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STATS & FACTS: The Key to Re-defining Your Body

by Sharon Gayle May 2, 2012

Trimming the Fat!

Guidelines for a healthier body and a happier you!

With the Summer fast approaching, we tend to take a longer, harder, look at ourselves in the mirror.  Some of us are satisfied with our general physique, while others will see various areas that might need a little refining, and feel the need to get rid of a few extra pounds.

The following general guidelines will help you work toward a healthier body and a happier you!

Calorie Deficit

Many commercial diets toot their own horns as having the right strategy to shed unwanted weight; however, while most do provide initial results, most also fail to provide the long-term results needed to help keep the weight off.  Following are two very important points to keep in mind:

  1. Your body must burn more calories than it is taking in to lose weight.
  2. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so if you want to lose 1 pound per week, you need to average a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.

NO! You do not have to run on the treadmill faster than the speed of light until your legs buckle (or you end up somewhere in the Twilight Zone) to burn the 3,500 calories to lose a pound. You will however, need to combine increased activity with changes to your diet/meal plan.

Going nowhere fast?  Re-evaluate your workouts, and achieve success! 

Basal Metabolic Rate and Calories Burned in a Day

To manage your weight, you need to know the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn. Your body has what is referred to as basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you burn at rest in order to survive. Your BMR accounts for approximately 60 to 75% of all the calories you burn in a day. Yes—even while you are sleeping, your body continues to burn a small amount of calories.

Once you’ve determined your daily caloric needs, it’s time to set a realistic weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds per week and also calculate how many calories you need to eliminate your unwanted weight.
BE REALISTIC! Set a goal you can achieve. Crash diets and extreme workouts are not the way to do this. Work within your lifestyle and time constraints. Moderate changes will yield great results, and if done correctly, permanent positive lifestyle changes.

What to Eat

Managing your weight is easier than you might imagine. There is no need to spend hours planning your diet. Just follow several simple guidelines and keep the calorie deficit in mind.

You are what you eat. Choose to eat healthy.

  • Reduce your portion sizes by 10 to 15% each time you prepare or order a meal.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and avoid skipping breakfast.
  • Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products to get the nutrients your body needs.
  • Aim for two or three servings of dairy products daily (e.g., milk, cheeses, yogurt).
  • Select low-fat foods and avoid trans fats. Limit your total fat intake to 20 to 35% of daily calories, with no more than 7% of your total calories coming from saturated fats.
  • Avoid eating too many salty foods.
  • Limit alcohol beverage intake.

Cardio: Burn the Right Fuel

Research shows that lower-intensity exercise uses a larger percentage of fat as fuel compared to higher-intensity exercise. However, it does not burn as many calories as higher-intensity exercise and, consequently will not result in as much body weight or fat loss. Therefore, gradually increase the intensity to increase your caloric deficit while continuing to burn fats. Higher-intensity exercise also has a greater impact on keeping your metabolism elevated after your workout, which keeps your body burning calories, thereby allowing you to eliminate a few more calories. REMINDER! Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, and choose the intensity that is appropriate for your current health and physical capabilities.

Burn More Fat by Increasing Muscle

Strength training offers numerous health benefits, including an increase in the number of calories burned. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, and building muscles utilizes a lot of energy. As you increase the amount of muscle you have, you will also increase your resting metabolic rate.

Build muscle ...Burn calories even when sleeping!

To prevent injury and develop consistency, it is suggested that you start off with one to two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for all major muscle groups. ~Sharon Gayle


Notice: This article is for your reference only. Please consult with you Physician prior to starting any exercise program.
Additional Reference Source: ACE-American Counsel on Exercise
Photographs: Courtesy of MSTemplates