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.