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YOUR GOALS AND PLAN

Congratulations on taking steps to lose weight! Based on your responses, you’re heading down the right path toward reaching your goals, and we’ve figured out how to get you there. Your desire to lose weight because you are ready to improve your health and body image is a powerful motivator. This can help you to achieve your weight loss goals. Studies show that people who diet and exercise for themselves are more successful at weight loss. Do it for yourself and not someone else, like your spouse, doctor, or employer.

YOUR GOAL

Over the next 90 days, you would like to lose 24 pounds. In order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week, you need to cut and/or burn 3,500 calories per week. But first you need to have a pretty accurate idea of your starting point, such as how many calories you currently take in and use. You could do this by keeping a food journal, measuring everything you eat, and tracking calories you consume and calories you burn through exercise and normal daily activities, like doing housework or yardwork. Or you could simply let us tell you.

YOUR STARTING POINT

From your responses, we have made several calculations for you. This will give you a clear idea of where you are right now, before starting to lose weight. That will give you a much better idea of what your plan should be so you can get to your goal and be a weight loss success.
1. YOUR BODY MASS INDEX (BMI)
Whether you are overweight can be determined by your BMI (body mass index), which is calculated from your height and weight. The BMI usually is a good predictor of health and weight status. However, it sometimes overestimates weight in people with large frames or muscular physiques. Based on your weight and height your BMI is 34.
2. YOUR RESTING METABOLIC RATE (RMR)
Based on your age, gender, height, weight, and waist size, your RMR is 1638. Your body uses that many calories just by living and breathing. It takes energy from calories to run your body’s processes, such as digestion, manufacturing blood cells, maintaining body temperature, and regenerating skin. You must take in that amount of energy through food every day just to keep your body working.
3. YOUR RMR + ACTIVITY
You reported that you are lightly active. That’s great because being active reduces your risks for many health problems, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Based on your physical activity level and RMR, your body uses approximately 2252 calories per day. That means that if you take in 2252 calories per day, you might stay at your current weight. If your activity level declines, you'll need fewer calories than this amount or you could gain weight. To lose weight, you'll need to decrease your total calories or increase your level of physical activity.
If you ever feel that you're starting to make excuses and skipping workouts, try changing your routine. Mixing activities may help not only keep you interested, but also reduce your risk for injury and increase your overall fitness level. Read more about Getting Stronger and Leaner with Cross Training.
4. YOUR CALORIE CONSUMPTION NOW
Because you report having gained or lost no more than 5 pounds in the last two months, your weight is currently stable. Therefore you're probably taking in roughly the same amount of calories as your body is using. We estimate that you are currently consuming 2252 calories per day, on average. To start losing weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body is using. For maximum health and weight loss, it's best to eat fewer calories and exercise regularly.

YOUR PLAN

In order for you to meet your three-month weight loss goal, you will need a daily deficit of 933 calories. You say that you want to lose weight mostly by exercising and cutting some calories from the amount you take in now. That means you will need to reduce your calorie intake by 233 calories and increase your physical activity enough to burn 700 calories.
If you find it difficult to increase your activity level enough to burn that many calories, another approach would be to have a 50-50 split between cutting calories and burning calories: Exercise a bit more and eat a bit less than you have been. For instance, if you need to create a daily deficit of 500 calories, you could walk for 30 minutes at a 3-mph pace to burn about 250 calories. Then you would have to cut only 250 calories from your diet.
To cut calories by reducing food intake, try eating a sandwich made with only one piece of bread or a burger without the top bun. Just doing that will eliminate about 80 calories. Having a two-egg omelet instead of a standard three-egg omelet saves you 70 calories. Drinking water instead of a 16-ounce soda cuts 200 calories. Always put about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup on your waffles or pancakes? Top them with fresh berries instead and save nearly 100 calories. Replace ground beef with lean ground turkey in your meatloaf or chili and save 45 calories per 3-ounce serving. Switch from chocolate ice cream to chocolate frozen yogurt and trim 50 calories.
Choosing healthier, lower-calorie options or smaller amounts of the high-calorie options won't make you feel deprived or hungry. Opting to make these kinds of small changes adds up to big success and gives you the confidence of being in control of how you fuel your body.
And healthier choices mean a healthier body, including your heart. Take a look at 12 Tips for Better Heart Health.
YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL
By sticking to the 90-day plan above, you will be back to the weight you said you were most comfortable as an adult, (160 pounds) in about 22 weeks.
Just remember that slow and steady is the best way to lose weight. Studies have found that people who lose too much weight too quickly often gain it back, and then some. Those who lost weight slowly were more likely to keep it off. A rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week is generally considered ideal and practical; if you exceed that, you may be losing water weight or lean muscle instead of fat.
Cutting too many calories to speed up weight loss may restrict your diet so much that in addition to losing pounds and inches, you also lose important nutrients. That can result in feeling sluggish as a result of a slowing metabolism. A slow metabolism won’t burn calories effectively, making it harder to drop those pounds.

OVERCOMING HURDLES

Based on your responses, you have established a goal for weight loss that should be attainable, but it may require a challenging amount of consistent effort. Are you up for the challenge? If not, retake this assessment to adjust your goal and get a new personalized plan that you can feel more confident about achieving. If you're ready now, start taking the steps outlined in your plan to achieve your goal.
Easier said than done? It doesn't have to be. Cutting calories, making healthy choices, and being more active are the keys to losing weight. Weight loss is a matter of adjusting calories in and calories out to maintain a deficit. You can, and should, continue to adjust the calories you take in and burn as you work toward your weight loss goal and lose excess pounds.
Any time you want to readjust your plan, come back and take this WebMD Personal Diet Evaluator again to get a revised plan based on your new weight, body mass index (BMI), resting metabolic rate (RMR), and activity level.

HURDLES TO OVERCOME

Everyone has challenging days in which they don't follow their plan to the letter. Having family members to consider in your eating plan and as you're trying to fit in time for yourself to exercise makes those days extra challenging. Account for those days, but don't let them derail you completely. If you eat more than you planned to one day, increase the amount of physical activity you do to burn the extra calories you consumed. (Developing this skill also will help you maintain your weight loss after you've achieved your goal.)
To help you be a weight loss success, and make your weight loss goals fit in with the needs of those in your household, we've identified a few other hurdles from your responses. Making subtle changes to overcome these hurdles may help your weight loss efforts, and may even help improve the health of your family members:
Don't Snack All Day. Smart snacking between meals can prevent hunger from taking hold and keep you and your family members from overeating at meals. Too many snacks, however, add up to big calories. All-day snacking may also make it more difficult to keep track of the calories you, your partner, or your kids are taking in each day. Limit snacks to two per day, and keep them small, such as a handful of almonds, an apple, or a few baby carrots dipped in hummus.
Be Mindful of Your Triggers. Do work deadlines send you to the vending machines? Do you sit in front of the TV and snack mindlessly on chips after an exhausting day? Emotional eating, especially when you're stressed, can be controlled if you're aware you are doing it. Become mindful by keeping a food journal. Record when you eat, what you eat, how much of you eat, and what mood you were in while eating. If you notice you overindulge on stressful days, try practicing relaxation techniques to ward off the stress. Exercise is a great stress reliever - go for a walk instead of chowing down in front of the TV. Not only will you reduce stress but your choice will be burning calories instead of adding them.
Curb Your Sweet Tooth. You don't have to cut sweets out of your diet completely, as making them "off limits" might only increase your desire for them. But take a healthy approach by limiting how many sweets you have and how often you have them. Find other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, such as enjoying fruit, eating a sugar-free gelatin snack, or even allowing yourself one (and only one) piece of chocolate per day.
Keeping plenty of low-sugar snacks in the kitchen (and banning high-fat, high-sugar temptations, like processed cookies, baked goods, or ice cream) will make it more likely that you and your family members will reach for healthy options. Over time, you all will adjust and may eventually find that what you once craved now is just way too sweet. Keep a bowl of washed apples or grapes in the refrigerator, so they're as easy to grab as a cookie from the cookie jar. And put that old cookie jar to good use by filling it with nuts, dried veggies, or plain popcorn. Challenge your family members to help come up with ideas for replacing sweets and processed snacks with healthier options. They might surprise you! An extra bonus is that healthier food options often can be cheaper than packaged, processed snacks.
Be Mindful of Your Triggers. Do arguments with your partner or kids send you to the pantry looking for easy-to-grab food? Do you sit in front of the TV and snack mindlessly on chips or ice cream after an exhausting day? Emotional eating, especially when you're stressed, can be controlled if you're aware you are doing it. Become mindful by keeping a food journal. Record when you eat, what you eat, how much of you eat, and what mood you were in while eating. If you notice you overindulge on stressful days, try practicing relaxation techniques to ward off the stress. Exercise is a great stress reliever: Go for a walk instead of chowing down in front of the TV. Not only will you reduce stress but your choice will be burning calories instead of adding them.
Break the Clean Plate Habit. Eat slowly until you are full (but not stuffed) rather than until all the food is gone. Adopting this eating style and increasing your awareness of when you are just less than full may help you drop pounds. It takes time for your stomach to relay to your brain the message that it has had enough, so be sure to eat slowly so those signals can get through.
Make Wiser Food Choices. Like most people, your diet tends to be a blend between wise, healthy choices and foods you know are probably not so good for you. Maybe you have a weakness for heavy comfort foods like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy or macaroni and cheese. Or you feel you just can't start your day without eggs, cheese, and bacon or sausage. But knowing what choices are not so healthy is the first step toward making better choices.
You don't have to deprive yourself of meatloaf and mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. Try making turkey meatloaf and spicing it up with mustard instead of gravy. Potatoes don't have to be off limits, either, but instead of mashed potatoes made with butter and milk, try mashing up sweet potatoes. They really don't need anything added to make them creamy and yummy, and they're loaded with vitamin A. And that morning egg and cheese habit? Wake up and smell the coffee! Scramble one whole egg with one egg white, and melt in a cheese slice made from 2% or skim milk. Often, these kinds of tweaks to your diet are simple to make, and you'll find you feel less guilty and more satisfied.
Remember that when eaten in small portions, you can make even bad foods good for weight loss.
Be More Active. It's great that you are physically active a few days a week. But to help spur weight loss, try to increase the frequency, intensity, or duration of your activity as well as reduce the calories you consume. That is, try to add one or two more sessions per week, increase from 30 to 60 minutes each day, or swap a 30-minute walk with 30 minutes of swimming laps in a pool. And don't forget to include resistance training with weights: Strength training builds muscle tissue, which is needed to increase metabolism and burn more fat. Strength training is also extreme important for women, especially, because women lose muscle tissue with age.
Needing help making exercise a regular part of your life is understandable. Exercising regularly becomes easier if you find The Best Workout for You.
FOLLOW YOUR MAINTENANCE PLAN
Good for you for planning ahead! Once your weight loss goals are met, you'll be more likely to keep the weight off if you have and follow a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan is an altered version of your original diet and exercise plan. Continue to monitor your portion sizes, stay physically active, and weigh yourself. As soon as you notice that your weight has crept upward, reduce your portions and/or increase your activity to get your weight back to your goal. The changes you make to lose the weight should become a permanent part of your new healthy lifestyle.

KEYS TO WEIGHT LOSS

The more you know the better decisions you will able to make. You answered 3 out of 5 questions correctly or 60%.
True or False: To lose weight, I need to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than I eat.
The answer is True.
Weight loss occurs when you eat fewer calories than your body burns. Your body needs a certain number of calories to perform its necessary daily functions. That's called your metabolism. When you add to that the number of calories that you burn through activity (everything from walking to housework and exercise) that's the total number of calories your body burns in a day. If you take in more than that number of calories and/or your activity level declines, then you will gain weight. For weight loss to occur, you'll have to create a deficit by eating fewer calories than that number and/or increasing your activity to burn more calories.
True or False: Like a deficit of money in a bank account, a calorie deficit can mean more calories are spent (burned) than deposited (earned).
The answer is True.
If you spend more money than you earn, you'll wind up with a negative balance called a deficit in your account (and creditors calling you on the phone)! That's not a good situation in terms of finances. But in terms of weight loss, that's exactly what you want to do if you are overweight: You want to put fewer calories into your account, and you want to spend them faster than you put them in. You won't have creditors calling you, but you will see results as the numbers on your scale go down and you're able to pull the tape measure a little more tightly around your waist.
True or False: A calorie deficit can be achieved by both eating less (cutting calories) and moving more (burning calories).
The answer is True.
To create a deficit of calories -- that is, a situation in which you are eating fewer calories than your body needs -- you can take one of five actions:
1. Only cut calories, to below your resting needs.
2. Only exercise but burn more calories than you consume.
3. Mostly cut calories, but increase your activity a little bit.
4. Mostly increase your activity level, but cut out a few calories, too.
5. Both cut down on calories that you take in AND burn more calories by increasing your level of physical activity. This will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
True or False: To lose 1 pound in a week, I must create a daily deficit of 500 calories, or a weekly deficit of 3,500 calories.
The answer is True.
You must create a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. So to lose one pound in a week means you would divide that total deficit of 3,500 by seven days, which equals a daily deficit of 500 calories. You can cut that many calories from your diet every day and not increase your current physical activity level, or you can exercise long and hard every day to burn that many calories and not change the way you currently eat. Most people find a balance between the two; eating about 250 fewer calories and exercising to burn 250 calories more than usual.

DIET TIPS FROM WALMART


Now that you and your family are starting down the path to better nutrition, Walmart is here to help you take those first steps. Here are some tips to think about when deciding on -- and sticking to -- a diet.
1. Trade Up, Not Down
Diets are about sacrifice, right? Not necessarily. Armed with some creativity and determination, there's no reason why you should have to give up your favorites. Look for lower calorie, lower fat versions of the foods you love. Cut corners (but not flavor) by substituting a fruity sherbet for high fat ice cream. Don't forget you can also match textures. If you love the crunch of a handful of peanuts, try snacking on air popped or light microwave popcorn.
2. Eat More
Believe it or not, eating more may actually help you lose weight. Start by eating breakfast within 45 minutes of getting up. The first meal of the day can help boost your metabolism and keep your blood sugar steady. Next, instead of 3 big meals, eat several mini-meals throughout the day. Be sure to include lean protein, complex carbs and good fats in each. These meals will give you the calories you need to efficiently burn fat all day long.
3. Try a Little Light Reading
You don't have to spend a lot of money on books to learn about the calories and nutrients in the foods you buy. Just flip the package over and check out the label. You'll be able to compare calories, fat and carbs, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Pay special attention to serving size. Some foods like candy bars may seem like they come in single serving packages, but may actually contain several servings worth of calories. Be sure you don't accidentally eat more calories than you counted.
4. 24 Hours in a Day -- and in a Diet
Snacks happen, but don't ditch the diet just because it's not mealtime. Some experts think snacking may be a good thing, helping to quiet hunger and preventing overeating at meals. But that doesn't mean you should run out and grab that bag of potato chips every time your tummy rumbles. Every calorie counts, so try to make the same smart decisions at snack time that you would at dinner. Keeping a portable, low calorie, tasty treat in your bag isn't a bad idea either.
5. Fat Can Be Your Friend
That's right, but it takes a little bit of detective work to make sure your friend doesn't turn out to be a frenemy. Avoiding saturated fat is still the party line. But, reasonable ammounts of poly- and monounsaturated fats are a good thing. They are a great source of energy, and as a bonus they help the absorption of some fat soluble nutrients (like vitamin A & D). Keep an eye out for foods rich in omega-3 fats like salmon and tuna, which have a variety of health benefits.

© 2009 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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