After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.
General Dieting Information
I have found some diet tips that work for me and some great electronic gadgets that help me exercise safely. First, there is no magic formula for losing weight. Most diets work over a period of time as long as you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Simple math, but it’s not so easy when you crave chocolate or some special meal.
An American Journal of Medicine study concluded consuming fewer calories daily over a longer period of time is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. You can’t binge one day and diet the next expecting success.
Plus, they suggest a low-fat, high-fiber diet with moderate carbohydrates is the single best way to maintain permanent weight loss. You won’t have hunger pains with this type of diet and it is nutritionally balanced.
The Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found in their 30-month study that keeping a food diary can double weight loss if you are part of a managed program. There are many methods designed to help you lose weight.
How To Calculate Your Caloric Needs
One way to approach your diet is to calculate your calorie needs so you understand what it takes to lose pounds. Multiply your current weight by 12, which will equal the number of calories needed daily to maintain your current weight.
For example: if you weigh 150 pounds, multiplying by 12 would equal 1800 calories to maintain your 150 pounds. Then, reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories per day and increase your activity by 200 calories per day which totals 500 calories. Since 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories, you will lose 1 pound a week with this plan, which requires very little effort.
Enhance Your Success for Weight Loss
Tips that will enhance your chance of success in your weight loss program:
- Keep a diary and write down everything you eat, the time you eat it, emotions (if they play a role in your eating time or choice of food), and keep details about your exercise.
- A Fitbit tracker is a very accurate way to measure total calories burned.
- There are numerous websites where you can track your caloric intake.
- Do not keep anything with high sugar calories in your home that you can’t resist.
- Do your grocery shopping before beginning the diet; shop when you are not hungry; and load up on fruits and vegetables.
- Read labels carefully and pick low salt items. Try to avoid products with corn syrup.
- Most vegetables have good carbohydrates with the exception of corn and potatoes.
- Fiber-rich food takes longer to chew and digest so you remain full for a longer period of time.
- Avoid soft drinks with sugar and note calories in fruit juices as they are often higher than you expect.
- Make plans for all your meals and snacks daily, preferably the day before.
- Do not skip meals. It is more ideal to eat 4 or 5 smaller meals than one large meal.
- If you need a snack, grab a piece of fruit.
- Drink plenty of water, especially after exercise to prevent dehydration.
- Use mustard, ketchup, fat-free mayonnaise, or diet salad dressings.
- One thing that is effective when eating out is to cut your meal in half and ask the waiter for a to-go box before you start to eat. Ask him to place half the food in the to-go box.
- Eat slowly. Put your fork or spoon down between each bite.
- Weigh once weekly. You will notice weight loss by the fit of your clothing.
- Stretch before exercise to prevent muscle damage.
- Check your heart rate at rest and with aerobic exercise.
Burning Abdominal Fat
Cardiovascular exercise is a good way to burn abdominal fat, including:
Check Your Heart Rate With Aerobic Exercise
You need to know the range of your target heart rate. These are the typical formulas for the average person:
220 - (your age) * 60%
220 - (your age) * 90%
For example, if you are 30 years old using the above formula:
(220 - 30) * 0.6 = 114
(220 - 30) * 0.9 = 171
So your target heart rate is 114-171. To find your current heart rate, use the second hand on your watch and count your pulse at your carotid artery on either side of your throat for 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4, or you can count for the whole minute.
There are devices on some pieces of equipment at gyms that give you your heart rate. There are several watches that will keep track of your heart rate.
Body Mass - BMI Explained
There are electronic gadgets to help you assess your body fat composition or to know how many calories you are burning. From a psychological standpoint, these are helpful to monitor your progress.
It helps to understand the terms that are used for assessing body fat if you want to use more than just a regular scale. We hear the term BMI frequently, which means Body Mass Index. This is a number that is calculated from a person’s weight and height and is a reliable indicator of body fatness. There are several BMI calculators online.
For BMI measurements, if you are below 20 you usually have a lower amount of body fat. A measurement of 20-22 is ideal and healthy, which is associated with living longest, and has the lowest incidence of serious illness. A BMI of 22-25, indicates an acceptable range with good health but you might want to lose a few extra pounds. If your BMI is 25-30 you are slightly overweight and should lose some weight.
A BMI over 30 indicates an unhealthy condition and your excess weight is putting you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and some cancers.
Electronic Record of Body Fat
There are Body Fat Analyzers and calculators. The Omron HBF-306 is reasonably priced, and it measures your body fat with a gentle, micro electrical current. It has two modes, athletic and normal, which provide accurate results based on your exercise regiment. It will deliver measurements for the Bi method (Bioelectrical Impedance Method) and BMI (Body Mass Index) in about 7 seconds. It features a 9 person memory, so the whole family can keep records
Digital Pocket Pedometer
Another useful device is a pedometer. The Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer has dual sensor technology which means the pedometer can be carried in your pocket or bag. It accurately measures your steps, as well as your aerobic steps and minutes. It measures calorie consumption during your workout and the distance you’ve walked. It comes with a detachable belt holder and security strap.
Top of the Line
If you really want the top of the line you can get the GoWear fit Lifestyle and Calorie Management System. It is clinically proven to accurately track calories, steps, physical activity levels, and sleep efficiency.
It helps you set healthy weight loss goals and it is easy to operate. It tracks your progress over time. Optional displays give you minute-by-minute updates. They also have a system where you connect the armband sensor to your computer where the data is stored and you receive helpful suggestions.
My daughter-in-law swears by this one for accuracy and she states it helps her keep accurate records. She is almost down to her goal weight after losing 50 pounds, and she looks great!
As you can see there are many tips and gadgets available to enhance your weight loss experience. By using a diary faithfully, you will always have a record of your food intake, your exercise history, and your plan at your fingertips, which helps keep it foremost in your mind.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Pamela Oglesby