Losing weight is a simple concept: you need to burn more calories than you eat!
The British Nutrition Foundation recommends a sensible weight loss of 1-2 lbs (approximately 0.5-1.0 kg) a week. This could mean cutting energy intake by about 500-1000 kcals a day. However, the actual reduction will depend on how much weight needs to be lost, how active the person is and whether they are male or female.
If you want to lose weight faster, you'll need to eat less and exercise more. Essentially, you need to eat no more than 1,050 to 1,200 calories per day (for important health reasons calorie intake should not be lower than this) and take one hour of exercise a day. On this type of plan, you can expect to lose 2-4 lbs (1.3-2.25 kg) in the first week, or more if you weigh over 18 stone (114 kg).
But the British Nutrition Foundation says there are advantages to not being over-ambitious about how much weight you lose. A measured approach is preferable it says because:
* It is not damaging to health. A very low calorie diet (consuming less than 600 kcals a day) can be dangerous as the body loses too much lean tissue (as well as body fat). This type of diet can also be low in certain nutrients.
* It is easier to stick to the diet.
* Such a diet provides the opportunity to improve eating habits in general which can have long term benefits to health and help to maintain weight loss.