Is weight loss your goal for 2009? Losing weight is theoretically pretty simple. Calories in vs. Calories out, right? I've never been a good calorie counter...I honestly have no clue how many I eat in a given day. But I try to remember that food is fuel. Your body actually needs a certain number of calories on any given day in order to function at it's best. Wouldn't it be nice of a little bell went off when we've reached our daily limit? It's so hard to know!
A basic number to go by (which obviously doesn't account for many individual factors) is this:
Women: Multiply your body weight by 10
Men: (you out there, men? Michael?) Multiply your body weight by 12
These multipliers (10) and (12) are average Basal Metabolic Rates. This is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). These are the calories your body requires to maintain normal body functions. First you need to be aware of this number, then you can try to account for the calories you eat on a daily basis (let me know if any of you have a simple way to do this...I've never been able to). THEN you can begin to manage your body weight, and understand why you are or aren't losing, why you have high/low energy levels, etc. Food is fuel, people!
Here’s a simple formula that is KEY to your success: there are 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat. So, if you want to lose one pound of fat per week (an actual achievable goal), you need to expend 3,500 more calories than your body needs to function (RMR). You can achieve this in one of three ways; by eating less, exercising more, or both! Here's an easy way: cut the calories you put into your mouth by 250 a day, and then burn at least 250 a day. (This is where my beloved heart rate monitor comes in handy...psssst...we have a giveaway in the works!) This gives you a 500 calorie a day deficit, which, over the course of 7 days (3,500 calories), should help you lose a pound of fat.
So what's your goal? Ten pounds? That's how you can do it in 10-weeks! Woo hoo!
Happy New Year's Eve! If you're indulging tonight, make sure you really enjoy the indulgence...don't just eat mindlessly. It's all about paying attention! What are you doing to ring in the New Year? See you in 2009!