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Baby-steps and Consistency will make a New Healthy You in the Poconos

It’s Important to Set Reasonable Goals for Successful Changes.

Chances are it has taken more than one week for you to get unhealthy, overweight and out of shape.   In most cases, it’s been months and years of inactivity and overeating that got you to the point of needing to make a change – so you can’t expect to wake up tomorrow as a new healthy you.  Don’t overwhelm yourself, or set yourself up for failure by setting unreasonable goals for a new healthy you this year.  Small Steps followed CONSISTENTLY will add up to accomplishing your Fitness Goals for 2012.

Here are some suggestions:

Just Start Moving  – commit to just 10 minutes of some VIGOROUS activity, but do it  EVERY DAY – and after two weeks, add 5 more minutes each week, and eventually you will get to 60 minutes.

Put Yourself in a Healthy Environment – Avoid Unhealthy Places and Situations – join a health club and stay around healthy people, stay away from the office areas where the food is laid out, bring your lunch to work – or take a walk at lunch time, have a NO FOOD in the Car policy, etc.

Start a FOOD JOURNAL – for 3 days, write down EVERY SINGLE ITEM that passes your lips, and the times you are eating.  You will be able to quickly see how much you are eating, what you are eating, and when you are eating.  Improve your eating habits by replacing the mindless eating with drinking water.  Mindless eating includes:  eating while driving, reading, watching TV or your kids playing sports, working, or any other time when you are bored, lonely, or not really hungry.

Make ONE Change in your diet and follow through on this ONE change for a month.  For instance, eliminate deserts, soda, alcohol, red meat, dairy, etc. for just ONE month.

Also – Knowledge Is POWER, and if you are HONEST with yourself, and REALLY want to change, you will get the information you need to SUPPORT what you want to do.

Determine how many calories you need each day:

Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Example: You are 38-year-old woman, who is 5’4″ and 142 pounds.

First, convert your height into inches. 5’4″ equals 64 inches.

Now paste your values into the equation above.

655 + (4.35 x 142) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 38)
655 + 617.7 + 300.8 – 178.6 = 1394.9
Your BMR = 1394.9

Calculate Total Calorie Needs
Even the most sedentary person will burn more than that just by smiling, laughing, or fidgeting. To get a better sense of how many calories your body uses in any given day, you need to factor in your activity level. To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  • If you are lightly active (easy exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  • If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  • If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  • If you are extremely active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job): BMR x 1.9

Continuing with our example, let’s assume you are lightly active. Multiply your BMR from above (1394.9) by 1.375 = 1918.   This is the total number of calories you would need to Maintain your current weight.

IN GENERAL – To lose weight: To take off 1 pound per week, you need to create a “deficit” of 500 calories per day. You can do this by eating 250 fewer calories a day (for example, cut out a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda) and burning an extra 250 calories through physical activity (for example, walk for 2.5 miles). Another way to cut back on calories is to watch your portion sizes.

Know Your BMI (Body Mass Index) Number

The formula for calculating BMI is a simple equation using height and weight, and is illustrated explained below.

The formula is as follows:

height in inches      multiplied by height in inches   =    height squared

weight in pounds    divided by height squared      multiplied by 703 = BMI Score

Know Where YOU Stand in BMI Ranges:

Underweight    up to 18.4                 Healthy Weight   18.5 – 24.9

Overweight 25 – 29.9                         Obese  30 and over

Understand Portion Sizes and Food Calories – It’s so easy to use the internet to get Food Calorie Information.

For instance:  ONE serving of fish, chicken, or meat = a deck of cards, ONE cup/serving of cereal, rice, pasta = a baseball, ONE tblsp/serving of salad dressing, mayo, butter = a poker chip.

With the information you have, and an Honest Assessment of your activity level and your eating habits, you can establish your starting point and then track your progress.  Remember, just start with LITTLE STEPS – Baby Steps and Small Changes – BUT follow through CONSISTENTLY, and you WILL SEE POSITIVE CHANGES in your Health.

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