How To Start Loosing Weight
Article by KimChell Haskell
Does it seem like you gain weight easily? Do you struggle with your weight loss goals? Are you amazed by how quickly extra weight seems to come on? Do you feel discouraged and frustrated at how slowly your extra weight is to leave you? If any of the above rings true for you I think you’ll really enjoy this article.
This article is the 2nd in a series designed around achieving your weight loss goals. The first was Emotions and Weight Loss, http://kimchelltalk.com/2010/10/emotions-and-weight-loss , which discussed the emotional issues behind why you gain weight and why it stays with you.
Think of your body as a very personal and beautiful construction site in which you are the site manager in control of every aspect of the project. Taking on the personal project of weight loss is essentially to reconstruct the body. For any construction project there are a few steps and calculations that need to be done in order to ensure the longevity of the resulting reconstruction. First, you need to determine where you’re at; that is you need to know how many calories your body is requiring to maintain its current weight so you can determine the size and quantity of the meals/snack you take in. Then you need to determine what your weight loss goals are and lastly make a blue print so you can see your project through to completion.
First, I like to avoid the guess work in determining how much energy your body requires so I suggest using the Harris-Benedict principle. It’s a little math formula that helps you to configure what your daily calorie requirements are.
With the Harris-Benedict principle you first figure your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate):
BMR calculation for women:
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
BMR calculation for men:
BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.76 x age in years)
Once you have completed this calculation you use the table below to determine how many calories you need to just maintain your current weight.
Little to no exercise: BMR x 1.200
Light Exercise -1-3 x/wk: BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise 3-5 x/wk: BMR x 1.550
Heavy exercise 6-7 x/wk: BMR x 1.725
Very Heavy exercise 2/day 6-7 days/wk: BMR x 1.900
So if your BMR was 1,388 and you do light exercise 1-3 times each week then your recommended daily calorie intake would be 1,908 calories (1,388 *1.375) if your goal is to maintain your current weight.
2nd- How do I Set My Weight Loss Goals
Your reconstruction project requires an estimated date of completion. In order to properly figure this you first need to figure that there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. So if you cut your calorie intake by 500 per day or if you burn an extra 500 calories during exercise (or split the difference between the two) then you would be loosing 1 pound a week. By the same logic if you cut your calories and increased your exercise to allow for a 1,000 calorie deficit then your weight loss would be 2lbs a week.
I do not suggest you attempt to loose more than 2 lbs per week. Doing so increases the likelihood of you gaining back what you’ve lost, and creates the potential for a dysfunctional relationship with food. These things simply create a discouraging and unproductive atmosphere on the project site.
You do not want to set your self up for failure and there is no one that knows you better than you. Determine a realistic weekly goal for your self. You will feel so much better achieving a smaller goal than you will if you miss the mark on an unrealistic one. Start slowly and increase it once you’re into the flow of the reconstruction process.
3rd – How Many Calories Am I Eating
The food supply that you take in is an important part of your reconstruction project. Many people have little awareness of how much energy they receive from the foods they put into their bodies (or what’s passed off as food). In order to avoid a surplus of supplies at your desired completion date you need to be aware of the food you’re bringing into your body daily.
I personally keep and recommend keeping a small spiral notebook about 6″x4″ inches to record what you take in each day. This will get you in the habit of checking labels, and serving sizes. By taking note of the food you eat you create an awareness within you of the amount of energy you’re bringing in to your site. You’re also determining how much you actually need and what can be refused upon receipt (i.e. passing on the cheesecake).
I like to do a total at the end of each meal so I can see just how much energy I’ve brought on site throughout the day. At the end of the day I circle the things that I could have lived without. I learn from it, I plan accordingly for the next day and I move on.
For example, the other day I ate oatmeal for breakfast at 6am. I was then out until after 12:30pm and forgot to bring anything with me to eat. I became hungry, stuffed my good sense in the backroom, and got two items from a nearby vending machine. This little venture added 315 calories to my energy inventory. Had a brought my usual spinach and/or a couple pieces of fruit I could have taken in less than 100 calories, had plenty to eat and avoided the surplus. The next day I simply packed the foods I wanted to eat while I was away and got on with the reconstruction process.
The above point emphasizes the importance of planning ahead and what can happen when we don’t. Take a few minutes in the evening to put something together for you to grab on your way out the door in the morning. When you do total your daily intake you’ll be glad you planned ahead!
I also keep (and recommend having) a small digital scale on my kitchen counter. I got mine for under 10 dollars at my local supermarket. I simply set what I’m eating on the scale so I have a better ideal of what a true portion size looks like. It also helps me to record what I take in each day with a little more accuracy. I won’t always have a scale with me and that’s no big deal, now I have a visual image of what 3oz of chicken or 6oz of sweet potato looks like. When I’m out and in doubt I use my hand for reference. The size and thickness of the palm of your hand can “generally” be considered a proper portion size.
I also suggest referencing a calorie counter website in helping you determine the amount of energy within the foods you’re eating. You can Google just about any of them, but here are a couple just to help get you started. I suggest book-marking them for easy reference later.
WebMD Food Calorie Counter:
ProHealth Food Calculator:
4th – How Do I lose Weight
I enjoy food. I enjoy the aromas from something that’s been cooking all day, I love the presentation of a beautiful plate, and I appreciate the work to construct a gorgeous layer cake. I am also developing the wine connoisseur within me and for these reasons I exercise everyday.
If you want to eat and expect to loose weight you must get moving and stay moving. I enjoy being active and functioning without the guilt of knowing that I took in more energy than I used. I suggest finding something that you enjoy doing… then just do it. A treadmill is just a place to hang your wet laundry until you put it into motion. I really love the elliptical machine, palates, and yoga. I burn a high number of calories on the elliptical and with the ability to vary the resistance I’m always challenged. I love the control and flexibility I get from palates and yoga and my body is making positive changes.
5th – Why Am I Gaining Weight
It’s equally important to know what you do to create your weight loss obstacles. For example, sometimes when I feel anxious about a deadline, self-imposes or otherwise, and I give my stomach a lot of attention. There are times when I head to the kitchen in what I believe to be procrastination and anxiously search for something to eat.
To prevent my self from creating a surplus of energy I think to my self, “take a drink of water”. Many times our bodies will confuse a need for water with a need for food and I would rather fill up on water anyway than say a bowl full of empty regret-ridden calories. I then pull out my food log notebook to see where I’m at and then I add in what I’m thinking about eating. I make some tea or some homemade cocoa and many times the waiting and the preparation of something for my body is enough to call off the craving, give me time to relax, and return to my desk. Granted this may not be the case every time.
There will be times when you will simply eat whatever it is you’re desiring. But the times you don’t give into your cravings will out-weigh the times you do by simply creating an awareness of your actions and thinking about alternative ways to react when you feel that way.
Alternatively, you may notice that after you start exercising that instead of loosing weight you actually gain 2-3 pounds. Please don’t be discouraged… there’s a couple of things that likely happened. One is that your body simply developed a couple pounds of muscle, which is great. Muscle is constantly working on the reconstruction project and is vital to your long-term success.
Also, I recently read an exert from Martin Katahn’s The T-Factor diet books which states that “an increase in exercise time or intensity can lead to a brief gain of a few pounds. If at any time you suddenly increase your exercise time or intensity a significant amount you may gain a couple of pounds overnight. This will be gone in a matter of 1-2 days. It occurs because a sudden increase in exercise will cause your exercised muscles to take in an extra load of glycogen from subsequent meals. Since glycogen is stored with 3-4 parts water, it means a considerable weight gain.” I personally had experienced this and was a bit discouraged about it at first. I simply continued with my routine and as stated, a couple days later I was back on track.
I hope this article gives you a nice starting point for your weight loss goals. If you have a similar story you would like to share, constructive feedback to provide, or a compliment you’d like to share please feel free to contact me at http://kimchelltalk.com/contact
Most Sincerely,KimChell Haskell
About the Author
KimChell [Kim-Shell] Talk is a simple reference guide designed to inspire you to transform your Self from a reader to a doer. We strive to help you shed your disempowering thoughts, words, and actions with the free content found throughout http://kimchelltalk.com/. Life is a journey… not a destination point. We want to help you dance along your course as if no one is watching you, sing as if no one can hear you, and enjoy the many pleasures of life. So we wish you many happy trails.