Posts Tagged ‘calories’

Makeover your metabolism

January 16th, 2010

Want to have more energy and losing weight?

Yes?Then read on.

Strap a couple of laptops round your middle for the day and you’ll soon find just how draining carrying around that extra 10lbs can be.

If you’re overweight,losing a few pounds will help your energy levels.But how do you do it without feeling more drained?Try this : it’s called calorie cycling.Versions of it have been around for years,but for some reason it isn’t trumpeted by the slimming industry.Maybe because it works.

The reason I like it is that it is realistic.It takes into account that none of us can stick to a diet all the time.Of course,some people do spend their lives on a diet stick-thin celebs are the most visible example.But if they ever slip up,they will balloon overnight because constant starvation has lowered their metabolic rate-the rate at which they burn off calories-to that of a vole.

Which brings us back to calorie cycling,because it works on the principle that by mixing up your calorie count,your metabolic rate stays on its toes,so to speak.Your metabolic rate doesn’t drop as you lose weight;in fact,its revs up.It’s thought that dieting suppresses production of an appetite-regulating hormone,leptin.High leptin production means a high metabolism; reduced leptin means metabolism goes down and your appetite goes up.This mechanism helped our Stone Age ancestors cope with famine.Now it just makes us fat.

Here’s an idea for you…

Stock up flaxseed oil,the darling of dieting gurus.This oil apparently activates leptin-the hormone that boosts metabolism.Drizzle it on porridge,salad or vegetables,or swallow a couple of spoonfuls neat.Healthy oils curb cravings,too.

Ok,how does calorie cycling work?Simple.Youdiet for a few days,then for one day you eat pretty much what you like.There is evidence that it works.Research done by the National Institute of Health in the States discovered that when healthy young men restricted calories and the binged.their metabolism rose by9% on the morning after their binge day.It’s thought binge days ‘reset’ leptin production.Below are some ideas.For more sophisticated diet plans and more advice rea The Rotation Diet,The Warrior Diet,Eating for Life and The Abs Diet.(Don’t follow any diet without your doctor’s advice if you have a medical condition or suspect you could have one.)

The hard-core version

This version means you eat lightly during the day (but frequently),and more at night.You further mix things up by dropping most carbs for a couple of days,then adding them back in.The advantage is that you are never more  than three days away from a pudding.

Eat unlimited amounts of fruits and salad during the day,with eggs as your only protein.(I strongly advised having a boiled egg for breakfast or,if your’re like me,you’ll keel over.)At night eat unlimited amounts of vegetables with a large-ish palm-sized piece of protein-beef,chicken turkey,fish,or tofu.Dont’t eay any starch or sugars.

The straightforward version

Eat around 1700 calories for four or five days.Eat around 2000 calories for one day.Eat 1700 caories for four or five days.Eat around 2000 calories for one day.You get the picture.Don’t do this for more than a month-it’s low in calories.

Typical 1700 calories

  • Breakfast – bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk and a small glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning – half a dozen of almonds
  • Lunch – sandwich,apple
  • Mid-afternoon -orangeDinner – plate of chickens and vegetable stir-fry followed by a peach and a small glass of wine.

Determining your daily caloric needs

July 11th, 2009


The first step in determining how many calories you need to consume is to estimate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the number of calories you need to consume each day to maintain basic body functions.

BMR = Body weight in pounds x 10

For example, a 140- pound woman’s BMR :

140 X 10 = 1400 calories

That means to maintain her weight, a 140- pound woman well, even if she stayed in bed all day, would need to consume 1400 calories a day.

Of course, not many of us spend the day in bed. That’s why we need to add an “Activity Factor” to our BMR.

Activity level

Sedentary               : BMR X .30

Moderately active   : BMR X .50

Very active             : BMR X .75

Let’s say that the 140-pound woman is moderately active:

1400 x .50 = 700 calories

Once you know your Activity Factor, add it to your BMR and then add another 10 percent to that total to account for calories consumed by digestion.

Again, using the 14-poubd Moderately Active woman:

1400 + 700 = 2100

2100  x 1.10 = 2310 total calories to maintain current weight.

Workout flubs you should never make

June 30th, 2009

Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson shares how to right the fitness wrongs he sees most often.


  • Quickly cranking out crunches

Take five seconds to lift and five to lower. A slow as molasses pace forces your abs to contract longer which means they work harder.

  • Thinking cardio is the only way to blast calories.

Lifting weights torches 200 in just half an hour. If you never strength-trained before, try out a group fitness class that uses dumbells or weighted bars to help ease you into it.

  • Going to the gym without a plan.

Do that and you’re likely to default to your standby routine. This will sabotage your progress. Instead, take a few minutes to organize your session and try to work in something new.