* Code to improve Google search: Frank's Weight Loss Blog: July 21, 2008 -- 223 Pounds (48 Pounds to Go)

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008 -- 223 Pounds (48 Pounds to Go)

Food Yesterday: popcorn(200)--popcorn(200)--pineapple(300)--chili(460)--30th birthday party for Travis, didn't worry about what I ate. I'll work it all off plus some during the week. (I'm not surprised that the weigh-in went up so high after a big and late supper. I think this will come off in a few days and I'd really like to see numbers in the teens by the weekend.)

Congratulations to the health officials in New York City. They passed a law saying that chain restaurants (a chain is considered to be 15 or more locations) had to clearly post on the menu the calorie count of each item they sell. That should shock some customers and maybe some people will actually understand why they are having a weight problem and they will make some changes in their choices.

Obviously the chain restaurants aren't happy about this and they point out that they already make that information available. What the restaurants know is that there is a big difference between (1) making the information available in very small print on a bulletin board that no one will look at, and (2) putting the total number of calories right by the price of the item so people will have a hard time missing the calorie count.

If anyone is reading this and is also in the process of trying to lose weight, you need to check out the link on the left side of the screen for "All My Links Regarding Weight Loss Information". I should probably update this list and maybe I should revisit some of the sites more often for my own weight loss help. I would suggest starting in the section "Calorie Needs and Calorie Counters". I've found it hard to get an exact number on how many calories I need per day to maintain my current weight, but it looks like 2,500 calories is close to the consensus of the calorie calculators that I found. I suspect most people would be surprised at how low the caloric need number is for their height, weight, age and life style.

If you watch the news and read enough articles about health, you will hear about dozens of reasons for the obesity crisis in America. In my mind, the problem starts first with lack of education and knowledge about caloric needs and caloric amounts in food. I bet the average person doesn't have a clue of how many calories they need to shoot for in a day or what the calorie count is in most of the foods they eat. If that's true, then how can they possibly make the choices needed to prevent obesity? Would people change their eating habits if they were more aware of the number to shoot for and the average calorie total that they are currently consuming? Maybe not, but at least they would understand that it is their choices that are leading to the problem.

By the way, eating to stay at a healthy weight is not something that you can do for a few months and then you can go back to your old habits. I went to this calorie needs calculator to see what were my needs to maintain my current weight. I put in my 5'10" height, 220 pound weight, 56 years old, and conceded that I'm just lightly active. The calculator spit out the need for 2,527 calories per day to maintain my current weight, so trying to stay under 2,000 calories per day is a good weight loss number for me. However, let's say I'm successful and by the end of the year I'm down to 175 pounds. I'll be a year older and hopefully the same height, and when I put in 175 pounds for my weight my needed calories per day drop to 2,154 per day!!!

WOW. Do you see why it is so hard to keep off the weight if people hit their goal and then drift back to something close to their old eating habits? This is telling me that if I want to get down to 175 pounds I'll probably need to eventually drop down to about 1,600 calories per day to get those last 10-20 pounds and then I have to keep my total around that 2,000 calorie mark for the rest of my life. OR, I can move that activity level up to "moderately active" and that would allow me 2,485 calories per day (an unlikely move to "very active" gets me to 2,816 calories and "extremely active" gets me to 3,314 calories--those levels of activity aren't going to happen now but it explains why at 35 I was able to maintain 165 pounds since my extremely active level allowed me 3,500 calories per day).

For now, I don't need to get too far ahead of myself. My best plan of action is to stay below the 2,000 calorie level and gradually increase my activity level. That's really what it's going to take to keep me from being overweight for the rest of my life, a caloric intake of about 2,500 calories per day and a moderately active life style or 2,000 calories if my activity drops off. That's not what I really want to hear but that's just the facts of how the typical human body works. As the title of this blog says, I Can Do This--I Will Do This.

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