loss. Sticking to a 1,200 calorie diet is a matter of choosing and preparing the right foods.
Breakfast and a Snack
Plan on eating four to six small meals per day on this diet. To begin, start with a light breakfast. One cup of 100 per cent fruit juice, half of a cup of oatmeal, one cup of low-fat yoghurt and a small cup of coffee is a great way to start the day. Switch this up with a breakfast of a plain bagel, a cup of skimmed milk and a piece of fruit (such as an apple or a banana). Peanut butter makes a nice dipping sauce for the bagel and the fruit.
Try to work in a small morning snack before lunch. Drink a fruit smoothie, eat another piece of fruit, or snack on some wheat crackers with low-fat cheese. Eat just enough to stave off the hunger until lunch. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Tuna sandwiches are a great lunch item, and they can be surprisingly versatile. Prepare the sandwich on wheat bread. Eat the tuna as is or mix in your favourite condiment. You can use one teaspoon of low-fat mayonnaise. Try the tuna with mustard or soy sauce. If you prefer chicken, prepare a three-ounce chicken breast in the oven or on a grill.
Eat a small salad with your lunch. Or, instead of chicken or tuna, make a large salad and add fruit and cheese. Keep the salad simple: lettuce, a few cut vegetables, croutons and a light dressing. Try to avoid the temptation to smother the salad in dressing or to load the salad with cheese--these items are high in calories and will set you back slightly.
Finish lunch with a small diet soda or a glass of sparkling water with lemon.
For dinner, think along the same lines as lunch but increase the portion sizes slightly. You can enjoy a nice chicken breast or a healthy fillet of fresh fish (avoid fried food). Fish ideas include salmon or tuna steaks. Steak lovers can enjoy a 3 14.1grams steak. If you are not into meat, eat a healthy serving of tofu and rice with steamed vegetables or a medium baked potato. Finish your meal with a fresh piece of fruit, such as a peach, instead of a high-calorie dessert.
Remember: the goal is to lose weight; not to starve yourself. The trick to sticking with this diet is to keep your meals interesting. Buy wholesome foods and you will not notice as many pangs of hunger or cravings during the day. Make your meals interesting by trying new foods and new ways of preparing them. Buy a healthy-food cookbook and pick some new recipes. You are what you eat; think thin and eat healthy.