Get excited–I’m ahead of schedule with my boot camp homework this week :-).
Yes! lifeSport bootcampers are shrinking! I’ve done body fat tests on a handful of boot campers and body fat numbers are decreasing! I’ve been measuring some 3% and 4% body fat losses. Yeah! Scale weight hasn’t necessarily changed in everyone. Just goes to show ya that muscle weighs more than fat :-).
Now, I can’t take all the credit, because I do believe that solid nutrition must back up a good workout plan, and since we only meet twice a week, I needle everybody to work out another 2-3 times per week. Apparently some of you are listening. Well done!
Now, for those of you who are still struggling to strip off some body fat, I’ve got homework for you. Not the homework you’re used to, though. This homework involves math. Sorry. If you want to lose body fat, you need to get to boot camp, do your workout homework AND eat fewer calories than you expend. It’s also important to spread your calories out throughout your waking hours (roughly three small meals and 2-3 snacks per day).
So, your homework is to figure out approximately how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, and then log your calories for a few days. There are a lot of fancy calculations to figure out your metabolic rate. I’m going to give you a very simplified one. It’s not exact, but it will be a decent ballpark. Your metabolic rate can be influenced by genetics, gender, hormones, and muscle mass. We’re all a little different.
If you’re trying to lose weight, multiply your current weight by the following numbers based on your activity level:
Sedentary: Body weight x 10-12
Moderaly active: Body weight x 12-14
Extremely active: Body weight x 14-16
For example, a 140 lb. sedentary woman would multiply her weight by 10 and again by 12 and get this calorie range: 1,400-1,680. This is a ballpark calorie range for this person to lose weight.
The next step is to write down everything you eat. I suggest you log on to FitDay.com (see sidebar for link), create a free account, and let the FitDay software do all the calculations for you. You’ll learn how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat you’re eating. Cool stuff. By doing this, you’ll see if you’re close to the range in which you should be for weight loss.
Now, you probably thought I’d stop at the math homework. Nope.
Here’s something to work on over the weekend:
Take a break from interval training this weekend and do a steady state cardio workout (yes, I said it, “steady state”–hey, you have to mix it up once in awhile!). Whether you choose a run, a power walk, or a cardio routine on a machine at the gym, get out there and get to a “7” on our scale of 1-10 and stay there for a solid 45 minutes.
Have a great weekend,
You might be surprised. Research has shown that most people underestimate their food consumption by about 30%. I’d have to say I see lots of “portion distortion” and “food amnesia” in some of the logs of my clients when I press them for details. I don’t think people are deliberately lying. Sometimes it’s just hard to remember everything, let alone put calorie values to everything.
Remember way back in January when you vowed that this year would be different? You’d eat better, exercise more, get a better job or a raise, maybe find your soul mate, perhaps start a new business? How’s it going? If you’re finding that your resolutions have yet to materialize, I have great news! Check out this website:
You should. It can tell you a lot about your risk for cardiovascular disease. Many of us are slaves to the scale. Be a slave to your measuring tape instead. It holds more valuable information for you. Now, full disclosure: I own a scale, and yes, I hop on it from time to time. So I get why you weight yourself, I really do. Instant feedback. Problem is, sometimes that feedback doesn’t tell you the whole story. Waist/hip ratio (WHR) adds another dimension to the story.
There is a direct correlation between your waist/hip ratio and your risk for Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. It’s been shown in many research studies that “gut” fat is much more dangerous to our health and longevity than stored fat in the thighs or butt. If you’re an “apple” with narrow hips and a bigger belly, you’re at much greater risk for cardiovascular disease than a person who is a “pear” with heavier hips and thighs.
Where our stored fat goes on our body is largely genetic. How much fat is there is largely up to YOU.
So, here’s what you do: Grab a flexible measuring tape and measure your waist at it’s smallest part (or about 1/2 inch above your navel if you can’t find a smallest part!), and your hips at their widest part. Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.
Women’s WHR should be .75 or below (some references will say .80). Men’s should be .90 or below.
You can’t change your genetic predisposition as to where your body deposits excess calories (read: body fat), but you CAN change your girth measurements. If you’re an “apple”, you’ll always be an apple, but if your WHR is too high for your gender, do something about it to become a smaller apple. You’ll decrease your risk for a heart attack–at you’re gonna look better, too.
Research shows that exercise (especially strength training) can help mobilize fat from the abdominal region. So get out there and start lifting some weights and compliment it with high intensity interval training.
Yours in fitness,