* Code to improve Google search: Frank's Weight Loss Blog: Links to Weight Loss Items

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Links to Weight Loss Items

Instead of listing all the weight loss links on the sidebar of my blog, I think it makes more sense to put them all in one post and then just put the link to that post in the sidebar. Here are some things that might be helpful to anyone trying to lose weight:

Body Mass Index and Obesity: The body mass index is a number that is determined by your height and weight. It is a general measurement that is apparently fairly accurate for the typical adult and it is the standard used in most large studies. Here are some sites that will help you find your Body Mass Index:

From the Center for Disease Control and Pervention: This site should tell you all you want to know about BMI. There is a handy calculator for figuring your BMI and there are explanations of why they use the BMI in studies. Just as an aside, this CDC site has a wealth of information about a lot of things and it is a site worth exploring.

Body Mass Index Table: I like this site because you can print out a table and quickly see what your BMI is at various weights.

Health Risks from Obesity: Aside from being a burden in the form of useless weight that a person has to carry with them 24 hours a day, storing excessive fat raises the risk of a wide array of diseases. Here are a couple of sites that give the statistics:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Once again, the CDC is a good starting point. There's a lot to explore in their "Overweight and Obesity" site that will give you a good overview of all the consequences that come with being overweight, plus it gives plenty of advice on fighting obestity. This is probably the most complete site I've found on the problem of obesity.

Health Effects of Obesity: This is a very comprehensive list from an interesting site, the American Obesity Association. They consider obesity a disease and I think it is basically the result of poor choices. Either way, there's a lot of information on this site and it's worth taking the time to browse through all of the sections.

Calorie Needs and Calorie Counters: More and more, I hear the idea that obesity is a disease that needs a medical solution. That's wrong. We all know the simplistic formula for losing weight, "Eat less, move more". Therefore, the simplistic formula for gaining weight is, "Eat more, move less". Since our society has steadily shifted towards eating more and moving less, is there any surprise that the level of obesity has exploded? Educating people on the number of calories they actually need and the number of calories in the food they eat is the first line of attack in stopping obesity. Here are some links to websites that do just that:

Calorie Calculator for Men and Women: This is a great starting point. You key in information about your height, weight, age, and activity level and it tells you how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight. To lose weight you should eat about 500 calories less than what you need. What I like is that you can see how calorie needs are changed by the two things you can control, your weight and your activity level.

Calculating your Daily Calories: One thing I discovered is that finding a number for daily caloric needs is not an exact science. Various calculators will give you slightly different numbers, but if you check a few sites you'll get a good idea of how many/few calories you actually need each day.

Dietfacts.com: What I like about this site is that the link for "Restuarants" brings up over 400 different restuarant chains. Many sites will give you the calorie numbers for the basic food groups, but I think what gets people in the most trouble is when they eat out. Sometimes the items are a little hard to find on this website, but it gets easier to find things after using the site a few times.

Calorieking.com: Another great site once you get the hang of it. For example, search on "Wendy's" and you get almost 200 items in no real order, but a search on "Wendy's Combo" gives you a nice, neat list of all their combo meals. Here's an interesting note: the Wendy's combo meals, if ordered with medium fries and a medium drink, range between 950 calories (Ultimate Chicken Grill combo) and 1,610 calories (the Triple with cheese combo). I need about 2,500 calories a day so one medium combo meal at Wendy's amounts to somewhere between 38% and 64% of my total caloric needs for an entire day. Think about that the next time you are in the drive through at any fast food chain.

Washington Post Fast Food Calorie Counter: This is the easiest to use site for fast foods but it only covers 10 fast food chains. You pick items that are available at a particular restuarant and it tallys up the calorie total of that meal. It's interesting that the sandwiches at Subway aren't really that much less than the basic sandwiches at the burger places.

Miscellaneous Articles Regarding Weight Loss:

Yogurt May Help Burn Fat, Promote Weight Loss: Every time I read this article I wonder why I ever fail to eat 3 servings of yogurt/calcium a day. In this study, the folks who ate 3 servings of yogurt instead of just 1, ended up losing 22% more weight which is great, but the key finding is that they lost 61% more fat, and an amazing 81% more fat in the stomach area.

Gastric Bypass Surgery: What Can You Expect?: I'm including this article for the folks who think that this kind of surgery is the answer to their weight problems. The end result of gastric bypass surgery is not that people eat reasonably because they feel full sooner, they eat less because eating anything more than a few spoonfuls will result in vomiting or intense pain. It sounds like a surgery that leads to a poor quality of life and a different set of health problems, even if a person does manage to lose a tremendous amount of weight.

Gastric Bypass Tips: This site has a lot of information on eating after having gastric bypass surgery. I put it here because I think a person needing to lose weight could take these tips, double the amount of food allowed, and still lose weight. There's no magic about these stomach reduction surgeries--they just force you to do the things that you could already do on your own.

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