A person wanting to lose weight needs to burn more calories than are consumed, simple equation. However metabolism, the rate at which an individual burns calories to maintain their bodily functions, also has an impact. Metabolism differs from person to person. It depends on muscle mass, activity level, height, and the sex of the individual.
To lose one pound in a week, a person must either reduce their caloric intake by 3,500 calories or burn an extra 3,500 calories (while keeping intake the same).
So, does that mean when trying to lose weight a person may eat what he/she wants as long as he/she is not eating too many calories? Answer: Yes and No.
To sustain health, the quality of the food ingested is important. Eating low nutrient, fatty and processed foods can cause overeating because these foods are quickly digested, leaving you hungry shortly thereafter and undernourished.
Consuming these foods may lead to development of lifestyle diseases (disease that potentially can be prevented by changes in diet, environment, and lifestyle) such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.
Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and yogurt will fill you up longer. Also, they are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote a healthy heart. To meet daily requirements, eat a mix of unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods (foods that contain lots of nutrients compared to calories) every day. Look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Note: To maintain good health it is best to not lose more than 1 to 1.5 lb. per week when in weight loss mode.