By Gwen Beckom
Trying to lose weight? Consider eating more and factoring in your individual body type and lifestyle.
Most people, asked whether they’re eating enough to lose weight would find the question ridiculous. But it’s not. Paradoxically, eating more of what’s good for you rather than cutting calories can help you lose weight, because the less you eat the more your body slows its metabolic rate to compensate for the calorie reduction.
Consequently, when trying to lose weight, it’s important to know that everyone has different caloric intake requirements. Along with counting how many calories you burn, you also need to consider your height, weight, gender, age, lean weight and fat mass percentages, as well as lifestyle (whether sedentary or active). Variations among these attributes alter your personal weight loss equation. For example, you might burn 500 calories on an hour-long run, but if you’re 20 pounds overweight and over age 40, you’ll still require fewer calories than a muscle-bound 20-year-old who doesn’t exercise.
Therefore, to lose weight, consider the variety of individual body and lifestyle characteristics that contribute to your weight loss goals—the aforementioned age, height, weight, fat-to-muscle ratio combinations particular to you.
There are many commercially available products such as Fit Bit, Body Bugs and Heart Rate Monitors to help you do this. Websites such as Prevention, and Calorie King, for example, not only list calories in foods but also enable you to input information about your body and activity levels and to track actual calorie intake and exercise in context of gender, height, weight, body fat and lifestyle.
The website Prevention, for instance tracks foods (calories, carbs, fats and proteins), exercise and activities, weight, body measurements and even your mood, so you can determine how many calories your body needs for weight loss or weight maintenance. You can also track how your body responds to different moods/stresses in your life. It’s amazing how stress can halt weight loss and cause belly fat!
Ingesting only sufficient calories to meet your anatomical, metabolic and expenditure needs, choosing nutritionally balanced, high quality, and frequent meals, practicing portion control and eating frequent, small servings are the keys to the ideal body, and these sites will help you to do so.
So the next time someone asks you if you’re eating enough to lose weight, don’t haul off and hit them. The long-term, lasting solution is to eat enough of what your highly individual body needs.
—For information on eating and losing weight, call me, Gwen Beckcom, co-owner of Fitness Together, at (619) 794-0014. Follow us on our blog at BetterBodySanDiego.com.