Fun Fitness Friday #6

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ok, gather around everyone... Today is a very special day. We are going to put everything from the previous weeks together... and hopefully all of the puzzle pieces fit. Have you ever put a puzzle together with your brother or sister, and they try to jam that one piece of the puzzle to make it fit? Yeah, that was me. Wait, so that purple jelly bean doesn't go there? Ohhhhh... it's a puzzle of a duck?... I was waaay off.

So anyways, if you read the past installments of our little fun filled nutrition bits, you might have some of this information figured out already. I'm going to tailor this to people who want to lose a little weight, and the beautiful thing is that the same ideas and formulas work for someone losing 2 or 20 pounds.

The first thing to realize is that I like to write programs for a "life style change" and not a "diet". Studies have shown that weight that is lost on "diets" or "fads" are gained back in three years. The problem is usually because they are too strict, and no one sticks to them long term. Raise your hand if you want to eat grapefruit for the rest of your life. Not all at once now :) I know for a fact, some of you would not be happy campers if pizza was banished from you forever (Dawn) I include myself in that group. Life is about moderation in everything... so let's get going.

First, once again... figure out your BMR, by using the internet, or multiplying your bodyweight in pounds by 10 or so. So, for someone who is 155 lbs... they need to eat 1550 calories a day to maintain that weight. Now that we have a number to play with, lets use it up. Pretend someone gave you $1550 (that would be nice right?) today, and you have to spend it... hmm what to do?

I like to prescribe a ratio of 30/40/30 when it comes to macronutrients. These are percentages of protein/carbohydrate/fat you should take in a given day. What does that mean? Well, here's some super simple math you need to know... you won't even need a calculator.

Try and remember:
- 1 gram of carbohydrate or protein contains 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories - see, it's more energy dense

This is important because if you measure out 40% of 1550 calories... you get... um... 620 calories. Divide that number by 4 and you get... 155 grams.

So if you weight 155 pounds and want to keep your current weight, you should aim for 155 grams of carbs per day. Do the same math but with only 30%, and you can figure out your protein grams. Take the calorie number for protein, but divide by 9 and you'll get the fat grams.

This comes out to be: 155 grams carbs (CHO), 112 grams protein (PRO), and 51 grams of fat. If a 155 pound person ate this and did no physical activity, they would stay healthy, and stay the same weight... as long as their food sources were good quality. Now... if you want to lose weight... you need to get moving...

Here's a nice number to remember... tell your friends about it... they will love you, and think you are very smart. There are 3500 calories to one pound of fat. That means you need to burn that many calories to lose one pound. Sure, you can do it in less... but it's probably water or inflammation in your body... which is another topic :)

One of the safest, and easiest ways to lose fat is by doing it slow. You want to be the tortoise, not the hare, in this race. A crash diet will work for a day or two, but they call it crash for a reason... you'll crash. A great number to shoot for is one pound of weight loss a week. That's not enough, you say? Well there's 52 weeks in a year. That's plenty of time to reach a goal. New year resolutions, bathing suit weather, a photo shoot... it can all be obtained, we just have to take it slow.

If one pound of fat is 3500 calories, and we want to lose one pound a week, what's the math on that? Well, there's seven days... so that makes 500 calories burned below your BMR/day. I love this idea because it's easy. Between diet and exercise, anyone can find a way to lose 500 calories. It's as simple as burning like 200-300 calories in the day, and then achieving the other 200-300 by eating right. A word of caution though... no matter how much or little you weigh... do not eat less than 1000 calories in a day (I know that sounds crazy, but that's a "more is better" mentality applied). This very low number of fuel causes your body to go into a "starvation mode" and store any calories it can... which results as fat retention. Remember, we were once hunter/gatherers who did not know when the next meal would come ;)
I don't want to go into information overload... so here's some tips to leave you with. They might be a little random, but then again, so am I.
  • While we are technically counting calories here, don't go crazy counting calories. I think it's important to gain an understanding of how much you should be eating, and knowing portion control. Figure out how many grams you need of something, and take a look at what that looks like, so you have an idea.
  • Take your gram numbers and space them out over 5 or 6 meals throughout the day. You always want a well balanced meal, because it controls insulin (remember?)
  • Protein and fat with every meal... it stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you satisfied
  • Try to have your starchy and healthy carb sources when your body needs it most... at breakfast, and before and after a workout
  • Always strive for 5 fruits and vegetables
  • Nothing increases your metabolism more than exercise... studies have shown:
  • Metabolism increases for up to 4 hours post aerobic (jogging etc) exercise
  • Metabolism increases for 24-48 hours post anaerobic (weight lifting) exercise
  • If you eat 5-6 times a day... that's 35-42 meals a week... so don't feel bad if you have pizza for one or two of them. That's still a passing grade in my book, 40/42 is still an A.
Ok, I think that's going to be it. Let me know if you have any questions, and field any personal ones by email. Next week, I'll go into exercises you should be doing, and more tips you can use for healthier eating and managing your weight. Not all exercises and methods are created equal, but for now, I just want everyone to get moving more. Pull a Michael Phelps and start swimming... easy at first. Run if you like it, rollerblade like its 1992... do whatever you enjoy, that's the key. Exercise should be something you enjoy. I'm taking some cool Canadians into NYC today... wish me luck! I'll try and take some pics for all of you. I should really try gelato, too. Enjoy the weekend my friends :)
Dumb and Dumber

Comments (29)

Hooray!! Yet another informative, interesting Fun FItness Friday installment.

Have fun in NYC!!! That's my favorite location :0)

Thanks for the recap, it was great for me since I missed a few!

I have been talking about joining a hip-hop class for years. I know, as you advised, it would be the type of exercise I would really ENJOY doing {hence I would do it}, since I don't enjoy anything else. I am really going to do it, I've been inspired!

First let me say ('cause it's important) Dumb & Dumber--classic movie!!
You made a valid point about it's not so much about counting calories, but more portion control. So true, counting calories is frustrating which leads you stop anyways.
And finding exercise that you "truly" enjoy is a huge plus. Going to the gym and doing weights is all I love. And, it really sheds the pounds while giving me a hot, toned body; literally a win-win situation.
Plus, another trick that I found is to surround yourself with fit people. This, for sure, will help keep you motivated to push yourself. So I hang out with the bodybuilders at my gym, get to know them, get motivated, etc.. and that in turn helps me to astrive to higher levels of fitness.
I love all that you do here Adam--you rock!

Absolutely wonderful information Adam!! so interesting, I love this type of post yours!! xGloria

Very informative... portion control and exercise are the key for my success. Great post Adam.

Very informative... portion control and exercise are the key for my success. Great post Adam.

Excellent advice my dear Adam. You are so smart about keeping the body healthy. Personally I've always believed moderation as opposed to diet. Everything (well, almost everything) is good for you so long as you keep it within reason. Over indulgence is the worst habit to get into, even with dieting. So thank you for the wise words of wisdom. You are so cool!

Great post. One of the reasons people freak out when it comes to weight loss is that they try to do it in a certain time frame instead of little bits throughout the entire year.

Lol, running people give me "the look" when I tell them I prefer a 40-30-30 diet opposed to 60% carbs. I think it's funny!

Have fun in NYC!

Thanks for all that wonderful information! Have fun in NYC!!!

Thanks for all that wonderful information! Have fun in NYC!!!

Canadians, huh? Have a good time.

With these tips, I'll be in perfect shape.

Ok,I get it, it's cool, but (yes I am that kind of guy) how do you measure your food? I mean, I make most of my food from scratch and really don't have time (don't know how) measure 155 gr of proteins and carbs? I am lost help! Hehe :-p

oh my goodness, I'm so glad you found me so I could come here and read this... I need to lose like 8 pounds and article is a great way for me to put my plan in perspective. Since I cook and travel for a living it's hard to maintain a balanced lifestyle. I'm printing this out and highlighting the pertinent points!

Thanks soooo much. I'll BE BACK!

another great segment!!

Adam, I just caught up reading all your FFF's and thank god you make everything so easy to understnad and fun to read.. if only textbooks were written that way.

I can't wait to read all about NYC. I've never been there and would love to see your pics!

Adam, this is the best FFF 'til now! It also made me realise how lucky I am, partially thanks to my metabolism and partially for using common sense (principles like moderation and eating my carbs mostly in the morning mainly because I felt they gave me more energy exactly when I needed it). Also I knew starvations diets never work but now that you gave us the reason why it all makes much more sense. Great info as always!!!

Good stuff! If I stick with you... maybe I'll be a hot, skinny thing by Christmas :)

I was also playing tour guide this weekend, that's why I didn't came earlier.
I loved the idea of the 500 cal a day, you made it sound so easy!
Does this mean you're gonna stop doing the fff? :(

My kisses and hugs goes to you for another informative post!! Who needs a diet coach when we have Adam here :-)
i love this part: One of the safest, and easiest ways to lose fat is by doing it slow...I completely agree with that!

btw, I hate putting puzzle together,I'll probably the one that will put a mess when my sisters were about to finish it LOL

Have I mentioned that I love fun fitness fridays? ;-) Your tips are fantastic - especially your math tricks, which make the calorie calculations very easy to do on the fly at home or when grocery shopping... Thank you for the incredibly valuable resource! You know you need to turn Fun Fitness Fridays into a book, right? ;-) Seriously!

Brilliant post! Really makes sense of it all.

Adam, I can't wait for the next post! I love this one too, the "you'll crash' on crash diets; be a tortoise and not a hare; 3500;>1000 a day; 5-6 meals and 5 fruits/ vegs. The exercise part is what I would not want to accept, being the lazy person I am when it comes to burning calories! Will wait for the next post to find out if you have any easy way out???

Nice Adam! yes, it is all about the lifestyle change! Diets are a crock!

Hey Adam, thanks for stopping by. Mexican Chocolate Blueberry cake sounds good, doesn't it? Haha. I'm still trying to figure out how I can follow your wonderful advise about keeping by body healthy and keep eating my chocolate. I guess the answer is moderation. Thanks kiddo.

mind spinning. heart stopping. tongue drying out. I can't do it, I tell you. I can't. Especially not after reading about the Bleu Cheese burger with fries on the blog that lead me here.

The thing I hate about watching what you eat is the calorie counting. If I wanted to count I would have done better in math, damn it. However, I will admit you made some valid points, so at least I know you are not a nut.

I really like the part about a pound a week. We have such a "I want results now" attitude these days, that one pound a week seems like failure. I like how you broke that down. Made a lot of sense if you look at it that way, plus it is an approachable goal. If you end up losing more than one pound that week, all the better.

Anyway, I just kind by the have a look see, but thought I'd pee on your wall so you'd know I was here.


thanks for visiting my blog. I ll be a regular visitor. Its an interesting blog you ve got :-)

I love your "okay" for 2 slices of pizza! Hehe..

I love how packed with great info your posts are, Adam! Thanks!

Great job on communicating this information. I read a blog, regularly, written by an obesity medicine physician called Weighty Matters. He argues that weight management is not about exercise. Maybe I'm overstating his position - you can read it if you'd like. What do you think about his perspective and the evidence he presents?

BTW - we have an award for you on our blog.