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Not a Diet!!!

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I’m not on a DIET, I’m eating healthy!!!  Man, I hate the word “diet”.  When it comes to weight loss, there’s no lack of fad diets promising fast results.  But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run.

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes.  It includes a lifestyle that focuses on clean, healthy eating, regular exercise ( 5 to 7 days a week), and by burning off more calories than you eat.  Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age.  You will look and feel younger.  So, what are you waiting for?

Are you maintaining a healthy weight?:

First, determine whether or not your current weight is healthy.  BMI – Body Mass Index is one way to measure your weight.  But, I personally think is inaccurate.  For instance, I workout 7 days a week (P90X, Insanity and Body Beast), eat a clean diet, have less that 10% body fat and I’m still considered obese!  If you don’t believe me, scroll to the top of this page and click on “My Story” and you can judge for yourself.

Weigh Yourself:

Positive: Easy and handy. In a 2007 study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found that dieters who regularly and frequently weighed themselves appeared more likely to keep the weight off over time.  Buying a scale for your bathroom to keep track of weight won’t break the bank.

Negative: You know how you can be skinny but out of shape? Or heavy and fit? Body weight doesn’t take into account the proportion of fat in the body, or where that fat is deposited — factors that can point to health trouble.  Also, experts say dieters often make the mistake of fixating on the number between their toes instead of focusing on changing the behavior that can improve it.

What I suggest is to get some calipers and start monitoring what matters — your body composition.  Body composition analysis more specifically looks at what exactly you’re gaining or losing when you get on the scale.   In general, we divide the body into either fat mass or lean body mass.  Fat mass is obvious – this would include all forms of fat within your body.  Lean body mass is everything else.  Clearly, we want to have the smallest amount of fat mass and the largest amount of lean body mass possible.

This means stop gauging your progress based on a bathroom scale.  Start gauging your progress on 3 things:

–How do you feel?

–How do you look in the mirror?

–What is my body composition (body fat and lean body mass)?

The best way to determine body composition is to use calipers.  Go to and they will show you how to measure using calipers and then you will put in the numbers and hit calculate.  Click HERE to access their body fat calculator page.  There are separate calculation methods for men and women, and there are multiple methods to use.  You can experiment with them to determine which one you find most predictable and repeatable.  It’s a good idea the first time to measure your body fat with multiple methods to be sure you are doing it correctly.

If you’ve been thinking about your current weight, it may be because you’ve noticed a change in how your clothes fit. Or maybe you’ve been told by a health care professional that you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and that excessive weight could be a contributing factor. The first step is to assess whether or not your current weight is healthy.

Losing Weight

What is healthy weight loss?

Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle change that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.  It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 500-1000 calories to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Once you’ve achieved a healthy weight, by relying on a clean diet, regular physical activity and a exercise program, you are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term. Losing weight is not easy, and it takes commitment.

Preventing Weight Gain

To stay at a healthy weight, it’s important that you plan ahead.  As people age, their body composition gradually shifts – the proportion of muscle decreases and the proportion of fat increases. This shift slows their metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.  In addition, some people become less physically active as they get older, increasing the risk of weight gain.

Don’t worry, there is a solution: a complete LIFESTYLE change.  I was never successful at weight loss or muscle growth until I made the committment to eat a clean diet everyday.  I can honestly say I have enjoyed every meal I’ve even for the last 3 1/2 year.

Why is preventing weight gain so important?  For the simple fact that by avoiding weight gain, you avoid higher risks of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.

Get Moving: In addition to a healthy eating plan, an active lifestyle will help you maintain your weight. By choosing to add more physical activity to your day, you’ll increase the amount of calories your body burns. This makes it more likely you’ll maintain your weight.

Self Monitoring: You may also find it helpful to weigh yourself on a regular basis.  I personally weight myself after getting out of bed every Sunday morning.  That way, if you see a few pounds creeping on, I can take the time to examine your lifestyle. With these strategies, you make it more likely that you’ll catch small weight gains more quickly.

Balancing Calories

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, the bottom line is – calories count! Weight management is all about balance – balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses or “burns off”.

A calorie is the body’s fuel supply that can be found in food. A calorie is a calorie regardless of its source. Whether you’re eating carbohydrates, fats, sugars, or proteins, all of them contain caloriesCaloric balance is like a scale. To remain in balance and maintain your body weight, the calories consumed (from foods) must be balanced by the calories used (in normal body functions, daily activities, and exercise).

 Healthy Eating For A Healthy Weight

A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan:

Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk.  My milk of choice is unsweetened almond milk

Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts

Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars

Stays within your daily calorie needs ( I track my calories with myfitnesspal )


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