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Steps

What steps can you take now, today, to start living a better life? Here is what I did, in a nutshell:

  1. Count the calories you eat every day.
  2. Know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
  3. Eat fewer calories than your TDEE. To lose 1 pound per week, eat 500 fewer calories per day.
  4. Eat anything you want.

The last part is the most important. Feeling free to eat whatever you want liberates you from constantly wondering if you’re eating healthily or not. Then it becomes a simple question of choosing when you will eat bigger portions, e.g., eat a huge breakfast and a small dinner vs. eating a small breakfast and a huge dinner. Over time, you’ll probably eat more sensibly anyway because less caloric foods like fruits and vegetables are also the most nutritious foods to eat.

In retrospect, the hardest part for me was “feeling the feelings” after the first couple of weeks. Food is a phenomenal sedative for emotional situations, and suddenly cutting food out can make you really irritable. Be prepared for that!

THE STEPS

1. Get a snapshot of where your weight is by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index):

WEIGHT IN POUNDS * 703
_____________________________________
HEIGHT in inches * HEIGHT in inches


15.1 – 25 = normal weight
25.1 – 30 = overweight
30.1 – 40 = obese
40+ = morbidly obese

2. Calculate your Basal Energy Expenditure, or BEE (a.k.a. BMR, which is Basal Metabolic Rate):

BEE for Men: 66 + (6.3 X weight in lbs) + (12.9 X height in inches) – (6.8 X age in years)
BEE for Women: 655 + (4.3 X weight in lbs.) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age in years).

3. Calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure):

Multiply your BEE by one of the following factors:

Sedentary BEE x 1.2 (little exercise)
Lightly active BEE x 1.375 (light exercise)
Moderately active BEE x 1.55 (moderate exercise)
Very active BEE x 1.725 (hard exercise)
Extremely active BEE x 1.9 (hard exercise daily)

.

4. Eat less.
Every day, eat 500 calories less than your TDEE and you will lose an average of 1 pound per week!

Or, you can do all the above calculations online here.

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