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© Sanja Gjenero;

A calorie is the unit of energy for the body. The amount of energy that the body gets from food and the amount of energy expended by the body is measured in terms of calories. Your body needs a specific amount of calories to maintain its basic functions such as heart functions, respiration, circulation and other involuntary activities. This is known as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and it is dependent on your age, gender, weight and physical activity. The leaner you are the higher your BMR. The body needs additional calories for voluntary activities. Most of the time we consume more calories than what our bodies require. The additional calories get stored as fat and causes weight gain.

To lose weight, you must control your calorie intake and focus on expending more calories. If you are unable to exercise regularly, be sure that you consume just enough calories to maintain your BMR for any weight loss. There are several calorie counting based diets in today’s market. The goal for each of these programs is weight loss by restricting the amount of calories rather than restricting a certain food group. The most common calorie counting based meal plans are discussed below.

Diet Watch

Diet watch is an online program that has personalized diet options. You can choose whether you want weight loss or weight maintenance. There are 4 options as below

  • No restrictions – this is a balanced meal plan for weight loss. Includes all food groups and it is only limited by the amount of calories consumed each day.
  • Reduced carb – the daily carb intake is set to 40 percent of total calories.
  • Mediterranean – this is a good option for people with cardiac conditions or at risk for cardiac conditions.
  • Vegetarian – this is a lacto-ovo diet plan.

This diet plan is an online program and it addressed emotional eating. This plan is the most economical plan in this category.

Weight Watchers

Weight watchers focus on calorie control and healthy living. They have a “four-way” approach.

  • Eat smarter
  • Move more
  • Helpful habits
  • Get support

Weight watchers is a long term plan and encourage healthy living and healthy lifestyle. Weight watchers does not have a specific meal plan, but it provides the information and tools to make the right choices. You are completely in charge of choosing your goods. Weight watchers also has support groups and group meetings to keep you motivated with your weight loss.

Burn the fat and feed the muscle

This program is developed by a body builder and it includes eating plans, nutrition, exercise and weight training programs. This also has tools to chart your progress and how to measure accurately. This is long term plan which requires some investment of time. It is not designed for quick weight loss. It is for long term healthy living.

Sparkpeople, calorie king, fatsecrets, myfitness pal and other calorie counters

These online calorie counters generally have a large database of foods and drinks. They help you figure out the calorie content for each item. You can input you calorie target or weight target and follow the plan or you can just count the calories of how much you are consuming each day. Most of these programs have food journals, meal plans, calculator and trackers. Some of them also include message boards for online support group. Most of these tools also have an exercise tracker as well. These programs are convenient as you can have it on your smart phone on the go and make instant decision before buying or consuming a particular food or a drink.

Remember, if you consume more calories than what you burn, you will save those and gain weight.

Category : Diet Reviews

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