Diet FAQs

Diet FAQs

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How Many Carbs is Low Carb?

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends that 50-60% of calorie intake should come from carbohydrates, anything less than the required is considered a "low carbohydrate" diet. Many have tried to see the success of this diet, only to find out that the effectiveness differs on "how low?" is the range of carbohydrate consumption. Amidst everything that marketing heads and experts say, the Food and Drug Administration has not put any definition to what "low carbohydrate" means and they do not take a stand on how low a low carbohydrate diet should really be. Until the FDA sets the boundaries, it up to the consumers to interpret the low-carbohydrate claims on their diet programs and product labels. However, most low carbohydrate diets limit caloric intake to as low as 150 grams per day, depending on the diet. For an average person consuming 2000 calories per day, this is 125 grams less than what is recommended. The risk of having anything lower than 150 grams per day of carbohydrates can increase possibilities of cardiovascular ailments and insulin sensitivity.

How Much Fat Should Be Consumed Per Meal?

It is recommended by the American Heart Association that only 20-30% of your dietary intake should come from fats. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, twice higher as compared to proteins and carbohydrates. So, to calculate how much fat to consume per meal, one must simply multiply their calorie intake by 0.20 or .30, which represents the percentage of dietary fat intake. Then, divide the answer by 9 since 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. If an average person eats only three times a day, the answer should also be divided by the times they eat per day. However, in figuring out how much fat one should consume per meal, one must remember fats are divided into three; the saturated fats, polysaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. Saturated fats have been associated in increasing blood cholesterol, while polysaturated and monounsaturated can lower blood cholesterols. To maintain an ideal dietary fat intake, one should be getting less than 10% of saturated fat and 10-15% of daily calories from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

How Many Carbs Should Be Consumed Per Meal?

The body uses carbohydrates as the source of its energy. The Dietary Guidelines of Americans recommends that 50-65% of one's total daily calories should come from carbohydrates. This should be about 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates a day for an average person consuming 2000 calories per day. To calculate how much carbohydrate should be consumed per meal, the grams you need each day should be divided into the number of times you eat per day. For instance, if you need 325 grams and you consume food 6 times a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be 69 grams per meal; while 2 snacks in between could be 25 grams each.

How Often Should I Eat Meals?

There has been a perpetual debate whether having three regular meals is more effective than taking six meals a day, neither one as being more effective for maintaining a lost weight or for use as a weight loss regimen. More so, there has been no scientific experiments yet to prove the significant difference of speeding up metabolism due to eating six times or three times per day. It is clear, however, that there is a need to reduce caloric intake overall, whether it entails decreasing meal sizes or meal frequency. Also, one should just stick to a diet that they are most  comfortable with or can consistently follow. This way one's metabolism is not affected negatively.

What Are Some Great Snacks for Weight Loss?

Ideally, a great weight loss snack should have protein, a healthy source of fat, and fiber. There are readily available snacks on the market, but for most dieticians all natural low caloric snacks still are the best. Examples are:

  • Celery with a healthy dip like peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Cheddar cheese and dill pickles
  • Lettuce roll ups
  • Raw vegetables like carrot sticks or cucumber
  • Artichokes
  • Vegetable salads with hard boiled eggs
  • Shrimp cocktail with avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Sugar-free yogurt

What Are Some of the Foods I Should Avoid While Dieting?

There are a lot of diet mistakes that hinder many people in achieving the weight loss they are hoping for. Experts say that most who are on a diet are actually consuming more calories than they think. Calories can quickly add up, and extra tablespoons of peanut butter can make a big difference. One's habits may also pile on the extra pounds, such as eating while cooking, or having one or two many bottles of beer during nights out could also hinder someone from achieving their weight loss goals. More so, most of the best tasting foods in the market are just so heavenly tempting, especially while shopping at malls or dining out with family and friends. For what it's worth, one dieting should avoid foods that are more than 66 grams of fat, that are more than 20 grams of saturated fats, and more than 300 grams of carbohydrates, including sugar intake.

It is easy to identify foods that should be avoided. There are foods that are dairy products, processed foods, junk foods, and even alcoholic drinks. Examples of fattening foods are:

  • Smoothies - most smoothies are crammed with sugar and fattening milk. Imagine gulping down a thousand calories, with additional 35 grams of fat, and 120 grams of sugar. This is already worth 2 square meals a day, something that can be hard to burn once already piled up in the body.

  • Canned sodas - not everyone realizes that most bottled sodas are actually equivalent to one square meal. A regular soda contains 90 to 120 calories, while a 12 oounce can soda contains 140 to 165 calories, more than what an average person takes in for their breakfast and lunch.

  • Desserts - desserts of any sort, such as cakes and ice cream, are not all that bad. What is bad is eating an entire serving of it and feeling guilty afterwards, which lowers morale and could end up causing you to crave more because of guilt or disappointment. For instance, a piece of chocolate cake can have 235 grams of calories, a slice of pizza could contain 272 calories, and one ice cream cone can have 170 calories.

  • Whole milk - milk is great source of calcium, so are fats and calories. One table spoon of whole milk is equivalent to 9 calories. If there are 20 tablespoons in one glass, that can sum up to 180 calories in just a glass.

  • Condiments - condiments like ketchup, mustards, and mayonnaise add flavor to everyday food, but these simple things can actually add up within our daily caloric intake. For instance, one tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 100 calories, while one table spoon of ketchup only has 15 grams of calories but has 165 grams of sodium which bad for the health.

How Many Calories Do Different Types of Exercises Burn?

The calories burned during any sort of exercise depends on one's body weight, intensity workout, and level of metabolism. So, a 130 lb person will burn less calories in an hour than someone who is 150 lbs. Then again, the level of intensity adds to the amount of calories burned during exercise. For an average person weighing 130 pounds, examples of exercises and activities they can try and how many calories they can burn are:

  • Step Aerobics - 502 calories burned per hour
  • Badminton - 266 calories burned per hour
  • Basketball (non game) - 354 calories burned per hour
  • Basketball game (competitive) - 472 calories burned per hour
  • Boxing (sparring) - 531 calories burned per hour
  • Boxing (standing with punching bag) - 354 calories burned per hour
  • Bikram / Hot Yoga - 413 calories burned per hour
  • Jumping Jacks (vigorous) - 476 calories burned per hour
  • Jogging - 413 calories burned per hour
  • Pushups (vigorous) - 499 calories burned per hour
  • Pilates (beginner) - 218 calories burned per hour
  • Walking (3 mph) - 257 calories burned per hour
  • Zumba - 468 calories burned per hour
  • Water Aerobics - 234 calories burned per hour
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What Vitamins Are Important to Take While Dieting?

It is important to take in adequate nourishment during dieting or when changing one's eating habits in order to prevent vitamin deficiency and to make sure that the body still runs smoothly.
The vitamins that are important during exercise are:

  • B Vitamins that includes folic acid, niacin, and biotin as they play a vital role in creating red blood cells and releasing sufficient energy to stabilize the body, so that during exercise or dieting, the body will not feel over fatigued and stressed out. Food sources of B Vitamins are seafood, yogurt, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Vitamin A is as important as it helps our eyes coordinate with our body to create balance, awareness, and focus. More so, it also keeps our skin from getting dry, especially if you lose water through sweat constantly, and it also keeps the skin healthy and glowing.  Food sources are carrots, sweet potato, squash, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Vitamin C helps the body strengthen its immune system against the hazards of viruses and disease, especially when the body is stressed out because of a new diet regimen. It also provides antioxidants that restore damaged cells and make sure that cells are always in healthy condition.

  • Fiber reduces your appetite and fills up the stomach quickly, eliminating possibilities of over eating or craving. Great food sources of fiber are pineapples, oatmeal, nuts, bran cereal, baked potatoes, whole grains, and beans.
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This page was last updated: 9/13/2015
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