Obesity Treatment Diet

A balanced diet for obesity is an essential part of any obesity treatment plan. People may think that they will fail at a diet for obesity, but an obesity diet plan does not necessarily mean severely restricting food intake. A gradual change in eating habits that slowly reduces weight is often the best diet for obesity.

Energy, Diet and Obesity

Weight gain occurs due to an energy balance: more energy is consumed through food and drink than the individual can expend. While other factors influence obesity, energy imbalances are the main cause of weight gain. An obesity diet plan works when the amount of energy consumed is less than the energy spent.

Calorie Reductions for an Obesity Diet Plan

The average diet for obesity cuts 500 to 1,000 calories a day. Cutting 500 calories a day from a diet should result in weight loss of about one pound a week. However, eliminating too many calories can actually endanger your health — the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2010) recommends that a woman’s lowest calorie intake be 1,200 calories per day, and that males should not eat less than 1,500 calories each day.

In spite of this, a severely restricted diet is sometimes recommended for people who are morbidly obese. Such diets, characterized by caloric counts as low as 500 to 800 calories, should only be attempted if approved and supervised by a qualified medical professional. Attempting extremely low-calorie diets alone is not recommended, and can be dangerous. Always talk to your doctor before beginning a diet plan.

Changes to Eating Habits

A balanced diet for obesity reduces the number of calories ingested while improving dietary habits. Doctors recommend a diet low in fat and sugars that follows the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A balanced diet includes at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

A balanced diet should be high in whole grains, and include lean meats and low-fat dairy products. High-calorie, high-fat or sugar-rich foods should be avoided, as well as processed food and alcohol. Calories may be divided between three meals and two snacks a day. A breakfast high in fiber is also recommended.

Diet and Exercise for Obesity

Cutting 500 to 1,000 calories a day out of established eating habits may seem impossible. Remember, however, that exercise is also a mitigating factor. The goal is to consume fewer calories that the body burns over the course of a day.

Exercise burns calories, and can be used in combination with a balanced diet to meet the reduced calories of an obesity diet plan. For example, if you need to cut 500 extra calories out of your diet, and you exercise enough to burn 300 calories, you’ll only need to cut 200 calories of food to meet your goal. Consult with a doctor before starting any diet or exercise obesity plan.

Resources

LaFontaine, T.