Calculated Success

The end of the year often signals the start of a diet and fitness plan. I absolutely dread going to the gym tomorrow, which will be swarming with the New Year’s resolution people, anxious to get in shape. They don’t know how to use the equipment, clog up classes and locker rooms, and generally lack the basics in gym etiquette. Thankfully, most are gone by the end of the month, having failed to achieve success.

One problem is that they lack realistic goals, leading to frustration when the weight doesn’t just fall off. Knowing how much you really need to eat and exercise is key to getting off on the right foot.

An easy way to calculate just how much food you need is to take your ideal weight and multiply it by 10. That means if you want to weigh 140 pounds, you should eat 1400 calories per day. If you are working out, add back ½ of what you burn. Therefore, if you burn off 300 calories at the gym, add back 150 of them, making your daily intake 1550 calories.
It is important to note that it is considered unsafe to drop below 1200 calories per day, regardless of your current weight.

Next, be aware that it takes 3500 calories to make or break a pound. If you eliminate 500 calories per day through dietary changes and /or exercise, you will lose 1 pound per week.  Yes, I know they lose 15 pounds per week on The Biggest Loser, but that is a reality show, not reality.

Good luck embarking on your new healthy regimen. And by the way, if you see me at Equinox, please wipe off the equipment after you use it, throw your towel in the bin and let me work in if you are resting between sets. Thanks.

photo: glasshouse images

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