How Many Calories?

Now it is time to get serious about reaching your desired weight. Time to get healthy! It’s a lifestyle change to forming healthy habits.

Do you know if you are overweight? Use this calculator to determine your BMI.

What should I weigh?

This was a very scary number for me. When I first started my diet at just under 200 lbs, my goal was to lose 35 lbs. That was what my doctor said he would be happy if I lost that much. Boy, was he surprised when he saw me a year later!

Because I formed “habits” instead of just dieting, the weight came off at a steady pace. Out of curiosity, I kept going. That’s how I was able to lose 70 lbs.

According to the ideal weight calculator, I settled in the middle. “Based on the healthy BMI recommendation, your recommended weight is 107.8 lbs – 145.6 lbs”Yup, a big difference from 200 lbs.

When you look at the weight I settled on around 130 lbs, it was more weight than the low boundary for my age/gender/height/weight. I settled in the middle because I enjoyed life of eating out and with dessert. I just found this plan and habits I’m sharing with you that helped me to maintain.

Start with a small goal. Work towards what is the high end of the weight range for what is your ideal weight is to be according to this ideal weight calculator.

Know the numbers?

You won’t be successful without knowing your boundaries.

  1. How many calories are you eating now?
  2. How many calories will you eat at your desired weight?
  3. How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

I found this simple calorie intake calculator that provides you an idea of:

  1. where you are now,
  2. where you want to be, and
  3. how to get there.

Play a little with the calorie intake calculator. Jot down the numbers on a piece of paper as you answer these questions:

  • Answer the questions (gender, age, weight, height) using your current weight.
  • Be honest with your current activity level. Look at low activity (for rainy days or days working at your desk) and at moderate activity (normal days with walks).
  • Are you eating more calories than they recommend for maintenance?

Ignore the losing weight fast. If you are in it for the long haul towards healthy habits and getting in shape; going slow and easy is the best way. The only time I used the losing weight fast was on days I was sick. I would make sure I ate the minimum for low activity days. If I consumed only that amount of calories for more than a day, I would be so stressed with cravings that I would eat everything in site! Usually eating around 3,000 calories. That would blow at least a week’s worth of dieting!

Start recording what you eat?

Do you know how many calories you eat? We are going to start doing that now.

Using the smartphone app for weight lose (I use Noom) to record what you eat, enter in everything (except spices). Most apps have a food finder. Let’s say you had chicken parmesan for lunch.  Search for it and select the size. The truth is, your eyes are misleading.  Always select a slightly bigger size than you think you ate. We will get to weighing your food in a later post. For now, the healthy habit is to record what you think you ate.

At the end of the day, see if you are in the calorie range of your desired weight. If you are like me, probably not. No fear, we’ll start to work on that next week. For now, just start recording everything you eat.

Be honest. Include that cookie or Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcake. You are only fooling yourself if you don’t. Just imagine how great it will feel when people see you AFTER you reached your goal!

How are your daily to do’s?

Are you still gaining weight? I did when I first started. In fact, I did this time as well. This is a lifestyle change. You are forming healthy habits. The weight, as we add a new healthy habit each week, will come off. Just stick with me. Follow your daily to do list.

Get Back In Shape To Do List

  1. Weigh In DAILY (recording the date/weight)
  2. Increase your steps every day by 250.
  3. Eat your meals within 12 hours.
  4. Drink 64 oz of water a day.
  5. Record what you eat.

Motivational Reminders:

  • Healthy habits help you lose and maintain a good weight and health.
  • A scale is just the provider of information to help you make healthier choices.
  • Don’t just eat more calories; earn them!
  • Flush out the bloat.
  • Know your calorie boundaries.

Welcome to the journey to better health! You can do it!

Retaining water?

This is the last “healthy habit” to start forming before the diet. Next week we’ll start talking about calories.

Excess water?

I have to admit that I’m still not very good at drinking 8 glasses of 8 oz of water a day. Even knowing these benefits:

  1. flushes out toxins
  2. flushes out excess water retention (flush the bloat)
  3. flushes out bad germs (I get much less colds when I remember to drink)

The problem is, I need to know where every bathroom is between here and there … even if I don’t know where there is.

It’s still an important healthy habit to start.

My trick this time around is to create a pattern of drinking.

  • I drink 1 cup of water before I eat any meal or snack. That’s 4 glasses a day at least.
  • I drink 1 cup of water after I finish a meal or snack. That’s 4 glasses a day.
  • Before I snack on chocolate or other non-diet food (chips, Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes), I will drink another ABOVE glass of water first.

This will help me to feel fuller longer.

Why not try it yourself. See if this routine works for you.

  • Remember to record how many glasses you actually drink a day. Then you can see your daily average over a week. I’m using S Health to register both my water and coffee.
  • Remember to make a mental note where all the bathrooms are. You’ll need to know.
  • Buy Poise or something similar. It helps me on those long walks when my 81 lb puppy doesn’t care to hurry home.

How are your daily to do’s?

The only thing that kept me from gaining all my weight back was my daily weigh-in. By the time I fell (will share that story in another post), I knew the impact of eating and not exercising would have. I saw the results every day when I weighed in. I set a limit in my mind. I would remain in the “normal” BMI but would stop short of crossing out of the normal range. I was saved by my daily weigh-in’s and recording.

I’m still weighing in.  How about you?

I’m averaging about 7,000 steps a day (according to S Health Weekly Summary). How about you? Are you over 4,000 steps yet? The goal is to reach 10,000 steps per day for good health.

Are your app’s on your home screen? It does help when you see them every day.

Motivational Reminders:

  • Healthy habits help you lose and maintain a good weight.
  • A scale is just the provider of information to help you make healthier choices.
  • Don’t just eat more calories; earn them!
  • Flush out the bloat.

Get Back To Health To Do List

  1. Weigh In DAILY (recording the date/weight)
  2. Increase your steps every day by 250.
  3. Eat your meals within 12 hours.
  4. Drink 64 oz of water a day.

Welcome to the journey to better health! You can do it!

Twelve Hour Refueling Period

How are your daily to do’s?

I’m still weighing in.  How about you?

I’m averaging over 3,500 steps a day, even though I’ve dealt with rain. How about you?

What apps did you download to your smartphone? I’m curious. Email me and let me know which one’s you liked. Remember to tell me if you are Android or iPhone.

What’s your schedule?

As many of you know, I live with a 17yo parrot named Scarlet. She is a Solomon Island Eclectus.

She demands (yes, that is the right word) her meals at specific times.

  • About 5 minutes before a meal I’ll hear “hello”.
  • About a minute before I’ll hear a little louder “Hello”.
  • At meal time I hear “HELLO”.
  • And if I’m late … I’ll hear “WELL HELLLLOOOOO!”

Your body calls.

As you form your new healthy habits, your body will come to expect food on a regular schedule.

This week, jot down WHEN you eat. Starting with Breakfast and ending with Dinner.

I know, many of you are saying you don’t have a regular schedule. Work or life in general just doesn’t allow for rigid schedules.

Either did I. That was part of the problem with other diets. My body was always craving because my body didn’t know when I was going to refuel.

However, once I started finding a somewhat regular feeding schedule, my body stopped craving. I have found that the schedule can vary about an hour. Any more than that and I go into such a craving mode. When I finally get to eat, I find that I can’t stop eating.

This begins with breakfast. I found that if I ate breakfast around 8:30 am to 9:00 am, I was able to keep a 3 to 4 hour eating schedule. My schedule turned out to be:

  • 9:00 am Eat Breakfast
  • 1:00 pm Eat Lunch
  • 4:00 pm Eat a Snack
  • 7:00 pm Eat Dinner

This way if dinner fell late (around 8 pm), I still finished eating before 9:00 pm. That means I ate within a 12 hour schedule.  My cravings also started to decrease because I was refueling every 3 hours. If I had calories left over for the day, I would also treat myself just before 9:00 pm.

The twelve hour window

Keeping your eating schedule within twelve hours has been scientifically proven to aid in losing weight. Granted, the study was done on mice. However, I found for me, it helped. My body didn’t need food after twelve hours IF I stuck to the 3 to 4 hour eating schedule.

Now, if you eat breakfast before going to work (around 6:00 am), that means you can not eat anything past 6:00 pm. That’s tough.

What worked for me was to wait until I reached the office to eat. That also helped me for the weekends. Weekends resulted in eating around 9:30 am. That still was within the hour adjustment from the regular eating time. My body became accustomed to a regular twelve hour refueling. No more late night cravings.

Try to find a workable twelve-hour refueling schedule this week. Jot down WHEN you eat. As the week progresses, try to eat every 3 to 3.5 hours.

Motivational Reminders:

  • Healthy habits help you lose and maintain a good weight.
  • A scale is just the provider of information to help you make healthier choices.
  • Don’t just eat more calories; earn them!

Get Back To Health To Do List

  1. Weigh In DAILY (recording the date/weight)
  2. Increase your steps every day by 250.
  3. Eat your meals within 12 hours.

Welcome to the journey to better health! You can do it!

Smartphone Healthy Apps to Help Your Success

How is your daily weigh-in going?

I’m still weighing in. Even though I’m still working through some of the holiday treats. Some days I’m up. Some days I’m down. Right now, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m weighing in daily. How about you?

Continue weighing in. Starting tomorrow, jot down your weight. You will notice that the act of marking your weight down you will notice progress. You will notice what causes your weight to go up and what helps to have it go down. You will soon be able to predict tomorrow’s weight based upon what you did today.

Remember, a scale is just the provider of information for you to start making healthier choices.

It takes diet and exercise

I saw an ad today saying lose 7 to 9 inches without diet and surgery. Yeah, right! That’s an unhealthy way to get back to health! It takes switching bad habits to healthy habits to reach a healthy weight with muscles to support your bones. You don’t have to do weight training (though that is what I do) or join a crossfit gym (the current craze). All you really need to do at this stage is walk.

It is important to start slow and work up to the government recommended 10,000 steps per day. Start your health training by walking 2,000 steps today. Increase each day by 250 steps. That means you’ll be up to 3,500 steps by the end of the week. If you can do more steps consistently, GREAT!

If it rains, walk the halls. Visit an indoor garage and walk. In no time you’ll be walking 3 to 6 miles a day (like I do with my wonderful pup).

Do you have a smartphone?

I’m making an assumption that you own a smartphone. If you do not, buy a journal to hand record items I’m going to suggest you follow.

I have these apps on my smartphone to help me with my #getbackinshape goals.

  1. A Habit Tracker: I use Habit Bull. The free version allows up to 5 habits. So, one habit can be: Weigh In. Take a look at apps that are available for your phone.
  2. A Health Monitor: I use Samsung Health to monitor my blood pressure, stress level, weight, steps, sleep, water intake, coffee intake. I’m sure apple/iphone has one of these as well. Otherwise, just look at all the apps. If you like, use a FitBit. My niece says that device is the most accurate. I don’t care which one you use. Just use one consistently.
  3. Timer: I downloaded a basic free timer. You will need this for upcoming weeks.
  4. Music Player: iTunes, Google Music, Samsung Music. Doesn’t matter. What will matter is that you have music to keep you going. Start creating a playlist of music to get you up and motivated. For me, I play ZZ Top, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and others when I row. For walking, I have an easy listening list of classical music.
  5. Diet Planner: Noom (available for google and apple) is what I used to lose the 70 lbs. It has changed a bit over the last 3 years. Some new features I like, some just complicate things. Check out what is available for your phone. The features you will want is the ability to put a food item in for a specific meal and get an approximate calorie count. What I like about Noom is that it recommends a daily calorie count. If you want more food/calories, get your butt out and do some exercise. Earn more calories! Don’t just eat more calories! 

You are on this journey to success, make it easier for yourself. Don’t hide these apps on a distant page on your phone. Put these apps on the home page. Make sure you see them every time you startup your smartphone!

Get Back To Health To Do List

  1. Download apps or set up a journal
  2. Weigh In DAILY
  3. Jot down the date/weight (use one of the downloaded apps or write it down in a journal)
  4. Walk 2,000 steps today. Increase by 250 each day.

Welcome to the journey to better health! You can do it!

The scale habit matters

Get Back In Shape Tip #1: Weigh yourself EVERY DAY!

Decades ago, I went to Weight Watchers. One of the things they told me was to only weigh yourself weekly. Because everyone’s weight fluctuates during the week, it was our coaches belief that people will give up as soon as you saw the scale go in the wrong direction.

I have a different perspective on this topic. I weigh myself DAILY.

What has helped me not to gain a lot of weight back was using the scale as a provider of data. Not as an enemy or as a sign of failure.

Yes, the scale does go up and up at times. It will also go down and down more. Avoiding the scale is denying yourself valuable information that will be helpful.

I learned, as will you, that any decisions on food and exercise will affect what appears on that scale. That will actually be input as you decide not to exercise or to have that extra dessert. Both are okay, as long as you become comfortable with the result.

You will start to plan for big events. Scheduling different meals before and after a vacation. Scheduling exercises around holidays. Because you will learn what you do affects the one metric that helps you get back in shape. Eating and exercising have the biggest impact on your health and your ability to get back in shape.

This one tip has helped me not gain all my weight back. In fact, the time I didn’t weigh myself (on a wonderful trip to Paris), is when ten pounds came back on.

Even after a fall and I couldn’t exercise, I weighed myself every day. I saw the scale go up and up. Because I understood from years of weighing myself daily, I was able to analyze why. I knew that I had too many calories entering my body without a lot of activity to compensate. I changed that and saw the scale go down and down more.

Time to form your first new health habit.

Your first tip to getting back in shape is to weigh yourself DAILY. Everyday! When you wake up! Make weighing yourself one of the first things you do for yourself.

Don’t worry what the number says. I’m more interested that for today and going forward, that you weigh yourself first thing every morning.

If you do not have a scale at home, buy one with BIG numbers. If you aren’t at that age yet, you will be!



Pat, where have you been?

Where have you been?

Yeah, it’s been a bit of time since I blogged.

I admit that I needed a break. I focused all my time on my personal life.

I raised a puppy. I even wrote a book about it. (I’ll talk  more about that in another post.)

Where are you now?

What is more important now is that I missed writing/blogging. I just didn’t know what to blog about.

My old website, Viditude!, was hacked twice. (I’ll talk more about that in another post.)

I decided the easiest fix was to move Viditude! to my personal website.

This provides me the opportunity to blog about more than videos. Heck so much good information is already out there. Some of it by me. Just search the archives under the category of Viditude.

Please allow me the freedom to blog about a wide range of topics until I find what fits.

Where are you going?

That brings me to what I’m going to blog about next.

I’m thrilled that I lost the 70 lbs two years ago. Unfortunately, this year brought many slips and falls (more about that in another post). Some of my weight has returned. Not a lot. Enough for me to be concerned that I will become the commonly known statistic that people who lose a lot of weight, gain it back within 5 years. I REFUSE!

Since I’m still asked how I lost the weight, I’m going to publicly blog about each step I took (and am taking again) to lose the weight. I plan on following the same plan. It’s slow and steady. It’s about forming some new healthy habits. It does help you lose and maintain.

Want to join me?

Hey, it’s 2017. January 1st starts on a Sunday. Beginning of a new year and a new week and a new me (and you).

Watch this blog. Search for the category/tag #getbackinshape . It took me 11 months to lose the 70 lbs. So please, if you are joining me, don’t give up. You are worth it! I’d love the company during this ride.

I hope to post weekly … every Sunday to help us both start our week. Let’s get back in shape together by forming new habits. Get others to join us by sharing this post.


Viditude! Montclair NJ 973.619.9353