Losing Weight: It’s All About the Math

Numbers

Those of you who follow my blog know that for the last few months I have been “struggling” to take off the weight that I put on during my mostly sedentary recovery from foot surgery.

Newsflash: going on a week-long Alaska cruise does NOT help the cause. Luckily, I only put on two pounds during the vacation, but it could have been worse.

When I returned home, I had the latest issue of ACE Fitness Magazine weighting for me. Much of the issue was devoted to discussions about nutrition and weight loss. There were articles about the latest trends in dieting (Keto, for example), the debate about whether eggs are good for us or not, as well as the latest research on the role of carbs.

The issues are usually not clear cut. Keto, for instance, is an effective method for dieting IF you can actually stay on the diet. The food choices are so limited that it is estimated that 50% of folks who try it do not last long enough to see results. It is also not recommended for older adults since the lack of protein in the Keto diet can contribute to loss of muscle mass–a serious issue as we age.

As was the case in many articles in ACE Fitness Magazine, the conclusion is that “more research is needed.”

So what do we know? A simple truth: weight loss is achieved when we burn more calories than we put into our bodies. It is a simple question of mathematics. If we eat 3000 calories worth of food but only burn off 2500 each day, we will put on weight (approximately one pound/week). On the flip-side if we burn 3000 calories per day and only eat 2500, we will lose about a pound a week. Simple math.

How does this effect me in my weight loss journey? I have started using the My Fitness Pal app again; I stopped on the vacation. This app (there are others out there) allows me to calculate how many calories I am ingesting, how many I am burning through exercise and activities of daily living, and suggests a proper calorie intake per day to achieve my goals. I have to be super-diligent to make sure I enter in the info in order to actually have this work. The app works on one simple principle as well: math. The numbers don’t and won’t lie.

We should all feel free to try different diet plans, but there are certain underlying truths:

  1. Eat less processed foods.
  2. Increase consumption of vegetables and fruits.
  3. Eat fats and carbs in moderation; try to switch out saturated fats for unsaturated fats.
  4. Burn more calories than you consume through eating.

I will keep you posted on my journey. The fact that yesterday was a Jewish fast day (17th of Tammuz) did help the cause, but I know there is a lot more work ahead to get me back to where I was pre-surgery.

Good thing I always did well in math class!

Just how Evil is Bread?

Bread!

Several years ago I made the switch from white bread to whole wheat bread, and eventually to whole grain bread. When I was raising a family, bread was a thing…sandwiches at lunchtime for sure!

I never thought my kids would go for anything other than plain white bread, but when I switched things up they surprised me. In particular, we have become fans of Dave’s Breads, http://www.daveskillerbread.com/ . They make several kinds of bread and to me it tastes almost like eating cake. Filled with fiber, seeds and just delicious. And it’s certified kosher!

But, wait! What!?! Bread??? How can that be part of a healthy diet. Well, (literally) not all breads are baked equal. We have been taught that too many carbs and the wrong kind are not good for us. Even so, carbohydrates do play a role in our diet and how we fuel our bodies. There is a huge spectrum between what is actually OK and what is just turning into gunk in your insides.

An article published on http://www.medicalnewstoday.com has a good, brief discussion about the differences between breads and their nutritional value. Here is a link to the article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325351.php

Sometimes you feel like a sandwich or toast; now you have a little more info about the choices you can make. No need to just go for the national brand white breads; try the Ezekiel bread and multi-grain and you might just be surprised!