How to Double Your Weight Loss
by Suzie Cooney, CPT
My clients, who are the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off, know exactly what they eat, how much they eat and how to avoid the yo-yo ups and downs. Some experts say, don’t worry about counting calories , some say it doesn’t matter how many calories you eat, as long as you exercise in moderation.
There is some half-truth to those statements. But math, is math, the numbers tell all. Most people simply have no concept or any idea how much they eat in one day. I will show you how to take a small step for a positive, lifetime change. Please don’t starve yourself, or over feed your body, but understand that your body needs you to make the best choices.
If you want to succeed in weight loss, break unhealthy eating habits, improve your nutrition, solve your own personal barriers to success, stop the confusion, uncover your “food” triggers, and stay on track, then keep reading! I want YOU to be healthy and be a success.
It’s really amazing how fast I can uncover what a person is lacking, or needing in their diet to achieve their goals. Or, what might be triggering them to eat at midnight or while in the shower. I’m not kidding! The most common element I found, that when people are embarking on a new fitness plan, while learning how to eat well, they simply don’t eat enough.
Research clearly shows those who consistently monitor their food intake lose weight more steadily and keep it off more successfully than those who don’t. That’s because the journal keepers are able to identify the sources of empty calories and know when they resort to overeating.
Surprisingly, I’ve encountered some opposition, a few roll of the eyes and groans, I had one person say, “ oh no, I can’t do that. That’s making me focus too much on food instead of exercise.” I politely said, “Well, I said to my darling client, the choice is yours.” What I wanted to say was, “Well, since you are fifty pounds over weight, it would appear that you place a great deal of focus on food,” but of course I didn’t want to offend them.
If you really want to lose the weight and keep it off, learn how to keep a food journal or food diary. It doesn’t have to be daunting or “one more thing” to do. If you aren’t serious about making a change, or have a million excuses why you can’t do it, stop reading here.
The journal doesn’t lie. It’s reality. It creates the awareness that I know is hard to face. It helps us to record bad eating patterns, and why and when we eat. Once we learn and understand why we eat and what we eat, then we’re getting to the real good stuff. Eating should be for 90% survival and energy, pleasure to equal 10%.
The Essential Functions and Benefits of a Food Diary:
First: The diary gives us the data necessary to make changes and improvements we need to make. Many times clients tell me how “good” they’ve been, until I see what and how much they’ve have been eating. The minute I see their diary, I can easily uncover why they have not lost weight. Now, you can lie and selectively choose not to record a bag of M&Ms, or say you just had one. It’s your body.
Or they say they had a healthy salad at the salad bar, followed with 3 glasses of wine and only a few bites of dessert. What? Looking for praise, I say no “disaster.”
Second: The purpose of the journal or diary relates to choice. Avoid diet disasters and make better choices. Like that book by now we’ve all heard of by now, by author David Zinczenko, Eat This, Not That. www.EatThisNotThatBestAndWorst.com Here’s a great snippet form the Today Show just this week; where David Zinczenko shows America some of the worst, high fat, high caloric sandwiches ever! Avoiding a Sandwich Snafu A must see: Click here:
Lastly, the food diary assists you to self-monitor and develop an awareness of what your are eating ( calories in ). I can’t do this for you; you must take this on yourself. You will gasp at first as to how quickly calories add up. Go to the front page of my blog at www.suzietrainsmaui.com/blog and click on FitDay.
My clients love this site, and I love them back for making that commitment and learning something new about themselves. Some of my clients proudly print their reports and bring them to their next session with me. I like the fact that you can customize your food selections and specific types of food preparations. I know there will some good days and bad days. It’s okay, expect that, move on and just be more mindful the next time!
There are also many online calorie counters that can help you with your food values too.
If you are not a computer person, that’s okay. A simply spiral notebook works, a spreadsheet or maybe buy yourself a fancy leather journal! Commit to a minimum of 1 month. I promise you, you will be so glad you did.
Now what to write:
Date TIME FOOD PORTION SIZE CALORIES
Include all liquids, especially water. Water helps metabolize fat; therefore, weight loss will occur more efficiently in a properly hydrated body. All portion sizes need to be included to the best of your ability. Don’t just write chicken breast; instead write 4-6 oz of chicken.
Let your hand be your guide
One hand full: one ounce of nuts
Your palm: 3 ounces of meat
A fist: the size of a cup
A finger: one ounce
Remember “fat-free” doesn’t equal calorie free. Americans are consumed with fat-free this, low-calorie that. It’s mind boggling that people still believe they won’t gain weight if they eat these foods! These foods are very calorie dense.
Fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods can keep weight off, calorie-dense foods do not. There’s nothing wrong with having a cookie now and then or a bagel, but please be aware that it’s an over consumption of these foods, that makes me cringe. Some may san, “I can eat 12 cup cakes because I just ran and hour on the treadmill,” not. Don’t replace your efforts with empty calories if you are trying lose weight.. hmmm
Figuring out how many calories you need to lose weight is not hard. But first, let’s just review:
Calories in minus calories out = your body weight
Calories in, is what you put in your mouth. Calories out, is what your body’s metabolism is doing – burning calories. Metabolism refers to your body spending energy. And a calorie is a unit of energy.. Our bodies use energy to perform and function while awake and sleeping. But, when a unit of energy is consumed and not spent, it is stored. The name for that stored unit of energy is call body fat.
Side note: Studies reveal, that one pound of lean muscle tissue can burn between 35-50 calories a day, and a pound of fat only 2 –3.
50 calories a day for 365 days a year = 18,250 calories a year
Also, five pounds of lean muscle tissue can burn over twenty-six pounds each and every year you maintain the muscle.
After the age of 27 years, the average person loses roughly seven pounds of lean muscle every ten years. For us gals, the bad news is that during and after menopause, the average woman will lose one pound of muscle per year, or ten pounds of muscle every ten years. Women MUST perform regular strength and resistance training. It’s just not an option.
To be clear, if you lose muscle, reduce your basal metabolic rate, and keep eating the same amount of calories, then those additional calories not used, will be stored as body fat.
So, to determine what your body needs to stay alive we’ll use the formula that helps you determine your body’s basal metabolic rate.
“BMR” or basal metabolic rate-basically, the number of calories our body would need each day if we never-I repeat, never got out of bed, stayed awake for sixteen hours, and slept for approximately eight. Even though you are lying down, your body requires a certain amount of energy to perform essential physiological functions such as breathing, neurological functioning, heartbeat, and digestion and cell formation. Sixty to 70% of the calories you use on a daily bases are devoted to those functions.
To determine your personal BMR, the equation based on studies performed in the Nutrition Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of WA, led by Francis G. Benedict, known as the Harris-Benedict equation, resulting in this widely accepted equation to determine BMR: For
Men 67+(6.24 x weight in pounds)+(12.7 x height in inches)-(6.9 x age)= BMR
Women: 661+(4.38 x weight in pounds)+(4.38 x height in inches)-(4.7 x age)= BMR
Let’s now examine the impact of Activity on your metabolism. Activity is another component of metabolism that can account for 20-30% of your metabolism. To measure your additional calories burned through activity, it is necessary to use a multiplier. To determine the total amount of calories from basal metabolic and activity you require each day to stay at your present weight, we will multiply the following numbers by your BMR:
Sedentary 1.15 multiplier
Light Activity (normal, everyday activities) 1.3 multiplier
Moderately Active (exercise 3-4 x week) 1.4 multiplier
Very Active (exercise more than 4 x week) 1.6 multiplier
Extremely Active (exercise 6-7 x week) 1.8 multiplier
One more important point regarding the above equation: Realize that the higher your body weight, the higher your basal metabolic rate.
The software on FitDay automatically calculates your numbers for you! Remember make it easy.
Now that you have the how, you now have to do. For some, this is a whole new language and I understand that.
So, start your food dairy today and take it with you everywhere you go. If you do load the software, just make notes on a pad to enter before you check your email, so you can then enter your data of the day. It does require you to do some research and learn caloric values and awareness.
In good health, see you on the water! Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui