Basic Maths of Dieting

Below are some calculations to help with healthy dieting and exercise.

A pound of body fat contains 3500 calories. In order to lose a pound of fat (not water) a week you must consume (3500/7) 500 calories per day less than you expend.

The average resting metabolic rate is that every kilogram of body weight requires 25 calories per day to maintain itself. In general the calories per kg you expend per day is the same as your BMI. I am 10 stone which is 140lbs or (140/2.2) 63.5 kg and I have a BMI of 25. In order to maintain a stable weight, therefore, I can eat roughly  (63.5 * 25) 1600 calories per day.

A sensible way to lose 500 calories per day is to eat 200 calories less and exercise for 300 calories.

Walking to Lose Weight

Travelling one mile on foot expends roughly 100 calories for the average person. This is the same whether you walk or run, but naturally if you run you can do more miles in the same time and burn more calories. If you have a country walk and do not know the distance you can estimate it as follows:

Walking one mile at an amble pace takes 20 mins

Walking one mile fairly briskly takes 15 miles

Aerobic walking (as fast as you can normally) takes 12 mins.

A 45 minute session of a brief warm up, aerobic walking and a cool down will burn roughly 300 calories. If you are above a BMI of 25 or if  safely increase your weight with a weighted vest or gloves (but not ankle weights) the calories expended will naturally be more as the body as to work harder.

Foods for Thermogenesis

Certain foods increase your metabolic rate. These include cayenne pepper, hot chilies,  sweet chilies, ginger,and the juice and peel of citrus fruits. In fact lemon peel is one of the healthiest things you can eat (Google it 🙂 ).  As a rule of thumb, spicy foods increase your metabolism but it is generally recommended to not go overeat them for weight loss (I cannot remember the reason why, I think it affects the homeostasis of your body temperature). For example I drink water containing lemon juice and peel and ginger. It tastes nice and is inexpensive.


Debating and Evidence

Questions to ask yourself to challenge your negative thoughts:

Is this a thought or fact?
What evidence supports the thought?
Is there evidence to the contrary?
How do I know this belief is true?
Are there facts I am ignoring or dismissing?
Are there other possible explanations?
How realistic are my thoughts or beliefs?
Are there other ways of thinking?
What would a trusted friend think?
What would I think if I was not depressed?
Does it help me to think this way?

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Mental Filter
This involves a tunnel vision typically looking at the negative parts of a situation and forgetting the positive.

Jumping to Conclusions
We jump to conslusions when we assume we know what someone else is thinking (mind reading) and then make predictions about what is going to happen in the future (predictive thinking).

This involves blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong even when you may be only partly responsible or not responsible at all.

This occurs when we blow things out of proportion and see something as dreadful when in reality the problem is quite small.

Black and White Thinking
This involves seeing one extreme or another and not seeing any in-betweens or shades of grey.

Should and Must
These are statements often based on our core beliefs that we should or must be able to do. They are often unrealistic and put unreasonable pressure on us.

When we overgeneralize we take limited instances from past history and extrapolate to  future situations. We do not consider the alternative that every day is a new dawn.

We label ourselves and othes when we make global statements based on our behaviour in limited situations. We get into the habit of using this label even when it doesn't apply.

Emotional Reasoning
This occurs when we think that the reality of a situation is the same as our mood. Just because we feel bad doesn't mean something bad is going to happen.

Magnification and Minimization
In this thinking style you magnify the positive attributes of other people and minimize your own. Similarly you minimize the negative aspects of other people and magnify your own.