Since my last post on trying to lose weight, I looked into just how many calories I need to eliminate to drop some pounds.
There are multiple calculators online-the problem I have with them is they all give you different answers.
The first site I went to: healthy weight forum gave me this calculation:
Cutting calories so drastically, such as in week 1 is dangerous. Someone of my height and weight should not cut calories below 1200.
Then there’s this site authoritynutrition.com which gave me this chart:
A bit more doable. And much safer.
I thought I would download an app to help me track what I am eating. We eat more than we realize, especially if we are not mindful of portion sizes. My husband and I now pay much more attention to this, but do we really measure portions? Not always. But we should.
I downloaded the app MyPlate from the apple store. This ties in with the health app on my iphone. In this screenshot, you can see how the app tracks what you eat, activities and much more.
When I plugged in my height, weight and fitness level (lightly active), the app automatically set my goal daily calories at 1388. Much different than the other two websites said. Why such a difference between charts in caloric intake to lose weight? No wonder everyone struggles with this demon. I guess there is no “magic number” here. The basic tenet of eat less and exercise more is a good place to start. I didn’t realize that it would be so hard to estimate how many calories I need to drop weight. But you also have to be able to stick with it without being deprived. There are ways to do this: find healthy substitutes for foods you love, and indulge once in awhile.
There are evidence based lifestyle changes that help to lose weight:
- Eating More Protein can reduce appetite, cut cravings by 60% and increase the amount of calories you burn. Protein will keep you fuller, longer. It will also help fight cravings.
- Avoid sugary soft drinks and fruit juices. Yes, fruit juices, which are just as high in sugar as soda.
- Drink more water. Aim for eight 8 oz glasses a day-unsweetened tea and coffee count towards your total water consumption. But be careful here, too much water can lead to water poisoning.
- Exercise more and lift some weights. Walking is excellent exercise.
- Reduce carbohydrates-especially refined carbs.
To sum up-more protein, less carbs, more water and exercise. Simple!
Getting healthy has never been easier with all of the gadgets, apps and websites now popping up. But there is a fine line between being healthy and being obsessed. We have to watch that we don’t cross that line. Tracking calories is a good way to monitor portion control. But it can also cause eating disorders. Tracking steps is ok as long as you don’t try to reach fitness goals that overextend your body. And make sure you clear it with your physician that you are healthy enough to diet and exercise.
There is no “magic number” for weight loss. Only change in diet, activity, and most important of all, mindset, will get you to your goal.