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Eat and Exercise to Lose!

Having a plan is the first step.

Want to know how to lose inches without sacrificing performance or being perpetually hungry? Let's start with some numbers:

Calories: The Harris Benedict Equation allows you to get an estimate of your resting calorie needs or basal metabolic rate:

Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

Men: 666 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

Now, add in your activity factor:

BMR x 1.55 if you exercise 3-5 days a week.
BMR x 1.75 if you exercise 6-7 days a week.

This is a good guide of how many calories you need to maintain your weight or, in other words, the amount of calories needed to  keep your weight steady.  When cutting calories by 250 to 300 per day, you will likely see a weight loss of about half a pound per week.

Losing weight/inches is a slow process.  Lifestyle changes are a must in keeping weight loss off. There are no magic pills or fad diets that will give you long lasting results. Period. (If there were, I would have already found it by now!) If it was easy, we would not be a nation of obesity.  

Re-think the way you view food 

Everything we do revolves around food.  Almost every gathering, celebration and even times of sorrow bring people together and you will almost always find a variety unhealthy foods to choose from.  Usually comfort foods at that. You know the ones - casseroles, sugary sweets and fried foods, not to mention soda, alcohol and sugary juices.  If you are like me, even when there are healthy choices, the not so healthy choices are oh so tempting!  Who doesn't like sweets, fried, or rich/creamy foods?

How do we change?

 Here are some suggestions that have worked well for me. If I can do it, anyone can.

  • Consult a physician before starting any type of exercise or nutrition program.
  • Get moving!  Find an exercise that you enjoy and make an appointment with yourself to take part in it at least 45 minutes a day. This includes five minutes of warm-up and five minutes of cool down.
  • Log It! Keep a log of your workouts and what you eat. Include everything you consume and be honest with yourself! 
  • Stay off the scale. While exercising and eating right, you will most likely begin building muscle.  Muscle is more dense than fat.  You can weigh the same as before starting your exercise regimen, but still have lost inches.  We like that! Instead of stepping on the scale to give you a sense of accomplishment, use an item of clothing to measure your success. Maybe a pair of pants that barely button, or a shirt that hugs your midsection.  By seeing inches lost, you will have the proof you need of your true results.  Stepping on the scale is not accurate enough and can really sabotage your motivation and progress.  Just don't do it!
  • Have a fitness and nutrition plan. Write it down and stick to it! Appreciate your best effort and work to your potential.  You'll only cheat yourself if you don't give everything you've got in these two areas.
  • Enlist support. Ask your friends and family to support you in the process of changing the way you live. Better yet, invite them to join you!
  • Just do it!  You don't feel like it?  Start your workout and give yourself permission to stop in 10 minutes.  Most often, you'll start feeling better and continue for the duration of your planned workout and if not, maybe your body does need a rest.
  • Be consistent.  When you fall off the wagon, and you will (unless you're perfect in this imperfect world), don't wait until tomorrow or next weekend to start your plan again.  Start as soon as possible.  The amount of time it takes you to get back in the game is just as important as being in the game!

Now you have a plan. Watch for the upcoming article outlining portion sizes that are right for you and what foods to choose as well as what foods to stay away from.

Here's a quick top 10 of what to stay away from:

1. Soda, diet and regular

2. Sports Drinks

3. Artificial sweeteners of any kind

4. White flour

5.  White Sugar

6.  White potatoes and rice

7.  Caffeine

8.  Fried Foods

9.  Gluten

10.  Dairy, especially ice cream and cheese (both high in heart-clogging trans fatty acids)

What to add:

1. Water

2. Lean Protein: skinless chicken, turkey, Greek yogurt, tuna and salmon.  Just to name a few.

3. Carbohydrates: fruits and veggies as well as 2-3 portions of whole wheat rice, pasta or breads.

4. Did I mention water?

More to come. I'll look for you next week. Same time, same place! Until then, eat well and get moving Dacula!

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