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Articles > Weight Loss > The Lay-Man’s Toolbox of How to Lose (Or Gain) Weight
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No for me to put it simply, 'eating clean' is that act by which I eat good sources of natural protein (mainly chicken, eggs and some beef and fish)...

We all want to look our best; either by dropping those unwanted pounds or by building that much wanted muscle. We all hear about ‘eating right,’ ‘diet,’ and of course ‘exercise.’ But the biggest question most people have is “How did so-n-so do it?”
"It’s simple math, burning more than what you are eating to lose. Or by eating more than you burn to gain weight."

This does not mean starve or gorge your self on food. I am eating about 2000 to 2500 calories six days a week and still losing weight. This in itself amazes even me. I always thought that I would need to eat 1500 – 1200 a day to lose weight. All of this applies to those looking to bulk up and add pounds of muscle. But this is not about me, it is about YOU!! With so many gimmicks and advertisements for the ‘wonder drug’ to lose weight, it is about time you get the tools you need to succeed. I am here to give you those tools, so let’s get started!

The First tool of any fitness routine is what to track it with. Sure there’s pen and paper, but if you want to see your results graphed out or share them automatically on Twitter and Facebook, then you are looking at apps and websites that want to charge you money for the high end service. But there is a sitethat does all that and even a bit more. My Fitness Pal ( This site will
let you track the food you eat, the exercise you do, the weight you lose/gain, the measurements of varying body parts, create recipes and have IT figure out the calories per serving!! BEST of all, it has an Android and an iPod/iPhone app. And ALL of it is FREE!! I am not an endorser the website, just an average guy finding the right tools and eager to share.

During signing up on the site will ask many questions and start you on your journey. By answering these questions it will to figure out what your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is. This is the amount of calories your body burns on a given day based on your CURRENT activity level. Once you are brought to you home page you will see how many calories you can eat per day. If you are losing weight then your target will be under your BMR. If you are trying to add mass or gain weight then your target calories will be over your BMR. If you click on “Food” you will see your calories broken down by Macro-Nutrients. The Macro-Nutrients are the big three we always hear about: Carbs, Protein, and Fat.

However, you will need to tailor the distribution of calories based on the three major Macro-nutrients:

To do this, click in the following order: My Home ? Goals ? Change Goals ? Select ‘Custom’ and Click ‘Continue.’ On the page that follows, you will need to customize where you calories are coming from:

As I said earlier, you can track your fitness on the site/app. When you add what you did on a given day, your target calories will adjust accordingly. This is how I manage to eat 2000 to 2500 calories per day and still lose weight. The site
will ask you what you did, how long, and how many Calories burned. If what you are doing does not have a calorie counter, the site will give an estimate. If you have a Heart Rate monitor that also tracks calories burned, I would use that. Heart Rate monitors are a great tool in losing weight and tracking calories during your routines. There is so much that is site can do to include (when using the Android/iPhone app) scanning the barcode or a food item to add it to something you ate that day.

You may have heard of ‘eating clean’ or ‘cleaning up your diet.’ That is what the next Tool is. Now what is ‘eating clean?’ Now remember, I am just an average guy….so for me to put it simply, ‘eating clean’ is that act by which I eat good sources of natural protein (mainly chicken, eggs and some beef and fish), natural sources of Carbs (mainly from fruit, vegetables, and certain wheat/oat/bread products), and
getting the GOOD fats from foods like nuts and avocados and cooling with only olive oil either by spray or standard liquid forms. Depending on the food I am cooking I will use one or the other. I know the foods I list don’t sound like much, but you learn to experiment and great tasting recipes from combining things you already like. For instance, many of us (me included) love the taste of mayonnaise and or Miracle Whip….which you normally use to make tuna salad. Try this instead, take a pouch of tuna (my favorite is Starkist - Albacore White Tuna Low Sodium) and mix it with any of or a combination of your favorite mustard, horseradish, olive oil based salad dressings. Not only is tuna a great low carb, low fat, high protein food, but using the pouched variety makes it easy to take with you. And since many types of mustard don’t require refrigeration makes it an even better take along snack for when you are out and about.

More important than ‘eating clean’ is ‘drinking clean.’ Most people don’t not take into account that they are drinking up all the calories that their body would normally require from food. I am not saying to stop drinking alcohol or to not have that sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon. I am only asking to be more responsible with what goes in, in liquid form. Many people are dehydrated right now. With so much
water around how is that possible? I am sure you’ve heard this on TV before about doctors say that the average person should drink eight glasses of water a day. But, how big is a ‘glass’ of water. Your body is approximately 70% water. Water fuels every process in your body. I’m not a doctor, but based on my own and researching the water dilemma, the average person that wants to have a regular functioning body should drink one gallon of water and not exceed two gallons of water per day. Now pick your jaw up off the ground. I drink at least one gallon per day., but I also drink it with flavorings either from packets or those new liquid water enhancers. And I also drink a lot of green tea on top of the water. And yes, on occasion I too will have a beer now and then; I consider it part of a cheat meal.

Yes boys and girls, cheat meals are another tool. Do not go too far over board on them. If you have a favorite dish have enough of it but don’t go too far over that day’s calorie allotment or you will start to back track.

The next tool involves getting connected with other people that have similar fitness goals. For instance if you like to ride a bike, then try a spin class at your local gym. If you like have head-to-head competition, then get others at work or home involved and create your own version of a weight loss challenge. By connecting with others you will find strength within yourself and the group to push past previous barriers and hit your goals.

Not all supplements are created equal. The supplement market has exploded since the days of young Arnold and can sometimes be very confusing on what you need or want. To help you out will take you to a step by step process to find out what you may need or want to succeed in your fitness goals. Keep in main thought that
supplements may contain something you may be allergic too. From personal experience I can tell you that if you are allergic to SHELLFISH, then you really need to be mindful of the amount of IODINE and what the source of the iodine is. I lost my voice for about 2 months from taking a product what was overloading my system with iodine. Supplements can also help you in case you may miss a meal by having a serving of whey protein powder with your or from a protein bar. Some supplements may not have an affect on you at all, because it also depends on your metabolism level. If you have a high metabolic rate, then taking something like Endo-Rush may have little to no affect. So play it safe when dealing with supplements. If you are not getting the pump, the rush, or whatever effect that product calls for, don’t overdose on it. You could dehydrate quicker or worse.

You may have noticed by now that I am not talking about any sort of fitness routine. Everyone is different and is at a different fitness level. It’s not my place to tell you that by the end of week six you will be squatting 1,000 pounds and benching 500 pounds. That is not what I came here to talk to you about. We all come from different backgrounds and something that motivates me may not motivate
you. Many men and women and can get in excellent shape from lifting weights but just as many can get in excellent shape from cardio. That’s tool number six. Find an activity that you enjoyed as a child or that you know you still enjoy now. You don’t have to be the next King of Cross Fit. Low impact steady fitness routines are just as effect as the high paced rampages that you see for Cross Fit. There are many roads to becoming a physically fit person. Just remember this one golden rule: “Physical activity is still physical activity.” Be it that you walked 2 miles in 30 minutes or ran 2 miles in 12 minutes. Just get up and be active!

Meet The Author...

Carl Bennett

Fitness Writer For

Now you may ask, “Why all the stops and starts?” In relation to the early 1990s, there is a condition that any male person can have a predis.......View Full Profile

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