ZocdocAnswersHow can I develop a healthy weight loss plan?

Question

How can I develop a healthy weight loss plan?

The exercise I'm figuring out, but the diet I have no idea about. What can I do. I am a 26 year old male.

Answer

Firstly, congratulations on recognizing that maintaining a healthy weight is important. In fact, maintaining a good weight is the single most important thing you can do for your body. Unfortunately, it is a tough task. I would recommend that you discuss this with your primary care physician. He or she can refer you to a nutritionist (or a dietician) who can help you tailor a specific diet based on your body type, size and food likes/dislikes. Weight loss is complicated -- but really a simple concept. Essentially the body has to expend (use) more energy than it consumes in order to lose weight. Breathing, walking and exercising are the ways we use energy. The foods we eat and drink is the energy that we put in. The unit of energy is calories -- calories in the food must be less than calories we use during exercise in order to lose weight. In general, a male your age probably uses around 2200 calories a day just with normal life function (heart beating, lungs breathing etc). Therefore, you have to eat less that 2200 calories a day to lose weight. Keep in mind exercise can also increase how many calories you expend -- but the key is eating less. Looking on the side of food for calorie contents can help. Keep in mind drinks have a lot of calories too. If you are negative about 3500 calories, that is equivalent to losing one pound. Talk to a dietician. Good luck!

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