2 Weeks to Health 1st Ed – Day 8: Improving Your Diet # 1

This is day 8 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.

Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.

One of my favorite phrases is ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym’. Today we are going to discuss how to improve your diet starting with your calorie and/or macronutrient analysis from day 5. If you didn’t do this analysis yet, read this article, log your diet, and complete this after you have a solid log to look at. Please do not blow off the diet and nutrients part of this course, it is just as important as exercise.

Grab your food log and look at how many calories and/or grams of fats, proteins, and carbs you consumed each day. First, how do you feel about your diet and your monitoring process? My guess is that you tried to eat a little bit healthier just because you had to write down what you ate. That’s good, but now we are going to compare what you ate with what you should eat. I’m going to have you do another Google search. Search for “macronutrients calculator”. Select a couple calculators that you want to try out, there are a lot of them.

Enter the information it asks for, and click calculate. The output will be how many grams of fats, carbs, and proteins you should be eating per day. For example if you are a 35 year old, 200 pound, 5’ 5” female who wants to cut fat and is lightly active, according to one calculator you should be eating around 1,587 calories, 159 grams of carbs, 159 grams of protein, and 35 grams of fat per day. Every calculator will give you slightly different numbers because different calculators will prefer higher amounts of protein in the diet than others. These estimated numbers will not change as long as you maintain the same weight, goals, and activity levels. If there is any change to those three things, you will need to recalculate your recommended macronutrient values. Keep in mind, even if you have a hard workout and burn 500 calories, you can’t say “well I worked out, so I can eat more”. You need to stay at the activity levels that were calculated, and recalculate the amounts as you change your goals, activities, and weight.

If you are not very computer savvy, then you can use these values as a basis for your macronutrients and calories:

  • If you are trying to lose weight, consume 1.1 grams of protein, 1.1 grams of carbs, and 0.2 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day if you are male. Females should consume about 0.8 grams of protein, 0.8 grams of carbs, and 0.15 grams of fat.
  • If you are trying to maintain your current weight, consume 1 gram of protein, 1.6 grams of carbs, and 0.35 grams of fat per day if you are male. Females should consume 0.65 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs, and 0.25 grams of fat to maintain.
  • To get calories based on these, know that every gram of carbs and protein has 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9 calories per gram. Fun fact, alcohol has about 7 calories per gram. You can calculate the macronutrients you need and then multiply them by their respective calorie densities to get calories.

These numbers are assuming you are working out at least a few days per week. They are also not an exact science. If you are still gaining weight and following this framework, then you will need to keep reducing your calories consumption by perhaps removing a couple dozen grams of macronutrients. If you are gaining weight, you may need to further reduce your calorie consumption.

Now that you roughly know how many calories, carbs, fats, and proteins you should be eating per day, compare what you should be eating with what you actually ate. Does it surprise you? If you found out you are consuming way too much or way too little of something then it is time to start changing your diet so you can achieve your goals. If everything is perfect then that is fantastic. You might not need to change anything, but it will be worth it to continue reading so you can try to better fit your diet into the MyPlate model so you can get all the micronutrient your body needs (have a well-balanced diet).

If you need to cut your fats, proteins, and/or carbs, then the next step is to figure out what to cut, and what to change all together. Just like an exercise plan, there is no perfect plan for everyone, but I am going to attempt to go through some common changes and cuts you can make to get your macronutrient values down to your desired amounts. Some of the sacrifices you will need to make for your health will be tough, but it is the hard decision to reduce or remove certain foods from your diet that will make you a stronger and healthier person.

First, avoid drinking your calories. Whenever you drink soda, lemonade, juice, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks, you are consuming large amounts of carbohydrates due to the sugar. By drinking nothing but water you can easily decrease your carb intake. Second, do not eat fast food, and avoid eating out altogether. For most people, a Big Mac meal will contain all the fat they should eat in a single day. Even the healthier looking meals at nicer restaurants can have a large amount of macronutrients based on the portion sizes and type of food preparation. Third, learn to cook. Having frozen dinners at home can be just as bad for your health as eating out. Also, frozen meals have a lot of sodium, which could lead to high blood pressure and other illnesses. By cooking your own meals you can have full control over what you are eating, and your macronutrient and calorie intakes.

This course is not designed to be about cooking, and I don’t want to tell you what to eat. If you Google “how to eat healthy” or “healthy recipes” you will find thousands of websites. What I want to show you is there is a certain number of calories, fats, carbs, and proteins you should be eating in order to reach your goals, whether the goal is to gain muscle, lose weight, or maintain how you are. If you are serious about reaching your goals, I recommend you constantly monitor what you eat. Since this takes a lot of time, perhaps don’t always do the macronutrient analysis, but keep a food log to keep yourself accountable, then do an analysis a couple times a week to ensure you are eating what you should be.

Even after years of practicing healthy eating, conducting a dietary audit of myself can yield surprising results. I recently ate a couple buffalo chicken ceasar salad wraps for dinner and calculated the macronutrients as well as the sodium in the wraps. Just by eating two average sized salad wraps I had already consumed twice the amount of sodium that the American Heart Association recommends we consume per day. The dressing and tortilla together were close to 1000 mg of sodium and the buffalo sauce was about another 500 mg. The recommended daily sodium intake is 2300 mg or less, with a preferred value of 1500 mg. With two salad wraps that I thought were near bullet proof healthy I had already consumed 3000 mg of sodium, and that was just one meal.

Getting back to calories, a rule of thumb is that it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to burn one pound of fat. This means if you are a female who needs to consume 2000 calories per day to maintain weight, then you need to have calorie deficit of 500 calories per day (3500 divided by 7) to lose one pound of fat per week. This deficit can come from either what you eat, exercise, or both. If you want to lose one pound a week, every day you would need to burn 200 calories exercising, and eat 1700 calories, or any combination of exercise and eating to reach a total intake of 1500 calories per day.

I know I said this course isn’t about telling you what to eat to reach calories or the grams of carbs, fats, and proteins you need, but tomorrow we will talk more about how to improve your diet. Macronutrients are great to monitor until you get all your daily fats and carbs from potato chips, which is not good. The goal is to eat a well-balanced diet while meeting, and not exceeding, your calorie and macronutrient needs.


2 Weeks to Health 1st Ed – Day 4: Understanding Your Current Diet

This is day 4 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Today and tomorrow is all about understanding and writing down what you are currently eating and drinking. I am not asking you to change anything about your diet yet, instead you first need to understand whether or not your current diet is going to work for your goals. But why does your diet matter? Your body can be compared to your performance at work, you get out what you put into it. If you put in the time and effort at work to do a good job, you are rewarded with bonuses, promotions, and that great feeling of achievement. If you are the person who is reading this article at work and commonly procrastinates and does the bare minimums, then you should expect your pay check and nothing else. Just like work, if you put good food into your body you will be rewarded with better health, better performance, and even a happier mind. If you put in the bare minimums, i.e. eating unhealthy food, you should expect nothing but a pay check that will go straight to your thighs. And you probably will not like any bonuses you receive. A common rule of thumb is when you are trying to lose weight, 80% of your weight loss comes from your diet while 20% comes from exercising. You cannot discount the importance of nutrition.

Before you start changing your diet, I want you to understand the basics of food and what you are currently putting into your body. Do you remember learning about the food pyramid in your high school health class? Well, the food pyramid model was replaced by a new model called MyPlate. This model shows what your plate should look like in order to have a healthy, well-rounded meal. It splits your diet into fruits, proteins, vegetables, grains, and dairy, and visually shows you what you should be eating. One of the biggest differences between MyPlate and the food pyramid is the new model does not have a fats, oils, and sweets group. Many of the foods you already eat are prepared in fats and oils, so any additional sweets and desserts aren’t doing anything good for your health.


How does your current diet look when you compare it to MyPlate? If you are exclusively a ‘steak and potatoes’ eater then you are going to be a bit off balance. Also, if you’re a vegetarian it might be lacking in some areas. The goal is to have a well-balanced meal that benefits your overall health. But making your plate look like this one isn’t always enough, especially if you want to lose weight.**

You often hear about counting calories, and how if you only eat a certain amount of calories you will lose weight. Yes that is true when strictly talking about weight loss, and we will actually talk more about that later on, but for overall health you need to dig a little bit deeper into what you are eating. The calories you eat can be broken into three categories called the macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins come from your meats, eggs, and dairy. Fats also come from meats, nuts, oils, sweets, desserts, and many other sources. Carbohydrates are in fruits, grains, vegetables, and sugar.

Depending on your health goals, you need to eat a certain number of calories from each of these macronutrients. We will talk about how to monitor these nutrients tomorrow, and we will discuss the specifics of your nutrient needs on day 8. For now, I want you to recognize that to be healthy, you need all of them, fats, proteins, and carbs. Many people believe that carbs are what makes you fat, or that fat makes you fat. This is untrue, an excess in calories are what makes you fat, and calories come from all of the macronutrients, protein included.

There are also micronutrients, which are your vitamins and minerals. We won’t talk about micronutrients much during these 14 days, but I want to bring them up because they are very important to remain healthy. If you follow the MyPlate model, the chances are you will consume enough micronutrients to stay healthy. If your diet doesn’t quite match up to the model there are plenty of companies that would love to sell you a multivitamin to supplement your current diet. Multivitamins are fine and often needed if you do not eat a balanced diet, but if you eat well then you do not need one. Unless your doctor wants to put you on a supplement for an illness, I recommend that you save your money and put it toward your gym membership and try to get everything you need through what you eat. The main exception to this is if you are a vegetarian then you may want to supplement vitamin b12, which is a discussion to have with your doctor.

Now think about your current diet again. Does your plate look like the MyPlate model? Are your calories primarily coming from proteins and carbs, not fats? Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables to consume enough micronutrients? We are going to learn the answer to all of these questions by monitoring your diet for the next few days. Tomorrow you will learn how.

Remember to keep working out every day!

**Note: The MyPlate model is the government’s guidelines on what you should be eating as part of a well-balanced diet. However, everyone is genetically and physiologically different. What you need to eat to maintain weight may be slightly different than other people. If you are trying to lose weight, a lot of people find that eating a higher proportion of protein and a lower proportion of grains will help them lose weight quicker. Other people such as vegetarians and vegans cut out meat altogether and will say a diet low in protein and high in starches will help with weight loss. Also, dairy is often not considered to be essential for one’s diet. This is why it may be beneficial to meet with a dietician to discover what works best for you. We will talk more about the individuality of diets as we go through this course.

The 2 Weeks to Health Book 1st Edition Available for Free

The second edition of 2 Weeks to Health is in the works, and there are a lot of changes being made. With the new book about half a year from being completed, I want to share what is new in this upcoming edition, as well as how you can get the old edition for free!

The second edition of 2 Weeks to Health is a complete overhaul from the first. When deciding what changes to make, the key question was ‘will this make an immediate difference’? We used the 80/20 rule to decide what content should be added to the new book. We want to teach you the 20% of fitness and nutrition tips that will make 80% of the difference in your health. That is why this new edition explains how not to ‘major in the minors’ and how to choose what works best for you.

Topics covered in the up and coming edition include how to get started, workout and nutrition tracking, goal setting, overtraining prevention, diet and nutrition, supplementation, exercise and workout planning, lifestyle fitness, and how to bring it all together in a practical way. Be on the lookout for its release later this year.

The first book’s content is similar but different enough than the second edition that I will be releasing the entire book on this site starting on March 1st. Every day starting on the 1st a new chapter will be released. I strongly encourage you to follow along day to day as the chapters are released. Follow us at 2weekstohealth.com to receive updates on the upcoming release of the free 1st edition and the 2nd edition of 2 Weeks to Health!

“The book continues with the basic premise in mind of “Act Now, Learn as You Go, See Results.” I like the actionable tone. The book is set up to make you do, and learn as you go. The education structure is brilliantly laid out in the lessons. One day you learn what you need to know, and the rest of the days build upon the previous day’s lesson. That is how you actually retain information. Day Zero is Preschool, Day Twelve is High School Graduation.” – Approaching Fitness


101 Top Health and Fitness Quotes

“Age is no barrier, it’s a limitation you put on your mind” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“Always keep moving, even if you’re just walking.” – Unknown

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you” – Arnold Palmer

“Attitude is everything, so pick a good one.” – Wayne Dyer

“Don’t complain, 80% of people don’t care and 20% of people are happy you have them” – Lou Holtz

“Don’t stop when it hurts, stop when you’re done!” – Anonymous

“Excellence is the gradual result of always trying to do better” – Pat Riley

“Expectations Determine Whether or Not You are a Success of a Failure” – Unknown

“Failure defeats losers, but it inspires winners” – Robert Kiyosaki

“Find passion, embrace fear, and create success on your own terms” – Dulce Candy Ruiz

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Satchel Paige

“If Not You, Then Who” – Unknown

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail” – Mark Splitz

“If you get 1% better at something every day then it is a successful day” – Unknown

“If you want to succeed, you have to commit to it wholeheartedly” – Unknown

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” -Art Williams

“In any given moment we have 2 options. To step forward into growth, or to step back into safety” – Abraham Maslow

“It’s not whether or not you get knocked down, it’s whether or not you get back up” – Vince Lombardi

“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Limiting the time you’re inactive is even more important than exercise.” – Tom Rath

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second” – William James

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Unknown

“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty” – Timothy Ferriss

“Persistence can change failure into an extraordinary achievement” – Marv Levy

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

“Sometimes you have to dive in head first” – Admiral McRaven

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – President Abraham Lincoln

“The body is a mirror of how we live our lives.” – Lissa Rankin, MD

“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” – Morihei Ueshiba

“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” – Kenneth H. Cooper

“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Thinking and doing are two very different things” – Anonymous

“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self-image and self-esteem.” – Jillian Michaels

“Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going!” – Jillian Michaels

“What makes you something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose” – Andre Agassi

“You are one decision away from a totally different life” – Unknown

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” – Michael Phelps

“You’re never too busy, it’s just a matter of priorities” – Unknown

“1 billion people in the world are chronically hungry. 1 billion people are overweight.” – Mark Bittman

“A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement” – Jess C. Scott

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder

“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” – H. Stanley Judd

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” – Unknown

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time, pills or stairs.” – Joan Welsh

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Appetite has really become an artificial and abnormal thing, having taken the place of true hunger, which alone is natural. The one is a sign of bondage but the other, of freedom.” – Paul Brunton

“Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.” – Markus Herz

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Liane Cardes

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” – English Proverb

“Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” – Michael Pollan

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen

“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.” – Norman Cousins

“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Eat clean, stay fit, and have a burger to stay sane.” – Gigi Hadid

“Every living cell in your body is made from the food you eat. If you consistently eat junk food then you’ll have a junk body.” – Jeanette Jenkins

“For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” – Owen Arthur

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – World Health Organization

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it” – Josh Billings

“Health requires healthy food.” – Roger Williams

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” – Winston S. Churchill

“I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.” – Bruce Jenner

“I hated every minute of the training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” – Muhammad Ali

“I really regret eating healthy today.” – Nobody Ever

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” – Dolly Parton

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is fourteen days.” – Totie Fields

“If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.” – Joey Adams

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” – Deepak Chopra

“If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.” – Julius Erving

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

“If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out.” – Jean Kerr

“If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” – Errick McAdams

“If you want to accomplish anything in life, you can’t just sit back and hope it will happen. You’ve got to make it happen.” – Chuck Norris

“If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.” – Unknown

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” – Chinese Proverb

“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” – Margaret Mead

“It’s never too late to start eating well. A good diet can reverse many of those conditions as well. In short: change the way you eat and you can transform your health for the better.” – T. Colin Campbell

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but, because of lack of commitment.” – Vince Lombardi

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – George Herman “Babe” Ruth

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Saturday night instead of one a day just isn’t going to get the job done.” – Jim Rohn

“Success is a staircase, not a doorway.” – Dottie Walters

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

“The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.” – Brian Wansink

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”- Tommy Lasorda

“The future is always beginning now.” – Mark Strand

“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” – William James

“The next best thing to winning is losing! At least you’ve been in the race.” – Nellie Hershey Tullis

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

“We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising.” – Dr. Kenneth Cooper

“Whenever I see an ambulance, I like to think there is a baby being born, rather than a death” – Phil Lester

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them” – Michael Jordan

“You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures” – Charles C. Noble

How to Stay Healthy While Working a Desk Job

One of the perks of working for a large company is they often have fitness programs and on-site gyms so you can squeeze in a workout during lunch or after work. However, your average company does not have the benefits that a larger company may have. This does not mean employers and employees can’t find ways to make the workplace a healthier place to work.

If you work an office job you probably spend at least six hours per day sitting down. Try to find reasons to get up and walk around. Organize your office space so that any time you need to print, scan, or copy a document you are required to get up and walk to the printer. Park in the farthest parking spot at the office to give yourself an extra few minutes in the morning to walk into work. Instead of calling a co-worker, walk to their office and see if they are available to talk in person. If they are unavailable, walk back later. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone, post information on a bulletin board that requires everyone to get up to read new information.

You can also push to have more programs like the larger companies, but with fewer expenses. An internal ‘biggest loser’ competition can motivate employees to lose weight by offering a nice reward such as a few extra vacation days. Spend a few dollars per person to buy everyone a pedometer and see who can take the most steps in a one month period and offer a reward for the most active employee. Offer a longer lunch period for employees who plan to exercise during that time. Work out a deal with the local gym to give employees a reduced price on their gym memberships. Also, you can cater a healthy lunch every once in a while.

Office outings can be a great way to build camaraderie and a healthier company culture. Instead of the office going to a sports game or someone’s home for a party, plan for everyone to attend a ‘high ropes’ obstacle course, play a sport, or play paintball. If your company is large enough, create your own internal sports league that meets and plays your favorite sport once a week after work. Or even better, challenge other companies in the local area to see who the best firm in the local area is.

Even if your company does not offer all the fancy perks to help you reach your health goals, there are plenty of ways to make your work life work for you and not against you. Pick your favorite idea and start talking to your colleagues about setting something up. It only takes a few people to like your ideas to get the ball rolling.

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.

Quote of the Week – 8 May

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail” – Mark Splitz

Preparation is the key to success. If you have a goal, you need to prepare a plan to achieve it. If you don’t have a plan before you begin a workout plan or a diet, then you are not setting yourself up for success. Your preparations need to be both long term and short term. Long term, prepare to set aside as much time as you need over the coming months or years to achieve your goal. Mentally prepare for the time it will take. Short-term preparation can be anything from making sure you get a healthy meal before a workout to layout out your clothes the night before. Always take the time to prepare, or you will be prepared to fail your goals.

The DASH Diet: How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

What if I told you there is a dietary approach to stop hypertension, and that by watching what you eat you can potentially get off your high blood pressure medication? The DASH diet, or the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, is exactly that. By following just a few dietary habits, you can put yourself on a path to lowering your blood pressure.

  1. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat 4-5 servings of both fruits and vegetables per day and 6-8 servings of whole grains. Eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products is also encouraged on the DASH diet.
  2. Limit your sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day. The average American will consume over 3500 mg of sodium per day. Bringing your sodium consumption down to 2300 mg (or even better, down to 1500 mg) per day will help lower your blood pressure. Always check the nutrition labels on your food. Foods that are perceived as healthy may have excessive sodium.
  3. Limit sweets to 5 servings per week. We all love desserts, but it’s good to limit the amount you eat to no more than one serving per day, but the less you eat the better you will feel.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day. Just like sweets, the less alcohol you drink the better off you will be to some extent. There are a few benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation which you can read about here.

I will often see people who are eating otherwise very healthy diets eating way too much sodium. Sometimes perceived healthy foods have far more sodium than we realize. For example, a chicken caesar wrap at a restaurant may have as much as 3500 mg of sodium, three times what you should be eating for an entire day. But if you manage to get your sodium down and you eat plenty of whole foods, then your blood pressure will begin to drop. To read more about the DASH diet, you can visit dashdiet.org.

You Won’t Believe what this Simple Nutritional Change will do for Your Health

Both of these plates may look almost the same, but the plate on the right has 30% more calories, 50% more fat, and 850% more sodium. This shows us the importance of making good decisions about sauces, seasoning, and alternatives.

You have a dilemma. After a long day at work, you come home to discover the two plates shown on your table ready to eat. You would love to just dig in, but you also realize you’ve been watching your health and need to be careful about what you eat. Both plates look nearly identical. Each has 2 servings of meat, 2 servings of rice, 3 servings of vegetables, 1.5 servings of fruit, and a serving of dairy. But upon further inspection, you realize something is literally a bit salty about one of these dishes. You realize that the meal on the right has 30% more calories, 50% more fat, and 850% more sodium. You decide to eat the meal on the left. But how do two nearly identical meals have such different nutritional contents? Also, why should you care?

The differences between the two meals are as listed: pork vs chicken, light vs regular yogurt, not salted vs salted for taste, “reduced sodium” soy sauce vs no soy sauce, added sugar to sweeten the smoothie vs no added sugar, processed and packaged white rice vs whole brown rice, and boiled rice vs stir fried rice. If there is one thing I want you to learn from this article is that when it comes to food, there is always a “versus”. You always have options for adding an additional ingredient or substituting foods, and by substituting the right foods and using the right ingredients, the same meal can be significantly healthier for you. Let’s discuss each of these food showdowns.

Pork vs Chicken: Pork has about 25 more calories than chicken per serving, and about 3 times as much fat. By switching from pork or beer to fish or chicken, you can significantly decrease the amount of fat you are consuming.

Light vs Regular Yogurt: Both of the yogurts used in the two meals were very sweet, dessert tasting yogurts. However, the light yogurt had 90 calories per serving as opposed to 150 calories per serving, contained only 80 mg of sodium as opposed to 190 mg of sodium, and was fat-free compared to its counterpart which packed a couple grams of fat. Switching from normal to light yogurt is a good way to cut back on overall calories, fats, and sodium without eating less. We will discuss why you might want to do this later in this article.

Salted vs Not Salted for Taste: The meal on the right was lightly salted for taste. Just 1/4 teaspoons of salt contains 580 mg of sodium which is 25% of your recommended maximum daily sodium intake. A light salting of your food will more than likely skyrocket your sodium quota (and your blood pressure).

“Reduced Sodium” Soy Sauce vs No Soy Sauce: Many people enjoy eating their rice and vegetables with soy sauce and purchase a reduced sodium soy sauce thinking it is healthy. One tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce has 570 mg of sodium, almost as much as the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Just two tablespoons spread out among your meal can put you at 50% of your daily max value for sodium.

Added Sugar to Sweeten the Smoothie vs No Added Sugar: When you go to a restaurant and order a smoothie, they will normally add simple syrup, a solution that is mostly just sugar and water. Most fruits already have enough natural sugars to make them sweet, so next time you make a smoothie at home, try making it with just fruit blended with water. This will help keep the calories down, and will still taste very good.

Processed and Packaged White Rice vs Whole Brown Rice: White rice is often fortified to have about the same benefits of brown rice, but the point to make here is if you take a food that you can but fresh and whole, and then package it, the company is almost always going to add sodium to increase the shelf life of that product. Choosing processed over whole foods will almost always increase your sodium intake.

Boiled Rice vs Stir Fried Rice: When you stir fry rice, you are adding additional oil, thus you are adding additional fat and calories into your diet. The extra oil in the right side meal saw a significant increase in calories just from the small amount of extra oil it took to stir-fry the rice. This doesn’t take into account any added ingredients that are usually added to rice such as egg and additional vegetables.

So why is increasing your calories, fat, and sodium bad for you? To keep it short, increased calories may lead to weight gain, increased fat may lead to heart disease, and increased sodium may lead to high blood pressure. By not eating an excessive amount of calories, fats, and sodium, you will likely stay free of illness, as well as look and feel better. That is why it’s important to be very cautious about how much you salt your foods, how much salt is in the foods you are purchasing, and that we look for alternatives to high-fat foods such as replacing pork with chicken. Also, be aware of what sauces and seasonings you are adding to your foods. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, steak sauce, and soy sauce are just a few examples of sauces that will add extra sodium and calories to your meal. This happens in restaurants all the time! What your eating may look and sound healthy. However, they may have added excess oil and salt to make it taste better.

The same meal with a few non-cosmetic changes can make or break your diet, always be on the lookout for hidden nutritional contents such as additional sodium, fat, and calories.

Author: Scott Van Hoy