Calories are energy, so I think it should do the trick. But personally I would not eat or drink anything that boasts on having less of sugar or fat. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain to think you are eating sugar, but the stomach doesn't get it's fix, so it might tell to the brain to have more desire for sugar. So, just eat less. It might not be a bad idea to drop all processed food. There's always some chemicals that play with the mind. Go with as natural as you can get.
Refined sugars and saturated fats are probably more important to cut out than the calories themselves. Eating 2,000 calories of healthy food a day is way better than 2,000 calories of donuts. Ya know?
No matter what you consume, if you burn more than you eat, you'll be on the right track, but WHAT you burn has a big factor in other things with your body, so burning energy stored from lettuce, for example, is better than the energy stored from skittles.
Stick with some healthier foods, and pull back on the calories, and you should be fine. If I may add my two personal cents, I never miss an opportunity to pitch in the two cookbooks I used when losing weight and maintaining it:
1. Cook yourself Thin
2. Eat This Not That
Hope I helped?
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I agree with Kyuuei. Watch saturated fat and refined sugars, especially eating saturated fat and refined sugar TOGETHER - I swear things like donuts and full-fat ice cream are some of the worst things you can eat.
Try to eat whole grains - wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain pasta - and get fiber from that and things like fruit and vegetables.
But yes, calorie restriction is important. You'll note that a bag of potato chips only has 250 calories, and while it has unsaturated fat, they actually tend to be quite low in saturated fat and have zero cholesterol....the problem is when you start COMBINING foods...like eating *too many* potato chips (especially if you dip them in something), or eating them with candy, or eating them with a double cheeseburger.
"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey
The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. 3500 calories = 1 pound. Slower weight loss is better and more likely to keep off over the long term. That way you're not drastically cutting the calories so you don't feel like you're starving yourself. If you try to cut too many calories too soon, you'll wreak havoc with your body's metabolism as it will slow down, trying to hold tightly onto the calories it consumes as your body will think its starving itself. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds a week, no more.
If you're strictly talking about weight loss it doesn't matter what foods the calories come from. However, there is far more to being healthy than just being a healthy weight, so whether or not you're trying to lose weight, you should be eating healthy stuff, not junk and also exercising regularly.
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But eating 1200-1800 calories per day (pending on activity level and starting weight) can put you in a good zone to lose weight.
This is the best advice on losing weight by controlling your intake of calories.
It does matter what kind of calories you eat. Some foods will speed up your metabolism, like yoghurt or spicy foods. Variation is also the key to a healthy metabolism. Eat potatoes and meat one day, the next a nice salmon out of the oven or a pasta with tomato sauce and veggies.
(There is also a very unhealthy way of keeping your metabolism high, calory variation. Anorexic people sometimes use this to lose weight. They go from -500 calories one day to 1500+ the next. This is very, very unhealthy.)