Can You Lose Weight By Eating Oatmeal Twice A Day 5 Magic Numbers Every Dieter Needs to Know

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5 Magic Numbers Every Dieter Needs to Know

Does this sound familiar? You’ve been watching yourself all week (avoiding junk, skipping seconds) and yet, your weight is the same as it was a week ago—or worse, down a pound or two. It is difficult to remember that weight loss is a long-term process, you need to be patient. But I’ve learned that focusing on your weight can sabotage your motivation. So here are five other numbers to think about. Track these and your overall health (as well as your weight) should improve.

1. Waist circumference

By now, you’ve probably heard plenty of experts blast BMI (body mass index, or the ratio of your weight to your height), saying it’s not a good measure of body fat and health. Instead, you should know your waist measurement in inches. That’s because fat that accumulates around your middle is linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and death. A 2010 study examined 100,000 Americans age 50 and older and found that people with a larger waist size had twice the risk of dying thin.

Numbers to know: Aim for less than 35 inches for women and 40 for men.

2. Daily calorie requirement

Our health books editors like to point out one thing that the most successful weight loss programs have in common: They cut calories. Why? Chances are you consume more than you realize or need.

Number to know: Middle-aged women who are not very active should consume about 1,600 calories per day to lose weight; Men should consume 2,000 to 2,200. Try the Mayo Clinic’s Calorie Calculator tool for a personalized estimate that takes into account age, activity levels and other factors.

3. Daily fiber intake

You can probably scan food labels for calories and fat content. But if I asked you how much fiber you’re eating every day, I bet you wouldn’t know (and it’s probably half of what you should be getting). The great thing about fiber and weight loss is that it takes a long time for your body to digest it compared to other nutrients. It reduces hunger cravings and prevents blood sugar spikes. You know how you can feel ravenous an hour after eating a jumbo plain bagel? It probably lacked fiber in your meal.

Number to know: Many experts recommend 25 to 35 grams per day (a medium apple and a cup of oatmeal are four each, for example); Some would love to see us eat even more. Most adults get about 15 grams per day. If you are quite low in fiber intake, add slowly to avoid bloating.

4. How much sleep you get

Sleep helps the body regulate complex hormonal processes that affect our appetite, cravings and weight. There is now a lot of research showing that people who get less sleep are more likely to be overweight and eat more junk food than those who get more. As much sleep deprivation as Snickers calling your name from the office candy bowl can ruin your diet.

Number to know: If you’re consistently getting six hours or less, your sleep habits may be wreaking havoc with your weight loss goals. Most adults need seven to eight hours a night. A good tip you’re getting enough: You don’t need an alarm clock to wake up.

5. How many steps do you take each day?

More and more research shows that it’s not just the hour we spend sweating at the gym, but all the incremental activity throughout the day from things like climbing the stairs, walking to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing. , or stand and pace while you chat on the phone. Sitting is bad for your body and your metabolism—our hunter-gatherer ancestors were constantly on the move, and so we evolved not to sit for hours at a time.

Number to know: The magic step count (which you can learn by wearing a pedometer) is 10,000 per day. Most inactive people get 2,000 or less.

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