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10 most popular fitness questions and answers
Over the last 5 months we have answered many questions about fitness emerging from user comments, email enquiries or topics we selected for publication. The 10 most popular questions with their answers are outlined below. Click the question title to get a more detailed answer.
How many calories should I burn a day? This is the most popular question. Other variations include ‘how many calories to lose weight’ or ‘how many calories to eat per day’. There is no magic number or a number that fits all cases. You can use our free calorie calculator and calculate the number of calories you need to consume per day based on your age, sex and activity levels. You can then calculate how many calories you actually eat per day (using our free food journal) and by deducting this number from the previous result you can find out the number of calories you should burn per day for weight maintenance, weight gain or weight loss. Although this number is just a guide, it’s good to know before starting your weight loss efforts.
How to lose 15 pounds? The first step is to find out how many calories you are eating per day and if this number is above or below your daily calorie requirements. The next step is to decide in how many weeks you want to lose the 15 pounds taking into account that a pound is 3500 calories. For example if you want to lose 15 pounds in 12 weeks that means you need to save 4375 kcal per week (15 x 3500 = 52500 / 12 =4375). Read our post for a more detailed example as well as a suggested diet and workout plan.
Is dark chocolate good for you? The presence of flavanols in cocoa beans makes dark chocolate a healthy choice. Flavanols can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, fight bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol. Commercial chocolates pass through processing and the contents of flavanols is reduced. So the answer is yes, dark chocolate is good for your health provided that you consume in moderation.
How to stop sugar cravings – In a nutshell: Don’t deprive yourself from sugar but try to control the quantities you consume. Clean the house from any sweets and be brave the first 24-48 hours. Sugar is an addiction and like any other addiction the first 2 days are difficult but important. Avoid artificial sweeteners and choose low GI carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar fluctuations at the minimum. Try to get into the habit of eating fruits as snacks, drink a class of water every couple of hours and brush your teeth after each meal.
Zumba for weight loss – Zumba is a fun way to lose weight and stay fit. You may not be able to lose 800 calories per hour (as some people claim) but if you do zumba 2-3 times per week you can get some good results. Depending on the type of Zumba class you attend and the experience of the instructor you can Zumba for weight loss and expect to lose around 500kcal per session, a number that is equivalent to a high impact aerobics class. Combine your Zumba sessions with weight lifting and a balanced diet and you have the perfect workout plan.
1200 calorie diet – Many people wonder what a 1200 calorie diet looks like. Is it too hard to follow and above all is it healthy? 1200 calories per day is the minimum you can go and this after the approval of your doctor or nutritionist. The Calorie Secrets diet is 1200 kcal on average (for a week), it is balanced, flexible and healthy. People who followed our diet came back with very encouraging results, try it out yourself and let us know your feedback!
What to eat for breakfast to lose weight? A breakfast high in fibre and protein and low in fat and sugar is ideal for weight loss. Breakfast should account for 1/4 of your daily calorie requirements. For example if you follow a 1200 calorie diet, breakfast should be around 300 calories.
Best nuts for weight loss? Best nuts for weight loss should be raw, unsalted, uncoated and not roasted. Examples of healthy nuts include: almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts. A handful per day as a snack or after dinner treat can provide your body with antioxidants, vitamins and energy.
What is a calorie shifting diet? Calorie shifting is when you consume more calories in one day and less calories the next day but keeping the average of the week within the level that will produce a weekly deficit and thus weight loss. For example if you daily limit is 1500 calories you may consume 1800 calories one day and 1200 calories the next day but keeping the average to 1500. Calorie shifting can be applied to any diet and some people find it easier to follow than conventional diet techniques. It is used by athletes and bodybuilders as a way to boost their metabolic rate.
How does water make you lose weight? Better control of appetite, makes you feel full for longer, minimizes sugar cravings, gives you more energy, aids digestion, reduces water weight and promotes detoxing. You can take advantage of all these reasons by consuming at least 3.7 liters of water per day (for men) or 2.7 liters for women.