Source: These Five Common Weight Loss MistakesMistake 1: Not ch...
Most people prefer to count the calories they burn while exercising as "extra" calories, butthere is a difference between ...
her calorie expenditure by: (180-113) * 10 = 670 calories a week.She will thus be fooled into thinking that her metabolic ...
Mistake 4: Using "average person" calorie estimationsThere are all kinds of calorie tables on the Internet showing the cal...
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Avoid these five_common_weight_loss_mistakes

  1. 1. Source: These Five Common Weight Loss MistakesMistake 1: Not changing your calorie plan as you lose weight. The fallacy of the "1200 caloriediet" plans and the like.Most people set their calorie intake at a given number and expect to keep losing weight atthe same constant rate over a period of weeks. Therefore dieters look for 1000 calorie or1800 calorie diet plans on web.Simply put, fixed calorie diet plans dont work. If you burn 3000 calories a day at the start ofyour diet, after losing weight for a week or two, you are no longer burning 3000 calories. Nowyou might be burning just 2800 calories.If you maintain a constant calorie intake in the face of a decreasing calorie expenditure, yourweight loss will continuously slow down as you lose weight.If you really want to lose weight at a constant rate, you repeatedly have to:- lower your calorie intake to accommodate the calorie expenditure drop - exercise more to increase your calorie output - do bothIts also important to understand that you have to set realistic and slow weight loss goals. Ifyou opt for fast weight loss, you wont be able to sustain it for a long period unless you go toan extreme in your calorie reduction and exercise plans.For people who want to lose 20 pounds or more, the goal should be a loss of no more than 2pounds per week. Those who need to lose just a small amount of weight should try for weightloss of 1 pound per week.Why does our calorie expenditure drop as we lose weight? The most important factors are:- You weigh less! A smaller, lighter body burns fewer calories both while active and at rest- You may involuntarily burn fewer calories than you did before. Many dieters lack energyand move around less- Calorie restriction lowers the metabolic rate- You have less body fat, which may further suppress your metabolic rateThese important factors contribute to an ever-decreasing calorie expenditure as we loseweight. The more we cut calories, the larger our calorie expenditure drop. Also, the leanerthe dieter, the greater the calorie expenditure drop.Now you need to understand that if you want to succeed in losing weight, you first have tomake changes in your nutrition plan. I recommend burning more calories because itfacilitates smaller calorie restriction and a milder calorie expenditure drop.Its extremely difficult to estimate the rate of the metabolic drop, but as a general rule, thebigger you are, the smaller the rate of the metabolic drop. The more weight you lose, themore you must cut your calorie intake or increase your level of exercise.If youre overweight, you might need to cut 10 more calories for every pound that you lose. Ifyoure lean on the other hand, you might need to cut 60 calories for every pound you lose. (Ichose these numbers just as an example.)Mistake 2: Overreporting the "extra" calorie expenditure of exercise
  2. 2. Most people prefer to count the calories they burn while exercising as "extra" calories, butthere is a difference between calories burned while exercising and "extra" calories burnedwhile exercising!Consider this example: you burn 300 calories by walking on the treadmill instead of yourusual activity (watching TV). In reality, you need to subtract the calories you would havespent watching TV from these 300 calories in order to calculate how many additional caloriesyou have burned.Lets say that if you watched TV you burned 80 calories. In this specific case, you haveexpended 300 calories while exercising, along with 220 "extra" calories.Calorie counters often add the calories burned exercising as "extra", and in some cases thispractice can significantly influence the calorie calculations. Thus, calorie software usuallycounts the part of your usual activities that overlaps with the extra activities twice.How do you estimate the "extra" calories burned while exercising?In order to increase the accuracy of the calculations, I must first introduce the concept ofMET values. MET values are a convenient way to calculate the calorie expenditure ofactivities.MET values are multiples of ones resting energy expenditure per time period. In plainEnglish, MET = 3 means burning 3 times more calories than resting. MET = 1 denotes thenumber of calories you burn at rest (your Resting Metabolic Rate or Basal Metabolic Rate).No matter what you do, you burn calories at a rate of at least MET = 1, except for sleepingwhich has MET = 0.9. During the day, most activities include sitting and walking which haveMET values between 1.2 and 3. Your total daily energy expenditure is calculated simply bymultiplying your Resting Metabolic Rate by the average MET of all your activities. Is yourhead spinning yet?Lets look at a real world example: Consider a female person with a Resting Metabolic Rateof 1200 calories per day. One day consists of 1440 minutes. Our example lady is burning1200/1440 = 0.84 calories per minute at rest, which signifies a MET = 1.Lets say our example lady just returned from an aerobics class, where she exercised for 30minutes. General aerobic class training has a MET = 6. Our example lady has just burned 30(minutes) x 6 (MET) * 0.84 (calories per minute) = 151 calories while exercising.Now suppose this woman would have chatted on the internet instead of exercising (MET =1.5). In this example, the woman substituted chatting on the internet with aerobic exercising.Keep in mind that every time you do something you substitute one activity for another, so inorder to get the extra calories, we have to subtract 1.5 (chatting) from 6 (exercising). Nowlets calculate the extra calories: 30 (minutes) * (6 - 1.5) (MET value) * 0.84 = 113 calories.Lets discuss what a standard calorie counter would have done in this example: First, it willassume an average calorie burn rate of 1 calorie per minute. Then the counter will find thatexercising for 30 minutes will yield 30 (minutes) * 6 (MET) * 1 (calories per minute) = 180calories. The calorie counter will add these 180 calories to your daily calorie expenditurewithout considering that a part of these 180 calories is already accounted for by your regularactivities.Now do you see the difference between 113 calories and 180 calories? If that same ladyspends 5 hours per week in the aerobics class, the standard calorie counters will over-report
  3. 3. her calorie expenditure by: (180-113) * 10 = 670 calories a week.She will thus be fooled into thinking that her metabolic rate has dropped while she justoverestimated her calorie expenditure. Enter a typical weight loss plateau, wasted time, andeffort. Do you have time to spend on trial and error calorie estimations?Remember these two rules:- Report only your extra activities to your calorie counter. If you walk to the office each day,dont log "walking to office for 30 minutes" as an extra activity. You must consider onlyunusual activities that actually contribute to expending extra calories!- Always subtract the calories that you would have burned instead of exercising. As a generalrule, you should subtract from 1.2 to 1.5 from the MET values. In some cases, youll need tosubtract a higher MET. If you substitute 30 minutes of bodybuilding (MET = 6) for 30 minutesof slow rope jumping (MET = 8) then the additional MET would be 8 - 6 = 2.How do we determine the MET values of activities based on standard tables?In order to perform the above calculations, you have to know the MET values of youractivities. Standard tables provide name of activity, duration and calories. These tablesassume an average calorie expenditure of one calorie per minute. To get the MET you simplydivide the calories by the duration.Example: "Bicycling, stationary, general", "20 minutes", "140 calories" MET of "Bicycling,stationary, general" = 140 / 20 = 7I know these calculations are a bit tedious, and in many cases the standard caloriecalculations are close to correct. But in some cases they can significantly over or under-calculate the calorie expenditure of activities and compromise your weight loss plan with dailymiscalculations.Mistake 3: Training with light weights and performing lots of repetitionsI have seen numerous women come to the gym, grab the lightest dumbbells possible, crankout hundreds of reps, and go home. These women usually do not achieve the results theywant.The problem with this type of weight training is that it doesnt burn many "extra" caloriesunless you spend a lot of time in the gym. Lifting Ken and Barbie size weights has a METvalue of 3, which means that it burns just 3 times more calories than resting in bed.By contrast, virtually anything you do during the day has a MET value of at least 1.2 to 2.Even browsing the web on your computer has a MET value of 1.5!You have to realize that almost anything you do during the day (average MET = 1.5) hasabout 50% overlap in calorie expenditure with training with very light weights (MET = 3). Ifyou work out using super light dumbbells, only about half of the calories burned are "extra".Of course, it is possible to burn a considerable amount of extra calories training with lightweights, but youll have to extend the duration of this type of training by a wide margin.Curling 5 pound dumbbells for 4 sets of 20 reps and talking for 20 minutes in the gym isntgoing to burn many extra calories.Remember this rule: The less intensive the activity, the greater the calorie expenditureoverlap with normal activities. The less intensive the activity, the more time you have todevote to it in order to expend a lot of extra calories. Always subtract a MET of 1 to 1.5 toarrive at the additional expended calories.
  4. 4. Mistake 4: Using "average person" calorie estimationsThere are all kinds of calorie tables on the Internet showing the calorie expenditure ofdifferent physical activities. But these tables dont show your calorie expenditure! They reallygive you the calorie expenditure for an "average person".These tables assume that youre an average person who burns one calorie per minute whileat rest. Yes, we covered this in the first part of the article but it deserves repeating: Most menburn more than one calorie per minute and most smaller women burn less than one calorieper minute while at rest.In reality, these standard calorie tables overestimate the calories burned by smaller peopleand underestimate the calories expended by bigger than average people. Combine this errorwith the common mistake of counting all burned calories as "extra calories" and you have awide range of possible miscalculations.Mistake 5: Going on a very low calorie diet (VLCD)Research has found little or no difference in the weight loss rate of 1200 calorie diets and800 calorie diets. The 1200 calorie threshold is the point where further calorie restrictionsimply doesnt yield faster results.Diets in the range of 800 to 1200 calories per day suppress the resting metabolic rate startingon the very first day. And after several weeks on these diets, the metabolic rate drops by upto 20%. This reduction in the metabolic rate is just a consequence of the calorie restrictionfactor. Other factors, including the level of leanness may further lower the rate of calorieexpenditure.A large percentage of the quick initial weight loss on a VLCD consists of nothing but water.VLCDs create an illusion of rapid fat loss, but in reality most of the weight loss is due to waterloss.Its very hard to continue a very low calorie diet for a long time because the severe calorierestriction makes you feel hungrier than ever. People on VLCDs usually lack energy andmove around very little. Worse still, when you stop the diet, youre prone to instantovereating. Eating a very low calorie diet is the ticket to yo-yo dieting.Instead of going on very low calorie diets, I recommend diets with just a small caloriereduction and an emphasis on exercise. People who are overweight and know and what theyare doing can stay on VLCDs for a limited time.It is essential to get enough vitamins and minerals from supplements, because such lowcalorie diets are woefully inadequate in nutrients. Your water intake level should be high.Athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters, must stay away from very low calorie diets becausethe huge calorie restriction causes a greater proportion of the weight loss to be a result ofmuscle loss.Hristo Hristov owns X3MSoftware, a company specializing in developing diet and fitnesstracking software. Hristo has a degree in Computer Science and passion for strength training.Hristo has designed and written Fitness Assistant, X3MSoftwares leading software product.Download your demo at Download Diet Software and Fitness Software by X3MSoftware