If you have no markers to tell you whether you are heading in the right direction, how can you be sure you will arrive at your planned destination?
Want to wake up one day miraculously 2 Stone Lighter?
Measuring and tracking progress provides an opportunity to celebrate small success along the way; or, correct quickly if straying from the goal ”
Got your attention right?
But did you wake up one morning all of a sudden 2 stone heavier? Of course not.
Subtle changes over months and years have culminated into additional weight, larger dress sizes, back ache, fatigue, irritable bowel and in some cases high blood pressure or even diabetes.
Why on earth did that happen you ask?
Well a variety of reasons: we are not really taught how to nourish our bodies with the foods we eat; we get busy doing things that do not require us to move our bodies; we get even busier so rely on more processed foods than fresh produce; but most importantly we get so busy – we stop paying attention.
When we do not pay attention we miss the subtle signs our bodies use to indicate things are going in the wrong direction… we put the dry skin & hair down to the water in our area – better slather on a more expensive cream or conditioner; the recurring flu is because our kids keep bringing something home from school – spend some money on echinacea; the bloating is that time of the month (but it just forgets to subside??)… the bad back is well, doesn’t everyone have a bad back. Finally we tell ourselves … oh I guess I’m getting older – this just goes with the territory…”
How do we pay attention?
To pay attention and begin steering our health in the right direction, we need to assess where we are today and have a clear view of where we need to be to feel better.
Really question those aches, the headaches, the migraines, the bloating, the exhaustion, stiff joints – was it always like this? When did things start to change?
That would good feel like? An ability to get out of bed full of energy in the morning? Lower blood pressure? Less mind-fog at work? An ability to play with the children when they want?
And then calibrate – what is your current body mass index (BMI), Your fasting glucose level, your weight, your basal metabolic rate (BMR), your blood pressure, waist measurement, hip measurement, etc. What are the recommended levels for someone your gender, age and height?
What is your plan to address any indicators that are off kilter? Which changes will help you get back the feeling you might be missing?
Once you have a plan, the next step is to track changes to the indicators AND track changes to how you are feeling – is your plan taking you in the right direction?
One key number you need to know if one of your goals is to lose weight is your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
The low down on BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body needs to keep doing the stuff that keeps you alive – you know – nourish your brain, keep your heart pumping blood, etc.…
Why would you wat to know your BMR you ask?
Well this number helps us estimate how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight – eat more and you will gain weight, eat less and you will lose weight – as simple as that (almost).
Your BMR will vary depending on your current weight and age – so the person that needs 1350kcal per day at age 43 will need 40kcal less per day 5 years later and even less if they lose weight during that time.
Knowing this number, and understanding how much additional energy you burn (or not) in day to day activities gives you a clear idea of how much you can eat to maintain, lose or gain weight.
However this is just the start – not all calories are created equal – I could stay within my calorie limit eating nothing but donuts every day and lose weight however my skin, hair, nails, and joints will not thank me for this approach. Your plan must provide your body with the nutrients needed to thrive and resist disease. Have a look at my blogs about carbs and fat and supplements to get more ideas.
Want to start making a difference?