I’m trying to attain a BMI of 24.9 so I can rest a little easier knowing I’m at less risk for the various unhappy consequences of being overweight. The doctor didn’t seem concerned last time I talked to him about this, and now I’m only about 13 pounds from the goal.
This calorie counter at About.com is answering some of the questions I’ve wondered about for some time such as how many calories you need just to maintain your current weight = basal metabolic rate. For me it’s about 2000 per day, more with more exercise.
Although that article recommends eating 500 calories less to lose weight I DO NOT agree and think people generally fall off of diets because they are making them too painful. If, for example, you shave off 100 calories a day from your basal metabolic burn (or exercise another 10 minutes or so), you’ll lose weight over time. It’ll obviously take longer at 100 calorie deficit per day, but the point is that you are probably a lot more likely to stick to an “easy” diet than a hard one. More importantly if you can’t shave off a measly 100 calories a day you really need to question what you expect out a harsher diet, which is only going to work if you KEEP OFF THE WEIGHT which means invoke long term lifestyle changes. 100 calories is simply forsaking ONE Tablespoon of oil, a couple pats of butter, a single slice of bread).
Everybody is different but I think a good approach is to start by experimenting with long term lifestyle changes in terms of diet and excersize while keeping track of your weight on a daily basis (yes it’ll fluctuate but it’s good to have a lot of data!). Your first goal is to find out comfortable ways for you to maintain your weight or lose slightly – sort of a benchmark of the life you’ll be living for the long haul. When you find that comfortable balance of excersize and enjoyable eating simply shave off 100 calories per day until you hit your desired weight. If you are inspired to go for more do that, but just focus on the long term healthy lifestyle and not the weight loss part. DO FOCUS on weight gain, which means you probably miscalculated what you can afford to eat. I’ve even toyed with the idea of weighing myself every morning when I get up and if I weight MORE than the day before I cannot eat more than 1000 calories that day. Sticking to that plan will guarantee weight loss, but it’s more severe than I think I need as I’m making progress now with modest reduction in calories and increase in exercise.
Eating healthy can be more enjoyable if you savor things, eat smaller portions, add fruits and vegetables rather than sweets and carbs) You do NOT need to make radical changes but you do need to stick to your guns. A couple friends of mine have knocked off substantial weight and both did it mostly by simply sticking to their plans which were to limit calorie intake and get modest exercise. Fancy gimmicks are not your answer – calories and exercise define the whole show so figure out what’s up with your metabolism…. and go baby go !