Monday, February 20, 2012

The "Secrets" Part I

There are several questions I had to answer when I started to lose weight in order to be successful. (1) What is a healthy weight for me? (2) How many calories should I consume every day? (3) How much do I need to exercise?

The answers to these questions can be difficult to find, because there are so many different diets and so much varying information out there.  I was involved in a program and they gave us information to help us determine things like what a healthy weight is and how many calories we should be netting given our weight goals, I have put some of that information together with what I have learned. Again, these are general formulas and information - everyone is different, and you should talk to your doctor before embarking upon any weight loss program. That said, here is the information I used to determine the weight for which I should aim and the calorie intake / exercise that would be required to get there, it may be a useful start:
  1. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A healthy / normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, 25.0 to 29.9 is considered to be overweight, and 30.0 and above is considered to be obese. The BMI does have its limitations. For example, it may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.  To be honest, I was mortified to see just how low my weight would have to drop to be in the normal range, but it provided a good guide by which to set my goal. It can be depressing, I have lost 93 pounds and I am still in the "obese" range - but I am rapidly approaching "overweight" (I never thought reaching the "overweight" milestone would be cause for celebration...but it will be). Here is a link to a BMI calculator. It is important to note that BMI is not the only indicator of health, other things - like waist circumference - are indicators as well - but like I said, BMI is a good starting point from which to set a weight goal. 
  2. Determining Net Calorie Intake: Once I determined my goal weight, the next step was to determine how many calories I needed to net each day {Net Calories = Calories in (food) - Calories out (exercise) }.  
    • The formula I was given to make this determination was this: Women take goal weight and multiply it by 10. Thus, my goal weight is 135 - so I should net 1350 calories / day. If I do this, I should lose weight until I arrive at my goal weight. To maintain my goal weight - I need to continue to net 1350 calories / day. If I get to my goal weight and find that 1350 is impossible to maintain, I'll maintain a higher weight, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I am netting 1200 calories / day and I am losing pretty consistently. 
    • For men, the formula is goal weight multiplied by 11.  These are the formulas I was given and they seem to be working for both me and for my husband.
    • There are other formulas that you can find online and you will get similar results like this Calorie Calculator.  
It is important to make sure you eat enough calories, I am eating at least 1200 calories / day right now (and I net between 550 and 1200/day after exercise), and I wouldn't go much further down. Also, I have been told that netting under 200 calories / day is actually very bad for you. (i.e. either eating less than 200 calories / day or burning more exercising than you take in - burning 1300 in exercise after eating 1200 may seem like a great idea, but can actually be harmful).
I have broken this into 2 posts because there is a lot of information to absorb here - so check back tomorrow for the second half of this post :-) 

No comments:

Post a Comment