This time of year is just not fair; the weather gets colder, the nights get longer and there is one holiday after another. Not to mention all the parties that leads up to the actual holidays. Everywhere you look there are pastries, candy dishes and more food. So let’s all admit gaining a few extra pounds during the holidays is normal. Few meaning less than five – more than that and you need to be reading more than this article.
So here it is, the New Year, a time to reflect and make resolutions. Stop and ask yourself if you are actually going to follow through or if this is just another self-indulgent deception. If you’re going to lie to yourself, don’t limit your pleasure zone, let the imagination go wild. However, for you that truly want to make a change, remember all hard work has a view. For example, when you hike to the top of a mountain you get a great view, much like when you lose weight and look in the mirror (Pause for the cheesy bodybuilding flex).
Remember just because you did the exercise and cut some calories, does not mean you’re going to actually see results. First you should know what you are doing and second you should know you probably don’t know what you are doing. Sounds like the fight club motto, but truth is most professionals have learned a one size fits all program and they have no clue about individual people and their unique body types, metabolism and inherited genetics.
Understand that eating food is more than going to the store and cooking. Wait that might be a stretch – you probably don’t cook. Understand that eating food is more than going to a fast food restaurant. Eating is about ingesting essential macronutrients according to a balanced percentage-based on your height, age and weight. Now you know, right? If not, here are a few essential tips for understanding your calorie intake. You could go see a registered dietitian with certification in weight management or you could use the generic system that most people are familiar with. There is a math formula for the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
[13.7516(kg) + 5.0033(cm) – 6.775(age) + 66.4730] = Kcal
1(kg) 1(cm) 1yr Day
[9.5634(kg) + 1.846(cm) – 4.6756(age) + 655.0955] =Kcal
1(kg) 1(cm) 1yr Day
• Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
• Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
• Mod. Active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
• Very Active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
• Extra Active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day
training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
Or you can check out www.freedieting.com. This website has a tool that allows you to calculate your BMR. You put in your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. This is in no way a promotion to get you to use this website; it is just that the other sites had me eating like Michael Phelps. You can find more online calculators but this one is closer to real world dieting.
Now you know your calories – you are probably starting to feel comfortable like you’re ready to get started and make something less of yourself. Hmmm! Nope I bet you’re probably thinking this sucks. Welcome to my world, one mountain peak after the other. Remember you want to succeed this year – you want results – you are committed and the best thing of all is that reading this article is costing you absolutely nothing.
According to the NAS, the AMDR is the range associated with reduced risk for chronic diseases, while providing essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. People whose diet is outside the AMDR have the potential of increasing their risk of developing a disease of nutritional deficiency.
• Fat at 10-35%,
• Protein at 10-35%
• Carbohydrates at 45–65%.
For example let’s take a 2000-calorie diet.
• 20% Fat: 400cal/9=45grams,
• 35% Protein: 700cal/4=175grams,
• 45% Carbohydrates: 900cal/4=225grams.
There are 9cal to every gram of fat and 4cal to every protein and carbohydrate.
Here is the bottom line – Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, this will help diversify your diet. Buy local – usually that means buying organic foods. Include wild salmon whenever possible. Wild salmon is the bomb when it comes to protein, plus you get the best fish oil from salmon. Don’t exclude other fish because they are healthy, too. The whole mercury thing is real but it is no worse than breathing your normal day’s worth of pollution. Try to not get caught up in these scare tactics – unless you are talking about beef. Let me clarify – fear all beef that is not free range and naturally feeding on grass. Poultry is a good lean source of protein, just follows the same shopping standards as beef. Eat small portions of food throughout the day between six to eight meals and drink 64oz to 100 plus oz a day.
Exercise is the next necessary addition to your New Year resolution. Train the cardiovascular system to strengthen your heart so it can get blood to the muscles. Train the pulmonary system to get oxygen to the muscles and finally train the muscle system utilizing anything and everything. Anything meaning: Yoga, strength training, kickboxing, dancing, skiing, rock climbing, cycling, running. Everything meaning: body weight, bands, free weights, kettle bells, machines, cables etc. Enjoy what you do, be proud of what you accomplish and remember hard work has a view.
One last thing I want to mention – it can’t always rain, the days are getting longer and the holidays are over. Welcome to spring semester and good luck on your studies.