Friday, February 22, 2008

How to...

Lose One Pound A Week Without Exercise.

For this week's Fight the Frump, I am going to step back into my former profession and see if my expertise might be of interest to anyone.

A long time ago, I was a personal trainer and nutrition consultant. In my early 20's I gravitated to this job after losing 55 pounds. By educating others on proper lifestyle and eating habits, I learned how to control my own weight and effectively lose weight after I had my babies. For the record, I gained 70 pounds in my first pregnancy and 60 pounds with my second baby. It is accurate to say that in my life time I have loss 185 pounds and kept it off.

Math is our friend

Let's say you want to lose some weight. A loss of one to two pounds a week is considered healthy. To keep our math simple, let's set a goal of one pound a week.

1 pound of fat = 3500 calories
There are 7 days in a week.
3500 / 7 = 500 calories a day deficit needed to lose one pound a week.

You can create a calorie deficit by eating less food, exercising more or both. Today we are going to focus on food intake. I want to focus our attention here because an hour spent sweating at the gym can easily be negated by calorie consumption.

Let's take my once upon a time client for example. She had a difficult time exercising, so she could only ride the bike for 10 minutes 3 days a week. She spent the rest of her hour at the gym lifting weights. There is nothing wrong with this work out routine. According to this calculator she was burning 640 calories during that hour at the gym. Unfortunately she felt the need to reward herself with dinner at McDonald's, which WAS NOT on her meal plan. Her Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Large Fries cost her 1080 calories. I'm sure we can all see the error in her ways.

How many calories should I eat?

I'm sorry, but I must answer this question with a question. How many calories are you eating? Anyone who is serious about losing weight must first calculate their daily intake of calories. This can only be accomplished one way. Write down what you eat and how much you are eating. Use measuring cups. Use a scale if you have one, or use this tool to learn how to eyeball portion sizes.

After you record your food it is time to calculate your calories. I love It is simple, free and has a very large database including menu items from most restaurants. Once you have your daily food and calorie intake on paper you should be able to find some simple and painless ways to cut 500 calories from your daily intake.

Topic for next week

Weight loss is a lifestyle change that I am passionate about. Here are some other topics I would like to discuss over the next couple of weeks

  • Using protein, fat and fiber to help you feel fuller longer
  • Increasing your metabolism by eating more often
  • How to plan for weight loss plateaus and get through them quickly
  • Exercise that fits with your lifestyle
If you are interested in any of these topics, leave me a comment and I will post about the most popular choice next week.

I'm here to help

If you want me to look at your food journal and see how I can help, send me an email. (seibelblog(at)gmail(dot)com).


Just My Type said...

I love you. I love you. I love you.

I'm going to take you up on your offer to help. Email coming soon.

Alicia said...

Excellent! I'll be looking for you next week,too!

Heather said...

Wow, great information!! Thanks for spelling this out. I'm so bad about writing down what I eat, but Hubby and I are trying to hold each other accountable in that department, so I usually have to recite to him what I've eaten.

I look forward to your future topics! Thanks so much!

Irene said...

Great post! Although I can't imagine keeping a diary of what I ate. I am definitely not disciplined to do that. Or it would just depress me. I just try to cut back on the snacks and get to the gym more often.

BTW, I left you something on my blog!

HRH said...

Wow. 185 that stayed off is very impressive.

Lil Mouse said...

well since you're in the business, I have been exercising with a show for an hour (it has commercials, but I try and do light housework and keep moving during the commercials) the show incorporates abs, stretching, cardio, and weights as well as target muscle exercises (like squats)... I'v really really gained and pumped up my muscle, my husband finds something new every week and I can tell that the muscles are growing and the fat is melting, but I'd say I've only lost 2 or 3 lbs since October. I dont' eat fast food, we quit eating out, I dont eat fatty or sugary stuff, I cook at home using lower fat ingredients, I drink diet soda or water, I drink juice with my vitamin once a day just to help the vitamin go down. I've followed a stricter-than diabetic diet before and understand realistic portion sizes. If I realize I've overdone on dinner, I won't have a snack at night. Snacks are very limited. Any thoughts? I'd like to show something on the scale, I mean, I realize muscle weighs more than fat, but I'm getting very frustrated.

Valarie said...

Ok all the topics for next week are good. I think right now in my life though its the exercise for my lifestyle. When will I get the time. I barely have time to sleep. Even though I am on the computer right now when I could be doing sit-ups. Ok well, I think I will go do some sit-ups.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Thanks for a reminder of the basics! I'm hoping I can nurse the rest of this baby weight off, but I've started adding a couple of simple strengthening exercises each day as well. This post was motivating for me.

Gray Matters said...

I might take you up on your offer in about 4 weeks - I have a lot of weight to lose after this baby comes. As crazy as it may sound - I think being a part of this blogging community might actually help me find success this time!

Sister Honey Bunch said...

I really need help with the exerise thing. I'm a working mom. When I get home, I want to hang with my husband and kid-not go to the gym. HELP!

Fine For Now said...

Oh yeah! This is great stuff! Write about it all! :o)

Dre the Texican said...

What a nice service you are giving to the women of the world on your blog. I love this information!

And that family portrait looks so relaxed and beautiful.

Thanks for sharing!

Connie said...

Love this post!

You are talking right to ME! I started exercising January first. I have no excuses. I have a full gym in my basement. What has been working for me is getting up before the children to get my workout in. What has not been working is getting enough sleep to do this when they wake up a couple times a night.

I also need to work on my diet. I do well during the week and then lose it on the weekends.

I'm also trying to cut out soda again for the 100th time. I'm addicted.

I am going to start using that food journal and let you look at it next week!

Thanks for all of the links.

Tamra said...

Good ideas - these will come in handy in a few months when I need to lose my pregnancy weight gain. :)
Rewarding with McDonalds????? What was she thinking? Yeaach. Now Ben & Jerry's... that's temptation!

Joy said...

Great information!

Kelly said...

Is it possible to eat an entire bag of peppermint pattie, okay two bags and somehow not put on the weight? How far do I have to run each day to continue eating those peppermint patties without having them appear on my arse?
I'm serious???

Rachel said...

Rock on darlin'!!
I've been cutting down on food, exercising more and it's amazing how quickly it takes effect.
Thanks for the rockin' websites!!

Melody said...

Oh - this is some good info here!

I signed up for a free site called it's an extensive community, but I mainly used it for tracking calories, etc. Most foods that you can think of are already in their database, so it will add it all for you, and if it's not in the DB, you can add it fairly easily. I need to be more conscientious about entering what I eat. When I did, I was more careful about what I ate, because I didn't want to have to enter the bad stuff. (even though it was private and no one would know but me.)


greyst said...

This is cool. I've lost 30 lbs this year on WW and I had managed to stay steady at my goal weight. On my recent trip however I threw all caution to the wind and I'm pretty sure I'm paying for it big time!! It will be interesting to keep up with these entries from you!

carrie said...

apparently everyone loves this post as much as I do.

I know I eat too much. Good things, but too much of them. But measuring? Good gosh, Woman! I barely have time to make the meal, much less measure my food.

Still, I'm not an exerciser, so I'll do what I must.

krissy said...

I'm supposed to have a food diary??

No wonder my butt is expanding at a rapid rate!!! LOL!

Cindy Swanson said...

Of course, you're totally right. Since I found out in mid-September that I'm diabetic, I faithfully keep a food diary. I don't count calories, but I find that if I eat carefully and stay within the carb restrictions given to me by my diabetes educators, and exercise faithfully, I'm losing weight. I've lost 20 pounds since mid-September...a little slow, but I'm happy with that because at my age,I wouldn't want a really speedy weight loss.

I honestly don't know if I would be losing weight if I wasn't writing down EVERYTHING I eat...even "just a bites"!

Candi said...

This is some great information. My attitude about calorie counting has always been that I would rather not eat at all then worry about adding it all up. Of course this theory has never worked, LOL!

Jane the Sane said...

Wonderful post! I'd like to hear more about exercise to fit your life and increasing metabolism. I read once you should always eat breakfast so I eat Cheerios or oatmeal every day but I'd like to learn more. I am hypothyroid and I know my system is sluggish.

Ha word verification is fryjr. Lol...that's awesome.

Christine said...

you are an inspiration. thank you. am feeling a touch defeated in my weight loss campaign lately...

Bethando said...

Again with another great post! I'll be tuning in next week as I am on the Atkins diet and it sounds like your advice is right up my alley!

Amy said...

Thank you everyone for leaving comments. I have responded to many questions via email. Some of you I cannot email, so I will try to answer you here.

Lil Mouse - It sounds like you are doing everything right and are gaining muscle. What may be happening is with increased muscle you will see a slight increase in appetite. Your body wants to keep the muscle that you have added and can only do that with calories. You can break this cycle one of two ways. (1) decrease your calories by 100 per day (2) change your exercise routine so you are doing different exercises. This will cause you to use different muscles and increase the number of calories you burn. Pick which ever one fits best with your lifestyle.

Mike said...

I love this post! You are such an inspiration.
I am really trying to get rid of an extra 10 pounds that have been following me since the birth of child #2. I will try keeping a food diary but how would you describe eating the leftover stuff on your kids' plates as a meal?!
Thanks again!!!

Amy said...

Mike - It depends how much food you are eating off their plates.

A good idea would be to write down all the little things that you ate off their plates in a day and calculate those calories at the end of the day. (Send me an e-mail if you need help with those calculations.)
500 calories or more from their plates each day is enough to prevent you from losing a pound a week.

Amy said...

Oh, counting calories hurts my head! I just TRY to eat right and hit the gym twice a week. I could do better.

Maureen said...

Thank you so much! I hope to learn something that actually produces results for once.

Blog Hoppin'

LunaNik said...

My body is very simple.

Exercise = weight lose

I can literally eat whatever I want if I'm working out regularly. My body just responds REALLY WELL to exercise.

Herein lies the problem...I don't have time to exercise anymore, hence, weight gain.

I just posted on my vegetarian blog about my recent struggles with my weight so I'm actually really interested in reading your posts on the subject!!

Nap Warden said...

What a great post! I am so impressed that you were a personal trainer. I always wanted to be one. I know my key to qualifying for the Boston Marathon lies in nutrition and weights. Two areas I lack much discipline in. I will be back for the updates on this.

My pick-Exercise that fits with your lifestyle

carrie said...

Awesome tips!

Looking forward to the "fiber" portion of this -- how to keep feeling fuller without the excess gas? Any suggestions? And I am not trying to be crude, it's just that all this fiber is . . . well, you know!

Maria said...

This was great thank you! Lots of good ideas. I'm going to look at that calorie site. You should start a blog just about losing weight!