Today I want to discuss something that was very confusing to
me, and is the real reason that most diets fail. Over the last 18 months, I have learned a
great deal about the way to diet. Now
mind you that I am not good at it. I
have learned the right way, and the wrong way.
I have also learned that it is a good idea, at least for me, to follow a
meal plan. Since I live in a small town,
I don’t have the ability to buy certain foods, so I try to watch what I eat and
how much. One of the things I learned
was how you eat is important. No, I am
not talking about the old advice that you should eat slowly, but it is a good
idea. What I am talking about is the
idea of eating five small meals a day.
According to Sam Ellyn, “Eating five small meals throughout the day
can help you control your appetite, raise your metabolism and reduce your
chances of overeating”.(2011) I have
learned that eating five meals a day keeps me from being hungry so I do not
over eat at mealtime. It is easier to
push away from the table. I have also
found that this, as Ellyn says, keeps my metabolism up and therefore it is
easier to lose weight and keep it off. I
like many other people, have tried to eat less and lose weight. You do need to eat less but there is a limit
to how little you should eat. If you eat
too little, your metabolism slows down and your body tries to store
energy. This can actually cause you to
gain weight, and potentially cause damage to your body.

Ok, so how do you know how much you need to eat? Your body requires a certain amount of energy
to maintain itself. This is called the
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). If you go
below this rate, you risk the chance of causing damage to your body. You will
lose weight over the short-term but could damage your body and you will
eventually gain the weight back because you will not be able to maintain the low
calorie intake indefinitely.

There are
several tools that can help you figure your BMR. Beachbody has this tool, but you can find it
elsewhere as well. You can also figure
it without an application. I am adding the calculations at the end of this blog
so you don’t have to read through them to get the information about your diet. My BMR is 1663 and my recommended caloric
intake based on the BMR and exercise factor is about 2000. I would divide this into my five meals so each
meal should be around 400 calories. You
can adjust this to allow for family meals and make the meal plan fit your
lifestyle. You do need to watch what you
eat, especially concerning fat content etc.
Here is the one mistake that dieters make. When you lose weight, your BMR goes down, so
you have to adjust your calorie intake to take into account that your body
needs fewer calories and therefore if you continue to eat based don your
original calculations you will plateau.

Good luck on your weight loss goals. Also, if you need to gain weight, you can use
the same calculation, you just need to add calories to your BMR and exercise
factor. Just make sure you eat properly
to build muscle and not store fat.

Bring It, but Don’t Bring it Weak

According to Carla Diebold at http://www.Livestrong.com
you can figure it like this.

Step
1

Determine
your height in inches and weight in pounds. These two numbers are a critical
part of the BMR formula and their accuracy is important. To determine your
height in inches, multiply your height in feet by 12 (there are 12 inches in a
foot) and add the remaining inches to that figure. For example, someone who is
5 feet, 2 inches would do the following equation: (5 x 12) + 2 = 62.

Step
2

Utilize
a specific calculation for men. Multiply your weight in pounds by 6.23 and then
multiply your height in inches by 12.7. Multiply your age in years by 6.8. Now,
add 66 plus your factored weight and height together and subtract your factored
age. This is your basal metabolic rate.

Step
3

Utilize
a specific calculation for women. Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.35 and
then multiply your height in inches by 4.7. Multiply your age in years by 4.7.
Now, add 655 plus your factored weight and height together and subtract your
factored age. This is your basal metabolic rate.

Step
4

Incorporate
the Harris Benedict BMR equation to determine daily calorie requirements. The
equation considers several activity levels:

1. Little or no exercise = BMR x 1.2

2. Light activity (some exercise one to three days a week) = BMR x 1.375

3. Moderately active (light to moderate exercise three to five days a week) = BMR x 1.55

4. Very active = (dedicated exercise or sports six to seven days a week) = BMR x 1.725

5. Extremely active = (strenuous exercise or sports as well as physical labor on the job or professional exercise or sports training) = BMR x 1.9

To determine an appropriate calorie intake for a typical day, multiply the calculated BMR by the appropriate activity level. (2011)

1. Little or no exercise = BMR x 1.2

2. Light activity (some exercise one to three days a week) = BMR x 1.375

3. Moderately active (light to moderate exercise three to five days a week) = BMR x 1.55

4. Very active = (dedicated exercise or sports six to seven days a week) = BMR x 1.725

5. Extremely active = (strenuous exercise or sports as well as physical labor on the job or professional exercise or sports training) = BMR x 1.9

To determine an appropriate calorie intake for a typical day, multiply the calculated BMR by the appropriate activity level. (2011)

To put this into perspective, I am 56 years
old, I weigh 185 pounds, and I am 61 inches tall (5”11”). So 185 x 6.23 =
1152.55. 61 x 12.7 = 774.7. 56 x 4.7 = 263.2 1152 + 774.7 – 263.2 = 1663.5. This is my BMR. If I add the exercise factor it will tell me
what I need to maintain my weight. I
exercise five days a week, and stretch for two, so I would use the Moderately
Active factor of 1.55. 1663.5 x 1.55 =
2578.43. If I want to lose weight my
calorie intake should be between 1663 and 2578.
I should stay around 2000 to keep from being tired.

References
Diebold, Carla (2011), How to Calculate your
Basal Metabolic Rate, Retrieved on April, 28, 2012 from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/98116-calculate-basal-metabolic-rate/#ixzz1tOJvp0qf

Ellyn, Sam (2011) How to Eat Five Small Meals
a Day to Lose Weight, Retrived April 28,2013 from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/200706-how-to-eat-five-small-meals-a-day-to-lose-weight/#ixzz1tOEDq4bZ

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