Fit Friday - tips n tricks #2

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bob is on a weight loss journey. He's done it before, losing over 100lbs but slowly and surely the weight crept back on, as it does for most people and he's found himself overweight again. I mention this because there are many many fad diets, crazy schemes and all round weirdness in the diet and exercise world that it's hard to pick out the good information from the bad. With that said I thought I'd share some tips and tricks over the upcoming weeks/months related to diet and fitness that should help in your quest to getting healthy and trim. Since implementing some of these tips Bob has dropped over 10lbs and I hope that I will soon have my healthy husband back :)

I already mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but Tip #1 is WATER. Seriously soda and coffee etc are NOT the same! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Again there is the general rule of thumb of 8 x8oz glasses of water a day rule. Another way to measure your daily water requirement is to take your weight in lbs and divide it by two. So for a 150lb person, their water intake should be around 75fl oz. If you live in a hot climate you'll need more as you lose water through perspiration, same if you are exercising.

Tip #2 - Know your numbers. 
If your goal is to lose weight then knowledge is the key, and losing weight is basically math (groan) and science. To lose weight we must create a calorie deficit. What we mean by that is that we have to consume LESS than than we expend. So basically we must eat less than we exercise. To do this we first need to know how many calories we should be consuming right? Sure we could get all technical and work it out ourselves, but I never did like math ;) Personally if I want to know my numbers I use who calculate everything for me :) After signing up on their site, go to "My Plate" then "my calorie goals". Here you will see a form like the one below

First enter the information required:
  • Age
  • Height
  • Current weight
  • Goal - choose maintain weight here so we know our maintenance figure (we'll come back to livestrong later)***
  • Now the activity level  - I select is light because I add my exercise on a daily basis depending on how much exercise I do. I prefer this because my calorie burn via exercise varies a great deal day to day according to the type and duration of exercise I am doing.  If you don't want to track your exercise daily then you can also pick moderate, very and highly active, choose one that works best for you. 

As you can see from my data the calorie requirement for me to maintain my current weight/lifestyle is 1807 calories a day. 

Great so now I have a baseline figure what next? So let's say I wanted to lose weight (I don't but hey for kicks and giggles we'll go with it) at 123 lbs I'd want to lose no more than 1lb a week. Remember weight loss goals should be 1% of your current body weight each week. For each 1lb you want to loose the weekly deficit needs to be 3500 calories, or 500 calories a day. So 2lbs a week would be 7000 calories or 1000 calories a day, etc etc. It's math but it's easy math :) again here is the magic number:
  • 1lb = 3500 calories

So now how to get that deficit? Well naturally through diet or exercise and ideally a mixture of both. What I really like about Livestrong is that it does ALL the math for you. ***If instead of entering a goal of "maintain weight" we enter "lose 1lb a week", it automatically reduces my calorie intake by 500 cals, you can see below that my daily calorie intake is now suggested at 1307 to lose 1lb a week.

If you want to get a thorough understanding of your numbers, goals, and tracking of diet/exercise is a great resource. You can also track your water intake, and there is a great iPhone app for entering information on the go. Either way KNOW YOUR NUMBERS is essential to losing weight the healthy way and long term.


furrypig February 6, 2010 at 2:45 AM  

thanks Di I normally skip through your fitness posts and concentrate on your crafty ones! But not today! I am determined to get thinner and fitter so this has been really useful to me to take an overview and see what I need to do. I actually lost 7lbs last week (the first week I have started back on healthy eating)just goes to show how much rubbish I was eating!! Thanks xxx

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