The Obesity Action Coalition

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is dedicated to giving a voice to the individual affected by the disease of obesity and helping individuals along their journey toward better health through education, advocacy, and support.

There are three major issues that the OAC advocates for: obesity, weight bias, and access to care. The OAC view obesity as a chronic disease that is often understood by people not affected by it, including healthcare practitioners. Addressing obesity requires an individualized approach that requires a team of doctors, dieticians, trainers, and perhaps psychotherapists. Trainers are a large part of the obesity treatment process, which is why 2 Weeks to Health created the 14 Day Weight Loss and Healthy Living Course.

The ultimate goal is to get people the treatment they need to eliminate obesity. To allow access to obesity treatment, the OAC advocates for insurance coverage of obesity and its related illnesses. The OAC seeks to empower individuals affected by obesity to take action and to provide those individuals with the education they need to fight obesity using safe treatments. It is also important to the OAC to eliminate the negative stigma associated with obesity and to eliminate prejudice against people with obesity.

Anything we can do as individuals to help stop the obesity epidemic is a worthy cause. By working together and by working with organizations like the OAC, we can slowly increase the international awareness of obesity and help individuals with the disease live a healthier life by losing weight and mitigating related disease. To read more about the Obesity Action Coalition you can visit their website www.obesityaction.org.

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Every few years the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) work together to publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This 144-page document is full of medically and scientifically sound information discussing how you can keep yourself and your family healthy. To keep it simple, this document is broken down into 5 main guidelines that anyone can follow:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

The Dietary Guideline also gives some key recommendations to kick-start your healthy eating pattern.

A healthy eating pattern includes:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Key Recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet that should be limited. These components are of particular public health concern in the United States, and the specified limits can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns within calorie limits:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

In tandem with the recommendations above, Americans of all ages should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Americans should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight.

Is Aerobic Training the Only Way to Burn Fat?

“I have read in popular magazines that aerobic training is the only way to burn fat. Is this true? If not are there other ways to burn fat, if so what are some?”

Perhaps I do not read these popular fitness magazines that solely claim aerobic training is the only way to burn fat because when I tried to find examples of a magazine claiming this, I fell short which was a pleasant surprise. However, I have seen this misconception first hand while working with friends and family. We live in a faced paced culture where every problem ideally has a single and simple solution. For example, if you are hungry you can grab a quick meal at one of the dozens of restaurants that are in your town, or if you need to talk to someone you send them a text 10 seconds later. Instant gratification and simple single solutions rule our everyday lives, so it makes sense that some people believe there is a single method to reducing body fat. So why cling on to aerobics as the way to do it? My theory is we are more likely to attempt to add a new habit to our lives than change an old one. Old habits include the food we eat and the drinks we drink, so we are likely to turn toward exercise, a habitual addition, to burn fat. From there I believe we turn toward exercises that we can easily measure or perceive the outcome of. For aerobics it is easy to measure the amount of calories burned, thus we get some instant gratification after seeing our calorie count after a workout. We of course know that what we gravitate toward isn’t always true.

Fortunately ‘Top 10’ lists have become very common in the fitness world and seem to be the common format for fat loss articles. These lists eliminate the concept of there being a single way to lose fat. Nevertheless, the common theme in many of these lists are the websites and magazines choose content over proven research, and some suggestions are loosely scientifically backed or simply opinions. Sometimes recipes make it into the list stating that a certain food or meal will burn fat. It’s good that the fitness community is no longer pinpointing one way to lose fat, but there is still a long way to go before insignificant or false methods are fully eliminated from these lists.

Although green tea and apple cider vinegar were discussed more often than eating a balanced diet, thankfully most lists include at least [sometimes loosely] one tip about each of the following: aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and nutrition. Anaerobic exercise is a great way to accelerate fat loss but it is often misunderstood. A relatively common belief is by doing an anaerobic exercise for a particular muscle group you can spot reduce fat in that area. The fitness magazines are doing a better job not spreading this myth, yet it still shows up in some blog articles. Since fat loss is a metabolic process, we can use aerobic exercise to increase our metabolism by increasing muscle mass. The more lean mass we have, the higher our resting metabolic rate is, meaning we require additional calories to sustain ourselves. This extra calorie requirement paired with a static diet can decrease body fat. Nutrition is another common way to reduce body fat, and is often underestimated. When people aim for calories burned with conducting an aerobic workout, they often fail to recognize that perhaps the largest gains can be made by changing their eating habits rather than changing their exercise habits.

I have not recently seen any magazines claiming aerobics are the only way to burn fat, but that doesn’t mean the misconception isn’t out there. Like the new ‘top 10’ lists are showing us, there are many ways someone can lose fat with anaerobic exercise and good nutrition being two of the top ways besides aerobic exercise.

Health Effects of Being Overweight or Obese

In June 2017 an article by the New England Journal of Medicine was released analyzing the health risks of obese and overweight individuals in 195 countries over 25 years. Here are the major conclusions of that study:

  • There is probable evidence that being overweight leads to 20 different diseases including back pain, several types of cancers, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, and osteoarthritis
  • The lowest overall risk of death was observed for a BMI of 20 to 25. Click here to determine your BMI.
  • Globally, 5% of children and 12% of adults are obese. Obesity is generally higher in women than in men
  • The prevalence of obesity has doubled in 73 countries in the last few decades
  • In 2015, high BMI contributed to 4.0 million deaths globally with cardiovascular disease being the primary cause
  • High BMI also accounted for 28.6 million years lived with disability
  • From 1990 through 2015, there was a relative increase of 28.3% in the global rate of death related to high BMI
  • “The results show that both the prevalence and disease burden of high BMI are increasing globally. These findings highlight the need for implementation of multicomponent interventions to reduce the prevalence and disease burden of high BMI”

Global obesity is increasing and the evidence supporting the resultant diseases of obesity at this point are irrefutable. What do you think we can do as a community to help prevent the further increase in obesity rates and further disease? Comment below.

5 Surprising Reasons That May Prevent You From Losing Weight

2 Weeks to Health recently surveyed 226 people who have attempted to lose weight. Of the 226 people, 38% claimed they reached their weight goal and were able to keep the weight off for at least a year. The other 62% were unable to reach their goals and keep the weight off. 2 Weeks to Health analyzed the differences between those who were and were not successful and found 5 surprising methods that actually hurt your chances of reaching your weight loss goals. All of these methods have worked for many people under certain conditions, but based on our survey doing any one of these make you at least 10% less likely to achieve your weight loss goals.

1. Signing up for a gym membership

percentage-of-successful-weight-losers-that-had-a-gym-membership
Only 29% of people who successfully reached their weight goals had a gym membership.

We all know that there are tremendous benefits to buying a gym membership. However, our survey showed that you are 10% less likely to reach your weight loss goal if you have a gym membership. Only 29% of people who achieved their weight loss goals had a gym membership. Why is this? Usually one of the first things people will do when they decide to lose weight is to purchase a gym membership. Whether or not the gym membership is used is a different story. By just owning a gym membership, statistically you are less likely to lose weight, but consistently using what the gym has to offer will inevitably help your weight loss goals.

2. Going on a low-carb diet

Percentage-of-people-who-sucessfully-lost-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet
Out of everyone who successfully kept their weight off for a year, only 18% claimed to have lost weight using a low carbohydrate diet.

Besides purchasing a gym membership, when someone decides to lose weight they usually choose 1 of 2 diets, the low-carb diet or the low-calorie diet. The low-carb diet has become popularized by diets such as the Adkins diet, and are also on par with most ketogenic diets. While low-carb diets have been proven to help people lose weight, a crash low-carb diet is never sustainable. Our bodies and minds need energy from carbohydrates to function normally, which means people who lose weight on a low-carb diet are usually unable to keep it off for a full year. While many people would benefit from a reduction in how many carbs they eat, a strict low or no carb diet is usually unnecessary.

3. Going on a low-calorie diet

percentage-of-people-who-used-a-low-carlorie-diet
44% of people who were successful in losing weight used a low-calorie diet, while 55% of people who were unsuccessful used the same technique.

This is the one that surprised me the most. Out of everyone who attempted a low-calorie diet to lose weight, a higher percentage of the unsuccessful people tried this diet than the successful people. Overall, roughly half of people on a weight loss mission try this, but out of everyone who was successful, only 44% of the success stories incorporated a low-calorie diet. But how? Calories in, calories out, right? Well, yes, the basics of weight loss are that you must use more calories per day than you consume to lose weight, but you don’t particularly need to go on a strict low-calorie diet to achieve this. Instead of going on a low-calorie diet, you can try exercising more often and promising yourself that you remove soda and/or dessert from your diet. You can set a standard for yourself to eat only whole foods with plenty of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. It appears that most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off for a year don’t specify a low-calorie diet, but focus on eating good foods and exercising, which in return leads to a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.

4. Being a woman

percentage-of-men-and-women-who-sucessfully-lost-weight
According to our recent survey, 62% of males achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off for a year while only 38% of women achieve their goals.

Almost 2 out of every 3 men who attempted to lose weight reported they were able to achieve their weight goal and keep their weight off for a year. Meanwhile, only 1 in every 3 women reported they were able to do the same. Unfortunately for women, human physiology makes it easier for men to lose weight than women. The average man has less body fat and more muscle than the average woman. This means the man’s metabolism is going to run faster than the woman’s, and the man will burn more calories. Men can naturally eat more and burn more calories than women, which means if you are a woman, you are automatically 33% less likely to reach your weight goals as compared to men.

 

5. Adopting a diet that requires a strict program such as Weight Watchers

Success-rate-of-weight-watchers

Compared to the successful group, the unsuccessful group was 10% more likely to attempt Weight Watchers to lose weight. Of those who tried Weight Watchers, only 19% were successful. Taking on a strict and quantitative meal and exercise plan like weight watchers may work for some, but the majority were unable to reach their weight loss goals using this plan.

 

These 5 reasons that may prevent you from losing weight can all be very useful for certain people in certain conditions and when used correctly. Next time you set a weight loss goal, ask yourself “does this work for me”. If the answer is no, then you have 2 options, change yourself or change your methods. While changing yourself by increasing your discipline and motivation is always a good option, it is even better to look at your methods for losing weight and ensure they are sustainable. Just because you bought a gym membership and put yourself on a diet does not mean you will see results, and based on statistics you are less likely to reach your goals. You must always put in the work and adapt your strategies to fit your needs.

Weight Loss FAQ

I get a lot of questions about weight loss. Some are more legitimate than others as you will soon see, but I want to share with you some of my favorite and most common questions I receive. These questions are based on energy consumption and energy use. The human body is amazingly complex and I receive a lot of questions about very specific diets or foods and their physiological effects.

What is the Best Diet Plan to Lose Weight?

The best diet plan for anyone to lose weight is to simply count calories! The only way to lose body fat is to have a sustained calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories or burn more calories than your body needs for the day. You can start figuring out your diet plan by using this calculator to estimate how many calories you should be eating Calorie Calculator

When you calculate your calorie values, pay attention to the Calories/day to maintain your weight, Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week, and Calories/day to lose 2 lb per week. The Calories/day to maintain weight is just that, the calculators estimate for if you eat more than that amount of calories for a day, then you will begin to store fat and gain weight. Notice that to lose 1 lb per week all the calculator did was subtract 500 calories from the amount you need to maintain weight. To lose 2 lb per week it subtracted 1000 calories. This is based on the 3500 calorie rule. It’s estimated that it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat. This divides out to be 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound of fat per week, or 1000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds of fat per week.

So why doesn’t it list 3 pounds of fat per week? Anything more than 2 pounds lost per week begins to become an unhealthy amount of weight loss. This is about when you begin to have a calorie deficit lower than your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you need for your body to function if you were sleeping all day. Having a deficit below your BMR will make your body run inefficiently and cause you to feel weak and your mind cloudy. So the best diet plan is simply having a calorie deficit of about 500–1000 calories per day.

This deficit can come from either eating less, exercising more, or both. If your body needs 2000 calories to maintain weight, then to get a 500 calorie deficit, you can consume 1800 calories and burn 300 calories. Or you can consume 2000 calories and burn 500 calories. Or not exercise and just consume 1500 calories. It doesn’t matter how you get to your goal calorie deficit as long as you get there.

Weight loss is all about calorie deficit, so the actual foods you eat to get there doesn’t matter much for weight loss, friend.you but does matter for your overall health. So on your path to a sustained calorie deficit resulting in fat loss thus weight loss, try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, limit your fatty meat consumption, and keep in mind that carbs are not what causes weight gain, so whole grains are your friend.

What is the Best way to Lose 30 Pounds in 60 Days?

The easiest way to lose 30 pounds in 60 days is to amputate your least favorite appendages. Other than that it is nearly impossible and here’s why:

The rule of thumb is in order to lose 1 pound, you must have a 3500 hundred calorie deficit. So to burn 30 pounds, you need to burn or not consume 105,000 calories over those 60 days. You will need to have a calorie deficit of about 1750 calories per day to lose 30 pounds in 60 days. Considering the average male needs to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain weight, and the average female needs 2000 calories, you will need to be eating in the 500–1000 calories range per day to lose weight that fast. Or you can eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories through exercise. Regardless the sum of what you eat and what you burn while exercising needs to be well below 1000 calories.

I would not recommend this. Your body needs a certain amount of energy through calories to properly function. Getting such little nutrition for 60 days is essentially anorexia, and is not healthy by any means. So, if you want to lose that much weight, you will need to lose it through other methods rather than just burning fat, of which none are healthy and I do not recommend them. However, high protein low carb diets can decrease your water weight and cause very quick weight loss, dieting pills on top of a diet may help (but you’re still essentially starving yourself), and of course there is liposuction.

TLDR: There is no fully healthy way to do this, but essentially the only way is to nearly starve yourself on a low-calorie diet.

What are some possible reasons as to why I’m gaining weight when I’m not even eating a lot, I’m on a low-carb diet, and I have a desk job?

A sedentary lifestyle, depending on your weight, age, and gender, can bring the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain weight down as low as 1300 calories per day. Even if you’re not eating a lot, you are still eating higher than what your body needs to maintain its weight. Also, a low carb diet isn’t helpful if you aren’t also watching your proteins and fats. All of them together make up your caloric intake, so focus on eating a low carb, low fat, and low protein diet. Choose foods that are filling but low calorie to eat, these will typically be fruits and vegetables.

If you are already eating lower than your recommended calorie intake, which can be calculated here Calorie Calculator , then you may have a thyroid issue which could be excessively be lowering your metabolic rate. If you think this is the case then contact your doctor.

How can I Count my Daily Calories Gained from Food? Is this Possible?

You can get pretty close to calculating your calorie intake by keep track of what you eat, how many servings you eat, and then referencing that with the nutrition facts on the packaging. Look for the label like this one:

Notice this label states that for every 172 grams you eat, then you gained about 200 calories. You can buy a scale to weigh your food, although most servings will have an easier measurement such as number of crackers, or 3 cookies, or something like that. If you keep track of everything you eat, just add up how many calories you consumed from each item that day, and you will know how many calories you gained from food for the day.

Follow up question: “Ya, but it is really a difficult one to weight your food & count while at the office. There is no app for it?”

If you go to Computational Knowledge Engine they have a really good database of pretty much every type of food that can offer nutritional estimates. Just search for the food you are eating and they will give estimates. But you will still need to do portion control, which will involve possibly measuring your food. I would suggest taking your lunch to the office and have it pre-made and measured so you can do all that at home.

Will Swallowing Glass Marbles Make me Less Hungry and Lose Weight?

Oh jeez no. In a similar Quora post I saw about someone asking what to do when swallowing a glass marble, some of my favorite answers were “unswallow the marble”, “it’ll pass and come out the other end”, and my favorite was a comparison how everything will be fine because the hungry hungry hippos do it all the time. But real talk, one glass marble should pass through your system, multiple glass marbles will win you a trip to the emergency room. The quote “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” comes to mind. Please refrain from eating any objects that aren’t food. If you want some real weight loss tips then ask me anything, just don’t swallow marbles.

The Difference Between Being Fat and Overweight

I was recently asked what the difference between being fat and being overweight is. Below is a picture I got from Pinterest, there are many like it. Notice the woman on the right looks skinny and fit, while the woman on the left looks like she may be carrying a few extra pounds. This is the same woman at the exact same weight.

Let’s assume this woman is an even 5 feet tall. At 5 feet 130 pounds her Body Mass Index (BMI) would be 25.4. BMI uses your height and your weight to assign your body a numerical value. Any value from 25 to 30 is considered overweight. Above 30 is obese while below 25 is the normal range and eventually the underweight range. If you are the woman in the picture below, assuming a height at 5 feet, you would be considered overweight in both pictures according to your BMI.

The difference is BMI doesn’t take into account how your weight is distributed. Muscle is more dense that fat, meaning a pound of muscle takes up less space that a pound of fat. If you are carrying 5 pounds of fat then it will have a noticeable difference in the way you look while 5 pounds of muscle may be barely noticeable. That is how it is possible for both of the pictures below to be the same person at the same weight. But even though they are both considered to be overweight, the body time on the right would not be considered fat. This is because of the muscle difference. This is common among people who lift weights. People who lift weights may be very healthy, fit, and skinny, but will often be considered overweight due to all of their lean muscle mass.

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Exercise Volume 2: Weight Loss Basics

As important physical fitness can be in establishing overall health, I personally view it as a mere supplemental piece to the absolute essential concepts of nutrition. Understanding what role caloric intake plays in the overall scheme of energy expenditure is something that is relatively simple to understand and can truly reap tremendous weight loss benefits for beginners and experts alike. Other more complicated topics such as macronutrients, supplements, and performance related nutrients aren’t as important for beginners, and thus will be discussed in future articles.

For a beginner, it all begins with the concept of Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). Total Energy Expenditure describes the three major bodily processes that utilize the calories we ingest from the foods and beverages we consume. Take a look at the chart below:

teee

As you can clearly see, the three main components of TEE are Basal Metabolic Rate, Physical Activity, and Dietary Thermogenesis (also known as the Thermal Effect of Feeding). By far the biggest component of energy use is the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It uses up a massive 60 to 75 percent of the total energy the human body uses, and I think of it as “Life Energy” because all of these calories are utilized in the maintenance of proper organ function,  the regulation of internal body temperatures, and much more. Basal Metabolic Rate does not require a single movement to burn calories. In fact, it is a measurement of how many calories an individual burns over a 24 hour span by just sleeping or sitting. This rate is different for everyone and is affected by age, lean body mass, body size, height, weight, and other physiological processes. There are several BMR calculators online, and a quick google search will allow you to discover a relatively accurate estimate of the number of calories your body burns by simply maintaining itself.

The next biggest component of TEE is physical activity, and this is the only component of total energy expenditure that you have complete control over. Participating in exercise, regardless of its intensity, increases energy demands placed on the body. In order for the body to satisfy the requirements of these demands it uses the energy from calories ingested from food. Think of Total Energy Expenditure as a test and physical activity is thirty percent of that test. If you don’t take it the best you can get is a 70. If you do well, you burn more calories, and thus lose more weight, or can eat more food.

The final component of TEE is dietary thermogenesis. This is a very scientific term to simply describe the energy required to digest food, and thus I think of it as “Digestion Energy”. This is for the most part completely out of your hands, and your body will burn ten percent of total calories ingested autonomously. It is possible to manipulate this number by eating frequent meals, but overall this will not make or break much.

How Weight Loss Works

Now that we know how the energy ingested from food is utilized, we can understand exactly how weight loss works.

Total Calories Ingested (TCI) – Total Energy Expenditure(TEE) = Net Caloric Deficit/Surplus

If (TCI-TEE) is > 0 Weight will be gained (Caloric Surplus)

If (TCI-TEE) is = 0 Weight will be maintained

If (TCI-TEE) is < 0 Weight will be lost (Caloric Deficit)

If you subtract total calories burned in a day (TEE) from the total calories you ingested from food (TCI), you will arrive at a number that represents your net caloric value. If this number is positive you have a caloric surplus, meaning you ingested more calories than you burned and thus will gain weight. If the opposite occurs and you have a negative number, you have a caloric deficit. This means you burned more calories than you ingested, resulting in weight loss. If the number is zero, you will neither gain nor lose weight as you have burned the same amount of calories that you have ingested. To calculate exactly how much weight is gained or lost, you take the surplus/deficit amount of calories and divide it by 3500. For example, if you had a surplus of 700 calories, you would gain 700/3500 (.2) pounds.

Putting it All Together

Now that we understand exactly how weight loss is achieved, I think providing an example of calculating energy balance would be helpful. So let’s observe a sample of my own personal daily caloric receipt to understand this better.

Alex’s Caloric Receipt

Breakfast                    +400

                                                                 Lunch                           +650

                                                                 Dinner                          +500

                                                                 Snacks                          +250

                                                                 BMR                              -2078

                                                                 Exercise                       -400

                                                                 Digestion                      -180

                                                             _______________________

                                                               Caloric Deficit of 858 calories

As you can see, I ate three total meals throughout the day, and two snacks in between these meals for a total of five meals. The way you figure out the caloric values for each of these meals is to ensure you are tracking the calories that are portioned for the serving size you consume. For example, if I was eating a serving size of chicken (one piece) I would see on the back that this relates to 425 calories. You must do this for every meal you eat or drink, and at the end of the day tally up the total amount of calories you consumed. However, if you are busy, or just lazy like me, you can use one of several phone applications that will not only do all the math for you.  All you have to do for these apps is search what you ate, tell them how much you ate, and then it will tell you exactly how many calories you consumed. It will also keep track of your calories for the day. If we add all the calories from my meals together, we get a total of 1800 calories, and this number represents by total calories ingested for the day.

Now that we figured how many calories I ingested, it is time to figure out how exactly I calculated my total energy expenditure. If you do a quick search on Google for “Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator” you will find an abundance of websites that will ask for your height, weight, age, and gender. If you are willing to provide this information, the websites will give you a rough estimate of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This rate stays relatively constant and only changes with increases in the things mentioned above (age, height, weight, etc.). After plugging this information in, my estimated BMR was 2078 calories. In addition to our BMR, we still have to calculate my Dietary Thermogenesis (Digestion Energy) and my physical activity to see exactly how many calories I burned. Digestion energy is simply about ten percent of the total calories you consumed. So for this, I added the calories consumed from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks (1800) and then multiplied it by (.1) resulting in 180 burned calories. As far as calculating exercise goes, you can either purchase a heart rate monitor and it will measure your burned calories, or you could also use apps made for phones that will provide an estimate of how many calories you burned during your workout based off what you did and how long you did it. Add all three of these things together, and you will get your total energy expenditure.

Although these numbers were artificially created (except for BMR), you can see that I subtracted my ingested calories from my total energy expenditure to find out that I was at a calorie deficit of 858 calories, which would be amazing. If everything were to stay exactly the same (highly unlikely), I would burn a total of 6006 calories in one week, and thus lose approximately 1.71 pounds in that week. I calculated this number by multiplying my daily caloric deficit by seven and then dividing that number by 3500. Generally, most people try to be at a deficit of 500 calories per day, because this means that they will burn exactly one pound a week.

Weight loss, as you can probably see, is a very inexact science for someone who isn’t necessarily an expert in nutrition like most of the population is. It relies heavily on technology measuring ingested calories, tracking how many calories we burn in workouts, and our Basal Metabolic Rate. However, understanding how weight loss work is incredibly important, and learning how to track calories really can make a tremendous difference for people who struggle with their weight. With a little precision and discipline, a new and better life is completely attainable!

Author: Alex Perelló –  click here to view his bio and other articles

*As a certified personal trainer, I am to make explicitly clear that I am not a qualified to create individualized dietary plans, and I am not necessarily a nutrition specialist. However, I have taken several college courses on nutrition, received several basic nutritional guidelines while studying for the certification, and have years of experience of personal research. This article reflects some useful information I have discovered through these endeavors.

What Type of Shoes Should You Wear When Trying to Lose Weight?

The human body is structured to be able to efficiently hold up a certain weight. If you start exceeding that weight, your body will begin compensating or breaking down, causing pain or discomfort in certain areas. One of the most common areas that become painful when you are carrying a couple extra pounds are your feet and lower legs, and your shoes could be either helping or hurting this pain.

The arch of your foot can be thought of as a spring that absorbs the shock caused by the weight of your body when you walk or run. This spring is rated to a certain weight, let’s use 150 pounds as an example. As you start to weight more than the spring is rated for, the spring will overcompress. If you weigh 180 pounds and the spring is rated for 150, the spring will collapse under the weight, just like you see the back of a truck dip down when there is a bunch of stuff loaded in the back. This collapse of the arch of your foot then causes the rest of your ankle to roll inward with every step, a process called overpronation.

Overpronation can cause a lot of discomfort in the feet and lower legs, but this pain can be mitigated by wearing the right shoes. While there is no replacement to weight loss when trying to cure this pain, wearing a stable shoe that adds support under the arch can keep your foot in a neutral position while walking and running. While lower leg pain when you are a bit overweight is usually caused by overpronation, you can verify this by looking at the wear and tear of an old pair of shoes. If you notice that more of the tread is worn down on the inside of your shoes than on the outside, this is an indication that you are an overpronator. Also, running shoe stores such as Body N’ Sole will video tape you walking and tell you if you are an overpronator for free.

A common mistake I see people making is that when you buy shoes, they choose them based on style rather than functionality. While the Nike Free series look great, they offer zero support for your collapsing foot. You want to look for a shoe that is supportive and rigid in design. Usually, shoe companies will make these types of shoes fairly easy to identify on their websites by allowing you to search for shoes based on if they are “support” shoes. Some companies, such as ASICS, even allow you to filter shoes by whether or not they are made specifically for overpronation. Some shoes commonly worn by overpronators are the ASICS GT-2000s, Nike LunarGlides, Mizuno Wave Inspires, Brooks Adrenalines, and Saucony Hurricanes. I’ve personally run with each of the following brands, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

When you are buying your new pair of shoes to combat your overpronation, make sure you try them on with athletic socks on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are a bit swollen, and that you have about a half inch of extra room in the toe box. If you decide to use insoles for a bit of extra support, purchase them before you buy the shoes so you can make sure the shoe will still feel great once you add the insoles. Spend a week or two breaking them in, and hopefully your new shoes will help alleviate any pain you may have been having.

Finally, remember to replace your shoes about every 6 months if you are active. The support will begin to break down after awhile, and you will want to replace your shoes to ensure your feet are getting the support they deserve. I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or concerns at 2weekstohealth@gmail.com.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile