This is the time of year that people begin to think about what they would like to do differently in the upcoming year. And typically the most common resolution is to lose weight. 80% of Americans could stand to lose at least 15 pounds so chances are that if you are reading this you could shed some weight this year. I still fit into this category as well even after losing 24 pounds over the past few months.
If you are thinking about shedding some weight in 2008 I want to give you some information that may help you achieve this goal.
1 pound equals about 3,600 calories. So, to lose one pound you will need to burn 3,600 calories more than what you take in. Sounds simple right?
Let me pose a question to you. A 194 pound male runs 1 mile. About how many calories did this man just burn? Would you guess 1,000 calories, 800 calories, or even 500 calories? If you guessed any of those you were mistaken. This man would have burned off about 126 calories running that one mile. Only 126. So, you can see that 3,600 number above is pretty large.
Now, don’t be discouraged. Remember if you have 15 pounds to lose you gained it over a long period of time, not just a few days. So losing weight will take time as well. You can’t expect instant results. You really need to understand this. To be successful you need to work at losing weight for more than just a couple of weeks. You need to be in this for the long haul. You need to have realistic expectations of how much weight you can lose within a given time frame. A lot of people join gyms right after January 1st and then drop off within just a few weeks because they don’t see those instant results. You need to go into this knowing that you will not see huge results overnight.
I have changed my lifestyle over the last couple months and am working out daily. I am losing about 2 pounds per week. I am not an expert, but I have certainly learned some solid fundamentals that I want to share with you.
To be losing two pounds per week this essentially means I am burning 7,200 calories more than what I am consuming each week. To do this you should not deprive your body of calories by not eating. If you do deprive yourself of food a few things will happen. 1.) You will burn muscle and not fat. You don’t want to lose muscle, that is good stuff. 2.) You won’t have the energy to actually workout well and 3.) Since you will be losing muscle you will burn fewer calories when you are not active.
To lose weight you need to eat. Those fad diets and starvation diets are not going to help you keep the weight off. They will make you weak and discourage you, and you will probably end 2008 bigger than you are now.You need to be more conscious of what you eat. I have been using a website called Gyminee.com to help me track what I eat for the past two months. It is very easy to eat far more calories than what your body needs. So how many calories does your body need? I used this calculator to figure out how many calories I should eat in a day.
Now I want to show you using some basic math how your activity level and calorie intake are related in the weight loss process.
Here are my essential numbers:
Calories to consume daily to maintain my current weight: 2,350 (based on this calculator)
Average calories I burn daily at the Gym: 700 (This is about an hour on the elliptical machine each day)
Average calories burned per week at the Gym: 4,900
If we do the math you can see that I should be losing over one pound per week. To achieve two pounds per week I have decreased my calorie goal per day to only 2,000 calories. Doing this gives me a 350 calorie deficit each day. ( I don’t recommend running far into a deficit, taking just a bit off is reasonable. Most people recommend a 2,000 calorie diet if you are trying to lose weight. ) I can now add this to the calories I am burning at the gym to see how much weight I should lose each week.
This gives me 7,350 calories burned each week that I have not taken in. And two pounds is 7,200 calories. The math matches the results I am seeing. So, this is one of those times that math is actually useful. Losing weight is simply applying some basic math to your life. More activity and fewer calories.
If I were not actively working out at the Gym I would need to dramatically change what and how much I eat. Literally to the point of depriving my body of what it needs. So, for me it seems clear. To lose weight you need to be more active. Because there are really only two essential variables at play when it comes to losing weight. They are: Calories Burned and Calories Consumed. I could go into more detail about types of calories, and whether they come from fat , carbohydrates, and all of that stuff. But for now I simply want to show you that essentially losing weight is about being more active and making sure you don’t eat too much.
You may be reading this and be thinking “There is no way I can do this.” 2 Pounds per week may be too high a goal for you. This is ok. In no way should you feel bad, you need to create realistic goals for yourself if you are going to be successful in 2008. You can always adjust your goals and try for 1 pound every two weeks or 1 pound every week. You need to begin 2008 with realistic goals. Remember there are 52 weeks in 2008, so even if you only lose 1/2 a pound per week you can lose 26 pounds this year by being more active and watching what you eat. But if your goal is to lose 26 pounds in 3 weeks and then go back to your ‘old ways’ you will fail, and likely end up gaining it all back plus some by the end of 2008. Losing weight takes time, and you need to take the time to do it or it simply won’t happen.
I hope this information is helpful for you and I wish you a successful 2008!
So what is my New Years Resolution? To keep going with my plan to get in shape and to communicate to as many people as I can about how simple it is to actually do this.
A goal of mine for the month of December has been to be in the Top 10 list at my Gym. Last month I narrowly missed being in the Top 10 list so I have literally worked twice as hard this month to hopefully make the cut. So far, this has been paying off.
Here is a screen shot of today’s official rankings at my Gym (The Cape Coral Wellness Center).
I am currently in 4th place!
There are six more days left this month so I know I need to remain diligent and keep up the long workouts to maintain this ranking.
Side Note: I am learning more about my personality. I am an “All or Nothing” type of person. I basically mean that I will either go all out and be dedicated to something or I will be a complete bum and do nothing. It is hard for me to be in-between.
In October I began seriously working out after my Doctor informed me that I have a really high triglyceride count and am at an extremely high risk of becoming Diabetic. So far I am having success in maintaining an almost daily workout routine and am watching what I eat far better than I ever did before. I have truly learned the value of a calorie. And it is this knowledge that is really making all the difference.
The tool that helped me learn the actual value of a calorie was Gyminee.com. Their website allows you to log what you eat so you can see how many calories you are consuming in a day. You can set calorie goals, fat gram goals and more. After doing this for over a month I have finally learned how much a calorie is worth. And by going to the gym daily I have learned how much working out is actually needed to burn off a calorie. These two things combined have dramatically changed my outlook on food and daily activity. I used to think walking around the block was a big deal, and now I realize that it hardly burns any calories. To really lose weight you need to be more active than simply taking a short stroll around the neighborhood.
When I started in October I was 213lbs and now I am at 192lbs. I had a 38 inch waist and now I have a 35 inch waist. 21lbs gone and 3 inches in about 2 months! I am still not at my goal but seeing results is very encouraging. I hope to be near 170 pounds by the time I see the Doctor again in February and maybe even have a 32 inch waist. (I believe that was my waist size when I started college)
I found a list of how to compare proper food portions with everyday objects that we are familiar with.
I hope you find this helpful:
Food portion: 1 oz sausage link (54 cal, 5 g fat)
Same size as: shotgun shell
Food portion: 1 tsp butter (34 cal, 4 g fat)
Same size as: tip of thumb
Food portion: 1/2 c mashed potatoes (112 cal, 5 g fat)
Same size as: 1/2 apple
Food portion: 1 oz cubed Swiss cheese (107 cal, 8 g fat)
Same size as: 4 dice
Food portion: 1/2 c cooked spaghetti (99 cal, 1 g fat)
Same size as: fist
Food portion: 3 oz beef (219 cal, 13 g fat)
Same size as: deck of cards
Food portion: 1/2 c ice cream (143 cal, 7 g fat)
Same size as: tennis ball
Food portion: 4 oz dry spaghetti (422 cal, 2 g fat)
Same size as: the diameter of a quarter (when held tightly together and viewed from the end)
Food portion: 1 c chicken-noodle soup (175 cal, 6 g fat)
Same size as: baseball
Food portion: 1 Tbsp blue-cheese dressing (77 cal, 8 g fat)
Same size as: 1/2 golf ball
Food portion: 8 oz lasagna (270 cal, 8 g fat)
Same size as: 2 hockey pucks
Food portion: 1 oz mozzarella (80 cal, 6 g fat)
Same size as: Ping-Pong ball
This information came from the Men’s Health website.
I was talking with someone at work today about the Internet. They mentioned that they are always confused about how to know if the website they are at is really the ‘real website’. The example they mentioned was an Online Banking website. They have heard about fake sites being setup to trick you into providing your login details and then people steal all of your money. This is a legitimate concern, because people really do setup fake sites and do exactly that, take your money. The good news is that if you are using an up-to-date web browser (Firefox or IE7), and use your eyes then you can easily know if you are at a real site or a fake site. The address bar is the area at the top of your browser window where you would type in a website address. I have learned that tons of people surf the web without typing anything or ever looking at the address bar. If you are one of those people then this information will be extra important for you. So, this blog post is intended to explain to whomever takes the time to read this, why it is important to simply look at your address bar to see where you are on the Internet.
Here is a picture of my address bar. You should see something similar to this at the top of your web browser.
Let me provide an example of why it is important to look at your address bar. You get an email from Bank of America for some special offer, and you want this offer. You click a link in the email. The site you go to looks like the Bank of America site and it has a login form. You are excited to get this great offer from Bank of America. But wait. STOP! Before you log into this site you need to look at the address bar in your browser. Why?
If you see https://www.bankofamerica.com , then you are probably at the real Bank of America website. However, since you clicked a link in an email you may not want to 100% trust this due to some older browser vulnerabilities. IE7 has some anti-phishing tools that are good to have enabled. If you are not using an up-to-date browser you should install Firefox or IE7 as soon as possible. Old Web browsers can put you at risk to get tricked into logging into a fake site.
If you see https://123576.fhdhs.com , or any other site then you are at what is called a Phishing site. If you log into this site some criminal will get your Bank of America login information and will then have full access to your Bank Account.
You may even see something like https://bankofamerica.fhdhs.com . The fhdhs.com portion is the site you are going to if you click this link. I know it says bankofamerica in the link, but it simply isn’t the Bank of America website. Why? You should read a URL from right to left, and not left to right. That portion directly before the .com is the real website you are heading to, and that does not say bankofamerica.com.
I know someone right now is really concerned at how easy it might be for someone to setup a fake site and trick you. But don’t be concerned. Keep your web browser up to date and use your eyes to look at the address bar and you will be fine. Another simple rule of thumb to avoid fake sites is, simply don’t ever go to an important site by clicking on a link. You should go to important sites directly and never through a link in an email or from another website. Legitimate banking sites don’t ever provide login links or ever ask for personal information about you or your account through email. So simply getting such a request through email should be ignored, ignore it even if the email says that the bank is going to take your house. If you are actually concerned give the bank a call, but don’t mess around with the email or any links that might be in it. If you still want to go to the Bank of America website simply type www.bankofamerica.com into your address bar or use a favorite or bookmarked link. You don’t have to use a link to get to a website, that is what the address bar is for. 🙂
For some , this may be a new way to surf the web. But it is extremely important to look at your address bar. It is simple and could save you from a lot of hassle and financial loss. Know where you are on the Internet. And only provide login information when you are 100% sure you are at the website you intend to be at. The eyes built into your head are your best tool for keeping you safe online.