Archive for the New Year’s Resolutions Category

Fitness resolution

Posted in Diet, New Year's Resolutions on January 3, 2008 by Dr. CJ

As an example of calculating calories and daily caloric need, I plugged my stats into the BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator I referenced earlier.  It gives me a value of 1767 – let’s call it 1800.  There will be some variation in that number with lifestyle.  For example, if I was a couch potato, 1800 calories would be the absolute maximum BMR compared to maybe closer to 2000 if I were an athlete (roughly speaking).  Also, lean body mass is an important factor: the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is all day.

Then, you must determine your goal.  My initial goal is to cut fat, but I intend to bulk up at the same time (apparently easiest to do as a beginner).  As a rough measure, I will aim to lose 1 lb of fat per week just based on dietarty changes, in addition to extra fat loss by exercise.  Since 1 lb of fat consists of approximately 3500 calories, that would require cutting my daily caloric intake by 500 calories (3500 cal/7 days) to lose 1 lb of fat per week. 

One word of caution, it’s important to know where your calorie intake stands before you get too frustrated with lack of results.  For example, if you are steadily gaining weight (meaning your calorie intake exceeds your BMR) and you decrease your intake by 500 calories daily, you will probably not lose 1 lb per week. 

I recommend Fitday.com for an easy (and free) online calorie calculator.  It also lets you track your weight in a nice graph.   

Happy calorie counting.

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New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

Posted in Getting started, New Year's Resolutions on December 26, 2007 by Dr. CJ

It’s that time of year again – to re-focus our efforts on what we feel are priorities.  I think it’s safe to say that health/fitness is among the most oft-repeated resolutions.  I’m not sure what their source is, but our official US government website has a list of the “most popular” resolutions.  Of the 13 resolutions mentioned, 5 are directly related to fitness issues.  No surprise there.  But, as mentioned in my “False Hope Syndrome” post, there’s a reason for the same resolution showing up on the list year after year. 

Go ahead and eat those cookies and sweets leftover from the big Christmas party, go have fun at your New Year’s Eve party, watch all the college football bowl games you can handle . . . as long as you commit to making a change in your lifestyle once you get all of this badness out of your system.  You don’t have to give up all your indulgences once you commit to a healthier lifestyle – you simply make them rare indulgences. 

In fact, the majority of people in bodybuilding, high levels of fitness, etc. hold onto a regular “cheat meal” as part of their training plan.  They have recognized that sticking to an ultra-healthy diet can be tiring and counter-productive.  Whether it’s once a week or once a month, allow yourself to splurge on a favorite food once in a while.  Then you can refocus your efforts on your fitness plan and not feel imprisoned.

Your New Year’s Resolution should be reasonable – few will succeed with an overly dramatic resolution, such as “I will not eat any more sweets” or “I will exercise every day”.  Your body may demand a gradual change, rather than an abrupt change.  Be satisfied that you’re starting in the right direction at first, then worry about perfecting things. 

Good Luck!