# determining your own dietary needs

## Customizing Your Diet for Weightloss and Health

New Years is a great time of looking seriously at ourselves and our lifestyles and determining areas of improvement. One of the most popular resolutions is weight-loss. Lets face it, we all know "we are what we eat". Up to 80% of our health and fitness levels is determined by the food we are eating.

We all have been warped into having a relationship with food. We evolved to the point where sitting down to Thanksgiving is like a love affair, we spend days preparing ourselves (mentally eating all those treats) then gorging ourselves on the high caloric content throughout the day.

Of course, Thanksgiving is an extreme example, but generally throughout the week when we are upset or stressed we tend to drift toward those foods that give us an emotional response -- they recall a time when we weren't stressed or upset. We, essentially, associate those happy feelings with the food.

Wrong. Food is a source of fuel - the only one our bodies have. We don't produce energy on our own, our energy is directly associated with in-taking calories. Therefore, the next step to change is to realize exact instances when you turned to food for comfort or happiness and recognize where you went wrong.

Determining Your Caloric Intake: Next you must determine exactly how many calories you need to be in-taking each day. Remember, you must first burn through the calories you ate today to get to the ones that are stored from yesterday (as fat). Now this requires a little bit of math, so grab a calculator, your scale and a piece of paper: Step 1: For Men: 1 x body weight (kg) x 24 = _________ For Women: .9 x body weight (kg) x 24 = _________ * to convert pounds to kg, divide weight in pounds by 2.2 (1) Step 2: Use a body fat calculator like found here: http://www.csgnetwork.com/bodyfatcalc.html to determine (roughly) what percentage of your body is fat.http://www.thecaloriecounter.com/ to determine the calories in each type of food. This is easier than trying to calculate them from a book or from the back of the box. http://www.dietbites.com/Pyramid-Diet/food-group-recommendations-daily-diet.html where you select your calorie range and it gives you a great breakdown of servings. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa64.htm Bodybuilding.com, 305 Steelhead Way, Boise, ID Step 3: Take the results from step one and the following chart and multiply them together... Body Fat % = multiplier Men 10-14%, Women 14-18% = 1.00 Men 14-20%, Women 18-28% = 0.95 Men 20-20%, Women 28-38% = 0.90 Men over 28%, Women over 38% = 0.85 For example, A woman who weighs 165lbs: *Take the pounds and multiply by 2.2 tp gain kg's : 165/2.2 = 75 *Input it into the Step 1 equation : 0.9 x 75 x 24 = 1620 *Now after using the body fat calculator and determining she had a body fat percentage of 26% she would use the multiplier from above of 0.95 : 1620 x 0.95 = 1539 calories/day

Applying Your Caloric Intake: You should be eating something every 3-4 hours. This is what will keep your blood sugar level (keeping you from having the energy highs then crashes throughout the day) as well as feeding your muscles and organs with constant energy levels. This means you want to divide your calories/day by about 4-

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Where can you direct me for dietary needs for those with medical issues? I've been to three dieticians and a multitude of doctors and half of them don't know what to do and the others give such conflicting information. I am diabetic, have no thyroid and no parathyroid. I'm told I need to lose weight (which I do not deny) and my cholesteral is high. Each dietician gives me different advice and when I follow it, I'm yelled at by the doctors because blood levels are way off and I have to stay in the hospital to get them regulated. yet the doctors refer me to dieticians to help me. Talk about confusing.

I want to lose weight, but to be honest, I'm having trouble nailing down exactly how.

Marlene F. 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

Terrific information. Many years ago I began working out in a gym, and learned much of this information at that time. I became lax after a while trying to balance 2 jobs and a teenager. Sometimes we all forget to take care of ourselves, starting with what we put into our bodies.