I am 21 years old, 5foot 2 and 180 pounds. I would really like to lose 40-50 pounds. I am eating about 1200 calories a day, I am using slim fast products, and some nutrisystem left overs, fruits, and I take vitamins. I was just wondering if this is the right way to go about losing weight. Is this the amount I should be eating? Anything that might help me? Thank you all so much.
Can you make that a permanent change in your eating habits to avoid consuming more calories than you need each day? Also, you may want to increase vegetables and other nutritious foods, rather than depending on "diet" products.
Also, you did not mention exercise. People who lose weight by dieting only without exercise are more likely to lose a large amount of their weight as muscle loss, which could leave them with an unhealthily high body fat percentage even at what may seem like a desirable body weight (sometimes called "skinny fat"). That leaves them vulnerable to the same increased health risks as being fat does; lack of muscle mass also means having a lower metabolism, so that it will be harder to avoid becoming fat again.
I was able to eat in the 1200-1500 calorie range and lose weight, when combined with exercise. I am 5'4 female and a smaller build. At your heart and if you have a smaller build, I'd imagine you'd be okay in this range too. If you aren't exercising, I'd also suggest adding some in. It will definitely help you speed up your metabolism! I like to do a good mix of cardio exercise (I like to go running) and light weight lifting or something like Pilates. I aim for 5 workouts per week, about an hour total each time. Sometimes I only eat to work out for about 30 minutes if it's a busy day, but every minute adds up!
Also, be careful with the SlimFast and other products. I originally tried to lose weight and did NOT have any results with them. The SlimFast products tasted good to me, but I'd be hungry again within 2 hours. They were also kind of higher in sugar. Instead, I buy a low carb and zero sugar protein powder in case I want a similar shake. I buy Balance Bars and other brands instead of Slimfast bars, because they have more protein and vitamins. I stopped eating Lean Cuisines and added more fruits and veggies. Even though I'm not eating elss calories, I lost weight from changing these foods! I enjoy my food more too and don't get bloated as often, which would happen to me from the low calorie frozen meals. Just watch out for this in case it ever happens to you too!
I found that putting a mental "invisible zipper in closed position" over mouth when in presence of food other than at meal time when plates contained weighed/measured portions of food worked well for me.
Exercise, like someone else said. If you burn 500 calories a day in addition to what you're doing now, you'll lose weight twice as fast and be healthier.
Ditch the slim fast and cook from scratch. It is important to learn what is going into your body, where you're getting nutrition from, what portion sizes look like and to get a feel for how many calories your food contains. This is what will help you keep the weight off after the diet. I eat whatever I want when I feel like it, but I make good choices because I learned good portion control and nutrition when I dieted five years ago. Even if you make your own protein shake for breakfast, it will teach you more than you can learn from reaching for a can.