Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Doing the Math

In my last blog I talked about keeping a food diary for 2 weeks, tracking each day what you eat and calculating the number of calories you consume for each day. While doing this no changes in your diet should take place. Just eat like you normally would. The purpose of the first 2 weeks is to have a baseline number of calories you consume. What you will do is add up every days calories for the 14 days (2 weeks) you recorded in your food diary. You will then take that number and divide it by 14. This will give you the average number of calories you consumed daily over the 2 week period and this will become the baseline number in which you will work from. You will then take that number and subtract 300-500 calories.

For example lets say a fictional character named Susan Storm was looking to loose some weight because her spandex work suit was starting to feel just a little to tight. So she decides to keep a 2 week food diary in order for her to get started on her weight loss program. At the end of the 2 weeks of her record keeping she looks at what she has written down and precedes to add up all the calories from each day she recorded. After adding it all up she comes up with a total number of 35,000 calories. So over 14 days (2 weeks) she consumed 35,000 calories. She then would just take that number (35,000) and divide it by 14. Doing this would give her a number of 2,500. So this means her average daily calorie intake over the 2 week period was 2,500 calories. The 2,500 daily calorie average now becomes her baseline number in which she will use to calculate her new daily calorie intake. She would simply subtract 500 calories from the 2,500. So her new daily calorie intake should be no more than 2,000 calories a day.

So in short form: 2 week total calories divided by 14 minus 500 = new daily calories

After you have calculated your new daily calorie intake you will use this number as your take off point for your journey to a slimmer waist line. Whatever your new daily calorie intake number is, you must keep track of your calories just like you did for the first two weeks. You should try not to exceed this number. After 2 weeks at this new daily calorie intake you should loose at least 1-3 pounds. I know what some of you are thinking, 1-3 pounds, are you kidding me! What about those programs that say loose 10 -15 pounds in a week. The motto that I like to use in regards to weight loss is "slow and steady wins the race." Ok now if you haven't lost 1-3 pounds or lets say you only lost 1 pound and your looking to speed things up a bit, well then subtract 300-500 calories off of your new daily calorie intake to come up with a new number. You can do this until you get to around 1,200 calories. If you are looking to go below 1,200 calories I would recommend that you find a health care professional to work with you.

I'll end this lengthy blog and let you digest what I have written. This blog contains zero calories so its ok. My next blog I'll talk about why you should keep a food diary other than the obvious reason of counting calories. Until next time.

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