Before we can begin, we need to grasp an understanding of the
Two out of three Americans are overweight. The primary cause
is that we eat more and exercise less. There is no doubt that the more
advances we make that enhance our lifestyle the heavier we become.
Wait a minute! What about all those low-fat foods that we eat
now? How come I reduced fat in my diet but I'm still gaining weight?
It's a simple answer. A few years ago we all became aware of
the detrimental effects of fat in our diet. What did we do? We began
to concentrate on lowering cholesterol and taking fat out of our diets.
This is a good thing. However, The National Center for Health
Statistics studied eating habits of 8,260 adult American between 1988
and 1991. Their research showed that Americans had significantly
reduced their fat intake but still packed on the pounds.
How can this happen? There is no mystery. In the process of
counting fat grams, we stopped counting calories! Many of us bought
in to the theory that if it is "low-fat" it won't make us fat.
You can't forget about counting calories. If you eat more
calories than you need the body will store them as fat. It doesn't
matter whether the calories are from fat or carbohydrates.
One school of thought believes that eating small amounts of fat
can actually keep you from over indulging on total calories. The
theory is that dietary fat causes our bodies to produce a hormone that
tells the intestines to slow down the emptying process. You feel full
and therefore are less likely to overeat.
Adding a little peanut butter to your rice cake may satisfy your
hunger for a longer period of time, thus preventing you from eating
more than you need.
Here's more news that is surprising. Tufts University scientists
put 11 middle aged men and women volunteers on a variety of
average, reduced and low-fat diets.
The results? Extremely low-fat diets which provided only 15
percent fat from calories (this is a diet near impossible in real life) did
have a positive effect on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, a reduced-fat diet (much more realistic) only affected
those levels if accompanied by weight loss.
In fact, they concluded, cutting fat without losing weight actually
increased triglyceride levels and decreased high density lipoproteins
(HDLs), the "good" cholesterol that helps protect again heart disease.
We can deduce, therefore, while excess fat isn't healthy, fat is
also not necessarily a bad thing. Without some fat in our diet, the
body won't make nerve cells and hormones or absorb some of the fat
Okay, so how can you determine your ideal weight? Just how
much fat and how many calories should you consume to reach and
maintain a healthy weight?
One answer won't work for everybody. So you need to do some
figuring to determine how much fat and how many calories you can
have. First, you need to determine your ideal weight. Here is a
simple method to determine what that weight should be:
The ideal weight for a woman who is exactly 5 feet tall is
100 pounds. For every additional inch above 5 feet, add five
pounds. If you are shorter than 5 feet tall, subtract five pounds
for every inch you measure below 5 feet.
Next, determine whether you have a small, medium or
large frame. Using a measuring tape, measure your wrist. If
your wrist measures exactly 6 inches, you have a medium frame
and the weight number you calculated above, does not need to
be adjusted. If your wrist measures less than 6 inches, subtract
10 percent from your ideal weight. If your wrist measures more
than 6 inches, add 10 percent to your ideal weight.
The ideal weight for a man who is exactly 5 feet tall is 106
pounds. For every additional inch above 5 feet, add 6 pounds.
To determine whether you have a small, medium or large frame,
measure your wrist. If your wrist measures exactly 7 inches,
you have a medium frame and you do not need to adjust your
ideal weight. If your wrist is smaller than 7 inches, you have a
small frame and should subtract 10 percent from your ideal
weight. If your wrist is larger than 7 inches, you have a small
frame and should add 10 percent to your ideal weight.
Okay, now that you know what your ideal body weight should
be, let's take a look at how many calories your body needs each day.
Before we do this however, you need to take into account your level of
If you are totally inactive and usually get no exercise, multiply
your adjusted ideal weight by 11. If you get regular exercise two or
three times a week, multiply your adjusted ideal weight by 13. If you
get regular exercise four to five times a week, multiple your adjusted
ideal weight by 15. And finally, if you get regular exercise six to seven
times a week, multiply your adjusted ideal weight by 18.
Now that you know your ideal weight and how many calories you
need each day you can easily figure out how much fat you can eat.
Most nutritionists recommend that you limit daily intake of fat to 30
percent of your total calories. However, if you want to lose weight or
have a history of heart disease or cancer, limit your daily fat intake to
20 percent of your total calories.
Let's take a look at a real life example. If Jane is a 5 foot 4 inch
woman with a medium frame her ideal weight is 120 pounds. Jane is
trying to lose weight so she needs to keep her fat calories down to
about 20 percent.
Jane is exercising two to three times a week so we can multiply
her ideal weight by the number that matches her activity level, which
is 13. Now we know that Jane needs 1,560 calories each day.
If we take 20 percent of 1,560 (1,560 multiplied by .20) we get
312. Next, translate fat calories into fat grams (this will make it easier
for you to read food labels). One gram of fat equals 9 calories. So if
we divide 312 by 9 we know that Jane can eat abut 35 grams of fat
Because Jane is over weight and trying to lose, her ideal weight
and current weight do not match up. Jane needs to adjust her total
calorie consumption. In order for her to lose one pound, she needs to
eliminate 3,500 calories.
One simple solution is to lose a pound a week. That's a worthy,
healthy goal and we'll explore methods that will help you achieve that
goal in the upcoming segments.
Avoid "fad" diets. If you don't believe me, ask your doctor
about these: negative calorie diets, extremely low calorie diets, low
carb diets, and any other type of "fad" diet that is unbalanced.
Changing diet should be a matter of healthier life style. Learn
all you can about different foods and nutrition. The more you know
the easier it is to implement healthy nutrition in your diet.
1. Substitute fruit purees for butter or margarine. They are easy to
prepare in a food processor and will significantly reduce calories and
2. Cheese is good for you, but the fat is not. Try this: Zap cheese in
the microwave and drain off grease.
3. Exercising before you eat just makes you hungrier. Exercise AFTER
eating when the body has to work harder to digest food.
4. Don't eat while watching television. You can become so engrossed
in your program that don't realize how much you are eating.
5. Too many people skip breakfast. Eat in the morning when the body
burns more calories.
6. Water mixed with fructose suppresses appetite better than glucose
with water or diet drinks. Drink a glass of orange juice one half to
one hour before a meal.
7. Avoid trans-fatty acids. Use olive, corn or canola oil when cooking.8. Switch from whole to skim milk. All the nutrients are there without
the fat. Okay, at least cut back to low fat!
9. Limit yourself to just four egg yolks a week.
10. Trim all fat from meats before cooking. You'll be amazed at how
much you reduce your fat intake if you take this one small step.
11. Eliminate fried foods. Do we need to say why?
12. Cream sauces like Alfredo and hollandaise are loaded with fat.
Use tomato based sauces instead of cream.
13. Use lemon juice or low sodium soy sauce for flavor.
14. Don't skip meals. When you do, you eat more at your next meal
and usually eat the wrong foods.
15. Read labels - check fat, sugar and carb content.
16. Stop buying on impulse. Never shop for groceries without a list.
17. Avoid shopping when you are hungry - eat first!
18. Shop for groceries once a week and only buy from your prepared
19. Head directly to the fruit and vegetable aisles when you enter
the grocery store. Fill up your basket in these aisles and you'll be less likely to buy binge food.stay to this post, as i will be hitting more ways to loose weight.