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First Posted Nov 23, 2008
Jul 30, 2010

Lose Weight-Count Your Steps (Pedometer)

Recently I started a weight loss program that has really helped me shed the last 10 pounds. I will continue to eat this way for life, as well. I am using the South Beach Diet Program and am now on maintenance. The book was written by a Cardiologist, Arthur Agatston. Hunger is not an issue on this plan. I had to make up my mind to get over any psychological cravings and reduce portion size. Exercise was a really important ingredient to achieve my goal, too. It is not really complicated and can be done during your routine day. It just involved walking or taking steps. Think of your body a motion machine. Wearing a pedometer made all the difference. I purchased an OMRON Model HJ-112 through Amazon. Every mooring I attach the pedometer to my pants or whatever I am wearing. My goal is to achieve 10,000 steps a day. It has taken 2 1/2 months to lose the 10 pounds, but in that time my mind and my body have made the necessary adjustments to sustain. This careful way of eating and taking 10,000 steps a day have become habit. I do not feel hungry or deprived. In fact, I enjoy a sweet, a dinner out, and social occasions, and feel no guilt. I just make allowances before and after in exercise and/or calorie reduction. If you have excess calories you gain weight. If you burn those calories or eat less to make up for the increase, you don't gain weight. It is really important to check with your doctor before starting any plan. Also, I suggest you get your thyroid tested to make sure you are in the proper ranges. My article on Weight Loss will provide lots of helpful information for you.

Facts to Know

  • 3,500 calories=1 pound For example, if you eat more than 3,500 calories that are not burned you will gain a pound. If you burn more than you eat, you will lose weight! It is not rocket science.
  • With a 30 minute brisk walk 4 days a week, you can double your rate of weight loss.
  • One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise such as walking lasting longer than 40 minutes. This is because you burn more fat during longer duration, lower intensity exercise than you do during shorter exercise periods.
  • Aim to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week if you are a woman or 2 to 3 pounds a week if you are a man.
  • 2,000 steps on your pedometer=1 mile I try to register 10,000 steps a day which is equal to 5 miles. If I walk on the tread mill at a rate of 3.5, which is about a 17 minute mile, for 35 minutes I have done 2 miles or 4,000 steps.
  • To figure out your heart rate: 220-Your Age=Your Maximum Heart Rate. Knowing your heart rate is very important. You do not want to overwork or strain muscles while working out. For the best results the American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise in your target heart rate zone. The target heart rate zone is generally 65%-85% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Body composition is really important. Your body is made up of water, fat, protein, carbs, and vitamins and minerals. Excess fat around your abdominal area (waist)puts you at higher risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Body builds that are "apple" shaped are at higher risk. An apple build tends to be thick waisted, barrel chested, with thin arms and legs. Excess fat in this area interferes with the metabolizing of sugar, etc. It also increases the fat around the organs such as the liver and can interfere with proper functioning. A "pear" build tends to carry the weight in the hips and thighs.
  • To determine if you are an apple or a pear shape calculate your waist to hip ratio. (l) Stand relaxed. Measure your waist at the narrowest point (usually at the navel, but this may vary). (2) Measure your hips at their widest point (over your buttocks). (3) Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. If you are a woman a number greater than 0.80 indicates higher health risks. If you are a man your health risks increase with a number greater than 1.
  • There are three major types of body builds with variations: ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph.

Ectomorph: The ectomorph generally has the fastest metabolism. It is more difficult for them to gain weight. Some other attributes include a delicate built body, flat chest, fragile, lean, lightly muscled, small shouldered, takes longer to gain muscle, and thin. Other traits of an extreme ectomorph may be long fingers, toes and neck. Features of the face may be sharp. The shape of the face may be triangular. Sometimes the lower jaw recedes. The skin may burn easily, but not always. Ectomorphs may suffer from heat and cold because of their low body fat. Their hair may be fine and grow quickly.

Mesomorph: The mesomorph body type is often referred to as the athletic build. The body is usually hard, rectangular shaped in men, and hour glass shaped in women, heavier in muscle mass, tend to have good posture, put on muscle easily, gain fat more easily than ectomorphs, and have thick skin. The muscles are well defined and often the bones are large. The torso tapers to a relatively narrow, low waist. Bones and muscles of the head are prominent. The neck tends to be shorter. Features of the face are clearly defined. Cheek bones are well defined and the jaw is often square and heavy. The face is long and broad and cubicle in shape. Arms and legs are well developed. Again, these are just some attributes. Not all mesomorphs fit this portrait.

Endomorph Endomorphs are often referred to as the "pear" shape. The body of the extreme endomorph is round and soft. The skin is soft and smooth. Endomorphs tend to have fine hair. The head shape tends to be spherical, large and broad faced. The physique presents the illusion that much of the mass has been concentrated in the abdominal area, hips thighs and butt. Sometimes you may hear the term thunder thighs. This may or may not be true. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short in length and taper. This may give the appearance of stalkiness. The hands and feet of the endomorph are comparatively small. The upper arms and thighs are often more developed than the lower parts of the arms or legs. The body has a high waist.

What should be remembered is that not everyone fits into a nice neat package. Most of us are combinations or modifications of the three main body types. I tend to think about how I gain and lose weight and muscle. My body is mostly mesomorph, but I do have to watch my weight. These types are just a guide to help assess your body.

Activity Benefits

  • Heart attack risk reduction>
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves blood panel: HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Improves fasting glucose and A1C
  • Helps prevent bone loss (demineralization of the bones or osteoporosis)
  • Increases energy/LI>
  • Reduces tension
  • Increases mobility
  • Improves flexibility
  • Helps sleep
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Stroke risk reduction
  • Diabetes risk reduction
  • Improves self image and confidence
  • Role models for your children and family
  • Can be a social outlet for meeting new people
  • Weight Loss is another article that will be of help to you. It has lots of info about BMI, different calculations, etc.
    Count Your Steps is another link to Everyday Health.

    The material on this web site is provided for informational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always check with your doctor.

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