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Showing posts with label Tracking your Calorie Loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tracking your Calorie Loss. Show all posts

3 Ways to Track Calories More Easily

One of the best ways to lose weight is to count calories so you can have a specific number of calories every day (and if you overeat, schedule more time to exercise to burn off any excess calories).

But to do this means a lot of math and some people don't like math. So how can you make it easier for you to do?

#1. Get your kids to do the math

Think of it like extra homework or chores. If you already reward your kids doing their chores / doing homework with an allowance then this will just be another way for your kids to earn $$$. So this is a win for your kids and a win for you.

#2. Calorie Counting App

Get a calorie counting app for your smartphone and start keeping track of everything using the app. Pretty easy, but you have to remember to do it every time you eat so much as an apple or a yogurt.

#3. Meal Plans

Plan your meals and snacks so you know exactly how many calories you are consuming each day based on the menu for the day.

This way you know you are getting 300 calories for breakfast and lunch, 200 calories during snack breaks at 10 AM, 3 PM + 8 PM, and 400 calories for supper. So [300 x 2] + [200 x 3] + 400 = 1600 calories daily.

As long as you just stick to your daily pre-planned meals and snacks, you don't even have to do any math beyond the initial calculations of how much to eat of each thing to make the total amount of calories for each meal. Once you've gone through all that, you've done the math, you just have to follow the plan.

Note - #3 is basically how Weight Watchers Meal Plans, Jenny Craig Meal Plans, and similar brand name meal plans work. They're designed so you just follow the plan and don't have to do any math.

You can find a variety of different types of pre-made meal plans online. Everything from vegan meal plans, paleo diet meal plans, weight gain / muscle gain meal plans (for weightlifters who want to bulk up), etc. Below are some sample meal plans, but basically you can just Google "vegan meal plan" or whatever topic you are looking for and find plenty of examples of meal plans that might suit your needs and then pick one you like.






5 Surefire Ways to Lose Weight

Various people are always having difficulty when it comes to losing weight - and keeping it off. Below it 5 surefire ways to shed the pounds, and pay close attention to #5 because it is the key to keeping it off.

#1. Do cardio exercises on a regular basis. Running, swimming, cycling. Even if you have mobility issues such as sore knees it is exceptionally important to at least walk on a regular basis - or in the case of injuries / chronic disability, swimming is very therapeutic.


#2. Track the calories you are eating and drinking, and reduce the total per day to 1400 to 1700 depending on your body size (1700 if you are tall, 1400 if you are petite). Every sip and every bite needs to be kept track of and limit yourself accordingly. Thus if you are of a medium height (5'8" tall for example) aim for 1600 calories per day.



#3. Make a habit of making sure you are getting enough sleep. People often overeat and don't exercise simply because they are exhausted. They use sugary and fatty foods to prop up their energy levels and unused energy ends up being stored as fat. Making sure you get a good night's sleep every night means you have more energy to exercise and you are less likely to overeat.

#4. Eat healthy - even when you don't want to - and aim to eat healthy foods you already love. Remember #2 above, to count calories, but also aim to make the foods you are eating as healthy as possible too. Your goal here is to make sure you are getting enough nutrients, minerals and protein to make your body a well oiled machine. Avoid anything you know is bad for you and aim for fruits and vegetables that you know you love.

#5. Repeat #1, #2, #3, #4 until they simply becomes a permanent lifestyle change. This is how you make permanent changes and keep off the weight. If you just go back to your old habits, the old weight will simply return - sometimes a lot faster than you expect. You might eventually stop doing #2 (counting calories), but exercising, sleeping well and eating healthy need to become permanent lifestyle changes.

Remember - It is okay to fall off the horse once in awhile. Just got right back on the horse and keep riding until you get to your destination. And once you get there, keep riding!

Worthwhile Fitness Goals

Sometimes it is difficult to set goals for your fitness.

For example setting a goal of losing a specific amount of weight is trickier than it sounds because your weight fluctuates up and down up several pounds every day. It is much more likely you will under or overshoot your target weight.

In addition you can also gain bone density weight - possible as the result of weightlifting, but you can also gain bone density in your legs as the result of jogging or running.

Thus measuring your weight and aiming to lose weight can sometimes be difficult to determine success. You might lose 20 lbs of fat but gain 4 lbs od muscle and 3 lbs of bone density - making you both stronger and tougher and more healthy, but because you only lost 13 lbs overall you may think you failed in your goal and feel discouraged.

If your goal is to shed fat a more realistic measurement is to use a regular tape measure - and aim to track your calorie loss instead of weight loss. Using a tape measure can still be knocked off a bit if you are gaining extra muscle in that area, but you are more likely to see the results with a tape measure. Just remember to record and track your measurements!

Or alternatively, if you track calories then you will see the mathematical difference between what you are eating and what number of calories you are burning. Counting your calories in and out is trickier and will require more effort on your part (although there are apps for that), you are far more likely to succeed if you track your calories in and out.

Setting a goal of losing 500 calories per day for example is doable. Cut out the fatty/sugary foods, eat 1700 to 1900 calories of healthy food per day... and increase your daily exercise levels so you are burning at least 2200 to 2400 calories per day. At that rate you should be losing approx. 1 lb of fat per week.

Other goals I recommend people set are:

#1. More flexibility by engaging in stretching exercises and yoga.

#2. More youthful appearance - with proper exercise and diet you can lose years off your appearance. (Most people think I am 24.)

#3. Live longer. Longevity goes hand in hand with a more youthful appearance. You could end up being 90+ and having the body of a 60 year old. (Did you know Arnold Schwarzenegger is 65 years old? He will be 66 on July 30th 2013.)

#4. Build muscle... Okay? But how much? And what do you actually use it for? If you had a favourite sport (eg. Shot Put) that calls for muscles then yes, that will help motivate you and you can use those newfound muscles in your chosen sport. (I myself did a weightlifting regime over the winter so I could pull a heavier bow for archery and hold it steady.)

#5. Build confidence / feel better about yourself.

#6. Become more fit / feel better physically.

#7. Reduce your chances of injury or illness. Again with the bone density - elderly people who do weightlifting are less likely to fall and break their hip.

#8. Reduce the symptoms of a health problem you already have. Being overweight causes many health problems, everything from heart problems to joint pain to erectile dysfunction. Losing the weight and embracing a healthier lifestyle to shed oneself of those symptoms is a worthwhile goal.

#9. Get six pack abs. True, it is a purely aesthetic goal, but it is still a goal worth having if you want to feel better and more confident about your appearance. To do this you first need to lose the weight by doing lots of cardio, and then do a combination of abs and obliques exercises.

#10. Firmer breasts that look younger and perkier. Yes, even that can be accomplished with exercise. They're called "Bust Firming Exercises" and even Marilyn Monroe did them.

MYTH BUSTING TIPS!

You can't do "spot treatment" for weight loss. If you want to lose fat in specific areas of your body then you need to exercise the WHOLE body through cardio exercises to shed the extra fat everywhere. Spot treatment works for weightlifting and building muscles in specific areas, but it doesn't do anything for shedding fat in specific areas.

Weightlifting doesn't actually cause you to lose weight that easily. There are some weightlifting trainers who like to claim that you can accomplish all your fitness goals with weightlifting alone. This is a myth that they are perpetuating. The more effective route to lose weight is old fashioned cardio exercises like jogging, swimming, etc (which won't cost you a penny). Even simple exercises like jogging up the stairs burns more calories than weightlifting - because you are lifting your body weight up the stairs while doing cardio.

Exercising doesn't have to be expensive. I have numerous Frugal Exercises posts on this website which are completely free. You don't need fancy equipment or clothes or a gym membership or a personal trainer (although if you live in Toronto I fully endorse hiring me if your have difficulty with motivating yourself).

Understanding your Basal Metabolic Rate

Your body burns calories no matter what you are doing, even while you are sleeping you are probably burning approx. 69 calories per hour, because your body uses that time to regenerate damaged tissue and build new tissue. The brain also consumes a large portion of your daily calories - even while dreaming.

So what is the basal metabolic rate? It is the amount of energy expended daily while at rest (no strenuous activity). eg. Sitting is typically 60 calories per hour, less than it takes to sleep. Assuming 552 for sleeping 8 hours and 960 calories for 16 hours of sitting, we can assume the average human uses up approx. 1512 calories per day.

Determining your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is useful when trying to lose weight. To lose weight, one must create a caloric deficit each day to eventually use up a pound worth of calories to be lose (3500) more than you are eating. It is recommended to create 5% to 10% caloric deficit each day so you can lose weight while still taking in enough vitamins for your health.

The human body is supposed to eat 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day. So if dieting you should be eating 100 or 200 calories less. So approx. between 1600 to 1800 is the ideal range for a weight loss diet. At 200 calories per day a person will lose approx. 1.7 lbs per month or 21 lbs of fat per year.

Combined with regular exercise and a person will lose weight even faster. eg. If they jog daily in addition to such a diet, enough to burn 400 calories per day, and they can lose 63 lbs of fat in a year. (Note: You can burn 400 calories by jogging for 40 minutes. And 40 minutes is only 2.8% of your day.)

Some people argue that you can crash diet by cutting your diet down to 1000 to 1500 per day, but reducing your food consumption to such a level is both dangerous and idiotic. Such a diet will also sap your mental resolve and you will probably quit the diet early and end up having your weight yo-yo up and down - which isn't going to help you at all.

When you lower your caloric intake to really low levels the basal metabolic rate will actually lower if the body enters into a starvation mode - it will begin to interfere with your mental functioning and you won't have the needed calories to be repairing the brains mental pathways (which are under a constant state of repair). Your body will begin to feast on muscle and brain tissue in order to find extra energy. The basal metabolic rate will also decrease with age, but that is a natural reflex to less calories being burned at rest, exercise and thus if becomes ever more important to be mindful of your diet as you get older.

Below is one BMR formula that I found (however I think it may be wrong, because I calculated it using my own weight, height and age and it says my BMR is 1832, which I don't think is at all accurate).

Women's BMR= 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

Men's BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

EXAMPLE
Gary has a BMR of 1600
If he eats an average of 1800 calories per day
And he burns 500 calories per day with exercise

Then his net calorie loss should be 300 calories per day.

Gary will lose approx. 2.5 lbs per month (31 lbs per year) if he keeps it up.

There are many other formulas for calculating BMR. They are all basically inaccurate because it is really impossible to tell what each person's metabolic rate is. Each person is different. Some days are different too.

There is the Original Harris-Benedict Equation, and also the Revised Harris-Benedict Equation.

There is also the Mifflin St Jeor Equation, the Katch-McArdle Formula and the Cunningham Formula.

The formula up above is none of the five commonly used formulas. And honestly, it doesn't really matter.

I argue that people would be better off going off the average BMR, which I calculate to be approx. 1512, and then calculating their BMR based on their height and weight compared to that average, and then modified lower for age.

Thus the Moffat Formula would be:

1512 X YOUR WEIGHT / AVERAGE HUMAN WEIGHT X YOUR HEIGHT [160 lbs] / AVERAGE HUMAN HEIGHT [66 inches] X AGE MODIFIER = Your BMR

Thus using myself as an example, I am 6'2" tall and the average human is 5'6" tall, so 109.1%. Determining average weight for a human is tricky. In the USA so many people are overweight that the average has been skewed, so the "average American" is overweight. So instead I have estimated that the average healthy human weighs about 160 lbs. In which case due to my size I am 106.25%... *calculate the math*...

And my total is 1753 (minus a small age modifier). That sounds much more accurate than the sample formula from further above.

Now the trick is, how much does our metabolic rate decrease with age? Well I did find a chart for that... So I suppose it would be possible to determine what your exact rate is... but there will always be a margin for error.


Cold Showers Burn Calories

Q

"Hello! Do cold showers really burn calories? I've heard that drinking ice water burns calories and someone told me that cold showers burn calories too. Is that for real or is it a myth?"

- Victoria W.

A

Hello Victoria!

Yes, you are correct cold showers DO burn calories. In order to maintain a core body temperature your body uses up energy by burning brown fat to keep your body warmer and ultimately boosts your metabolism. When burned brown fat, aka brown adipose tissue or BAT, boosts your metabolism and energy levels and you end up feeling more energetic. It then kick-starts burning other kinds of fat in your body in order to maintain energy levels.

For reference see the 2008 study: "Human Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Uncoupling Is Associated With Cold Induced Adaptive Thermogenesis" which explains how it works.

However a better question is how much calories is being used?

While we are at it, since fat is also a good insulator, what difference does body fat make on the amount of calories being burned?

Lastly, what is the best way to get the full benefits of cold showers?

Well lets answer these questions one at a time.

#1. How much is the calories burned by cold showers?

A shower at 60 F (16 C) burns 75 calories in 5 minutes*. Initially that doesn't seem like much, but lets put it another way: That is 900 calories in one hour!

* Based on the flow of an average shower head, approx. 5 gallons per minute. Modern low flow shower heads use roughly half of that.

However being in a cold shower like that for 60 minutes will likely give you pneumonia and could even kill you since pneumonia can be deadly if your immune system is weak. So my official advice is that you limit your cold showers to 25 minutes or less.

#2. What difference does body fat make?

Because fat is a good insulator it really depends on how much fat a person has. There hasn't been any research into this topic, but what is known is that people with large amounts of brown fat won't feel the cold or start shivering very easily. Their bodies will activate the brown fat more easily and burn it at a faster rate, which implies that they are actually burning more fat than the average person would.

A fit person has a body fat percentage of approx. 12.5% (11 to 14%). A professional athlete would have a body fat percentage of around 8.5% (7 to 10%). Body fat percentage of 25% or more is considered obese.

Knowing this we can hypothesize that an obese person likely burns twice as many calories than a fit person because they have twice as much brown fat, and thus would get more of a benefit from taking cold showers than a fit person.

#3. What is the Best Way to have a Cold Shower?

You want to slowly adjust your body to the colder temperature. If you just hop straight into a freezing cold shower your natural desire will be to scream and get back out immediately.

Start with a warm comfortable shower and then turn the knob slightly to a colder temperature and wait for your body to adjust to the new temperature, wherein it doesn't feel so cold.

Then keep repeating this process until you reach a point where you start to shiver. Then back off the temperature a bit so the temperature is just above the point where you start to shiver.

If you buy and keep a thermometer in your shower try to aim for 60 F (16 C), this way you can try and accurately predict how many calories are being burned during your showers.

Also remember that since this kick-starts a fat burning metabolism boost that you will feel more "invigorated" and energetic after the cold shower, which means you will burn a lot more than the calories you burned in the shower. Thus a good time to go exercise is right after a cold shower.

For improved results you could try and take cold showers 3 times per day. Limit your cold showers to 25 minutes or less.

In theory, three 60 F showers per day at 25 minutes each can burn 1125 calories per day, plus kick-starting a calorie burn that will boost your metabolism dramatically.

In a week, assuming you have a healthy / balanced diet, you should burn 7,875 calories - just over 2 lbs of fat. Possibly more due to the metabolism boost.

However I should warn you that losing fat more than 2 lbs per week can cause loose skin, so I don't recommend doing the whole three cold showers at 25 minutes per day thing.

My recommendation would be two cold showers at 10 minutes each - 300 calories per day, or 2100 calories per week. Its just under two-thirds of a lb and it should sufficiently boost your metabolism so you can lose the remaining 1.33 lbs via exercise.

If you decide to experiment with weight loss via cold showers I recommend you err on the side of caution. I wouldn't want to start an epidemic of cold shower addicts.

OTHER BENEFITS OF COLD SHOWERS

#1. Boosts the Immune System - Increases white blood cells: monocytes and lymphocytes. While certain lymphocytes are instrumental in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and toxins; monocytes are indirectly responsible for the engulfing and consuming of pathogens and foreign materials.

#2. Improves Blood Circulation - Causes vasoconstriction, prevents hypertension, prevents hardening of the arteries, and prevents the appearance of varicose veins.

#3. Regulates Temperature - If you suffer from chronically cold hands and feet, or feel that you sweat an abnormal amount, try a cold shower.

#4. Alleviates Depression - Cold water has a stimulating effect on the brain's “blue spot”, the main source of noradrenaline for our bodies. Noradrenaline is a chemical that might be used to help alleviate depression.

#5. Boosts Lymphation Circulation

The lymphatic system is a system of tubing separate from our blood vessels that is responsible for carrying away waste from your cells as well as help fight pathogens (disease). Unlike blood vessels, the lymphatic system does not have blood, it has lymph, which carries away waste products and white blood cells which handle infection.

#6. Deeper Oxygen Intake

The stress of the cold water, vasoconstriction and the overall need for oxygen to respire and keep oneself warm opens up the lungs much like strenuous physical exercise does and results in a higher average intake of oxygen, which is good for your energy levels and overall health.

#7. Better Hair and Skin

Cold water can make our hair look shinier and our skin look healthier by tightening cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged, thus reducing blemishes like acne. Cold water also contributes to detoxification which results in the squeezing of toxins and waste products out of the skin. This detoxification has a good effect on the skin which appears more clean and young. Additionally, the cold water closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating within our scalp. Stronger hair, of course, prevents hair from easily falling out and it helps in slowing down overall hair loss.

#8. Higher Hormone Levels

Many different hormones are boosted by cold water, including testosterone levels, which increases muscle building. Also increases sperm count. Men who take cold showers will be more muscular and have higher sperm counts.

For fun I also tried researching "cold shower negatives". Apparently there aren't any negatives beyond sometimes shouting "Damn that's cold!" and the risk of pneumonia if you stay in there too long.

On the plus side if you ever get to bathe in a waterfalls you will be used to cold water and not that bothered by it.



6 Eating Tips for Weight Loss Success

Eating healthy so you can have more weight loss success is more than just consuming less calories than you burn each day. Every nutrient should count towards the health benefits that are received, and should fuel every workout.

1. Track your intake of Vitamins

You want to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D (which cuts back on fat storage) and other healthy vitamins that your body needs. Vitamins makes your body work more efficiently, store less fat and boosts your metabolism (which means you have more energy to exercise and even feel motivated to exercise).

2. Plan your Meals Accordingly

It's amazing how easy it is to eat healthier if you have a plan - and know what you need more of. Once you've figured out which vitamins you need choosing what to eat is a very simple thing organize. Just think about what you will eat the day before and purchase ingredients in advance (or buy fresh if you live right beside a supermarket). Think about the times that you will eat your meals, and make sure that they are spaced out well enough so that hunger doesn't strike too early. When you're sticking to a plan, you are less likely to deviate from the diet.

If you don't plan ahead you will find it very challenging to stick within your dietary guidelines. You will end up eating too much sodium and/or having to resort to frozen food, and paying too much money for a salad that you could have made yourself! Planning really works!

3. Don't be Afraid of Snacks

Healthy snacks are good for you. They regulate your energy levels so you don't end up feeling starved later and over-eating things you shouldn't be eating in the first place. Avoiding snacks and binge eating isn't going to make you any thinner or healthier. Healthy snacks such as fruits or granola taste great, give a good energy boost, and when supper arrives you won't be as hungry. If you're exercising a lot aim for a protein bar. Avoid anything with lots of sugar or chocolate (chocolate bars are mostly sugar and very little cocoa).

4. Alternate High and Low Carbs

Some people like to alternate high and low carbohydrate meals. eg. Carbs for breakfast and supper, but not for lunch or snacks. The idea is to reduce your carb intake, but still maintain your energy levels and still being able to eat the foods your enjoy. You will want to eat carbs when you're going to be more active on a particular day and lower your carb intake if it's a lazy day where you know you won't be exercising much (like attending a funeral). Or if you know that you will be dining out, or going to the movies (and eating junk food) later on then you should still eat, but avoid anything high in carbs. Carbohydrate reduction (not elimination!) is necessary for weight loss success. Less bread doesn't mean you cut out bread entirely.

Why the big fuss over carbs? Carbohydrates are always underestimated, but they're a major factor in putting on weight - especially if you eat bread a LOT. Carbs are in almost everything, including bread, cake, doughnuts, milk, beans, fruit, vegetables etc. If a dieter is only counting carbs in the bread and whole grains that are consumed, the meal plan will have more than originally estimated. Pay attention to other sources of carbs than just bread and cereal.

5. Cut Back on Sugary Beverages

If you can't cut them out entirely at least cut back on your soda pop (or aim for the Diet Cola instead, although that isn't as good as you think as you will see below).

Any drinks with lots of sugar in it is going to contribute to the overall caloric intake. People who drink coffee with lots of sugar are likewise going to face problems.

Even diet drinks that have been artificially sweetened will cause a dieter to overeat. This is due to the sweetener telling the brain that it is going to have something sugary when it is not. Eventually the brain says, "Hey, where's that sugar you promised me?" and that's when a sugar craving kicks in... and then you eat something else with sugar in it and are more likely to binge on it because your brain is saying "Yes! Sugar! Finally!"

It's incredible how less often you will crave junk and sugary food when you haven't been eating it. Fried, fatty and sugary foods react in the body like an addiction. The more you have the more you want. The less you eat and less you desire it, eventually you just break the habit.

6. Think Smaller Portions

If the meal is bigger than your hand then its too much all at once. Its better to have 4 or 5 small portion meals per day than 3 BIG meals per day. With time the portions will get smaller because your energy levels are more regulated and even, thus you don't feel as hungry. Thus you don't binge. Thus you don't pack on the pounds and get addicted to sugar and fat... and thus becomes the awful cycle. Smaller portions helps you to break the cycle of addiction, like weaning kittens off their mother's milk.

Use the above 6 tips to achieve weight loss success through nutrition.

Walking Burns more Calories than you think

It might surprise you but the simple act of walking daily burns quite a few calories.
 
Exercise & Calories Burned per Hour
130 lbs
155 lbs
180 lbs
205 lbs
Walking 2.0 mph, slow
148
176
204
233
Walking 2.5 mph
177
211
245
279
Walking 3.0 mph, moderate
195
232
270
307
Walking 3.5 mph, brisk pace
224
267
311
354
Walking 3.5 mph, uphill
354
422
490
558
Walking 4.0 mph, very brisk
295
352
409
465
Walking 4.5 mph
372
443
515
586
Walking 5.0 mph
472
563
654
745

However it is very silly when you realize that most people don't think of walking as a good exercise. Mostly I think because its not as quick as jogging or running, but if you read the chart above you will see that if you just walk briskly or almost jogging then you can burn quite a few calories in a single hour.

Part of the problem is that people do it everyday and it seems so easy... But for those of you looking to get the most out of your walks here are tips to step up your walk to make it a highly beneficial cardiovascular exercise:

1. Walk Faster

It seems like a no brainer but a fast walk really makes a difference. You're walking fast enough when the breath increases and the heart rate is elevated. You should feel like you're exercising!

2. Move your arms / Power Walking

Those speed walkers are not just swinging their arms to look determined. Pumping the arms brings more blood to the heart and therefore, offers more cardiovascular benefits.

3. Do Intervals

Just like a run. Speed walk super fast for a couple of minutes and then do a minute at a less intense pace for recovery. Here is a sample timing:

Fast Walk 4 minutes, Slower Walk 2 minutes. Repeat 10 times for 1 hour.

4. Walk Often

One or two walks a week is better than nothing but for results aim for 4 to 5 one-hour walks per week.

5. Eat like any other activity

Walking requires fuel. Eat a good meal before and take in food for recovery afterward.


6. Get a Walking Stick for Hiking

If hiking in the woods get a walking stick so that you are moving your arms more while you walk. It will also benefit your back and core muscles.

Follow these tips and pump of your walking regimen for a non-impact, healthy and result-promoting exercise.

The Listen to your Body Diet

This is a simple concept that many healthy people have been following without realizing that they are doing it. The problem is that many unhealthy people don't listen to their own body and end up ultimately messing up their body's internal chemistry and rhythms.

Pay attention to what your body is saying and you will discover the best strategy for your dietary goals.

Rule #1. Eat when you are hungry (but not starving!)

It's not as simple as it sounds. Most people eat based on time of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), not when their body actually feels hungry. Sometimes people eat when they're not even hungry simply because it is "lunch time" or they will be starving at dinner/supper time because they were waiting since 3 PM to eat.
Also remember that sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. If you only ate one hour ago and feel hungry, drink a glass of water, wait 30 minutes and re-assess the need for food.

Rule #2. Stick to Smaller Meals and Snacks if your goal is Weight Loss

The question "How much should I eat" is often mentioned by dieters, and the amount is hard to ballpark. Different people have different needs based on their exercise levels and height. If you eat small meals and healthy snacks that are between 200 to 400 calories you will feel content, eating a total of roughly 1600 to 2000 calories per day depending on your size. If you're finding it's not enough or you're hungry again in an hour, raise the food intake by 100 calories until the adjustment works for you.

Try the following routine:

Breakfast 400 calories.
Mid-Morning snack 150 calories.
Lunch 400 calories.
Afternoon snack 150 calories.
Supper 400 calories.
Evening snack 100 calories.
Total: 1600 calories.

The exact times should vary day by day and be based on whether you actually feel hungry or not.

Rule #3. Eat Healthy

As often as possible try to stick to food that is not processed, fried, frozen or high in saturated fat. Instead, eat whole grains, dairy, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and healthy fats. Fruits, grapes, berries, nuts are awesome!

This doesn't mean you can't sometime indulge in ice cream or even bacon, but you should watch your calories when eating such foods.

Rule #4. Learn to Read Labels

Pay attention to labels on food packaging. Learn the differences between saturated (bad) and unsaturated (good) fats. Learn how many calories is in your favourite foods and drinks. Keep a journal of what you eat for a whole week once per month (don't do it constantly, its better not to obsess about it too much) and with time you will be able to count calories in your head without thinking about it. You can also get gadgets or Apps for your SmartPhone that can calculate calories for you. (eg. A nutritional scale for your kitchen can be quite useful.)

Try these 4 rules together and in combination with regular balanced exercise and you will see results.

Running - Calories Per Hour

Running burns a lot of calories in a hurry, although it really depends on how big you are and how fast you can run.

For the most accuracy its recommended you run around a track at a local school or park, that way you can accurately measure how fast you can run in an hour. You don't have to do this constantly, but it is nice to do once in awhile so you can get a measurement of how fast you are.

Using a watch start running and count each time you do a lap of the track. When the hour is done take your total number of completed laps, determine using math how many miles that was (eg. 24 laps on a quarter mile track = 6 miles), and then find the calories burned on the chart below. You can also find more detailed calories burned calculators online.

Remember to take Powerade or Gatorade with you and stop periodically and take 1 or 2 gulps before you resume running. You don't want to get dehydrated, but you also don't want to over-drink and become winded. Don't carry the bottle with you, leave it beside the track and stop there whenever you need a gulp.

Running on a track once per month for an hour and measuring/comparing your progress each month can become an excellent motivator to keep up your running routine. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment each month as you see you are getting faster.


Exercise & Calories Burned per Hour
130 lbs
155 lbs
180 lbs
205 lbs
Running, 5 mph (12 minute mile)
472
563
654
745
Running, 5.2 mph (11.5 minute mile)
531
633
735
838
Running, 6 mph (10 min mile)
590
704
817
931
Running, 6.7 mph (9 min mile)
649
774
899
1024
Running, 7 mph (8.5 min mile)
679
809
940
1070
Running, 7.5mph (8 min mile)
738
880
1022
1163
Running, 8 mph (7.5 min mile)
797
950
1103
1256
Running, 8.6 mph (7 min mile)
826
985
1144
1303
Running, 9 mph (6.5 min mile)
885
1056
1226
1396
Running, 10 mph (6 min mile)
944
1126
1308
1489
Running, 10.9 mph (5.5 min mile)
1062
1267
1471
1675

Burning Calories via Household Chores

You are burning calories while you're doing household chores and the numbers can really add up. In fact, some household chores burn just as many calories as a gym workout does.

Here's how some of your household chores stack up in terms of burning calories.

Yard Work

Yard work offers some of the most labor intensive household chores. Tasks like digging and raking the leaves not only burn a lot of calories but can help tone muscles in your arms and legs. Here are some statistics:

30 minutes of digging in your yard will burn about 315 calories, the same amount burned by 45 minutes of bicycling on flat terrain. Digging tones the muscles of your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders. If you do it vigorously enough and continue the activity for 20 minutes or more, you can raise your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Washing your car works your arms and abdominals. For every 30 minutes of car washing, you'll burn 143 calories.
Weeding for 30 minutes burns 115 calories, the same amount you'd burn in 15 minutes of weight training. Weeding tones your thighs and buttocks. Just be careful to bend with your legs while keeping your spine straight, or you could hurt your back.
Raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 225 calories. The resistance offered by the leaves makes this chore a type of weight training. Raking leaves tones all the major muscle groups in your body.

Indoor Chores

Chores you do inside the house also help to burn calories. Here's how many calories are burned in the course of performing your daily tasks:

Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories. Removing that stubborn soap scum from your tiles is a great way to tone the muscles of your arms and shoulders.
Carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes burns 190 calories, and maybe more if the bags are particularly heavy. Distribute the weight evenly on each hand, or swap back and forth at regular intervals. Carrying too much weight on one side won't just overdevelop those muscles, it could injure your spine.
Making beds for 30 minutes burns 130 calories, the same number you'd use if you jogged on a treadmill or on flat terrain for 15 minutes.
Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 125 calories, the same number used in 20 minutes of power yoga (about one-third the length of a typical power yoga class).
Loading the dishwasher for 30 minutes burns 105 calories, which is less than the 160 calories burned when washing them by hand.
Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, the same amount you'd burn in 15 minutes of kick boxing.
Dusting for 30 minutes burns about 50 calories.
Ironing for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories and tones the muscles of the upper body. Stand up straight at the ironing board and press down firmly. Switch hands periodically so you don't overdevelop one arm.

Other Calorie Burners

Here are some other activities that burn surprising amounts of calories:

Climbing stairs for 30 minutes burns about 285 calories.
Painting and decorating your home burns about 160 calories.
Showering and toweling off for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories.

Why You Should Count Calories

There is a definite divide when it comes to whether or not you should count calories. On the one hand, knowing your exact food consumption is very helpful toward losing weight, but on the other, side of the coin it is time consuming and can lead to disordered eating. It can be a double-edged sword if you aren't careful.

You can even get an app for your SmartPhone that will count, calculate and keep track of the calories for you.

Here is a list of pros and cons:

Why you SHOULD Count Calories
  • If you have never tried to count calories before it can be very revealing as to why you are not losing weight or achieving other fitness goals such as muscle building.
  • After figuring out your daily caloric needs counting calories and macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) will assist with designing the perfect meal plan for your goals and lifestyle.
  • Counting calories ensures that you will never gain weight.
  • So you can keep track of both your intake of calories and your usage of calories via exercise.
When Counting Calories is a Bad Idea
  • If you begin to obsess or restrict calories
  • If counting calories makes you "unbending." (ex: you won't dine with friends because you do not know the calorie counts in the foods that you are eating).
  • If you find it too time consuming and it is more a chore than a helpful tool. 
  • If your friends start to worry about your unhealthy thinness.
Find the Balance and Eat Healthy!

Once you have counted calories and you recognize the calorie content in the meals that you routinely eat there is no reason to count calories anymore. Once in a while you may find that you want to know the calorie count of a new food and that's perfectly acceptable and normal behavior. However, if you find that counting calories is becoming more of a negative, rather than a helpful way to achieve goals, then sticking to smart sized portions and natural food is the best way to go. 

Track your Calorie Loss

Tracking your calories in by keeping track of how much food you eat is definitely a good start to getting fit.

But equally important is tracking your calorie losses via exercise.

For example if you weigh 160 lbs the following 5 minute exercises will burn a chunk of calories.

Bicycling (slowly, 10 mph) - 38 calories every 5 minutes

Boxing (Punching Bag) - 38 calories every 5 minutes

Dancing (Swing) - 32 calories every 5 minutes

Fencing / Swordfighting - 38 calories every 5 minutes

Gymnastics - 25 calories every 5 minutes

Hiking Uphill - 64 calories every 5 minutes

Ice Skating - 45 calories every 5 minutes

Jumping Jacks - 51 calories every 5 minutes

Jumping Rope - 51 calories every 5 minutes

Push Ups - 51 calories every 5 minutes

Roller Skating - 45 calories every 5 minutes

Jogging (5 mph) - 51 calories every 5 minutes

Kissing/Foreplay - 6 calories every 5 minutes (I added this one just for fun.)

Sit Ups - 51 calories every 5 minutes

Swimming (Leisurely) - 38 calories every 5 minutes

Walking (slowly, 2 mph) - 16 calories every 5 minutes

Weightlifting (Vigorous) - 38 calories every 5 minutes

Yoga - 25 calories every 5 minutes

To find out what other exercises burn check out fatburn.com/free_tool_activity_burn.asp
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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