So you want to lose weight but you're not sure where to start?
It can be pretty overwhelming in our day of information overload, infomercial ab crunchers & all the promise of a pill in a bottle.
Well, straight up.....weight loss is a simple game of numbers. You have to burn more calories than you consume & that's it.
In order to lose 1 lb of body fat, you must create a defecit of 3500 calories either by working out or through diet choices.
Losing 1 lb/week is a safe pace and that would mean taking 500 calories out of every day. It sounds simple enough, but most people don't either know how many calories they should be consuming and/or how many calories they're actually taking in every day.
The first thing you need to understand is what your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is. Your BMR is the amount of energy/calories your body needs just to be able to maintain normal body function. This is the number of calories your body would burn through if you didn't lift a finger all day. You need to be consuming at least this number every day so that your body is efficient & healthy. A common mistake most people make when trying to lose weight is cutting their calories too low and although this may work for a short time, it will most certainly come back to bite them.
Now that I've got you all curious, go grab a pen & a calculator.
Female: 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Male: 66 + (6.3 x body weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years).Through these calculations, my BMR is 1327 & my husband's is 1670.
After you calculate your BMR, you want to factor in your activity level. Take your BMR & multiply it by the proper ratio below:
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extra active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
So, I would take my BMR of 1327 and multiply it by 1.725, because I workout daily and I'm also still nursing my daughter which adds an extra caloric need. Now my daily need is at 2289 calories.
Once you have that number, you are ready to play.
If you are looking to maintain your weight - aim to eat that amount every day.
If you are looking lose weight, you are going to cut about 500 calories from that number every day and vice versa if you're trying to gain weight.
I wanted to explain those calculations before I tell you about this awesome site called Dailyplate. I know you're going to want to hit me when I tell you that this site will do all those calculations for you and has a massive database of foods that you can enter to find out what your consuming each day. I'm only trying to teach you how to fish :)
This site is so easy to use and it's totally FREE!! I'll log onto it a couple times a month just to see how my daily intake is looking in terms of calories & food ratios (Carbs/Pro/Fats/Fiber etc)
I'm feeling extra nice tonight, so I'll take you through a couple of screen shots:
~The first thing you'll do is enter your info so the Dailyplate knows your calorie limit:
~ Then you'll click on "MyPlate" and you'll notice that your daily expected calorie intake is on the right (mine is 2466)
~Once you enter in all the foods you've had that day, it will record them further down the page and will show you the counts for each item. Here is my intake yesterday:
~ There's also a section on this page to enter how many glasses of water you drank.
~ And at the very bottom you'll find the ratios of what you ate. (Don't judge my sugar intake too harshly...I'm working on it!)
Such a great tool to use....hope you find this helpful!
And now on to some healthy links to check out this weekend:
- I've had a few baking flops since becoming vegan and not wanting to use eggs in my recipes. I will often do the 'flax egg' instead (1 tbsp ground flax : 3 tbsp water), but I loved This List of other substitutes and can't wait to try the baking soda & apple cider vinegar idea!
- I love this list that Kim of Your Green Baby put together on the necessary supplements for a Vegetarian/Vegan child to be taking. I add Hemp oil to Chloe's daily fruit smoothie but haven't been giving her DHA before reading this.
- I know that it's very appealing to give in to the 2 for $1 chocolate bar deal, but did you know that 20 of the healthiest foods you can eat are also under $1? While I don't agree with every item on this list (dairy), 18/20 of them are vegan and so good for you!
- Here are 7 Ways the Food Industry influences our dietary choices and it's pretty scary stuff. But, it's all about being informed and making better choices!
- Steve Wynn holds a special place in my heart for helping my hubs & I make some pretty special memories when staying in Vegas. He's now made my heart sing again after learning that he just became Vegan & now has several Vegan options on the menus of all his restaurants/hotels. Apparently it was this movie, "Eating", that made him change cold 'tofu'. Have any of you seen this? I'm hoping to find a copy at the library....
To your Swellbeing,