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Home First Posted: November 6, 2008
Oct 1, 2015

Losing Weight, Nutrition and Exercise

by Debora Johnson

I have decided to lose 10 pounds which would put me at a BMI (Body Mass Index) just under 24.2, and also at a correct weight. I plan to try to lose and maintain 5 more. BMI scores are: Normal: 18.5 - 24.9, Overweight: 25 - 29.9, Obese: 30 and over. To calculate your BMI and other great information follow this link. This 10 pounds has plagued me for years. I put it on after menopause and have not been able to shed it. Now that I am getting older it has become imperative to get rid of it to keep diabetes, heart trouble, stroke, etc. away. Eventually something is going to get me, but I can at least do my best to try to live a healthy life. My doctor suggested that this is really an important thing to do. So I thought I would share what measures have been beneficial to me. However, always check with your doctor and get professional guidance before starting any program. This is just a pilot of what is working for me.

What Is BMI?  BMI and other great information

"By definition, the body mass index (BMI), is the measurement of the of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. but actually BMI calculation does not measure percentage of total body fat, but it is a tool used to estimate what is considered a healthy weight based on a persons height. So a proper definition of BMI will be like 'The body mass index (BMI) is a statistical measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height.'

BMI is currently the most widely used body weight diagnostic tool. It is primarily implemented to identify obesity problems. Although the body mass index is an accurate representation of weight compared to height, it is not considered accurate to determine obesity and general body health. The body mass index was invented in the mid 1900s by a man named Adolphe Quetelet during his research of social physics.

The Body mass index is defined as the your body weight divided by the square of your height. The formulas is universally expressed as kg/m2. The excess weight or deficiency may, in part, be accounted for by body fat although other factors such as muscularity also affect BMI."

I started the second week in October to increase my exercise levels and reduce my caloric intake. It is really important to make sure that nutritionally no harm will be done. So, I went to a nutritionist for 4 sessions to get an understanding of how to proceed. Most of the information provided was very basic. It can be gotten on the internet from the American Diabetic Association, Dietetic Association, etc. Food pyramids that tell you how to eat properly are accessible everywhere and easy to download. There are free pamphlets that can be ordered from the government to help you in your quest. We all have different needs and circumstances, so I would suggest talking to your doctor before starting any program. Get some direction.

My eating style parallels The South Beach Diet, so I purchased a copy of the book and have been doing the first (restricted) part for three weeks now. I will continue to do this until my goal is reached. It is working for me and was written by a cardiologist. It is not a fad diet, but rather a way to eat for life. To date I have lost 7 pounds and have just 3 more to go. Keeping a food log is really helpful. You write down everything you eat. You would be surprised how much junk tempts you throughout the day. When you have to record it--you think twice. When you do the treadmill and realize how long it takes to burn off 100 calories the junk can easily be passed by. It is really important to weigh and measure your food as well. Portion control has really been important. I have cut out all breads or basically anything that is white, i.e., pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc. I get my fiber from lentils which are also high in protein and low in calories. I also enjoy the dried beans you buy in the grocery store in packages. I make home made soups out of them and add lots of vegetables such as celery, green beans, carrots, or whatever is fresh in the produce section. My stock is low fat chicken stock and a can of stewed tomatoes or whole tomatoes. I also add seasonings, but no salt. The canned tomatoes have enough salt. Since I make my own soup in a crock pot, I know that it is low in calories. It really fills me up and is healthy. I also drink an 8 ounce glass (1 cup) of water about 20 minutes before every meal. That makes me less hungry. I also drink liquids throughout the day (totalling 8-8 oz. glasses). This liquid includes tea, water, skim milk and sometimes diet drinks. My cravings are gone. It just takes a bit of creativity to find other ways to eat. I have cut down on olive oil and canola oil use. I still use it but less. Instead PAM is less calories and works quite well in a teflon coated pan or in a casserole dish to prevent sticking. I have been eating lots of fish, chicken and turkey. Once a week I eat lean red meat. Each meal I try to eat 3 or 4 ounces of protein in some form including eggs. Turkey bacon has replaced fatty bacon and I really like it. I microwave 2 slices on a paper towel until it is really crisp. It's yummy. Some mornings I will have Lox (2 ounces) or turkey sausages (2 small ones) I boil them until they are done. It does not take very long.

Update: I now use a Fitbit. I count my steps and try to do 10,000 steps each day. I use a Charge HR which also tracks stairs climbed, foot intake, sleep patterns, etc. If you are not computer friendly there is an excellent help department that you can reach quickly by phone. They will help you set everything up. There is no cheating with the Fitbit nor is there any rationalization. It catalogues everything. It makes reality come alive!

Another important element of achieving success in this weight loss is the use of a pedometer. To calculate walking calorie and distances with a pedometer follow this link Pedometer Information. I purchased one through Amazon.com and wear it every day from the time I get up until I go to sleep. To maintain your weight it is suggested that you take 10,000 steps a day. To make that easy to calculate: 2,000 steps=1 mile. I have found that if I do 13,000 steps a day I lose the weight. That would calculate to 6 1/2 miles a day. It is allot to do, but once I reach my goal I can cut back to 10,000 steps a day or 5 miles a day. Much of that you get through your normal walking unless you are a couch potato. The gym has become a regular part of my routine and I actually enjoy it now. I feel better and have more pep. I also have a treadmill at home and use it on non gym days. Exercise is really important and I think has been key for me in this endeavor.

The following links will make it really easy to find the information you need to help you lose weight and get on the road to a healthy life style:

The following link is excellent. I use it to record my food charts as well as exercise and other benefits that are offered free: The Daily Plate It also figures out everything for you including your intake of fats, protein, calories, etc. One of my favorite doctors gave me this site. I was both amazed and delighted that he shared this information with me.

All Diet and Nutrition Tips is another excellent site to help you in your quest for healthy weight loss. There is lots of information on this site.

Medical Tests

There were a number of tests that I had done before starting this weight loss. It is important to know what conditions you may have like thyroid irregularities, blood sugar irregularities, lipid panel irregularities, and vitamin deficiencies. The following are some tests that I had done.

  • Thyroid tested for hypo or hyper
  • Lipid panel: cholesterol, HDL. LDL, and triglycerides
  • Fasting glucose
  • A1C
  • Vitamin D levels

Your doctor may have other suggestions for your particular situation. For example, in a yearly physical a full mineral panel is usually done as well as liver and kidney function, urine tests, and a complete blood panel and fecal. It is really important to know what is going on with your body.

My article on Losing Weight-Count Your Steps will also be helpful to you.

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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