Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Weight Loss Technique

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve lost 20 pounds by becoming a member of the free weight loss/social media community Myfitnesspal.com. Today’s forum discussions on MFP have centered on what number of calories a person should eat when dieting, how to determine that number, and why a person should not go below a certain number.

Now, I am not a doctor. I have had no medical training. However, I am a recovering eating disorder patient, who has seen multiple nutritionists, dietitians, and doctors over the years. I am sharing with you the science that I have learned by multiple medical sources.

The reason why diets tend to fail is that the dieter assumes that if he or she simply eats less and exercises more, than the weight will come off. This thinking is only a few steps away from dieting extremes. Let me explain: If eating less calories results in weight loss, than the unhealthy extreme would be to eat the bare minimum – an eating disorder behavior which will force your body into ‘starvation mode’.  In the same vein, if exercising more results in weight loss, than the unhealthy extreme would be to burn all the calories that you have eaten – another behavior associated with the eating disorder exercise bulimia.

To lose weight in a healthy way, you need to EAT. And eat ENOUGH. It’s a hard concept to wrap ones head around. I remember the shock I had when I realized that after swimming laps, I actually needed to eat a second dinner to meet my calorie and nutrient requirements for the day.

Try thinking of it this way: in order to lose weight, the body needs to be in peak condition so that it can ‘streamline’ itself. To be in peak condition, you need to hydrate it, feed it, and feed it the right nutrients.

So how many calories do you need to net? There are two important numbers to calculate when determining how many calories you need to eat when starting a weight loss plan: Your BMR, and TDEE.

BMR -- the Basal Metabolic Rate – is how many calories you burn if you just sit and breathe all day -- you should NET at least this number.  (Total Calories Eaten – Total Calories Burned = Total Calories Netted)

I found this great website which calculates your BMR: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

TDEE -- Total Daily Energy Expenditure –This is how many calories you should eat to stay at your same weight:
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/

When you deduct the recommended 250 – 500 calories each day (for a half a pound, to a pound of healthy weight loss each week), you should do so from your TDEE – as long as deducting those calories keeps you eating at a calorie level between your BMR and TDEE.

Of course, losing weight is not as easy as simple math – sodium and water also affect the number on the scale. (Too much sodium causes water retention, so make sure you’re getting enough water to ‘flush out’ sodium).


As I said, I’m not a medical professional. But this approach has been approved by medical professionals and has worked for me.
 



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7 comments:

  1. And of course, your body needs proper rest, nutrition, and exercise to maximize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and promote weight loss!

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  2. FOUND YOU!!! =D

    why must there be so much math in weight loss? a few years ago i noticed that the day after eating something really unhealthy, i would look much thinner and i thought eating bad things effected me differently for some strange reason. than it occurred to me that i was jut getting bloated form eating lots of junk food, than burning off the extra weight at work the next day and going back to where i was at square one, not actually making an improvement... that was a sad realization =\

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  3. Definitely. I agree with everything you said. Most importantly, you have to find something that works and you have to measure it. If you can't see any changes in short order, you're doing it wrong. And if eating less and exercising more worked, bodybuilders wouldn't eat 6 times a day.

    I'm happy you found something that works for you and are staying safe. Not to mention looking super-hot. ;)

    PS: Another thing(and you may already know this) 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking kickstarts your metabolism for the day. The sooner you can start burning the better!

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  4. Stephanie,

    Thank you for ALL of your kind words on my blog posts. I am so grateful to hear your story because it is so similar to mine! You are doing so wonderful! Twenty down! That's so awesome! I know you can do the rest and am very glad that you're doing it the healthy way! :) You're an inspiration! I will be checking back to your blog often because it has such great info on it!

    And you're so right. WE CAN DO THIS!

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  5. Love your blog and your advice on MFP! :)

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