Monday, February 8, 2010

Weight Loss Basics

Take a Load Off
    Male or female, young or old, weight loss is a challenge for everyone. Pick up any magazine, flip on the internet and there you have it... some crazy hocus pocus concoction or new invention that is going to shed the pounds off over night. What we all must realize is the basics are the foundation – they remain the same regardless of the newest fad diet. We must cut through the hype and relearn the basic of living healthy to feel healthy and look healthy.
  • What is you healthy weight range?
  • What are the nuts and Bolts of calories and metabolism?
  • What are the healthiest foods to eat and the best exercises to lose weight?   
Do you need to lose weight?
If you think you need to lose weight, you are in good company. Studies indicate that 60% of American adults say they would like to lose 20 or more pounds. If you are overweight, it is to your advantage to shed the extra pounds, as maintaining a healthy weight range reduces the risks of diabetes, certain types of cancer, heart disease, gallstones, sleep apnea as well as various other conditions. To determine if you need to lose weight let’s consider two issues (we will discuss more later):
  • Your healthy weight range.
  • Your body shape.
Healthy weight range: Although there is no single number that defines an ideal weight for each of us, we can target a weight range considering our age, gender and height. This formula is called the BMI and it considers height weight in ratio. To determine the BMI follow this formula:
BMI = 704 x (weight in pounds)   or  BMI =   704 x 125  = 21.48
            Height2 (in inches)                            (64)2         
BMI score ranges
Below 18.5:      Underweight
18.5 – 24.9:     Healthy Weight
25 -29.9:         Overweight
30- Above:       Obese
Only those who fall into the overweight and obese categories will benefit from losing weightLimitation of utilizing the BMI for healthy weight is the fact it neglects the lean muscle mass for individuals who are extremely athletic and conversely the underestimate of body fat in the elderly population who may have lost lean muscle mass.
How to identify your healthy weight range:
Gender  Formula                                    
Female  Begin with 100 pounds and 5 feet. For every inch over 5 feet,add 5 pounds. Your healthy weight range                                      is 10% under and 10% over.
Male      Begin with 106 pounds and 5 feet. For every inch you stand over 5,                                             
             feet, add 6 pounds. Your healthy weight range is 10% under and 10% 
Body Shape: Another way to determine health is body type or where fat is disturbed on your body. It is more advantageous to have a pear shape than an apple shape. Stored fat in the midsection indicates greater health risk.

Waist to Hip ratio:
1. Measure your waist by relaxing your abdominal muscles and measuring around the narrowest point of your waist.
2.   Measure your hips by wrapping the tape around the widest point.
3.   Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement to get the ratio.
A. Female – a ratio of greater than 0.8 indicates an apple; ratio of less than 0.8 indicates a pear shape.
B. Male – a ratio of greater than 0.95 indicates an apple share; a ratio of less than 0.95 indicates a pear shape.

Understanding Weight Loss
In order to loss weight it is important to have a basic understanding of how the body processes food.
What is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of energy.  We tend to associate calories with food, but they apply to anything containing energy. For example a gallon of gas has about 31,000,000 calories.

Here is the simple part – 
you will gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn. Conversely, you will lose weight if you consume fewer calories than you burn.Most health and fitness professionals concur if the goal is weight lose; you must cut calories by approximately 500 per day.