Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue. It can occur unintentionally due to an underlying disease or can arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state.
Intentional weight loss is, in most cases, achieved with the help of diets since dietary restriction is generally more manageable than making a significant change in one’s lifestyle (although weight loss is generally associated with some degree of change in lifestyle habits) or beginning to practice a sport. In that regard, a wide variety of dietary strategies have been designed to meet the needs of individuals seeking to lose excess weight.
Calorie-restriction strategies are one of the most common dietary plans. Notably, daily calorie consumption for dietary purposes vary depending on a number of factors including, age, gender, weight loss goals, and many more. For instance, nutritionists suggest that a minimum of 1,200 daily calories should be consumed by women in order to maintain health. The daily calorie consumption by men, on the other hand, could approach 1,500.
It is important to note that these recommendations primarily target relatively healthy individuals who seek weight loss for a better body tonus. However, individuals whose obesity places them at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, or other conditions, may follow a stricter diet, but only under the close monitoring of a physician and/or specialist. In some cases, obese individuals may need to restrict their daily calorie intake to 800 or even 500. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), healthy individuals seeking to maintain their weight, should consume 2,000 calories per day.