Getting real with calories, disability and the 30-lb-turkey

Let’s get rid of that “30-lb-turkey” and make our lives with disability easier

30-lb-turkey, it’s hard to carry that around all day


Part two of a three part series on losing weight sensibly for everyone but especially those living with disabilities who have limited mobility. The goal is to make our life with a disability easier and healthier.
The easiest way to lose weight is stop eating as much. Maintaining a balanced diet on reduced calories is the best way to lose weight, period.
Yesterday in Losing weight when you have a disability we covered the “30-lb-turkey” we are carrying when we are above our ideal weight.  How’s that turkey feeling today, a little heavy?
The standard stuff about losing weight through exercise or joining Jenny Craig doesn’t cut it for those with disabilities.
First, most of us are already doing whatever we can physically and moderate exercise only tones muscles bu does not reduce the “30-lb-turkey”.
Second, Jenny Craig and those weight loss programs are not geared to people with disabilities. They give you really impossible suggestions. No problem. Exercise isn’t needed.

Fewer calories means weight loss
Obesity is related to caloric intake, your activity level and genetics (as in how fast you metabolize or burn food).
Obesity is not connected specifically to any one food since the body works on the basis of food energy converted to sugar and sugar to energy. Eat more calories than you need and they are stored as fat, that darned “30-lb-turkey”.
If you are not disabled, of course, you can exercise and convert food to muscle tissue but those living with disability have a limited ability to exercise.
Everyone has a metabolic rate, the rate at which they burn calories during the day.  It varies by sex, age, and genetics.  Isn’t it hateful that the person next to you can be skinny and eat like a hog? That’s life and their metabolic rate set in their genes.
For a quick calculator of your metabolic rate, click here and enter your age, sex, and height.
Mine is about 1,700 calories a day, which is average for a male my age. A woman my age, height and weight would have a metabolic rate of 1,500. Cruel eh?
When I eat about that 1,700 calories per day on average, my weight stays the same, no gain and no loss.
In 2002-2004, I learned that lowering my daily calorie intake to about 1,400 calories gave me a gradual weight loss without feeling too hungry.
If I went out to restaurant and splurged on steak and fries with two beers (about 2,800 calories a day), the weight loss would stop. If I did that twice in a week, my weight would go up.
Dropping down to 1,200 calories made the pounds drop off.  An extreme strategy doesn’t work over the long haul because it’s no fun and the weight loss can’t be sustained.
On the cosmetic side, losing weight in a big hurry leaves a lot of stretched skin hanging off your body. Slowly losing the “”30-lb-turkey” gives your skin time to shrink.

Counting calories is hopeless
Have you ever tried counting calories?
Pretty hard to do accurately because we eat hundreds of different foods, prepared in so many ways.  I tried it with an Excel spreadsheet and it was hopeless.
It’s not only the complexity of foods we eat, there is also the concept of “balanced diet” to worry about. You don’t want to sacrifice your health for lower body weight. The “all sauerkraut diet” may cause pounds to drop off but it isn’t healthy.
Knowing calorie intake is important but so is the right amount of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and dozens of other elements of food.
Being a computer type, I looked for a program that simplifies the process. There are several choices in diet software. I settled on www.dietpower.com
 which helped me for over 2 years.
Some of my relatives and friends started using Dietpower as well and got good results.
Have you tried DietPower or another program? Tell us about it.
Tomorrow I’ll go into the details of how the software works, quirks and what you can expect. Cheers.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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