I read somewhere before that the average human being requires roughly two thousand calories a day to perform at its peak. However, as it turns out, that number isn’t a realistic figure for everyone; depending on your height, weight, age, and daily physical exertions, the calories your body needs to keep functioning on a day-to-day basis can vary greatly. Oftentimes, people eat far more than their body needs to run, and how does the body respond? It converts the unused calories into fats as fuel for later use.
If you follow those nutritional facts for a two-thousand-calorie diet thinking it’s healthy for you – and end up putting on more pounds than you feel comfortable with – then the most obvious way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake; and the most drastic measure to do so is to reduce that intake by half.
A 1000 calorie diet has proven time and again to be one of the most sure-fire ways to take control of your weight. However, like most things in life, it requires a fair amount of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice (trust me, that isn’t an exaggeration). Also, it is not necessarily a long term diet, rather a stepping stone meant to rapidly lose weight before a longer term plan. There are two reasons for this, the first one being that eating only sparingly will almost always result in malnutrition, and the reason being that long periods of time with low energy will trick your body into thinking food is scarce, and force its metabolism (the rate at which chemical processes take place in your body) to slow down. Extremely low-calorie diets can cause weight gain in the long run.
Extremely low-calorie diets vary from person to person, and it is always good to seek the help of a dietician when planning what to eat. However, one category of foods always pops up when talking about weight loss: vegetables.
Vegetables are naturally low in saturated fats and cholesterol. They are also rich in fiber, and depending on what you are eating, can contain sufficient calcium and protein to replace some meats. What they really contribute to a weight loss diet however, is their calorie content. A single leaf of lettuce for example, contains just above one calorie for every five grams you consume. Amaranth leaves are also a good contender for weight loss; a single cup of amaranth leaves barely adds six calories to what you eat. Low carb vegetables are almost synonymous with weight loss, because they are a great way to lose weight and still feel full after a meal.
In fact, most green vegetables are perfect for weight loss. Take broccoli. It contains protein, calcium, thiamine, iron, niacin, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, yet contains only eight calories per ounce.
Then, there is asparagus. This is also a popular weight loss food. It has very low levels of salt and saturated fats. Not many know this, but asparagus is one of very few individual foods that provides over 90% of all essential nutrients. In a sense, it is possible to plan a diet around asparagus, and supplement what it lacks with other foods for a complete and balanced diet.
Finally, there are those foods that blur the line between fruit and vegetable (unquestionably fruits, but we treat them as vegetables). Have you heard of bitter gourd? It’s better known as the balsam-pear. Both its fruit and leaves can be cooked and eaten, and, if you can get past the taste that gives it its name, you have another source of fifteen minerals without having to gain an ounce of body fat.
It is true that cutting weight to the extent of the thousand-calorie-diet is a difficult task. Still, it has been proven over and over again that it works; and with the very wide range of low carb vegetables that exist to supplement the diet, having your stomach feeling full won’t have to make you feel full after a meal.