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The Pulse - March/April 2007

Nourish yourself and feel great ALL DAY LONG!

Isn’t it interesting how things come and go in waves? Call them trends or fads, but with our clients, if a question arises with one, you can bet that the same question quickly becomes of interest to many others. This month, the hot topic seems to be the challenge with making the connection between how our bodies feel and perform throughout the day with how well we are nourishing ourselves with our food and drink choices.

First, let’s start off with the basics. Say this statement to yourself – calories are not the enemy. Now repeat the statement as many times as necessary until you believe it. The reason calories are not the enemy is because calories are what give us energy. Energy is what allows us to be active. The more energy we have, the more active we can be in our lives. The opposite is true as well. The more active we are in our lives, the more energy we need and YES, that means we need more calories!

This is where you might begin to feel the hesitation set in, But if I take in more calories, won’t that make me gain weight? I’m trying to lose weight. Don’t I need to cut back on my calorie consumption to do that? The truth of the matter is, if you take in more calories than you expend (burn off), then yes, you will gain weight. If you expend more calories than you consume, you will drop pounds. But if you take in too few calories you risk throwing your body’s metabolism way out of whack. Instead of burning calories efficiently, you will cause your metabolism to slow dramatically as your body does all it can do to conserve energy. The result is a serious roadblock between you and your body fat elimination goals. For more specific details on the elimination of body fat, refer to the Abby’s Nutrition Corner section in this issue.

How many calories do our bodies need? Of course, everyone’s caloric need will be different based on weight, height, gender, and age. Other factors such as activity level as well as fitness level, and weight loss/gain goals will also affect the bodies need for calories. A key element in understanding how many calories you should be consuming everyday is realizing that your body needs a certain amount simply to survive. Specifically speaking, you are expending energy (calories) just for your organs and systems in your body to function properly. Any extra movement and activity above what your body needs to live, means extra energy is needed and therefore, extra calories need to be consumed.

Below is a general equation that will give you a good idea how many calories you need to be taking in on a daily basis just to survive. This value is called your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. The first equation is based on your weight, height, gender and age. The second formula takes into consideration your lean body mass. If you know your current body fat percentage, use the second formula. Once you have figured out your BMR, calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This number is the number of calories you need to take in each day to live your life based on your activity level throughout the day.

(1) Harris-Benedict Formula (with BMR based on total body weight)

The Harris-Benedict equation is a calorie formula using the factors of gender, weight, height, and age to determine basal metabolic rate (BMR). There is a shortcoming to this formula though — it does not take into consideration lean body mass (LBM). Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the extremely muscular (formula will underestimate calorie needs) and the extremely overweight (formula will overestimate calorie needs).

BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 X height in cm) – (4.7 X age in years)
BMR = 655 + (4.354 X weight in lbs) + (4.569 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age in years)

And in case you are wondering, the formula for Men is:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 X height in cm) – (6.8 X age in years)
BMR = 66 + (6.213 X weight in lbs) + (12.69 X height in inches) – (6.8 X age in years)

(2) Katch-McArdle Formula (with BMR based on lean body mass)

If you know your lean body mass, then you can use the Katch-McArdle formula to get the most accurate BMR estimate available. This formula takes into account lean body mass and is therefore more accurate than the Harris- Benedict formula which is based on total body weight. By the way, the Harris-Benedict formula uses different formulas for men and women because men generally have a higher LBM (lean body mass) and this is factored into the men’s formula. Since the Katch-McArdle formula accounts for LBM, this single formula applies equally to both men and women.
BMR (men/women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kg)
BMR (men/women) = 370 + (9.8 X lean body mass in lbs)

You weigh 130 lbs. (59.1 kg)
Your body fat percentage is 20% (26 lbs. fat, 104 lbs. lean)
Your lean body mass is 104 lbs. (47.3 kg)
Your BMR = 370 + (21.6 X 47.3) = 1392 calories
Now that you know your BMR, you can calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Your TDEE is your BMR plus the extra energy needed to fuel your body based on your fitness level. Figure out your TDEE by multiplying your BMR by your activity multiplier from the chart below:

Activity Multiplier
  • Sedentary (desk job, with little or no exercise)
    = BMR X 1.2
  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
    = BMR X 1.375
  • Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
    = BMR X 1.55
  • Very active (intensive exercise/sports 6-7 days/week)
    = BMR X 1.725
  • Extremely active (intensive daily exercise/sports & physical job or twice per day training for marathon, races, fitness contests, etc.)
    = BMR X 1.9

If you are unsure about the number of calories you consume in a day, we encourage you to keep a log of everything you eat and drink. Keeping a food log or diary is a behavior that has been proven to make you more aware of what you are taking in throughout the day. Once you have written down at least 3 days worth of food/drink, you can find caloric amounts of specific food on websites such as (a free site, but you will have to register).

While SparkPeople is a great website and offers you so much education and tools to help you reach your goals, we also want to reiterate that right at your fingertips, you have the expertise of our on-staff Registered Dietician, Abby. Abby will analyze your food diary as well as discuss your goals and set up a direction and plan for you to find success. This plan includes up to two weeks of custom menu planning!

It is very important that we understand what fuels our body so that we are able to make healthy decisions to take care of ourselves. Treat your body with the respect it deserves and you will be amazed at what it will do for you. The connection we hope we have helped you make with this article is the fact that the calories (the amount as well as the quality) you consume are directly related to the energy you have to live your life. Make everything you put in your mouth count and have value.

That’s it! The number you have calculated is the number of calories your body needs everyday just to live! Is the amount you calculated more or less than what you thought? Do you feel that you reach this amount, come in under or surpass it on a daily basis?

Another Cover Girl!

Cecile Abs CitizenFirst Cecile, now Abby! Congratulations to our Nutrition Coach and her family for being featured in the Tucson Citizen’s Body Plus section of the February 2, 2007 issue. In the article, Abby gives great advice for healthy grocery shopping! Check out more pictures and the full article.

Stepping Out / Stepping In Events

The Nutrition Group meets every third Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:00pm. For those of you that have the folders Abby made for you, be sure to bring those with you. She will provide everyone with notes on the topic she discusses as well as readings to insert into the folder. If you have not attended a group yet, Abby has the folders for you.

The group is free of cost and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge.

Abby’s Corner

Nutritional information from your Nutrition Coach, Abby Floyd, RD

Nutrition Corner- March/April
So, let’s talk about how calories contribute to our overall weight and how they affect our fitness goals. Many of you are probably aware that in order to eliminate one pound of body fat per week, we need to create a deficit of 3500 calories. This works out to 500 less calories per day. But wait, don’t get discouraged yet! This is where exercise comes into the picture. Very rarely is the goal to simply eat fewer calories. By cutting 200-300 calories from your daily eating and burning 200-300 calories with exercise we can achieve goals in a healthy time frame and learn eating habits that will last longer than a few months.

Balancing calorie intake with energy needs takes an understanding of how our bodies work and what they need. On the one hand, when we eat more calories than are needed for body functions and daily activities (including exercise), those extra calories are stored as fat. However, dropping calorie intake too low in an effort to lose weight will also backfire. Calorie intake that is too low causes a decrease in metabolism and causes the body to dip into lean muscle mass for fuel. Two things that none of us want! Exercise, frequent meals/snacks, and lean muscle will all help to speed up metabolism.

What is the best way to cut out a healthy amount of calories? Instead of eliminate, think replace! By replacing high fat/high sugar foods with nutrient dense choices, we not only add to the quality of the diet, but end up with fewer calories per day. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and whole grains are all great choices. Also, eating breakfast and including plenty of fiber (Aim for 30 grams each day) will help manage daily calories and leave you feeling satisfied.

Every body and set of goals is different. I’d love to help you progress towards those goals and focus on healthy eating changes that are right for you! March is National Nutrition Month ® and here at Body Basics we are going to begin offering a meal plan package in addition to regular nutrition appointments. This package will include an evaluation of your current eating with recommendations for changes and goals, along with a personalized meal plan and other handouts. More info to come! Also, don’t forget our monthly nutrition class. The next one is on March 20th at 5:30 p.m.!

Healthy Recipe – Snacks

In our Health Recipe section this month, we thought we would continue along the same topic of this month’s newsletter. Below are healthy snack options to eat in-between meals to keep you nourished and energized all day long!

Healthy Snacks:
  • Apple w/ 1 TB peanut butter
  • Whole wheat English muffin w/ peanut butter
  • Veggies with ¼ C. hummus
  • Low-fat cottage cheese w/ veggies or whole grain crackers
  • Low-fat yogurt w/ berries and 1 TB ground flax seed
  • Fruit smoothie w/ protein powder
  • 1/3 C. dried fruit and nuts/seeds
  • Tuna with veggies or whole grain crackers
  • Fruit and string cheese

Client Spotlight

Doreen Amado – March

Client of the month photo

We congratulate Doreen this month for all of the hard work she has dedicated herself to since starting with us at BodyBasics. Doreen has shown much improvement in her walking and her posture as well as in her strength. She has kept up with doing her exercises at home and even has her daughter helping to keep her accountable. Despite some obstacles and stresses in her life, Doreen as been incredibly consistent achieving perfect attendance every month since she began! Even though it doesn’t always seem to make sense, Doreen is finally recognizing that exercise is interwoven with feeling better! Keep it up Doreen!

Ann Goldfein – April

Client of the month photo

Ann Goldfein is a very dedicated woman. She has demonstrated this here at BodyBasics through her consistency with her workouts. Ann doesn’t let anything get in the way of her workout appointments. Her competitive nature has helped her to greatly increase her strength and balance and she understands how important exercise is in keeping herself healthy and happy.
Congratulations Ann! Keep up the great work! We are all very proud of you!

And the winner of the Referral Challenge trip to NEW YORK is

Cindy Petti! Congratulations Cindy for being the lucky winner of our referral challenge drawing! Cindy and her husband, Lou, will be enjoying a three-night trip to New York and tickets to a Broadway show!

Thank you to all of our clients who referred new clients and keep your eyes and ears open for our next referral challenge!

Fitness Question/Answer:

Did you read the above article about Calories? If so, answer the following question:

True or False:
To successfully eliminate body fat, I need to take in as little calories as possible?

Answer to the fitness question posted in the previous newsletter:
Only 9% of Americans are really serious about achieving their goals.

Our Mission

To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.

Keep Up the Great Work!

We are very proud of all of you!

Chris, Cecile, Jenny, Bryon, Abby and Kathleen

Staff picture December 2006

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