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Answers (2)

EXPERT
Christina Estrada (Certified Master Elite Trainer) answered
I think the better question is "HOW" should you be eating for weight loss? 

Food is meant to nourish and fuel your body. You need to make sure that you're providing your body with proper, whole food nutrition, and that you are consuming the correct amount of calories. More often than not, I see clients who are not eating ENOUGH and therefore cannot lose weight.

You can find out very easily how many calories (approximately) you should be consuming by using this calculator:
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
That will calculate how much energy (in the form of calories) your body needs while at rest. Once you find your "BMR" you can determine how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight.

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise):
Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk):
Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a wk):
Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training):
Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

For example: My BMR is approximately 1300 calories. Since I workout about 4 - 5 times per week I will multiply my BMR by 1.55. That means my calorie requirement to maintain my current weight, at my current activity level is 2015 calories per day.

If you want to lose weight (a healthy weight loss is 1 - 2 pounds per week) you need to be at an energy deficit of 500 calories per day. For me, that means that I should be eating about 1500 calories if I want to lose one pound of fat per week.

The key is to LOSE FAT NOT MUSCLE.

I would recommend looking for a "Clean Eating" cook book. "Clean" foods are minimally processed and therefore provide better nutrition.
I would also recommend that you hit the gym and start lifting weights 2 - 4 times per week and getting aerobic exercise at least twice per week.

Hope that helps! Keep me updated on your weight loss journey!
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EXPERT
Lisa Stollman, MA, RD, CDE, CDN (Registered Dietitian) answered
The foods you should be eating for weight loss are the same foods you should be eating for weight maintenance as well as good health. Choose fresh whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean proteins (animal and/or plant-based) and  low-fat dairy or nondairy alternatives like soy milk.  And avoid processed foods which are typically void of fiber and nutrients, such as cookies, candy, crackers, breads and cereals made from refined grains. Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise is great for helping you build lean muscle mass as well as keeping you motivated to stick with your healthy eating plan. Meet with a Registered Dietitian to help you plan a meal routine you can integrate into your lifestyle.
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