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Archive for the ‘Weight’ Category


Eat this.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Most weight management sites use a simplified equation based on age, gender, height, weight and activity level to calculate the number of calories we should eat to lose or maintain our weight.

For example, I recently visited a popular calorie calculator, entered an age of (38), male, height (5’ 9”), my weight (213 pounds) and chose the “Active” activity level.

I provided the age and weight I was prior to the losing the 50 pounds I lost a few years back as I wanted to see what the calculator would have suggested to me back then. I’m 43 now.

I hit the calculate button and it suggested that to maintain my current weight I should eat 2619 calories per day, but if I wanted to lose approximately one pound per week, I should eat 2119 calories per day.

I wanted to lose one pound per week.

Flash back to 2008. I lost my excess 50 pounds by eating no more than 2200 calories per day. That was the magic number that worked for me (however, I arrived at that number quite a bit differently than by the logic of a calorie calculator).
It took me about 10 months to lose the weight for good, but it was a challenge to stick to that number day in and day out.
Prior to discovering I could eat 2200 calories and be both satisfied while still losing weight at the same time, I was unconsciously averaging 3400 calories per day and getting heavier and heavier by the meal.

Ok back to the calorie calculator results I received. Their suggestion of eating 2119 to lose a pound a week is slightly lower than the calorie goal of 2200 I used to drop my excess weight, but not by too much. The main issue I have with calorie calculators, other than the fact they merely provide “a general guideline for information purposes only”, is the real missed opportunity to invest the time to get to know our current eating habits; to first take into consideration what isn’t working (how much food am I currently eating). They’re unable to personalize initial recommendations for each individual eater.

We’ve got to know where we’ve been to know where we’re going. Everyone is different. Now, I’ll be the first to agree that following a general guideline has got to be better than continuing to over eat, but easier said than done.

To greatly improve our chances of long-term success we must slowly transition (over a month or two) how much we eat now (usually too much) to how much we should be eating (each week) to trigger excess pounds to automatically skid-addle on weigh-in day.

It’s a metamorphosis that retrains our eyes, our stomachs and our minds allowing our bodies to get used to the whole idea of eating less.

The kicker is that it takes that month or two to arrive at an eating goal that’s personalized just for you.  The only way to arrive at that number, and make it stick, is to have patience (let it happen) and be consistent (don’t quit).

It’s taken years to master our over-eating habits. We make the same mistakes so frequently it has become second nature. It’s how we eat.

It’s gonna take at least a few months of initial time investment to break those habits in a way that fricken works. Had I tried to go from averaging 3400 calories per day directly down to 2200 (in one shot) it would have been like telling myself to only breathe for 18 out of the 24 hours available in the day. I wouldn’t have lasted long.

» Bryan

Yum Factor

Friday, February 5th, 2010

When I first started counting my calories I really had no idea why I was doing it. All I knew was that my Nutritionist gave me the assignment of writing down everything I ate for the upcoming week. My job was to bring the completed record, to our next appointment.

If you’re anything like me, you like food a lot. The trouble was, when I’d go by yum factor alone, I’d get myself into trouble and more often than not, eat more than I should.

Yum factor is all about feel: “What do you feel like eating tonight?” It’s about texture. If it feels good going down, chances are you’re gonna down more of it.

But how much should one eat? When we pay little attention to our eating habits, it’s impossible to know where we’re at or what to do about it.

Everyone has a food number. When I started writing down everything that I put in my mouth, I was averaging around 3500 calories per day. More often than not, I’d eat over 4000.

To figure out your average, you add up all the calories you eat in a week and divide it by seven.

My nutritionist used 3500 as a starting point for what I was capable of eating in a day (my average), and using a weekly weigh-in, he’d lower my food number each week by only a few hundred calories, to slowly ease me into eating less and less. 3300, 3100, 2900, etc.

It took me 10 weeks to arrive at the number that worked for me (everyone’s number is different). At 2200 calories per day, I was both satisfied (hunger-wise) and still shed pounds more often than not (tracked by my weekly weigh-in).

Everyone gains a pound or two here and there, the goal is to have more downs than ups.

At my starting weight of 213 pounds, my target was 185. Once I hit my target, I reluctantly aimed for 170 (not ever believing I could weigh so little). I flew by 170 and at about the 50 week mark (almost a year) I hit my natural body weight of 160. I’ve been within 5% of that weight for over two years now.


It just goes to show you, we can always do better than what we often believe our best can be.

Knowing how much you can eat each day, what you’ve eaten and how much you’ve got left is pretty empowering. It gives you an edge. You can still eat all the foods that do it for you (yum factor), just less of ‘em. At the same time feel proud about how your clothes fit.

The catch… You gotta eat less of your favorite foods (which you can monitor using a food logbook) and as your energy level and metabolism increases, spend more days exercising and building up a sweat, than days you don’t.

The year’s gonna go by whether you like it or not. Might as well make it the best year of your life. » Bryan

Hi, you’ve got 7 days left until weigh-in day.

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

How often do you weigh in? Most of us jump on the scale whenever we want to know how much we weigh. There’s no set schedule. We either blow off weighing ourselves for months at a time or take it to the extreme weighing in several times per day, to see if the last reading was a fluke.

Yes I’ve been known to weigh myself, then try taking off my watch and glasses to see if I could eek out a lower number. It no worky. I tried.

Our weight is always fluctuating depending on the time of day, how much we’ve eaten, how active we’ve been and even if we’ve gone to the bathroom recently or not. Even though it is tempting to jump on the scale (or avoid it all together), we get better results when we stick to a schedule to monitor our weight.

When we weigh-in too frequently, a sudden illogical shift in our weight can send us down the wrong path. There’s nothing worse than weighing in only to jump on the scale a bit later only to find we’ve gained weight. It makes it appear as if we’re doing something wrong and instantly gets us thinking about what we should be doing differently to stop the weight from piling up. This is the trap.

Pick a weigh-in day, once per week. Mornings are a good time to jump on the scale, but the most important thing is to pick a regular time and stick to it. I like to weigh-in right when I wake up, before I eat or drink anything and after a quick restroom break. To keep things consistent, I wear roughly the same type of clothing (shorts and a t-shirt with no shoes), this helps me document my weight in a way that is more apples to apples (week in and week out).

Look at your weigh-in day as the payoff to see how your body was affected by how you ate last week. At the same time, your weigh-in day marks a fresh start to a new food week.

We’ve designed work food out to help keep you on track. Once you’ve picked your weigh-in day, each week after weighing-in, a timer is set. If you try to enter a new weight before your next scheduled weigh-in date, it tells you when to come back. Think of it as your own personal scale assistant.


While it’s important to get lots of variety in the kinds of foods you eat and in the types of activities you do, weighing-in should be practiced with patience and consistency if you want to control it and not let it control you. » Bryan