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The CalorieKing Answers Your Most Asked Questions!

Allan and Leenie

Allan and Leenie Before Their Afternoon Walk!

Most CalorieKing fans hear from me regularly, but I know nothing can take the place of the advice from the CalorieKing himself!  We asked for your questions a while back and we were thrilled at your response.  You had great questions and the Calorie King has answered!

For those of you new to CalorieKing, Allan Borushek – our founder- is a dietitian with over 30 years’ experience in clinical dietetics and community health education. It is his passion for nutrition and education that brought CalorieKing to life and educated millions of people on smart food and lifestyle choices.  He was delighted to hear from you –our members- and was happy to answer some of your questions.

Allan writes, “Thank you all for submitting your questions and letting us know what questions you’d like to see answered. Here are my answers to some of your questions.”

About eating exercise calories back…do you eat your exercise calories back?
Yes, I do advise that you eat back the calories you expend with exercise so that you still meet your Calorie Target. Meeting your Calorie Target every day is the healthiest and most stable way to lose weight. If you lose weight steadily, at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds week, it will be easier to keep the weight off permanently. On days when you exercise, choose foods that will replenish your body’s energy levels, such as high-fibre or wholegrain foods.

Are there plans in the works to expand the maintenance portion of the program?
Yes, we are currently planning a maintenance program with extra tools. In the meantime, here are some maintenance tips:

  • Set yourself a healthy weight range to achieve or maintain.
  • Weigh in at least once a week to keep yourself on track.
  • Focus on reaching your Calorie Target every day.
  • Continue to record your food and exercise. The science is clear on this: self-monitoring is the number one predictor of long-term success for weight control. Even better – plan your food and exercise ahead using the Diary.
  • Use your Goal Setter to set your own weekly and monthly goals. Continue being physically active every day.
  • Try new forms of exercise and find an exercise buddy. Join in the Forums and Groups.

How many minutes of aerobic exercise a week or day are necessary to lose weight?
Being physically active and exercising for around 60 minutes daily is important for general weight control. Aerobic exercise for cardiovascular fitness is recommended at least 3 times weekly (at least 100 minutes per week). Even aerobics broken up into 5-10 minutes bits over the day is beneficial. Add in some weight training and stretching or yoga a few times per week and you’ll feel even better!

What’s the best way to get past a “plateau”?
Although plateaus are common, it doesn’t make them any less frustrating or discouraging. However, with a little patience and perseverance, you can push through them. We have some great tips in the CalorieKing Program for getting past a plateau. For those of you who haven’t reached Silver level yet, here’s an excerpt with some handy tips:

  • Retake your Personal Profile. Weight loss may stall because your Calorie Target is no longer creating a large enough calorie deficit for your body to lose weight. Retake your Personal Profile to check that you are using the correct Daily Calorie Target for your new weight. You can find your Personal Profile in your Account Settings.
  • Record your food and exercise. Accurately recording your food and beverage intake and your exercise every day is the best way to avoid “calorie amnesia” – it’s easy to forget about snacks and drinks, or foods you eat on the run.
  • Measure and weigh. Habits like “guesstimating” the amount of milk you add to your breakfast cereal or not timing how long you actually exercise make it easy to underestimate your calorie intake or overestimate how many calories you’re burning. You may think you’re reaching your Calorie Target, when in reality, you’re going over. Weigh and measure your food and drinks instead of sizing up portions by eye.
  • Mix up your exercise routine. Surprise your body by doing something different, like a weight-training workout instead of your usual walk, or biking a more challenging route on the weekend. Doing the same exercise all the time can lead to your muscles working more effectively, meaning you burn less calories. A change in routine also keeps motivation levels up.
  • Spread out your meals. If you usually eat one or two large meals per day, try spreading them over 4 or 5 smaller meals. Don’t increase the amount of food you eat, just adjust how much you eat at each sitting. Smaller, more frequent meals will produce more even blood sugar levels and keep those diet-derailing sugar cravings under control.
  • Avoid salty snacks and meals. If you tend to retain fluid, moderate your sodium intake. Be aware that antacids (such as Alka-Seltzer) are very high in sodium.
  • Have a medical check-up. If you feel you are not losing adequate weight for your large calorie sacrifices –particularly as you age- have your doctor rule out the possibility of hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone blood level, leading to a lower metabolic rate and weight gain).

If Allan were to give us one piece of advice, what would it be?

Persevere! Enlist the support of family, friends and workmates -and always keep recording!