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The Bullhorn, Issue #011 -- Monthly Motivator for February 2007
February 15, 2007
Just the right push to succeed!
Measuring Fat Loss
Losing weight can be a true test of our stamina and will, as the results on the bathroom scale seem to slowly reveal our weeks of hard work and dedication. And because this progress is hard to see at first, many people usually abandon their health and fitness efforts and return to their old habits in just a few days because of a lack of evident progress. Using a measuring tape to calculate your body fat percentage is a great way to see long-term results, but it too, is a long-term success gauge. So what can we use to motivate us in the short-term?
Try pouring off the pounds! If you want to see the volume of fat that you’re burning, we can make a simple yet very effective gauge right in our home with nothing too fancy to buy: just a measuring cup and an old milk or water jug. But first...the science...
In order to lose a pound of fat we need to burn 3,500 more calories than we eat. One pound of fat = 3,500 calories. So let’s say that our BMR is 2,000 calories; our food log for the day is 1,800 calories; and the calories we burned by exercise is 300…this results in 500 calories of weight loss for the day. The density of body fat is slightly less than that of water which weighs approximately 9 pounds per gallon. Therefore the volume of a one-gallon jug is roughly equal to almost 9 pounds of body fat. A gallon is 16 cups, so 1.75 cups would be equivalent to one pound of body fat (16 divided by 9). And remember that 500-calorie deficit for the day? Well, that’s the same as losing ¼ cup of fat! (Science lesson over…did I lose anyone?...back to building our fat-loss gauge!)
As you maintain your food log and tally up your calorie totals, measure out a ¼ cup of water for every 500 calorie deficit. That water in the measuring cup represents the fat you lost…pretty cool, huh? Pour it into an empty gallon jug and track your progress. If you burn more, pour it in! If you burn less in a day than you eat, pour some out (that part’s no fun). .
As the water builds up in your gallon jug, picture that same amount of fat gone from your body. The fat stored in our body is located all over with some larger storage areas around the waist for the men and around the hips for the women. So when we lose weight, it comes from all over our body. We can’t really target where we want it to come from...but we will lose the fat. Most people will notice that you’ve lost weight from your face and neck. It feels great when people say things to you about your weight loss. If you recognize it in others…say something…it’ll make their day!
Keep up the effort and when the jug is full, you’ll be looking at a hard-earned gauge of 9-pounds of fat loss…congratulations!! This really works and can be a very effective tool, but make sure that you’re food and exercise logs are honest…you have to write it all down! Good luck!
Filling up on Fiber
If you walk down the cereal aisle you’re likely to see many boxes with advertisements boasting their high fiber content. Many have pictures of a heart and say things like, “lower your risk of heart disease” or “lower you cholesterol”. So what’s the big deal with fiber all of the sudden?
It’s really nothing new…fiber is a derivative of plant products and our bodies can’t digest it so it just passes right through our digestive tract. The soluble form of fiber has been credited with absorbing and binding to cholesterol as it passes through our system, thus reducing our cholesterol levels. This is great news for those of us with higher cholesterol. But there’s better news: Fiber can help us shed a few pounds, too!
Fiber can fill up our stomachs and help make us feel full. Unlike sugary foods, foods that are high in fiber fill us up and leave us satisfied. That’s it…no magic fat-melting power…fiber just helps us eat less which can be real ally in our weight loss fight. Bah Humbug, you say?…let’s look at an example…
For those of us in the US, Girl Scout cookie season is in full-swing…and that means more junk in the house (where I’m very vulnerable). Unfortunately for me, I can easily eat ½ a box of Girl Scout cookies for a quick snack which is approximately 1000 calories?! So in less than 5 minutes, I’ve downed 1000 calories and the worst part is that I’m usually still hungry! Now let’s say I wanted to look for a 1000 calories worth of a high fiber snack instead…I’d have to eat a dozen apples! Eating 12 apples would take me almost an hour and chances are pretty good that I couldn’t eat all of them! So what’s the moral of my glutinous story? Foods high in fiber will fill you up on far fewer calories than most of those junky snacks out there. Try substituting a few high fiber foods in your diet, and you should see a real difference in the total calories that you eat…and the number on the scale. Bon Appetite!
Exercise of the Month:
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