Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Figuring it Out + One Step at a Time

Okay... So, after some talking to from several people at this blog and in a group I'm in on Facebook, I decided to take things one step at a time. I did some research and according to many of the sites I found, it is more important to get your eating in control before you start exercising if you want great results. A trainer posted online that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise... I agree with this. Over a one month period, I was an exercising fool! I worked out four to five days a week at Curves doing a 30 minute workout each time... then at least three days a week, I was walking three miles afterward. I barely lost any weight doing this because I was still eating like a pig.

I'm going to use the rest of this entry to set guidelines for myself... I need to get with it and write in here more often so that I'm accountable for the things I do. I think I will also be adding a food log, exercise log, and sleep log to the end of every entry from now. Anyway...

My first task was to figure out how many calories I need to eat to lose weight each week. This is without exercise. First you need to find a basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculator to figure out how many calories you need per day. Then you use this number to determine the number of calories you should eat daily. You take that number and subtract the calorie deficit you need to lose the weight you want. For example, one pound is 3500 calories. If you wanted to lose one pound per week, you would need a deficit of 500 calories per day... one and a half pounds per week would be 750 calories per day... two pounds per week would be 1000 calories per day... etc... I created this chart for a reference to myself (it will need updated every so often as I lose weight):

225 pounds Lose 1 lb Lose 1.5 lb Lose 2 lb
Little to no exercise/desk job (2093) 1593 1343 1093
Light exercise or sports/1-3 days per week (2398) 1898 1648 1398
Moderate exercise or sports/3-5 days per week (2704) 2204 1954 1704
Strenuous exercise or sports/6-7 days per week (3009) 2509 3759 3509

Okay, the way this chart works (so I don't forget as well)... I used this site to calculate my BMR. It was easiest to use and was very similar (off by only a calorie or two) to a couple of other sites... The weight in the upper left is my current weight... that is followed by activity levels. Then depending on how active I am, my calorie goal is listed under the number of pounds to lose. As losing two pounds with little to no exercise, puts me under 1200 (the minimum daily recommended), I scratched it out because it's not healthy to go that low... According to my doctor, any time you have a calorie goal, you should give yourself a 100 calorie buffer on either side... so right now my calorie goal would be 1243-1443. Anyway, I will try to remember to update this with every five pounds lost... let's see if I remember!

Okay... Now onto nutrition. This is how good nutrition is comprised:

Grains: 6 to 11 servings per day
One serving of this group can be:
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1/2 cup of rice, cooked cereal or pasta
  • 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1 flat tortilla
Vegetables: 3 to 5 servings per day
One serving of vegetables can be:
  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or raw
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
Fruits: 2 to 4 servings per day
One serving of fruit can be:
  • One medium apple, orange or banana
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit
  • 3/4 cup of fruit juice
Dairy: 2 to 3 servings per day
  • Cottage cheese is lower in calcium that most other cheeses - one cup counts as only 1/2 serving of milk. Go easy on high-fat cheese and ice cream. Choose non-fat milk and yogurt and cheeses made from skim milk because they are lowest in fat.
Proteins: 2 to 3 servings per day
The following foods count as one ounce of meat:
  • One egg
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cooked dry beans
  • 1/3 cup of nuts
Fats, oils, & sweets: Use Sparingly
  • These foods include salad dressings, oils, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies and sweet desserts. 
All of this being listed... Here are my goals:
  1. Stay within 100 calories to either side of my calorie goal depending on activity level.
  2. Drink at least 64 oz of water each day.
  3. Attempt to eat at least the minimum number of servings for each food group each day.
  4. Just say no!!! This means at work. We order in a lot and it's always unhealthy... or usually unhealthy. I guess I will say... every other week is okay as long as I can get something reasonably healthy.
  5. If I am good all week (staying within my daily goal range), I can have one cheat day. This day, I can eat 500 calories more than any usual day.
So, let's get this thing started, shall we???

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