Candace's Favorite Things

Thursday, September 8, 2011


SO, you want to lose some weight, but seem to be having a little trouble with how to begin. Well, you could make an appointment with a certified Nutrition Specialist like myself, or (my collegues are going to kill me for this), you can get started all by yourself. While there are many reasons to hire a specialist like myself, getting the ball rolling in the right direction isn't necesarily one of them. Here's the first thing you need to do in order to get yourself started off on the right foot and on your way to POUNDS DOWN! 

The first step is to look at how much you are eating in order to be where you are. To do this, you need to calculate (on average) how many calories you are consuming daily. This number represents the amount of food you are eating to maintain your current weight. Many online resources and books provide accurate caloric amounts for every food known to man. Find the one that seems the most user-friendly to you and become familiar with it.

Next, for three days, keep a food journal of every morsel that enters your mouth. Be sure to record both food and drink. Alongside each item, record the calories. Do a running total of each day’s caloric intake and find the average for your three daily totals. Some websites will do this for you.

Try not to do anything out of the ordinary. Often, I am handed a food journal. I assess it and then meet with my client and hand it back and tell them “nice try.” The reason is, if they were eating what their journal reflected on a regular basis, they wouldn’t need my help (if you get my drift). It’s the equivalent of cleaning the house before the maid comes. If your home always looked like that, you wouldn’t need her. Be honest and be you — anything else won’t render accurate results.

For example … Monday’s total, 2,321 calories; Tuesday’s total, 2,035 calories; Wednesday’s total, 2,200 calories. Add all three days (6,556) and divide by three. This person’s average caloric intake for three days: 2,185.

Now that you have calculated your average daily caloric intake for weight maintenance, take that number and shave off an appropriate amount through plain, old food reduction AND exercise to create a modest “caloric deficit.” This will render a reasonable weekly weight reduction.

In order to lose one pound of body fat, you must achieve a deficit of 3,500 calories.

One of my clients actually let out a faint yelp the first time I broke this uplifting news.

If you reduce your food intake by a modest 300 calories per day, while at the same time adding 30 minutes of intentional moderate exercise (like fitness walking, for example) that is worth an approximate 200- to 300-calorie burn, you create a total deficit of approximately 500 calories per day. In other words, a 300-calorie “food intake” reduction plus a 200-calorie “exercise expenditure” reduction equals a daily 500-calorie deficit.

A 500-calorie reduction per day x seven days a week = a 3,500-calorie reduction per week. This renders a body fat weight loss equal to one pound per week!

Not much of a wow factor, huh? Were you waiting for me to pull a rabbit out of my hat? Sorry, but there are no tricks up the sleeves of anyone out there to make this anything other than what it is. If they tell you they have one, take my advice and RUN! You’ll burn more calories that way and be closer to your goals then by listening to another shyster.

The truth is what it is, and boring or not, the truth is the only thing that will ultimately set you free from your weight issues for life. Anything else is likely to be just another fad that will come and go as fast as your weight leaves and returns.

It has been true since the dawn of time and it’s still true today. The old common-sensical “EAT LESS/MOVE MORE” theory actually works! A weight loss of one to two pounds per week is what you’re shooting for. If you lose a bit faster at first, you should settle down to not much more than two pounds or so per week. Anything faster than that will inevitably have you so hungry at the end of the day that you’ll be willing to eat your shoes, much less anything else that looks even a bit more appetizing. A few days of that and off you go down the road to the local doughnut shop.

So, now it’s your turn. Plug in your numbers and do the math. Try to eat foods low in saturated fats, high in fiber and chock full of colorful nutrients. Leave room for a little of what you love and you’ll win.

Come on and give it a try … WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?
and when you need a little motivation ....give me a ring!

Power on!



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