Obesity in America – Part 4

The Rules of Dieting

The average size woman requires about 1600 calories per day to maintain her ideal body weight, while the average size man requires about 2000 calories per day. How those calories are consumed will in great part determine the likelihood of success or failure in any diet program you embark on.

To help you succeed, follow these simple rules:

  • Eat small frequent meals / snacks (4-6x / day) rather than 3 larger meals / day
  • Make each meal around 400 calories (give or take 100 calories)
  • Never go more than 3-4 hours between snacks or meals

Following this formula will stabilize your metabolism and insulin levels, keep you from feeling hungry and lessen the likelihood of binging.

Remember those 40 lbs I gained when I was injured? Following this general dietary plan and resuming my normal exercise routine after recovering from my injury allowed me to lose 40 lbs in 5 months and keep it off for the past 3 years.  The hardest part for me was decreasing breads and desserts especially when going out to a fine restaurant.  However, once I achieved my goal I learned that it was ok to treat yourself.  However, like most things, when you do treat yourself, you need to do it in moderation.  I will allow myself some bread, but instead of half of the basket, I will have 1 or 2 slices.  Instead of having the entire dessert, I will split it with my wife.  I rarely feel like I am missing out or depriving myself of a good time.

How much weight should you lose and how quickly should you lose it?

  • Most healthy diets (combined with exercise) will allow you to lose 1-2 lbs per week
  • Losing more weight indicates that you are either not eating enough or your are exercising too much or both

An individual’s ideal body weight (IBW) will depend upon many factors:

  • Body build (broad or narrow)
  • Muscle vs fat content
  • Generally speaking, an IBW is around a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20 kg/msq.

An individual’s BMI can be obtained from a BMI table (Click Here) or Calculated using the following formula:

  • (weight [lbs] / height x height [inches]) x  703 = BMI

Stay tuned for Part 5 of my series on Obesity in America.

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