Thursday, January 18, 2007

Continuation of What you Need to Know

Just a few last tips for those of you who want to really dig your heels into getting healthy and losing weight.

  1. Figure out your maintenance calories. This may sound weird, but I wish I had of known how to do this sooner. Here is how it works. Every person needs between 11 to 14 calories to eat per pound they weigh. So if you weigh 150 x 14 = 2100. That is how much you can eat a day and maintain your weight. However, everyone's metabolism is slightly different. After years of yo-yoing my number is 11. How you figure out what number works for you is to start with 14. Weigh yourself in the morning and try to hit about 2100 calories, if you weight yourself the next morning and you are the same that is your number. If you went up, diminish to 13 and repeat the process.

    Once you know this number you can figure out how many calories to cut a day. You have to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound. You can do this two ways: cutting the calories from what you eat or burning them off through exercise. If your maintenance calories are 2100 a day you could cut 500 to lose a pound a week. This means you need to eat about 1600 calories a day. Recalculate your maintenance calories for every 5 pounds you lose then you will keep losing. One note: as you get older your metabolism slows down (after 35 years of age) and losing weight by cutting calories will become more difficult so consider adding some form of weight lifting. This will build muscle which in turn will burn more calories and make up for your slowing metabolism.

  2. Orthopedics. If you are out of shape and contemplating a sport like running, walking, soccer, or even golf PLEASE go see an orthopedician. They can do a quick exam of your feet and let you know if you need orthodics. Get these before you start. Get the right equipment and give yourself the time to learn to love what you are doing. If it hurts, is too strenuous or ends up injuring you the chances are you won't continue doing it.

  3. What do I mean by Processed Food. Anything you did not make yourself. A little bit is alright, but 3 straights a day is going the wrong direction.

  4. Cut carbs. I LOVE my carbs, which is why I refuse to eat carbs for supper. Most of my meals involve carbs, spagetti, bread etc. But for supper I eat a protein and some veggies. This way I don't go over board on carbs. Take stock of how many carbs you are eating a day. Do you have toast, pancakes or waffles for breakfast? Then a sandwich or wrap for lunch? Followed by a potato, rice, carrots or all three at supper? Then that is to many carbs. Look where you can cut some. Not all, make a small adjustment, followed by another when you are ready.

  5. Drinks. Don't drink your calories. Beware that choosing OJ over a Diet Coke may seem a logical choice, but it has about 110 calories.

    Alcohol is everywhere so if you want a drink choose wisely. Hard alcohol is usually about 60 calories per ounce so have it with Diet Coke rather than Coke. That way you have only consumed 61 calories. White wine is 70 calories a glass and red 60. Any beer outside of low carb or calorie varieties weigh in at about 200 calories. Big Rock's Jackrabbit (the best of the bunch IMHO) is only 80. Now most people will say that alcohol is empty calories and there is no denying that, but for most people never having a social drink again is not realistic, so know your options and you should be fine.

    Picture from Flickr

1 comment:

jennie said...

I agree with all of this except the blurb about cutting carbs. It doesn't fit with the "get active" principle. Every system in your body needs carbs to function & all nutrition experts suggest that carbs comprise 2/3 of your daily caloric intake even when trying to loose weight. I would change this to "make smarter carb choices". See my blog for more on carbs.