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Monday, January 30, 2012

Daily Caloric Intake and Losing Weight the Healthy Way - Part 2

Once you have an idea of what your daily caloric intake should be based on the previous post you can then make your weight loss plan.

3,500 calories = 1 lbs.

This means that you need to consume 3,500 less or burn 3,500 more in order to lose 1 lbs. Based on the previous posts 1/2 - 2 lbs. a week are examples of healthy and maintainable weight loss.

Let's take a look at two examples of how you can adjust your individual weight loss plan to achieve your weight loss goals.

Example 1
Female 
BMR: 1,800 kcal
Physical Activity Level: Moderate Activity Level (Exercises 3 days a week for at least 30 min.)
Daily Caloric Intake: 2,520 calories a day (to maintain current weight)

In order to lose 1 lbs. a week this female needs to consume 500 calories less or burn 500 calories more from exercise a day in order to lose 1 lbs. a week. She could also do a combination of both consuming less and exercising more (i.e. consume 250 calories less burn 250 calories more). Having a 500 calorie deficit each day will result in the 3,500 calorie deficit for the week resulting in the 1 lbs. weight loss.

Option 1: Exercise
This female could eat her recommended 2,520 calories and exercise more to burn the extra 500 calories.
Option 2: Nutrition
She could also eat 2,000 calories a day to achieve the 1 lbs. a week weight loss goal.
Option 3: Combination of Exercise and Nutrition
She could eat 2,270 calories per day and burn 250 calories more through exercise.

*NOTE: ALL these options keep her daily caloric intake above her BMR.


Example 2
Male
BMR: 2,200 kcal
Physical Activity Level: High Activity Level (Exercises 5 days a week for at least 30 min.)
Daily Caloric Intake: 3,300 calories a day (to maintain current weight)

In order to lose 2 lbs. a week this male needs to consume 1,000 calories less or burn 1,000 calories more from exercise a day in order to lose 2 lbs. a week. He could also do a combination of both consuming less and exercising more (i.e. consume 500 calories less burn 500 calories more). Having a 1,000 calorie deficit each day will result in the 7,000 calorie deficit for the week resulting in the 2 lbs. weight loss.

Option 1: Exercise
This male could eat his recommended 3,300 calories and exercise more to burn the extra 1,000 calories.
Option 2: Nutrition
He could also eat 2,300 calories a day to achieve the 2 lbs. a week weight loss goal.
Option 3: Combination of Exercise and Nutrition
He could eat 2,800 calories per day and burn 500 calories more through exercise.

*NOTE: ALL these options keep his daily caloric intake above his BMR.

Daily Caloric Intake

To be certain that you’re eating the right number of calories to either maintain, lose or gain weight it is important to calculate your Daily Caloric Intake. Everyone has different energy needs, and your daily calorie requirement is determined by several factors such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Physical Activity Level
  • Amount of muscle you have (muscle burns more calories than fat)

In order to determine your daily caloric intake you must first understand your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  Your BMR is the minimum number of calories required for your body to sustain daily functions such as: breathing, heart beat, circulation, brain functions, managing hormones, etc.  An individual’s BMR can be calculated on a body composition machine or by using a BMR calculator or formula.

IMPORTANT: When determining your daily caloric intake NEVER eat less than your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  Doing so can have harmful effects to your body and metabolism in addition to preventing you from achieving your long term weight loss goals.

Physical Activity Levels
Sedentary: No exercise, sitting most of the day
Light Activity: No exercise, on feet during the day
Moderate Activity: Exercise 3 days or more a week for at least 30 min.                    
High Activity: Exercise 5 days or more a week for at least 30 min.

*All activity levels include daily activities like light housework and walking  

Daily Caloric Intake = BMR x Physical Activity Level
Sedentary: BMR x 1.2 = Calories per day
Light Activity: BMR x 1.3 = Calories per day
Moderate Activity: BMR x 1.4 = Calories per day
High Activity: BMR x 1.5 = Calories per day

Friday, January 27, 2012

Losing Weight the Healthy Way

Research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that losing 1/2 to 2 pounds a week by making healthy food choices, eating moderate portions, and physical activity is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. By adopting healthy eating and physical activity habits, you may also lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Losing even 5-10% of your body weight can lower your risk for chronic diseases and improve your health.

To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. It is possible to eat any kind of food you want and lose weight. You need to limit the number of calories you eat every day and/or increase your daily physical activity. Portion control is key. Try eating smaller amounts of food and choosing foods that are low in calories. However, it is important that you DO NOT go to the extreme of eating too few calories either. See pages 10-11.

Very low calorie diets may result in some dramatic weight loss in the beginning but this behavior is not sustainable and can have very negative effects on your overall health such as: heart arrhythmia and/or gallstones. Low carbohydrate diets can cause constipation from lack of fiber and put you at higher risk for gout. 
 
Reducing your calorie intake by 15-20 % can help you achieve your weight loss goals in a safe, effective and healthy manner. In order to determine your daily caloric requirements look at pages 10-11 to assess your Daily Caloric Intake needs.

Remember: The key to losing weight and keeping it off is lifestyle change!

For more information about healthy weight loss visit: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight

This information can also be found in your Exercise and Nutrition Habit Tracker (pg. 11)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Body Composition - Interpreting your Results

During your initial weigh in and assessment we measured your "Body Composition". You should have received a printout that looks similar to this: 


This printout has a lot of information that can help you make wise decisions when it comes to weight loss. The most important thing when it comes to weight loss is what type of weight are you losing. Are you losing water weight, muscle or fat? Losing water weight and muscle is not what you want to lose. Obviously, you want to lose fat mass which cannot be achieved the "cheater" way meaning large amounts of weight loss in a short period of time.

Proper weight loss requires a healthy BALANCED diet with a proper exercise regime. FAD DIETS are NOT the answer! We will measure your body composition several times during the competition to monitor your proper weight loss progress.

More detailed information about this printout can be found in your Exercise and Nutrition Habit Tracker (pg. 6-7). Friday's post will discuss how to calculate your Daily Caloric Intake based on your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). FYI: Your BMR can be found on this printout. Make sure you use the number next to the kcal NOT the kJ.

If you have more questions please contact me (Linsey Pearce) with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department. I will be more than happy to explain your results and help you set up a weight loss plan.

Contact information: weighbiggestlosers@gmail.com, lpearce@slco.org,  or (385) 468-4058. You are also welcome to come talk to me at the weigh-in's. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Measuring Success

During the first few weeks of the contest we will highlight and explore the information found in the beginning section of your Exercise and Nutrition Habit Tracker. This information can help you determine a healthy, safe and sustainable weight loss program and hopefully help establish LIFESTYLE changes that will improve your health and help you achieve your long term weight loss goals. 

One important way to measure your success toward your healthy weight loss goals has nothing to do with a scale.  Success can also be measured by inches lost.

This chart is a way to keep track of your measurements at the beginning of the contest and compare the difference at the end of the contest. What a great reward to see inches lost or muscles gained in certain areas on your body as well as see an improvement to your overall fitness. A copy of this chart can be found in your Exercise and Nutrition Habit Tracker (pg. 3)