Life should be simpler

Weight Loss 101

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Weight loss all comes down to burning more calories throughout the day than you consume through food and drink. There are many different legitimate diet programs out there, all of which attempt to make the weight loss process easier and more effective, but in the end, it all comes down to calories. The beauty of the food journal is that it makes you aware of your eating habits and the calories associated with the foods you eat. This provides you with the data you need to make informed decisions on which foods will bring you closer to your ideal weight and which will do the opposite. Of course, exercise plays a vital role in weight loss as well. Try to increase your activity level, even if it's just through walking during lunchtime, so you can burn more calories than you consume.

Whether you're already participating in a specific diet program or just interested in a simple plan, PicoPad® Food Journal can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Here is a simple down-to-earth plan for losing weight:

1) Use the calculator below to determine your Daily Goal for calories consumed per day.

Weight Loss Calculator

Gender: Male    Female Level of Activity:

Sedentary- little or no exercise, desk job
Lightly Active- light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week
Moderately Active- moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week
Very Active- hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/week
Extremely Active- hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training
Weight: lbs.
Height: feet inches
Age: years


BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you burn doing nothing for 24 hours
TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the amount of calories you burn based on your activity level
Daily Goal for weight loss

2) Write your Daily Goal in the corresponding box in your PicoPad® Food Journal.
Your objective is to consume fewer calories than this each day. This number is based on a 500 calorie per day deficit (already included in the calculation), which corresponds to a recommended 1 lb of fat loss per week. The Daily Goal can be modified as needed (see * below), but it is not recommended to consume fewer than 1200 calories per day for women and 1500 calories per day for men.

3) Write down what you eat and drink in your PicoPad® Food Journal.
Look up the calories of your food on packaging labels, in a food/calorie guide or online (click here to see some useful references). Subtract these numbers from your Daily Goal.

4) Keep track of your activities in your PicoPad® Food Journal as well.
If you do any activities above and beyond what you indicated in the calculator above, you can add the associated calories back into the balance using the Activity Chart in the PicoPad®. A more conservative and simple approach, however, would be to not incorporate the calorie offset in the balance and only track your activity for reference.

5) The total balance at the end of the day should equal zero or greater, meaning you consumed less calories than you burned, and you're losing weight!

You can keep it simple and just record the information in your PicoPad®, or your can transfer it to a master journal (i.e. online or in a spreadsheet). Either way, simply jotting down the foods you eat will help you lose MORE weight. It's been proven scientifically, and it's never been easier with the PicoPad® Food Journal!

*The calculator above uses the Harris Benedict Equation, which is fairly accurate for all but the extremely muscular (it will underestimate caloric needs) and the extremely overweight (it will overestimate caloric needs). Since every person is different, the Daily Goal may need to be reviewed and modified every month or so to suit that individual's weight loss goals.

Useful Links

Food Nutritional Data (calorie finders!):

Other Useful Sites:

1. Hollis JF, Gullion CM, Stevens VJ, et al. Weight Loss During the Intensive Intervention Phrase of the Weight-Loss Maintenance Trail. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2008; 35:118-126.

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