Calculate the number of calories you need to burn

I would like to introduce another important formula and that is the calculation of the number of calories you need to burn from exercising in order to lose or maintain your weight. With your healthcare provider’s help you can determine how many calories you are currently consuming and how many you will need to consume each day to reach your weight loss goal.

The focus of my posts will be on exercise and not diet.  However, since these two diabetic remedies are so interrelated I need to briefly outline a few things here. Firstly, I would like to encourage you to visit with a dietitian. They can establish a proper diet for you to follow each day. This will take the guess-work out of planning your daily meals.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to start keeping a food journal where you can log your daily food intake. Your dietitian will probably recommend you do this anyway. In doing this you can clearly see what foods are sabotaging your diet.  This will make it easy for you to track the number of calories you consume each day and adjust accordingly.  Product labels make this easy to do.  You can also get a calorie-counting book, such as the one by Dr. Atkins, at a reasonable price.

If you are taking in 3000 calories per day and you want to lose weight then cut your caloric intake by 500 per day. This averages to be 2000 – 2500 per week just from adjusting your diet. When you add an effective exercise program to this you will be amazed at the amount of weight you will lose. You should begin moving towards your normal body weight.

To determine how much you need to exercise in order to lose weight you will want to figure out the amount of energy that a particular exercise uses up in a certain amount of time. One way of doing this is to use metabolic equivalent units of an activity or METs as it is more commonly referred to. (A MET value means Metabolic Equivalent of Task.) It can also be defined as multiples of your resting metabolic rate or (RMR).

Your RMR is the number of calories you use while resting (e.g. sitting quietly reading a book or watching TV or lying in bed). The resting metabolic rate for the average person is one calorie per kilogram of body weight per hour. (A kilogram is 2.2 pounds.). In terms of oxygen used, it is 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.

N.B. If you burn more calories than the average person then you have a high metabolism and conversely if you burn less then you have a low metabolism.

How much calories does your exercise burn up?

Scientists have devised the following formula to calculate the amount of calories burned during an activity:

1 calorie per minute = METS x Body Wt. (kilogram) x 3.5 (constant)/200 (constant).

(To convert pounds to kilograms, simple divide your body weight by 2.2. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds your weight would be 77.3 Kg (170 LBs / 2.2 = 77.3 Kg).)

Let’s say, for example, you were interested in swimming laps at a moderate rate for exercise. We will calculate the number of calories that a 170 LB man would burn per minute based on the following:

1) Body weight of 170 pounds or 77.3 kilograms

2) The metabolic equivalent unit of swimming laps at a moderate rate is 8. This can be found by reviewing a MET chart. (I will print a MET chart in a later post)

8 x 77.3 x 3.5 / 200 = 10.8 calories per minute.

If your goal were to burn-up 2000 calories per week you can easily figure out how much you need to exercise each day to meet that goal. Do this by taking your weekly goal of 2000 and divide by 10.8 calories to determine how many minutes you must exercise per week to meet your goal. In this case it would be 185 (2000/10.8) minutes or a little over three hours per week. You then take the number of minutes per week and divide it into daily exercise sessions.  So if you plan to exercise 5 days per week it would average out to be 37 minutes per day.

Combine the above caloric expenditure with a proper diet and nutrition program and in 6 to 8 weeks you can transform the way your body looks now into the new you.

If you can reduce your caloric intake by 400-500 per day, and burn 300 or more per day by exercising for five days each week, you would lose 1 – 2 pounds per week.  Don’t expect to lose more than this.  You didn’t gain the extra weight quickly, so you shouldn’t lose it as fast as many diet plans would have you believe.

I want to encourage you to become involved in some form of organized sporting activity.  It should be an activity that is challenging and fun to do. The time you spend exercising should be geared to preparing your for this sporting event. It could be cycling, self-defense, speed walking, shuffleboard, golfing or even billiards.

In training for this event you will include resistance exercises as well as cardiovascular improvement. You will be amazed at how quickly you will become good at this activity. Work the muscles needed to excel in this activity to be competitive.

To a healthier you,

Owen Lecky

Exercises for Diabetes

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