Health and Diet

How to Lose Weight?

How to Lose Weight

Have you tried the latest fad diets or, perhaps, several of them over the years? Did they work for you but you put the weight back on? Or possibly, they didn’t work at all?

They often sound great! Eat all the meat you want! But you can’t eat any potatos, pasta, rice, bread, etc. The watermelon diet! The banana diet!

Some even sound like they will make you thin and chic. The South Beach diet!

And everybody knows someone who lost 40 pounds on the current hot weight loss program. So why do most of those who were successful on those diets end out gaining all the weight back? Simply put, you won’t be able to tolerate them for a lifetime. Even meat gets pretty old when that’s almost all you eat and bananas certainly do!

Your body craves protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vegetables, and all of the other food groups. A well-rounded diet is necessary in order for your body to operate properly. Most cravings are simply telling you what your body is lacking.


So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off for life? Well … first let’s think about it logically. Your body is a complex biological machine. Like any machine, it needs a certain amount of fuel in order to operate. Your body burns that fuel when it exerts itself in any way. The harder the exertion, the more fuel it burns. If you want to learn how to lose weight and keep it off, you need to learn how much fuel (food and drink) your body needs in a day and then give it something less than that so you’ll burn fat to make up the difference. Once you’ve reached the weight you’re happy with, you need to learn how much fuel your body needs to stay there. It’s that simple!

The first step for most of us is determining how much you should weigh. Of course, that’s totally your decision. The charts below are just something to give you an idea where to start. If you feel great at twenty pounds over your maximum ideal weight, good for you! I looked at a lot of charts before developing these. Most of the charts I saw were, in my humble opinion (and many others) totally unrealistic in their minimum ideal weight levels. There have been studies that show that a “skin and bones” individual might gain some life expectancy and health benefits. Most of us would never be able to achieve those weights, however, much less stay that skinny. I personally was once at the maximum ideal weight for my height on the charts below and my ribs were showing so I certainly don’t think they’re unreasonably high!

The weights on the charts are unclothed, no shoes … just you. This is recommended as the type of clothing, items in pockets, and shoe type can vary in weight dramatically. The heights on the charts are barefoot. As you can see, there’s a pretty good range of “ideal” weights for each height so take your body frame size and other factors into account. Most of us needing to diet would be pretty happy to spend the rest of our lives anywhere within those ranges!

Women’s Ideal Weight Chart

Height
(Inches/Cm)

Minimum
(Pounds/Kg)

Maximum
(Pounds/Kg)

57/145

109/49

131/59

58/148

111/50

134/61

59/150

113/51

137/62

60/153

115/52

140/63

61/155

118/54

143/65

62/158

121/55

147/67

63/160

124/56

151/68

64/163

127/58

155/70

65/165

130/59

159/72

66/168

133/60

163/74

67/170

136/62

167/76

68/173

139/63

170/77

69/175

142/64

173/78

70/178

145/66

176/80

71/180

148/67

179/81

  

Men’s Ideal Weight Chart

Height
(Inches/Cm)

Minimum
(Pounds/Kg)

Maximum
(Pounds/Kg)

61/155

131/59

150/68

62/158

133/60

153/69

63/160

135/61

156/71

64/163

137/62

160/73

65/165

139/63

164/74

66/168

142/64

168/76

67/170

145/66

172/78

68/173

148/67

176/80

69/175

151/68

180/82

70/178

154/70

184/83

71/180

157/71

188/85

72/183

160/73

192/87

73/185

164/74

197/89

74/188

167/76

202/92

75/190

171/78

207/94

Ok! So how do we actually lose the weight? We give our bodies a bit less fuel than they burn, remember? Our bodies’ fuel consists of food and drink and we measure those things by how many calories they contain. The reverse is true for our activities. When our bodies do anything they burn calories for fuel. When the number of calories burned is greater than the number consumed, our bodies go to fat for fuel. That’s how to lose weight … eat fewer calories and/or burn more calories.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound (7,700 in a kilogram). In other words, you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume in order to lose a pound. That may sound like a lot but it’s only 500 calories per day to lose a pound per week or 52 pounds (23.6 kilograms) per year!

A Big Mac without cheese contains 576 calories. A Taco Bell Grilled Stuffed Chicken Burrito contains 680 calories. A single Whopper, large fries, and a large cola has 1375 calories. Skip that one meal alone and you’re almost 3 days into your year were you lose 52 pounds! Or just change the order to a Whopper Jr., medium fries, and a diet cola to drop the 1375 calories to 700 calories and you’ve saved 675 calories while still eating fast food!

And you don’t need to eat whoppers every day to have an enjoyable diet! Choose your foods more intelligently. You’ll find that chicken breast, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads can really “hit the spot” when prepared correctly. There’s a huge variety of diet ready foods available from Stouffers Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, and others. They’ve got the calories right on the package! Got the need to snack? That’s definitely me! Try some 94% fat free popcorn or grapes or a few sunflower seeds (in the shell makes them last longer). Don’t be picky about vegetables! Even beans which many dieters avoid because they’re “high” in calories are much lower in calories than what you’ve been eating. Beans also help keep the desire for meat at bay due to their high protein content and they keep you full for a long time per calorie. Are you a chocoholic? There are some pretty good fudgecycles out there for only 25 calories each and they load your mouth with chocolately goodness! Go through the grocery store aisle by aisle and read all the labels of anything that looks good to you. It’s amazing how varied a diet can be and still be low calorie!

Don’t be afraid to occasionally treat yourself. When the diet food is getting a bit boring, have one splurge meal. Don’t go totally bananas but live it up a little. One day per week where you don’t lose any weight won’t make that big a difference in the long run and the occasional splurge (especially if its as a reward) might just keep you on that diet.

Get more active! If you can work out for three hours a day at the gym, that’s terrific but most of us need to be a bit more reasonable! Park as far away from the store as you can get and walk to the entrance. Jazzercise during those 4 minute TV commercial breaks! Take the dog for a nightly walk. If you’re like most of us, your dog could stand to lose some weight too and they’ll love you for it! Come on … 15 minutes a day! Play with your little brothers and sisters, kids, or grandchildren. Yes … hide and seek is still fun at 70! (And great exercise).

So how do you determine how many calories you can consume each day to lose weight at a rate you’ll be happy with? First; don’t be unrealistic! If it took years to put it on, it probably won’t be off in two weeks (not with you still breathing anyway). A typical man with a typical level of activity can consume 17 calories per day per pound in order to remain at that weight. Here’s an example:

  1. Man weighs 250 pounds.
  2. 250 times 17 equals 4,250 calories
  3. If he consumes 4,250 calories per day, he’ll remain 250 pounds.

You ladies only get 15 calories per pound … sorry! That’s due to muscle burning calories faster than other tissue and the typical man is more muscular as a percentage of body weight than the typical woman. In an effort to be politically correct, we want you body building ladies to know that you can also use 17 calories per pound!

So your next question is, “Who wants to stay 250 pounds?” Well, the reason we do that calculation first will be more clear after remembering something we talked about earlier, “There are 3,500 calories in a pound (7,700 in a kilogram)”. So if the guy that weighs 250 pounds wants to calculate how many calories he can eat this week to lose 3 pounds during the week, here’s what he does:

  1. 250 pound weight time 17 calories per pound = 4,250 calories per day to stay 250 pounds.
  2. 3,500 calories burnt = 1 pound lost … 10,500 calories burnt = 3 pounds lost.
  3. 10,500 calories per week divided by 7 = 1500 calories per day.
  4. 4,250 caloried minus 1500 = 2,750 calories per day loses him 3 pounds the first week.

Now that number will go down as he loses weight. When he’s lost 50 pounds, he’ll only be able to consume 3,400 calories to remain at 200 pounds. So if he wants to lose three pounds per week at that point, he’ll only be able to consume 3,400 – 1,500 = 1,900 calories per day.

Ok … so that might be a bit confusing for some and it does mean recalculating the number of calories you can consume daily as you make progress. Dieting that way also means eating less and less per week throughout the diet to achieve the same results. If you’re in no big hurry to reach your goal, there’s a much easier way to go. Just take the 17 calories per day (15 for women) times the weight you eventually want to be and consume that amount for the rest of your life. You’ll reach the goal eventually and you’ll be learning to be satisfied with the correct number of calories throughout the entire dieting process! If our 250 pound guy wants to weigh 190, then he’d need to consume 3,230 calories per day. A lady who wants to weigh 125 pounds would need to consume 1,875 calories per day. Don’t despair ladies! I’ve dieted myself at that number of calories per day and found I was very happy with my diet even though I’m a 6 foot tall, big guy!

Don’t forget that food and drink contain calories. If you’re drinking a chocolate milkshake and 4 colas per day, you need to be counting those calories. Taste testing your family’s evening meal counts too. Don’t cheat if you want results and Good Luck!

Whatever you do, do not starve yourself to lose weight. Your body will not be able to get the fuel it needs from fat fast enough if you consume too few calories per day. When that happens, your body will get the energy it needs from whatever source it can … muscle, bones, brain cells … whatever! If you’re planning to dramatically restrict your diet, consult with a physician first! You can learn more about the dangers of severly restricting your diet at our article, How Long Can A Person Live Without Food!

Thank you for visiting our How To Lose Weight post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

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How Much Should I Weigh For My Height?

How Much Should I Weigh For My Height

Many people wonder what they are supposed to weigh. Most of us would like to be at our ideal weight for good health and appearance.

First of all, we should realize that everyone has a right to feel comfortable in their own skin. Many people, however, might use that philosophy to cover up their true inner feelings about themselves. Even if a person doesn’t feel that appearance is of primary importance, we should realize that being more than moderately overweight has a great effect on our quality of life.

Body shape and size alone do not determine your worth as a person. How much you should weigh is strictly a personal choice but let’s be honest. Most of us want to be smart, witty, personable AND body appropriate. It’s not our only concern, simply one of many in being the best people we can possibly be.

It’s totally politically correct to admit that we all want to live long, healthy lives. Studies have shown that people who have been 40% overweight for more than 10 years are twice as likely to die as someone who is slim or is only carrying around a few extra pounds. A 2005 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that 112,000 Americans die each year from obesity. Most of those deaths resulted from heart attack, stroke and various forms of cancer that were directly related to excessive weight but the odds of getting literally hundreds of other deadly medical conditions go way up in overweight individuals.

While it may not be politically correct to say so, most of us realize at least subconsciously that we want to be attractive and currently our society does not consider obesity to be desirable. We know that regardless of whether it is right or wrong, many employers won’t hire someone who they feel might be unhealthy. Your level of good health affects your job performance and your employer’s health care costs. Some landlords may correctly or incorrectly feel that an unhealthy person will not keep their apartment clean and not wish to rent to such a person.

Another thing that’s often hard to admit is that people somewhere near their ideal weight tend to attract more attractive mates. By ideal weight we certainly don’t mean skin and bones, rather simply healthy, not obese or at least somewhere within 20 or 30 pounds of your ideal weight. This is not a consideration for everyone but if you are unhappy that the prospective mate you would love to be with doesn’t seem interested, we have to be realistic enough to admit that this may be the problem. Studies have shown that we humans as a race tend to try to get the most attractive mate we can.

So if you are happy with being overweight after considering the risks to your employment future, life expectancy and personal life expectations then that’s absolutely your choice. There’s no doubt that some people do live long, happy, healthy lives with gorgeous mates regardless of how much extra weight they carry around. And if you are ten or twelve pounds overweight you probably shouldn’t fret too much over that. But if you are 40, 50 or more pounds overweight you should consider making at least some changes in case you aren’t as fortunate as the few obese people who never experience any overweight difficulties in their lives.

We haven’t spoken about being severely underweight because that’s not nearly as common a problem in the developed world as obesity. We don’t mean to suggest however that thinner is always better. Your body is happiest at its ideal weight, not when you are as thin as possible. If you aren’t consuming enough protein, vitamins and minerals your body will go to muscle and bone in order to keep you alive. That can cause serious, deadly problems.

So how much should you weigh for your height?

Check out the chart on our “How to Lose Weight” post!

Thank you for visiting our How Much Should I Weigh For My Height post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

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How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Body?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Body

The amount of time that alcohol stays in your body varies depending mostly on the alcohol level in your blood and the amount of time that the alcohol has to metabolize out of your body. Only about ten percent dissapates through your perspiration, urine, and breath. The other 90% takes time for your body to process it. Approximately .015 of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is processed per hour. The chart below will give you a guideline of how long it will be before your body is alcohol free.

It doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you consume. One shot of liquor, one beer, or one small glass of wine will all cause exactly the same effect on your BAC.

The more calories you consume of food while drinking, the lower your BAC will be but food consumption will not come anywhere near “wiping out” your BAC. It simply reduces it somewhat. The higher the number of calories of food you eat, the lower your BAC will be but again, it only reduces it by a fraction of the total. Drinking on an empty stomach is not advised.

Consuming non-alcoholic drinks in between alcoholic ones also helps as this “dilutes” the concentration of alcohol. Stretching out the time in consuming the alcoholic drinks also helps as this gives the body time to process the alcohol from your first drinks. Consuming more than one drink per hour will almost certainly result in an increase in BAC.

Most so-called remedies for drunkeness such as drinking coffee, taking cold showers, or exercising have only minimal effect on BAC. The effect is so small as to be insignificant.

Blood Alcohol Metabolism Chart

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Metabolism Time

.20

13.33 Hours

.15

10 Hours

.10

6.66 Hours

.08

5.33 Hours

.05

3.33 Hours

.02

1.33 Hours

If you are taking any prescription or illegal drugs, be very cautious about consuming alcohol. Most notably, drugs that slow down your body’s metabolism, like blood pressure pills for example or “downers”, can cause serious health problems or even death. Binge drinking also kills thousands of people each year!

If you have consumed more than a couple of drinks you should really consider taking a taxi home, walking, or using a designated driver. Remember, if you have consumed more than a couple of drinks per hour, you’re almost certainly legally drunk. Criminal charges for DUI can be quite serious and if you should kill an innocent party while drunk, prepare yourself for several years in prison and a lifetime of mental issues. Someone will lose their parent, sibling, or child because you used poor judgement!

Thank you for visiting our How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Body post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

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How Long Can a Person Live Without Food?

How Long Can a Person Live Without Food

Generally, most experts say that a person can live about three weeks without food. Of course, other factors influence this amount of time. If an individual is trapped somewhere and also can’t get anything to drink, they will die within a few days of thirst. If the person is severely ill, they could die from that illness or, at least, survive much less time do to food deprivation and illness combined. If someone is not eating because they have lost the will to live, the end could come much sooner. An obese person who is otherwise in good health could last considerably longer than three weeks due to their fat reserves.

So when answering the question, “How long can a person live without food?”, these four major factors must be considered:

  1. Weight when fasting begins.
  2. Amount of water or other liquids ingested.
  3. The general health of the individual.
  4. The person’s mental desire to live.

So what’s the longest amount of time that a person can live without food? In 1981, a group of Irish Republican political prisoners in a British prison went on a hunger strike to protest the British occupation of Northern Ireland. Most of them were in good health and mentally motivated to stretch out their vigal as long as possible. Their leader died after 66 days without food. The shortest time amoung the group was 46 days, but one of the protesters, Lawrence McKeown, lasted between 70 and 73 days (there’s some question about the exact number due to conflicting reports). That is the longest verifiable amount of time on record.

The actual cause of death for most people who starve to death is divided amoung three main maladies (although there are others). Heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure account for most of the deaths.

Another often asked question is, “How long can I safely go without food as a way to lose weight?”. And the answer is, “Don’t ever completely stop eating as a method of weight control!” This is especially true if you are already very thin, in less than perfect health, or mentally depressed! Under the wrong conditions, you could die in a matter of days!

You should always get a physical check up before reducing your food intake below normal. Your doctor is the only one qualified to tell you whether your diet plan is safe or not. In general, a healthy, average height female should never consume less than 800 calories per day. You should lose weight pretty quickly at that rate! Men should never go below 1000 calories per day. Understand that even those amounts are critically low! Again, you need to get a doctor’s opinion to reduce your food intake to that point. Be sure to take vitamin supplements and eat foods with protein.

If you plan to diet, check out our, “How To Lose Weight page!

Thank you for visiting our How Long Can A Person Live Without Food post!

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Posted by admin - January 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

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