Friday, September 18, 2015

Weight loss: Understanding the Numbers Game

As many of you already know, I am about moderation and balance when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. I do not believe in deprivation and constant calorie counting; becoming a slave to what goes into our mouth, and our physical fitness. Being healthy should not feel like punishment. That being said, it is important to be aware of what we are eating and how we are moving our body. Calorie counting does have its place in weight loss for over weight and obese individuals.

First, make sure you get enough calories a day. Starving yourself will only put your body in starvation mode, slow your metabolism, and make it harder to lose weight. You may or may not initially lose weight but then your body will be in survival mode. Second, active people need more calories than sedentary people. Determining your caloric and exact macronutrient (i.e. protein) needs is just one service that I can provide. But to help you get started lets discuss calorie balance.

Knowing the numbers game can be part of a successful weight loss story:

To lose one pound of weight, caloric intake must be deceased by 3,500 calories.
To safely lose one pound a week, reduce the amount of calories you consume by 250 calories per day, and increase your energy expenditure by 250 calories day. No matter what you read on the internet or hear, losing large amounts of weight, while it can be exciting and encouraging, is NOT safe. Furthermore, after losing significant amounts of weight at a time, it can be discouraging when you start losing smaller amounts of weight when your body catches up or hits a plateau.  Losing 1 1/2 to 2 pounds a week is the safest and most maintainable way to go.

Tips to a well-balance diet:
Eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol a day.
Avoid oversized portions.
Eat more lean protein, vegetables/fruits, and whole grains, and reduced fat dairy products for adequate potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber intake.
 Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Aim for 9 servings a day.  
Saturated fat should be limited to <10% ot total calories

Foods to limit: foods high in trans or saturated fat and sugary drinks.

Keeping a food and physical activity journal or using a tracker app on your phone will help.
Self monitoring is one of the most important components of successful weigh-control and weight maintenance. By recording food intake, physical activity, and the thoughts and feelings before eating and excising, it shows you the big picture. Maybe you are eating more or less than you thought. It also shows you any triggers that cause emotional eating or being inactive. Being able to recognize the barriers and obstacles help you plan around them or prevent them from happening. Life happens, but a journal can allow you to take more control of your life.
If it seems like a lot of information to take in, take baby steps. Break your goals down into smaller goals that are more manageable. Be proud of any progress, whether great or small. Be sure to keep  track of your non-scale victories because the scale does not paint the whole picture. You got this!
Philippians 4:13 - Michelle

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