How to Follow a Low-Calorie Diet

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Following a low-calorie diet may seem difficult, but you can make it easier by being prepared with a plan (and plenty of low-calorie foods). Here’s how to get started so you can be on your way to a healthy weight.

See Your Doctor

It’s always a good idea to get a physical examination before you start any diet or fitness program, especially if you have any health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Measure your body composition and decide on your goals. For example, you can measure your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, which are two measures other than weight that can show your progress.

Determine Your Daily Calorie Need

This step is going to be different for everybody and will even change for you over time. Determine how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight, then reduce that number by 100 to 500 calories. It’s okay to start slowly with just a small reduction in calories. After all, this is a lifestyle modification, not a crash diet. If you’re too exuberant in the beginning, you might find the calorie restriction too difficult later on.

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