A low-calorie diet is an effective way to fight excess weight. It's simple. Available products and easy recipes are used, but such a nutrition system requires a special approach as there is a risk of passing out from hunger.
The human body gets energy from the food we eat. The lack of calories from food forces the depletion of existing fat stores. Only a decrease in daily caloric content can lead to such a situation. In one case it is recommended to reduce carbohydrate intake, in the other - fats or proteins.
A person must expend more calories than they receive. Therefore, it is necessary to increase physical activity and reduce the caloric content of the daily diet. Nutrient deficiencies present the body with a choice: it can consume fat or protein. The second option is not recommended as the connective and muscle tissues that perform important functions will be consumed.
In the first few days, weight loss occurs due to the release of excess water and harmful substances. The normalization of digestion leads to an improvement in blood composition. As a result, oxygen is delivered to tissues much faster (the rate of fat degradation depends on this).
The effectiveness of the process depends on the daily calorie intake and the length of the diet. With each coming week, the weight decreases more slowly as the body gets rid of excess fluid and begins to consume fatty tissue.
Basics of a Low Calorie Diet
Strict compliance with these rules will allow you to achieve the result in the shortest possible time:
- Fractioned foods. It is recommended to eat small meals 5-6 times a day.
- Compliance with water balance. You should drink at least 2-2, 5 liters of fluid a day.
- The amount of fat consumed per day should not exceed 80 g (vegetable products should be preferred).
- The amount of complex carbohydrates should not exceed 100 g per day (nuts, fruits and vegetables).
- Proteins should be the basis of nutrition, as muscle tissue is formed from them and a lot of energy is expended to digest them.
- Dietary food preparation methods: boiling, roasting, cooking and steaming
- First courses should contain a minimum amount of cereal and potatoes. A few times a week, it is allowed to cook soups with lean meats (the maximum serving is 300 g).
- You are allowed to eat 2 hard-boiled eggs a day.
- Fast carbs (sweets) are completely excluded from the menu.
- The use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited as they contain a lot of calories.
- The use of foods that contain cholesterol (butter, egg yolk, hard cheese, lard) is reduced.
- The amount of salt consumed is reduced to 4 g per day. It is recommended to replace simple salt with iodized salt.
- Foods that increase appetite (spices, pickles, seasonings, canned foods, smoked meats) should be avoided.
- To replace the nutrient deficiency, it is recommended to take vitamin complexes.
- The last dinner must be taken no later than 4 hours before bedtime.
How to calculate the caloric content of dishes?
Principles for calculating the energy value of dishes:
- You can read the product information on its packaging.
- In the absence of packaging, you should look up information about caloric content on the Internet. For a more accurate result, it is recommended to compare numbers from various sources.
- You can use apps that have data for all products. This saves a lot of time.
- A complex dish must be disassembled into individual products and each ingredient must be weighed separately. Calculate the caloric content of each product and add up the numbers obtained.
The products are only weighed raw. When the dish is ready, no calculations are made.
During the diet, it is recommended to use a special diary, in which you should record all the meals you eat, taking into account their caloric content.
The following products can be included in the low-calorie menu:
- semolina (pearl barley, buckwheat);
- lean meat, fish and poultry;
- steamed meatballs and chops;
- egg white;
- vegetable soups in low-fat broth;
- bread (coarsely ground, rye, with bran);
- vegetables (raw or cooked in a bain-marie);
- low-calorie fruits (oranges, apples);
- sugar-free beverages (tea, coffee, juice);
- fermented dairy products (kefir, yogurt, cheese).
- rich pies, white bread;
- milk, sweet and fatty dairy products;
- fatty meats and poultry;
- sausages (smoked and cooked);
- canned foods (meat and fish);
- fatty, smoked and salted fish;
- egg yolks, scrambled eggs;
- cereals (oats, rice, semolina);
- sweet fruits (bananas, figs, grapes);
- sweet juices, jellies, jams, ice creams, jams, honey;
- mayonnaise and ketchup;
- animal and cooking fats;
- carrots and beets can be consumed in limited amounts.
How many pounds can you lose?
The amount of pounds lost depends on the severity of the diet. With a moderate diet, the numbers on the scale will change slowly (2-3 kg per week). A low-calorie diet lets you lose up to 5 kg in 7 days.
The types of low-calorie diets differ from each other in the caloric content of the daily diet.
A balanced diet assumes a consumption of 1600 to 1800 kcal per day (depending on the person's sex). The body must gradually get used to the new regimen. The goal of the first stage is to deal with overeating and develop the habit of eating small meals.
Approximate daily menu:
- breakfast - barley porridge cooked in water (200 g), green apple, unsweetened green tea;
- additive-free yoghurt snack (150 ml);
- lunch - vegetable broth (200 g), steamed fish (150 g);
- afternoon tea - fruit puree or tomato juice (1 cup);
- dinner - boiled veal (150 g), vegetable salad seasoned with homemade cream or olive oil (200 g), still mineral water (1 cup).
Then, if necessary, a limited diet is introduced for 2 or 3 weeks.
The limited menu assumes a consumption of 1100-1200 kcal per day. The participation of protein foods of plant origin is increasing. For the fastest possible weight loss, the menu can be alternated with fasting days (no more than 3 times a week).
Fast day options:
- watermelons, apples, cucumbers (300 g for 5 meals);
- vegetable salads seasoned with cold-pressed vegetable oil (linseed, olives), sour cream or homemade yogurt (3 times a day, 250 g each);
- milk and low-fat kefir (6 times a day, 250 ml);
- kefir (5 times 100 g);
- fish or cooked meat (5 times 80-100 g);
- freshly squeezed juices diluted in water or a decoction of medicinal herbs in the ratio of 1: 2 (1-1, 5 liters per day).
The ideal duration is 1 week. The diet can be extended for a month, gradually replacing some foods with others, taking into account their energy value. Balanced and moderate options are suitable for low-calorie meals for pregnant women.
Maximum limit (extreme)
Daily food intake ranges from 600 to 800 kcal. The menu is quite monotonous and consists of cooked meat or vegetables. This weight loss method is only suitable for healthy people who are slightly overweight.
Pros and cons
- Absence of strict prohibitions. You can eat any food, but its total calorie content must not exceed the daily rate. You have to choose between a small portion of sweets and a large meal with fewer calories. The second option will help you avoid famines.
- Efficiency. With a correctly calculated daily body energy requirement, extra pounds will go away quickly and without harming your health.
- Self-discipline. The need to constantly calculate the caloric content of dishes and weigh food develops the habit of strictly following the rules.
Despite the large number of advantages, this system has one disadvantage - the need to carry a notebook with you at all times. Accuracy of calorie counting can be a challenge for some people as visual weighing is not considered objective.
The diet is limited for a strict period of time. Duration depends on the caloric content of the diet. The minimum duration is 5 days. Restricted diet options cannot last longer than 10 days, otherwise there is a risk of worsening health.
If necessary, you can continue losing weight by taking a month-long break to give your body time to rest and replenish your nutrient stores. The moderate regimen is easier to tolerate but less effective. From a health standpoint, this is the best option to lose weight.
Sample Menu of a Low Calorie Diet for Weight Loss
The low-calorie diet menu for weight loss (with recipes) is presented in detail for each day of the week.
During snacks, you can eat low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits in small amounts (100-150 g). At night, physical activity is reduced, so excess calories will lead to the accumulation of extra pounds.
The daily caloric content of the first day of the diet (and all subsequent days) is 1200 kcal.
- breakfast: rice porridge (cook 4 teaspoons, add some skim milk and dried fruit);
- snack: grated apple;
- lunch: coleslaw, chicken soup;
- afternoon snack: kefir (1-2%);
- dinner: roasted fish, salad (cucumber and tomato).
- breakfast: scrambled eggs (1 yolk, 2 proteins and skim milk);
- snack: grated carrots;
- lunch: boiled chicken, salad (cucumbers, herbs);
- afternoon snack: tomato juice;
- dinner: meatballs, lettuce seasoned with oil.
- breakfast: low-fat cottage cheese with orange slices;
- snack: baked apple;
- lunch: cooked vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, onions, herbs) with the addition of chopped chicken;
- afternoon snack: orange;
- dinner: boiled fish, salad (peas and herbs).
- breakfast: oats with berries, soaked in warm skimmed milk;
- snack: pear (fresh or baked);
- lunch: soup (no meat), cooked turkey, salad (cauliflower, herbs, oil);
- afternoon snack: kefir with berries;
- dinner: boiled veal, grilled vegetables (zucchini, tomato, carrot, onion).
- breakfast: buckwheat porridge with the addition of a small amount of skim milk and butter;
- snack: grapefruit;
- lunch: chicken cutlets, salad (Chinese cabbage, fresh cucumber and vegetables);
- afternoon snack: apple juice;
- dinner: fish steak (salmon, salmon), tomatoes.
- breakfast: millet porridge with milk, some dried fruit;
- snack: low-fat yogurt without additives;
- lunch: soup with meatballs (veal), vegetable salad;
- afternoon snack: bifidokefir with fresh fruit;
- dinner: boiled chicken eggs (2 pcs. ), salad (cucumber, herbs).
- breakfast: cottage cheese casserole (with 1 raw egg, chopped berries or fruit);
- snack: grated apple;
- lunch: chicken breast (roasted or boiled), cooked vegetables (cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, peas, onions, zucchini);
- afternoon snack: low-fat fermented milk;
- dinner: cooked turkey, cucumber (2 pcs. ), tomato (2 pcs. ).
The menu can be corrected, observing the basic principles of its preparation. You can choose your favorite foods and cook them more often than others. Make sure the daily caloric content does not exceed 1200 kcal.
going off the diet
The correct exit from the diet helps to consolidate the results obtained. For this, it is recommended to slowly increase the caloric content, but not to exceed the value it was before losing weight.
In the first week, the caloric content increases by 10%. In the second - for another 5% (if the weight has not started to increase). Physical activity must be present without fail. It is advisable to be outdoors more often, to try to move more. Don't forget the drinking regimen.
Snacks may be included in the diet, but their number and caloric content may be limited to avoid straining the stomach (one serving should not exceed 250 g). If possible, you should continue to limit your consumption of prohibited foods.
Instead of sugar, you can use honey or sweeteners, instead of mayonnaise, you can use a self-made sauce based on kefir or yogurt. Salt can be substituted for spices or lemon juice.
1 glass of water drunk in the morning on an empty stomach will help improve metabolism. As a result, the work of the gastrointestinal system improves and metabolic processes are activated.
It is not recommended to use this diet to get rid of the layer of fat in the abdominal region and waist.
With this system, first of all, the chest and cheeks lose weight. Changes will affect the desired area only at the end of the week.
This method of losing weight is contraindicated in the following cases:
- children and adolescence;
- mature age (after 50 years);
- minimum weight deviation from the standard;
- the presence of chronic diseases, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.
Low Calorie Diet Recipes
There are different recipes for a low calorie menu. You are allowed to make your own changes to the recipes, but stick to the daily limit.
cottage cheese casserole
The following ingredients are required:
- low-fat cottage cheese - 500 g;
- large hen eggs - 2 pieces;
- raisins - 80 g;
- dried apricots - 3 pcs.
- Pour the dried fruit into warm water and rinse well.
- Beat eggs until they form a foam, mix with cottage cheese.
- Grind the dried apricots, add the dried fruits to the curd mass.
- Transfer the resulting composition to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 180 °C.
Allow to cool slightly and remove from mold.
- zucchini - 1 piece;
- eggplant - 1 pc. ;
- tomatoes - 5 pcs. ;
- onion - 1 unit;
- Bulgarian pepper - 1 pc. ;
- garlic - 1 clove of garlic;
- parsley - 20 g;
- sunflower oil - 2 tbsp. me . ;
- salt, ground black pepper - to taste.
Roasted Fish with Vegetables
To prepare the dish, you will need the following products:
- red pepper - 1 pc. ;
- tomato - 1 pc. ;
- lemon - 1 pc. ;
- Cod fillet (or any other white fish) - 500 g;
- onions - ½ pcs. ;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- spices (basil, black pepper, saffron, parsley, rosemary) - to taste;
Canned chicken or chicken muffins
The following products are required:
- chicken fillet - 500 g;
- onion - 1 unit;
- oat bran - 5 tbsp. me . ;
- chicken egg - 1 pc. ;
- skimmed milk - 100 ml;
- salt, before - to taste.
The average caloric content of a muffin is 105 to 110 kcal. The amount of protein in 1 serving is 17 g.
Diet stuffed cabbage rolls with mushrooms
The following ingredients are required:
- white cabbage - 200 g;
- carrots - ½ pcs. ;
- mushrooms - 5 pcs. ;
- tomatoes - 1 pc. ;
- feta cheese - to taste;
- Salt and black pepper to taste;
- onions - 1 pc. ;
- garlic - 2 cloves.
To prepare the vinaigrette, you need the following products:
- small celery root - 1 pc. ;
- carrots - 1 pc. ;
- beets - 1 pc. ;
- pickled cucumbers - 1-2 units;
- onion - 1 unit;
- green peas - 3 tbsp. me . ;
- vegetable oil - 1 tbsp. me . ;
- salt to taste.
The caloric content of 1 serving is 188 kcal. The difference between this vinaigrette and the classic is the absence of potatoes. It is replaced by celery or boiled peas (or beans). Peas can be used fresh and frozen.
Cucumbers (canned or pickled) must be prepared without preservatives (vinegar, sugar, acetylsalicylic acid). Sauerkraut can be added if desired. For seasoning, you can use different oils: sesame, olive, corn. Onions can be substituted for greens.