Posts Tagged ‘calories’

The Only Diet that Works

Constant diet-discoveries have made us chronic dieters, fickly abandoning one fad diet for the next, in our pursuit of lipid-blasting. So as we struggle into jeans that the washing machine has shrunk yet again, we wonder: What will actually WORK for me long-term?

Only one thing does. And it’s not even a diet.

It’s the Calories-In vs Calories-Out Lifestyle. It allows all foods, is simple, healthy and can be maintained long-term.

Here’s how you follow it:

Step 1: Record your InCal or the calories you consume per day(most packaged foods provide the calorie information per serving, others you can look up on http://www.thecaloriecounter.com

Step 2: Calculate your basic metabolic rate(BMR), ie., the calories you burn just to breathe, digest food etc.
If you’re female, use the formula 655+(4.3 x weight in pounds)+(4.7 x height in inches)-(4.7 x age in years).
If you’re male, use the formula 66+(6.3 x weight in pounds)+(12.9 x height in inches)-(6.8 x age in years).

Step 3: Record your OutCal or the calories you burn per day through physical activity. Most cardio exercise machines display calories burned. You can estimate calories burned for other activities (Ladies, think shopping. Gentlemen, think cleaning out the garage :-)) using http://www.www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

Step 4: Calculate your Calorie-Deficit(CD)using this formula: BMR+OutCal-InCal. For example: If your InCal is 1600 calories, your BMR is 1500 and your OutCal is 600, your CD will be 500. Now, you need a CD of 3500 to lose 1 pound. So in this example, you can lose 1 pound every week.

I lost 43 of my 50 pregnancy pounds following this approach. But then I got greedy, wanted to lose the last sticky, sticky seven pounds in a minute. I tried the fad diets, lost some flab, gave up the disgusting meal-plan (whether Cabbage Soup, Starvation or Eat-All-Animals-You-Can-Find), regained the flab.

But I’m back on track this week with the Calories-In vs Calories-Out Lifestyle. If I succumb and eat half a bar of chocolate at dusk (Tragic Fact of Life: junk food doesn’t nourish, but has calories. So if you substitute nutritious food with junk, you’re substituting ONLY calories and may feel hungry (read nutrition-deprived) when you try to stay within your InCal allowance), I make up by eating a mound of greens for dinner.

And I’ve already lost a pound. Woohoo!

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The Eternal Dieter

I climbed onto my PreCor this morning. Did the requisite 300 calories. Ate two slices of whole wheat toast for breakfast. Am contemplating skipping lunch. The prospect depresses me enormously but the scales depress me more.

I’ve been on a diet for a nine years now, ever since I became a mommy. I’ve tried it all – Atkins, South Beach, WeightWatchers, Nutrisystem, Cabbage Soup. I lose a few pounds. Celebrate with chocolate. Gain them back. And the years roll by.

I am the Eternal Dieter. Not fat, just chasing the pipe-dream of getting back to my pre-mommy size. Every couple of months, I sneak into the fitting-rooms at Ann Taylor or Macy’s with Size 4 outfits. They emphasize the soft band of blubber around my waist. Sadly, I return them to their hangers.

In theory, I know what I should do. Change my eating habits. Ensure that the Calories in are less than the Calories out. Keep a food diary. I do all of this. Most of the time. But the exceptions ensure the soft band at my waist stays.

So I’ll just keep dieting. Forever.

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