You eat kale once a week. You can tolerate green juice and workout some what regularly. By all means you live a healthy lifestyle but some days are harder than others. Here are 3 healthy habits you are not doing that could be sabotaging your efforts and playing games with your mind.
#1. You know your BMR and use it to adjust your diet!
Knowing your BMR allows you to figure out how many calories your body needs to function properly. Multiply this number by 1.2 (sedentary), 1.5 (desk job with a 1 hour daily workout) or 1.7 (active job on feet all day and workout) to find out how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Subtract 500 calories for a rough estimate on how many calories you should consume to lose 1-2 lbs a week. On days you literally do nothing, I’m talking about a hangover on the couch, stick closer to your BMR. If you’re exercising more, like training for a long run, allow yourself to eat more to maintain energy levels. I do not believe a calorie is a calorie or that you need to count each one every day, but it’s helpful to know this number. Some people eat way too low when they first start a weight loss plan causing their bodies to go into starvation mode.
I had mine professionally taken by Fitness Wave and this simple calculator on MyFitnessPal gave me the same number.
#2. You measure your weight loss goals by body fat percentage and not a number on the scale.
Dear god, please do not tell me you want to weigh 125 lbs because that is what you think would be your ideal goal weight without knowing your body fat. I was one of those girls once. Then I learned that I had a lot of muscle and to get down to my “goal weight” meant I would have to drop down to 10% body fat – aka NOT HEALTHY. I’m 5’5 1/2 (I need that half) and my weight fluctuates between 132-138. Even at 137 lbs I still have between 15-16% body fat according to a hydrostatic testing which is one of the most accurate. At 130 lbs, my willpower fights what my body wants until I gain a few pounds back. This is the weight I drop down to on occasion for photo shoots where I’ll be next to six pack abs models. This photo below is from October 2012 when I am around 132 lbs with 15% body fat. See how I lost the last 5 lbs here if you are interested, but I have since gained most of it back – some of it muscle thanks to Barry’s.
It is not healthy to try to achieve a weight that is below a healthy body fat percentage. The “ideal” body fat range depending on age for health is between 15-25%. These are vanity pounds that eventually will jeopardize your health. To try to achieve a specific number without knowing your body can be defeating and have the opposite effect.
To find your body fat percentage, ask a personal trainer, Google for a near by hydrostatic test or grab a body analysis scale. My top pick right now is the Vitagoods Digital Body Analyzer scale, which you can get for 50% using my promo code Sarahfit for $49 (originally $99). I got it right after my body fat was measured in the dunk tank and gave me almost identical numbers. I waste my money on expensive tests so you don’t have to I guess.
#3. When you want to lose a pound or five, you know it’s your diet that probably needs work.
Working out is amazing for all the benefits it provides but a stellar fitness routine will never beat out a poor diet. Forty-five minutes of cardio burns roughly 450 calories on a 140 lb 25-30 yr old female. That is about 4 light beers and if you are my age or older, you may not drink that on a regular Friday night basis but if you are like the younger Sarah “Fit”, that is probably your pre game. It’s easy to over eat, over snack, and over drink these days. Snacking is my weakness when it comes to portion control so I always try to use packages that come portion controlled or I do it myself. One of my favorite go to snacks include heart healthy nuts and trail mixes because they satisfy a salty and sweet cravings. Thankfully companies are listening to my plight and making single serving bags! Orchard Valley Harvest just released a new line of mini bags, one ounce portion controlled snacks, available now at Market Basket around the Boston area.
Offering a mix of fruit and nut combinations in addition to almonds, cashews and pistachios, each bag is certified GMO-free. These are great to add a little more protein to your snacks (I like the pistachios) or satisfy a sweet tooth, the minis are a great grab and go snack choice. I love the dark chocolate almonds to satisfy a sweet tooth. If I have 2 or the whole bag, I know I’m in control.
Orchard Valley Harvest Giveaway
I’m giving away a prize pack from Orchard Valley Harvest to one reader today that includes a variety of the minis PLUS a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, $250 Market Basket Gift Cards (MA grocery store) and a Define Bottle water bottle. To enter, leave a comment down below sharing your own unique healthy habit or one that helped you reach a goal.
This post is sponsored by Orchard Valley Harvest. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Contest will end June 24th at 12am.