Total Caloric Expenditure: Part 1-Know your Number

Mark Dziuban - Calories 1

January 1st has come and gone and once again your New Year’s resolution is not off to a great start.  In fact, you have not seen any weight loss results and the hope of becoming a slimmer, healthier you might have to wait once again until next year.

This is a story to which we can all relate.  While our desire to exercise, and lose weight are born of good intent, our knowledge of how to do so may be somewhat lacking.  To succeed, you are going not have to arm yourself with general knowledge and facts so you can become the healthier, leaner you that you have always dreamt of becoming.

To sustain itself, our bodies are constantly working.  Even while we are doing nothing our bodies are busy repairing and rebuilding.  Our hearts are pumping blood, blood is flowing.  We are breathing, twitching, digesting and thinking.  In other words, if you were to lie around all day and do nothing physical, your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, in calories, would provide for all of your necessary body functions.

If you were going to cut calories from your diet, we first need to determine how many calories your body requires to sustain itself.  Once you have solved your RMR value, you can plug that number into the equation for Total Caloric Expenditure.  But before we can determine that value, we need to determine your RMR.  

So, let’s do a little work.  The most common method for calculating your RMR is by using the “Mifflin Formula”.  There are many online websites available to calculate this for you but let’s run through the formula manually to provide a thorough knowledge of how to determine your RMR.

For Men:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) + 5

For Women:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) – 161

For our example let’s use a 34-year-old female, 5’7” tall and weighs 155 pounds.  Now before we begin you can see we will need to convert pounds into kilograms and inches into centimeters.

To convert pounds into kilograms, simply divide your weight by 2.2. Using our example: 155/2.2=70.45.

To convert height into centimeters, we know a person 5’7” tall in 67 inches.  Take 67 divided by 0.3937.  67/.3937 = 170.18.

Ok now we have values for height and weight which we can easily work with in the following formula for women:  (10 x 70.45) + (6.25 X 170.18) – (5 x 34) -161 or 704.5+ 1063.63 = 1768.13 – 170 = 1598.13 – 161 = 1437.13

So for our example, our 34-year old female requires 1,437 calories before she does a single thing other than lie in one place all day.

Now we are beginning to arm ourselves with information, which when used alongside calculating our total calorie expenditure, will provide us with the necessary information to make an educated decision regarding our weight loss plan.

Watch for my next blog when I discuss how to calculate your total caloric expenditure and always remember, “If you want it, you’ve got to go get it.”  

5 Groundbreaking Fitness Gadgets Expected in 2017

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With millions of American’s making a conscious effort to improve their health, the demand for a way to track their gains is sky high. 2016 was a breakout year for fitness tech and the wearable industry. It seemed like the amount of people monitoring steps, logging runs or rides, and using calorie counters increased by the day. Industry leaders like FitBit, Apple, and Samsung made great strides to improve the user’s experience with their gadgets and apps, and it looks like 2017 will feature more innovation and smarter fitness gadgets.

Naked 3D

Naked is the world’s first 3D body scanner, and it can be used in the comfort of your bedroom. Set to ship in late 2017, Naked uses 3D depth sensors built into a mirror along with a spinning platform to scan your body and send the rendering to your iOS or Android device via bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Naked’s platform doubles as a scale that charges wirelessly for a cord-free experience. Visualizing your progress, monitoring your body fat percentage, and watching a timelapse of your results are some of the features of the Naked 3D.

Thin Ice

Thin Ice is a wearable weight-loss vest that literally freezes fat from your body. The vest works by activating certain parts of the body through a synced mobile app. The vest is powered by a small lithium ion battery that rests in a pocket along the arch of the back for maximum comfort. Thin Ice has been proven to freeze off an extra 500-1000 calories per day. A 2017 release is expected, but a date has not yet been announced.

Vessyl

Vessyl may be the most ambitious piece of fitness technology of 2017. The container automatically knows what you are drinking, and tracks everything you drink from it. By connecting Vessyl to your iOS or Android device, you can automatically add your drinks to the rest of your daily food log so you don’t miss a single calorie. Vessyl will retail for $199, and it is currently in development. The creators hope to have a release in the last quarter of 2017.

Here One

A list of fitness gadgets wouldn’t be complete without the latest and greatest headphones to hit the market, and Here One may be the best pair you’ll find. Access to Siri or Google Voice, selective noise cancellation, real world sound control, and speech amplification are just a few features of the Here One headphones. They can be preordered now for $299 and are expected to ship in March of 2017.

LEVL

Did you ever wonder if all the workout out you are doing is actually burning fat? If you’re not on a treadmill that tells you you’re in “fat burning” stage or near a heart rate monitor, you may have no idea how your workout is going. LEVL monitors the acetone in your breath to monitor when you are burning fat during a workout. You can preorder a LEVL and expect to see it sometime in the spring of 2017.

Since most Americans are growing more concerned about their health and wellness, it is safe to say that the fitness gadget industry is here to say. Keep an eye out for more companies pushing the limits of technology as they try to create the most user-friendly gadgets for fitness enthusiasts across the world.

 

Make a Lifestyle Change, Not a Resolution

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If you have been to a commercial gym in the past week (Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, YMCA) then you probably noticed that it is pretty full. January is by far the busiest month at most gyms and health clubs. We’ve all heard it from someone before, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and lose weight.” The time between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays is when most people are visiting with family, eating until they are about to explode, and drinking more than they normally would. So on January 2nd when you walk into the gym it almost feels like walking through a college frat party. The biggest problem with resolutions is that they end when the calendar year does. So instead of making a resolution this year, I encourage everyone make a lifestyle change that will continue and evolve with you.

Nutrition

The most important part to hitting any fitness goal is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. The problem is that most fad diets have an end date. I’ve witnessed many people complete Whole 30 with astonishing results, but as soon as the 30 days are up they are right back to their old diet. As soon as you “go on a diet” you imply that your diet will eventually end. Instead, just change what you eat. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains (no, carbs are not the devil), and healthy fats are the basis of any great nutrition plan. My general rule of thumb is if something comes shrinkwrapped or prepackaged then it shouldn’t go in your mouth. While preparing all of your own food is more time consuming, it also teaches you how to be creative in the kitchen.

Exercise

While dialing in your nutrition takes a lot of effort, it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Incorporating some type of exercise into your daily routine will drastically improve your physical and mental well being. Exercise does not need to mean going to a gym and running on a treadmill. Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of exercise, which means there is something out there for anyone. Yoga, kickboxing, spin classes, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and swimming are just a few of the ways you could exercise without ever stepping on a treadmill.

Enjoyment

In the beginning, nobody wants to wake up on a Saturday morning to go on a run, or spend their Sunday afternoon preparing their meals for the week. The quicker you can find enjoyment in your routine, the easier it will become in the long run. Try out a few different approaches to exercise to see what you enjoy and what you can’t wait to be done doing. My wife and I love being outdoors, so we gravitated towards cycling and mountain biking. When I get on a bike, I never have the feeling of not wanting to ride. The most important part is holding yourself accountable once you do find what you enjoy so you can continue improving.

Getting in shape and losing weight isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it. You need to be strong willed and be able to motivate yourself under the worst circumstances. However, once you start seeing the results of your hard work, you will wonder why you didn’t start earlier.

Finding the Right Mountain Bike

Mountain Biking Handlebars

Breaking into the world of mountain biking can be a daunting task for someone who wants to buy their first bike. There are a few factors you should consider before you go out and buy a bike at your local department store. Do you want to go fully rigid, hardtail, or full suspension? Do you want clipless pedals or flats? How many gears do I want? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to choose the perfect bike.

Riding Style

The first thing you should research before buying a mountain bike is the terrain where you will be riding. Will you be shredding flowy downhill sections with moderate climbs peppered in, or will you be powering through rock gardens on mostly flat terrain? It could also be a mix of both. If you are going to be riding primarily flowy single tracks with a lot of climbing involved, you will want to go with a rigid or hardtail bike to maximize your climbs. With a full suspension bike, you’ll be losing ground each time you pedal and compress your rear shock, which will make your climbs much more labor intensive. If you plan on riding in rocky terrain, a full suspension bike is going to be your best friend. New suspension technology makes riding a mountain bike feel like you are driving a luxury car.

Pedals

One of the biggest learning curves I experienced when I got serious about mountain biking was learning how to unclip from my pedals. The pros to clipless pedals heavily outweigh the cons.  You can feel a dramatic difference in climbs by being able to pull and push with each pedal stroke, essentially doubling your output while you climb. You also have much more control over your bike since you are clipped in and attached to the pedals. Being clipped in is a double-edged sword, and results in the only downside to clipless pedals. If you are not familiar with unclipping, you will easily topple over whenever you go to put your foot down without properly rotating out of the clips. Once you are over the learning curve, you will never go back to flats.

Gear Ratio

There are a few different options when it comes to the gears on your mountain bike. It seems like most major bike manufacturers are producing one-by mountain bikes in 2017. The mentality behind this transition comes from the idea that most people don’t use all the gears on a 27-speed bike. By eliminating the extra chainrings, bike companies are also able to make bikes lighter. My advice to beginners is to always have more gears. When you’re out on the trail, you may need that extra low gear to get back to your car. As you gain experience, you may find that you no longer need the added weight and opt to convert to a one-by. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could convert your bike to a single-speed, but at that point, I feel like riding is more of a chore than something you are enjoying.

Mountain biking is a great way to spend time outdoors while still getting an intense workout in. The mountain biking community is an accepting and fun crowd that is always up for the next adventure. Do yourself a favor and find your nearest mountain biking club so you’ll never have to ride alone.

Crushing Paleo Cravings

Peanuts

When it comes to dieting, there always seems to be the looming question of how to prevent cravings.  The truth is, you can’t completely prevent cravings.  They’re our bodies natural “push notifications” to let us know that we are deficient in one nutrient or another.  The problem with cravings stems from curbing them with unhealthy food from an early age.  The most intense cravings usually come when you first decided to go Paleo since your body is not used to running on Paleo fuel. Once you understand what your body is craving, it becomes much easier to eat a Paleo-friendly alternative.

Chocolate

A magnesium deficiency is the most common reason we crave chocolate.  Since chocolate is not on the list of paleo diet treats, we find ourselves looking for other ways to combat that craving.  One sweet treat that can boost magnesium levels and leave you satisfied is a frozen banana dipped in raw organic peanut butter.  Bananas are loaded with magnesium, and provide other vital nutrients to help you recover from a workout and stay hydrated.  

Bread

The biggest issue I had when going paleo was giving up bread.  It is a staple in nearly every household in America, and it is difficult to cut something like that out of what you consume each day.  When craving those highly processed carbs, look to something else that is high in nitrogen, which is what you’re lacking during those bread cravings.  Foods high in protein, especially fish, also tend to be nitrogen-rich foods.  Broil a piece of Alaskan salmon with a side of green beans to make your brain forget what bread ever tasted like.  Your body will thank you later.

Dairy

One of the staples of the Paleo diet is swearing off all forms of dairy.  When your mind is craving dairy, the odds are your body is telling you to eat because you are calorie deficient.  There are two schools of thought on when to eat.  You can either eat when you’re hungry, or you can eat throughout the day so that you do not get hungry.  If you believe the latter, you may find yourself between meals craving a cold glass of milk.  Raw nuts are one of the easiest ways to get calories into your body quickly and in the most guilt-free way possible.  A handful of cashews should do the trick to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Starting a new diet can be scary for many people, and they’ll often look to give in to any craving that comes their way.  Think of going Paleo as a lifestyle change instead of a diet, and you’ll start understanding how to better plan for these cravings by stocking your cupboards with the right substitutes for the job.

How to Survive Holiday Party Season as a Paleo Enthusiast

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From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day comfort foods and nostalgic sweets will tempt you wherever you go. When coupled with extra stress, lack of sleep, and too much alcohol, it often seems easier to give way to your cravings and promise to hop back on the wagon after the holidays are over. But you don’t have to give up! Read on for some strategies for sticking to the paleo diet during the holiday season.

1. Be the Host

The easiest way to avoid meals that aren’t paleo is to cook them yourself! Many dinner staples fit the diet, so you would only have to make a few substations. Whip up some cauliflower mash in place of potatoes and bake paleo versions of classic holiday desserts. Your guests probably won’t know the difference. If you are worried about picky relatives, you can always make small batches of “regular” dishes for them; you will be so busy with hosting that sticking to your yummy paleo foods will be easy!

2. Stick to Your Exercise Plan

Work out a little harder during the holiday season in case you do slip up with your paleo diet. Sticking to your routine also gives you a sense of stability during this crazy time of year, so you will feel less stressed, which means less chance of stress binging. You can also work out before your big holiday meal. The endorphins will make you feel so good you won’t want to ruin that feeling with bad foods.

3. Plan Some “Cheats”

Holiday foods are more than just fuel for your body; they are associated with family traditions and happy memories. If skipping your Mom’s pumpkin pie or Dad’s famous ham makes you feel sad and isolated, acknowledge and give yourself permission to experience these emotions. You can also carefully plan one or two “cheat” foods during the holidays to feel like you are involved and make the cook feel appreciated. A few of Grandma’s cookies or a glass of eggnog won’t hurt too much if you have stuck with your paleo diet all year.

4. Bring Your Own Food

If you are worried your host won’t have anything that fits the paleo diet, bring something you can eat. This works especially well for a potluck! Offer to bring a paleo version of the most diet-killing dishes, like dessert. You can also eat before the gathering so you aren’t tempted.

Are you a paleo dieter who’s been through the holiday seasons once or twice before? Send over your favorite tips and secrets to help others navigate this tempting time of year.

Seven Gifts for the Workout Enthusiast in Your Life

 

What’s more fun than writing a blog about all of the gifts that you’d like to receive? Not much, in my mind. Lucky for me, I have a lot of workout junkies and health nuts in my family, so doing a bit of pre-holiday research comes just in time.

Take a look at the following roundup provided by Refinery29. Take note: these gifts are primarily aimed for those who simply can’t go a day without their workout fix. The marathon runner; the kale smoothie maker, the cyclist who rides each morning despite the rain. What’s really cool–these gifts are out of the box. They special or unique while still catering to that adventurous spirit.

  1. For the Yogi

La Vie Boheme Medina Yoga Mat, $86, available at La Vie Boheme.

Take a look at this funky mat. Practical and full of style, this mat will provide your favorite Yogi with hours of inspiring motivation.

  1. For the Runner

Road Runner RPI Travel Stick, $27.99, available at Road Runner.

I have about four different tools like this one at home yet this seems to be a perfect model. Small in size, this muscle tamer will travel well with you no matter where you’re headed next. Why I like this? The gift is thoughtful. You’re not giving the runner in your life another gift card to the Sporting Goods emporium. This one comes from experience. And that’s something everybody loves to receive.

  1. For the Multi-Trainer

SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask, $34.99, available at Nathan Sports.

Anyone who has participated in multi-race events will understands the true gift of the water bottle that carries you from land to bike to sea. Shower your ambitious friend with this upgraded model that even has built in compartments for keys, ID, and emergency fuel.

  1. The Ultimate Stocking Stuffer

Gu Energy Gel, $34.80, available at Gu Energy.

Why go for candy when you can stuff these covetable energy gems inside your loved ones’ stockings? Great for runners, cyclists, and hikers, these on-the-go power packs will give you the fuel you need to complete that last few miles.

  1. For the True Glamper

Primus Onja 2 Burner Stove, $139.95, available at REI.

Check out this upgraded camping stove that’s designed for the true glamper. What exactly is a glamper?

  1. For the sweetheart in your life

Weightlifting Necklace, $11.95, available at Etsy.

Sometimes traditional charms just won’t cut it. Check out this sterling silver necklace adorned with tiny replicas of all your favorite crossfit gear.

  1. For the person who’s always on the go

Skullcandy XTFree Wireless Headphones, $99.99, available at Skullcandy.

The revolution in wireless headphones has just begun. Gift this high tech set and your loved one will be rocking the latest

A Brief History of Fad Diets (And Why Paleo Is Here to Stay!)

It seems as though a new fad diet pops up on a weekly basis without fail. You finally know what one is about and maybe decide to try it out when suddenly there’s some new craze in this month’s magazines that’s guaranteed to work better than anything you’ve ever tried before. No matter what the diet is, it seems complicated and like a lot of work, though probably less work than closely monitoring all your meals in addition to exercising on a consistent basis. People want fast solutions, which has caused the rise of fad diets over the last couple hundred years.

Well, one of the newest diet crazes goes beyond a fad; the paleo diet! A nod to our caveman ancestors, this diet focuses on the foods that biology meant for us to consume.

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History of Fad Diets

Fad diets have been around as early as the 1820s (though they likely existed long before that). In the 1820s, Lord Byron encouraged people to drink water mixed with apple cider vinegar in an effort to shed weight. At this time, other liquid-only diets were suggested and have stuck around since then. Over a hundred years later, the Grapefruit Diet rose to popularity, which encouraged a low calorie diet and a piece of this fruit with every meal. These relatively harmless diets were followed by others such as the founding of Weight Watchers in 1963, Slim Fast (a diet of mostly shakes with a daily substantial meal) and The Atkins Diet (low-carb, high protein) came onto the scene in the 1970s. In the 2000s, the South Beach Diet (a less intense version of Atkins) and juice cleanses become more popular and caught numerous followers.

In more recent years, the Paleo Diet burst onto the scene. This diet, however, has already proven its effectiveness.

The Paleo Diet

Why has the Paleo diet achieved so much popularity in recent years? To start, people began realizing that we’ve evolved over the last few million years from hunters and gatherers, but that it’s only within the last 10,000 or so years that humans settled onto farms and began producing food that way. Many argue that this period of time is incredibly short compared to the rest of human history and that our bodies have not yet properly adapted to consuming food this way. The root of this argument? Paleo diet is evolutionarily and historically best for the human body.

A main point of the Paleo Diet is cutting out grains, because our bodies haven’t developed to digest these properly, which explains the prevalence of gluten intolerance. Those suffering from celiac allergies are able to cut out gluten and eat a healthy diet through the paleo diet. The paleo diet has also helped reduce people’s symptoms who suffer from autoimmune diseases, along with various other conditions. Some people theorize that a root cause of many diseases lies in our incorrect diet, so switching to the paleo diet can help fix these issues. You’ll also take-in less sugars on the paleo diet, which can fight obesity and many other health issues, such as tooth decay, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Paleo is still gaining steam, but those who follow the diet sing its praises and swear that it’s the best diet for any human.

What are your thoughts? What fad diets have you tried over the last few years (or decades)?

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Paleo Diet Secrets: 5 Tips to Survive and Enjoy Your First Month

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If cutting calories is not an aspect of dieting that you particularly enjoy, the Paleo Diet just may be the diet you’ve been looking for. Based on the types of food our ancient ancestors ate, this unique approach to eating healthier promotes optimal immune function, stronger muscles, and healthy bones through foods like grass-fed meat, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils.

This may seem like a difficult diet to maintain, but with the following tips on how to properly manage your first month, you’ll be able to develop healthy eating habits that could last a lifetime.

Budget your trips to the grocery store

Introducing non-processed foods and organic meats into your diet can rack up a pricey grocery bill. Be sure to write down what you plan to buy before entering the store, and set a price limit. A simple mistake first-time dieters tend to make is spending much more on expensive products because they fall under the category of “what to eat.” Research the least expensive foods that still fulfill your diet needs, and don’t go overboard.

Prepare meals the night before

If you are following this diet while contributing to the working world, first of all, hats off to you. To make your life a little easier, make any lunches or snacks that you plan to eat the next day the night before. This not only saves time but can build a healthy routine that could contribute to the successes of your diet in the long run.

Snack in between meals

Cutting carbs and dairy products out of your typical diet commonly leads to feeling hungry more often in the early stages. Luckily, the Paleo Diet allows you to eat a snack in between breakfast and lunch, and again before dinner. Your best choices for these mini-meals could be sliced lean beef, seasonal fruit, sliced apples, or raw nuts.

Exercise

The best way to see results faster from this diet is to exercise on top of it. In addition to improving results of the diet, this is an extremely healthy lifestyle habit to develop. Even if your day is a little too busy to squeeze in a quick workout, exercising just three to five times a week is sufficient.

Get creative!

Just because you’re dieting doesn’t mean every one of your meals must be bland and tasteless. Take advantage of all the foods you are able to eat, and find some fun recipes online, or come up with your own. Your options are endless!

Though starting a diet can seem like a dismal process, it is a practice that you will not regret. The Paleo Diet is an effective and easy way to improve your daily eating habits and can build healthy routines along the way. Once you begin to see results, the rest will come naturally.

Why Cycling? Reasons Why Cycling Should Become Your Next Addiction

There are countless hobbies and activities in the world that people take up every day, but few are as valuable as cycling. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider adopting this healthy habit.

Lose Weight and Increase Health

Not only can cycling promote weight loss, but this form of exercise can also improve your body’s overall well-being. This activity is an extremely effective way to burn calories depending on the intensity of the ride, and size of the rider, using several muscle groups throughout. According to National Healthcare Provider Solutions, cycling can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50% as well.

Photo of a bike and cyclist

Be Happier

With exercise comes a rush of endorphins. Cycling is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can perform, and in turn, can reduce stress. If you’re feeling down or having a bad day, just a 30-minute bike ride is all it takes to release a surge of endorphins powerful enough to counter any negativity that you’re harboring. Introducing cycling into your weekly routine can create long lasting benefits to your mental health.

Become Environmentally Friendly

Perhaps one of the more obvious upsides to cycling is the eco-friendly aspect. Unlike driving a car, bicycles use no fuel, require no batteries or motor oil, and take little energy to make, all of which can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to helping out our planet, cycling also decreases traffic congestion, making that daily commute just a little bit easier for everyone on the road.

Kick Unhealthy Habits

Developing a positive addiction to cycling can take the place of any harmful dependencies you may struggle with, whether those are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or overeating. Devoting time to this new hobby will reduce time available to give in to these unhealthy habits, and can create a routine that will eventually phase them out entirely.

Photo of a bike and cyclist

Bond with Friends and Family

Cycling is arguably one of the most social physical activities you can be a part of. Chances are there is a cycling club in or around your local area, in which you can build new friendships and connections within the community. This is also a hobby that the whole family can enjoy. The youngest of family members can join the ride in a bike seat and enjoy the scenery, while the oldest can ride alongside themselves, enjoying the fact that cycling is easy on the joints. With how impressionable children are, this also a great way to develop healthy habits early on, as they will see how cycling is a standard part of your day and want to mimic your actions.

So, if you’re seeking a new hobby, a different form of exercise or just an activity to remove the mundane from your life, cycling is one of your best options. Research what bicycles may work best for you, strap on a helmet, and begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Photo of a bike and cyclist