Fitness Fun Fact Fridays

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, July 11, 2008

Starting with this first post, I have decided to give a weekly/biweekly post on exercise, nutrition, and possibly overall whole person wellness. I know school is Zzzz... boring, but I'll try to make it as fun as I possibly can. I came across this idea based on the notion that:

1) I can’t bake all the time due to money/time constraints

2) General knowledge of nutrition is both varied and confusing

3) This is good practice for me as an educator, because I’m going to incorporate all of these aspects into my chiropractic practice

4) Mom always said, try to learn at least one thing a day

So, this is going to be my version of a nutrition/workout/wellness “crash course”. My goal is to have each week build on the topic from the week prior, while addressing any comments or questions that happen to arise. If anyone has any criticism or input they wish to give, by all means, do so. I don’t turn into the Hulk or anything…I just want to look like him :)


I am not a certified nutritionist, and do not have a nutrition degree. I do however, have a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science, and will have my Doctorate in Chiropractic. Both of these programs have exposure to nutrition, exercise, and overall wellness. These opinions, along with everything else you find on this blog, are strictly the thoughts and expression of Adam Bizan (me). Please read and use at your own risk. Always consult a licensed professional before partaking in any diet or exercise program. Thanks.

So I’m going to start out really, really, slow and simple. If you already know much of this information, just hang on for a bit, we’ll uncover new things in coming weeks.

The most common question people ask is “How Do I Gain/Lose Weight?” This has been as hotly debated as which actor plays the best James Bond. (The correct answer is Sean Connery). The easiest way to understand and utilize your body weight is to look at it as a math equation…

Calories In (Eaten) = Calories Out (Burned by the Body)

So with this in mind, you need to tip the scale one way or another to see a change in that direction. Forget the whole low carbohydrate, low fat, protein, or cupcake diet; if you consume or burn more TOTAL calories, your weight will go in that affected direction. That’s it. End of story. I can’t stress this enough. With that being said… we do not live in a black/white world, and all calories are not technically created equal, but this is a good jump off point. Next, you simply need to find out what side of the equation you want to be on.

Once that is done, the next step is figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is a fancy word for how many calories you burn throughout the day, while you are at rest. Let’s say a person works at a paper company (yes like Dunder Mifflin Inc.), and has a desk job. They do not exercise, and are not very active throughout the day. It is safe to say, therefore, that probably 90-100% of their daily calories are expended via their BMR.

While there are many formulas out there, I find BMR is roughly your body weight, in pounds, (sorry Euro and NZ people) multiplied by 10. For example, with myself currently:

155 pounds x 10 = 1550 calories burned at rest

This number is only a very rough estimate. You can find more detailed results online, at here, or use a search engine.

This number is what most people mean when they say “metabolism”, which is determined by both age and lean muscle mass. So if two people weigh the same, but one is younger, the younger person will have a higher BMR, and burn more calories than the older person. Gender also plays a role, because men (usually) have more muscle mass than women. Muscle mass is living tissue, and requires energy to sustain it, so the more muscle you have, the higher calories you burn and the higher your metabolism. This is why, EVERYONE should do some sort of resistance training. Use soup cans if you want… but that’s another post.

So what’s the big picture? First, figure out how many calories you burn per day, if you did nothing but sit and watch television or use the computer. Divide that amount into how many meals you eat in a day, and you have your caloric portion size. If you ate that amount, and became more active, you would lose weight. If you ate more calories to go over that number, and did not burn them off, you would gain weight.

I know seems pretty simple, and you might be saying ‘Duh’ like Michelle from Full House, but this is the first step towards changing and manipulating weight.

Next week we’ll delve a little more into types of macronutrients and how they affect your body, unless someone has something a suggestion. By all means, drop me an email (found in my profile) or comment on this post if anything crosses your mind. Enjoy the weekend :)

Full house image found here

School image found here.

Comments (14)

I like this series Adam! I think it is a great idea and I am so glad you are doing it!

Have a good weekend!

What a fun addition to your blog!

Great start to the series, Adam! It's good that you stressed how it isn't any particular diet that makes one gain weight, but the total amount of calories overall. Of course, a variety of foods is essential to health, but favoring a particular kind with an irrational idea of it not causing weight gain is, sadly, a growing trend.

I loled at Sean Connery (I agree) and Dunder Mifflin, heh!

I am soooo with you on resistance training. I was once thinner and more in shape. And at that stage in my life I was lifting weights 3 to 4x a week. It was amazing how fast you burn calories during and even after training. In fact, resistance training was the only way I was able to literally eat whatever I wanted and keep the weight off, plus the fact I was 20 something. When you're 20 you can do that. But now that I'm older I can't, and as soon as I lose more weight I'm going back to the gym. I don't like to start the gym until I'm a bit thinner. I also love the feeling after working out with weights; you just can't get that ever with walking or running, you know?
I look forward to reading your tips--really nice addition to your blog. And thanks for the food comments!!!

Adam, thanks for visiting my site. I can't believe you've never had a sopaipilla. They really are delicious. But like I always say, everything in moderation. From what we eat, to what we drink to what we indulge in. I am so glad to see you posting some healthy and sensible comments about our health and offering advise on how to take better care of our bodies. As foodies, we need to remember that. Thanks so much for sharing Adam. I really like your site.

If anyone can make this fun, it's you! Unfortunately, I hate exercising, especially running and biking. The only thing I seem to enjoy is pilates, but I stopped when I was busy studying for my finals in April. For some reason I've lost the motivation to start again. Even though I only did each exercise 10 times on the Windsor Pilates Basic series I have to admit that overall I felt less puffy even at the same weight. I never knew that resistance training was so helpful in burning calories... thanks for the soup can tip because I'm sure thats where I would have to start.

Thanks for visiting my blog! It seems like we have similar blogs, except you have a dog instead (he's quite a beauty, by the way - can't call him cute given his size). Look forward to seeing more of those healthy fiber-full recipes...

You mentioned The Office and Full House in one post! Best post EVER!

Okay, actually I don't like Full House. But I used to. Shhhh.

Great info!

Jenn - Thanks, its nice knowing everyone likes this information :)

Veggie - Oh yes, the things we do for fun.

Christina - I'm glad we both agree on this. While I'm sure both our diets and hobbies are different, we have the same goal.

Dawn - You bring up very good points about metabolism. It's higher the younger you are, like 20 vs. 40, and it increases with exercise. I'm happy you've tried resistance training and liked it. It's great for numerous reasons, but that's another post :)

Teresa - Thanks for coming by. I couldn't agree with you more. Moderation is key. Life is about balance.

Steph - Thanks, my goal is to have someone learn at least one thing a post. Pilates are great, you train muscles you didn't even know you had.

Tinker - Thanks :) We'll try a healthy, fiber roundup sometime.

Em - I knew you would catch on to those :) Who didn't think Uncle Jesse was the coolest back then? It's cool to raise your hand...

Very informative Adam......since you are from upstate new york....on a side note, Yankees or Mets :) ?

Nice to start this series, and interesting infomative read, really!:-)

Great information, Adam!

Great post! Finally someone who can talk health/excercise without being earnest and condescending. It's amazing how simple it really is and yet people still buy 'magic' pills and creams and drinks and all sorts of things to lose weight. I loved the Full House shoutout, I used to have quite the crush on Uncle Jesse "have mercy" lol.

Great post! I've also learned it at school, and you did an mazing job reminding me about it!