Wellness News 7-18
Sunday, September 28, 2008

By Deana M. Newman, M.A., C.C.P.

It's no secret that successful weight loss is a personal science.  It requires discovering your body's current energy needs, calculating and understanding daily caloric intake, along with determining how much exercise is required to avoid gaining those extra pounds.  It's enough to make anyone scream.
Losing control over managing your weight has severe and often times fatal consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and premature death to name a few.  Fortunately, from the previous articles, we've learned minor changes can easily equate to major changes over time, such as, eating more fruits and vegetables, decreasing consumption of foods high in fat, exercising using 10 minute workout videos, using the stairs at work instead of the elevator and walking during lunch breaks. 
While increasing exercise and eating healthier foods can help you lose weight, have you ever considered how your daily choice of beverages can affect reaching personal weight loss goals?  The table below is a glance of the caloric content of common non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages:

SEE CHART BELOW                       
To put the data into valuable knowledge, it should be known that one pound of body fat equals 3500 calories.  In other words, if a person consumes an extra 350 beverage-calories over a ten day period, he or she would gain one pound on the tenth day. Therefore, understanding the rate of personal weight gain also assists in determining by how many calories they are over eating daily.  

Mifflin's Resting Metabolic Rate formula (RMR), listed below, is widely used as an estimator for the amount of calories an individual's body will burn on its own per day.  Again, the formula is simply an estimate and does not account for additional variables altering metabolic rates such as current body fat percentage, pregnancy, diseases of the thyroid, diabetes etc.
    RMR for men = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age) + 5
    RMR for women = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age) - 161

In using Mifflin's RMR, a 37 year old, 5 foot 9 inch male weighing 200 pounds would burn approximately 1,824 calories at rest per day, meaning this is the minimum amount of calories his body needs to function properly.  In order to lose weight without depriving the body of its necessary fuel, increasing physical activity will create an “energy deficit”.  Over time, the increase in exercise along with making wiser food and beverage choices, the body fat will gradually disappear. 
Now is the time to take control of your physical health and not let your physical health take control of you. Live smarter by choosing the foods you eat wisely.  Take advantage of nutritional resources via the internet and websites of your favorite restaurants as a guide.  Many “food-mistakes” are avoided when you plan ahead. 


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