Understanding how to track your body weight can be confusing. You need to pay some attention to calories, and understand that your level of physical activity needs to be taken into account.
Reducing The Right Amount
Starving yourself to lose weight is an ineffective method, as many thousands have discovered the hard way. Your body needs the right nutrients to be healthy. When it perceives a shortage, it changes your metabolism to lose weight more slowly – and if your goal is weight loss, you don’t want that to happen. That’s one of the reasons why fad diets can be not only useless, but counterproductive.
How Do I Get Accurate Information On Tracking My Body Weight?
If you’re not already a client of mine, there’s a Body Weight Planner tool you can use to get an accurate picture of how many calories you should be consuming, based on your activity levels and weight loss goals. It’s provided by the US government Department of Agriculture, and you can find it here.
Limits Of The Body Weight Tracker
This tool isn’t for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, and doesn’t take into account your medical history. I’m still convinced your most effective weight loss will come from working with a medical weight loss specialist doctor, but if that’s not an option for you, this is a place to start.
How Do I Estimate Calories Required?
To use the Body Weight Tracker, you fill in four small screens of information. First, you feed in a few facts about your weight, gender, age, height. It asks you to estimate your level of physical activity at home and at work. See the image below.
When you hit “Next Step”, you’ll be asked about your goal weight, and how soon you want to reach it. You can state the number of days you plan to take to lose the weight, or you can pick a target date.
The third screen asks you how much you plan to change your physical activity. You set a percentage here… are you planning to become more active by 10%, or keep things the same as they’ve always been? Hit the small Calculate button for some help. For example, in the image below, adding 20 minutes of swimming twice per week was a 7% increase in physical activity. You can add multiple activities.
The final screen tells you, based on the information you’ve already added, what your calorie consumption needs to be to reach your goal. It also covers the important step of mentioning what it should be AFTER you reach your goal, to maintain your weight loss.
You can go back and change any of the data you’ve added to see what would happen if… if you decided to go for a short walk every night after dinner, for example.
Notice that there’s an “Expert Mode” button in the upper right. There’s much more detail and other options there, and you can even turn on more advanced controls in that mode.
Get Some Personalized Help Planning Your Calorie Requirements
The Body Weight Planner can give you a bit of a reality check on what it takes to lose weight, but it also provides some good information about how increasing your physical activity can help. Of course, all of this information is only part of the weight loss picture, and if existing medical conditions (or their medications) are affecting your weight gain, you really need to talk to a weight loss doctor.
If you’re in Hawaii, you can book a free inital consultation with me by calling (808) 551-4348. You can also simply fill out the form on this website, and we’ll have a personalized chat about your body weight goals.