Thursday, March 17, 2005

Nutrition 101...

Alright at last I got enough time to write this down. And I decided that it would be best to publish it in my blog too (Criss I hope you don’t mind). This is a very simple method to calculate your body needs & rearrange the amount of food you're consuming. Just take in mind that this is only about the energy you gain from the food not the vital nutrients you are supposed to get. That shall be discussed in another topic. (I don’t promise but if I would find the nutrition charts on line, I'd post them here. Mine are in Persian & it's no use to post them.)
To start our nutrition 101, we must learn a few expressions:
* Cal: in nutrition Science energy is measured by Cal (with capital C) which indicate Kilo Calories. So if I would write 9 Cal, then it means 9 kilo calorie. (Note: each Cal is 4.8 joules)
* REE: Resting Energy Expenditure: this is the minimum required energy for natural body reactions without any kind of physical action involved (like when you're sleeping).
Ladies generally need 0.9 to 0.95 Cal per hour for each Kg of body weight to survive. It means if you're 50 kg lady then you need: 50*0.9*24= 1080 Cal per day just to live on.
As for gentlemen the figure is 1 Cal per hour for each Kg of body weight. For example a 50 Kg man needs: 50*1*24= 1200 Cal per day.
The first step to start a diet is to calculate your REE. & no matter what, you shall not take a diet with less energy than REE (that is called straining diet)
REE is affected by some factors like fever, pregnancy, Lactation, growth age, stress, emotional experiences &.... in these cases REE might be raised up to 13%.
* Required Energy for Physical Activity (PA Coefficient):
Now comes the important part, how much Cal do you need to really get by per day? There are Coefficients which would determine your body need:
- sitting without Strenuous physical activity: 1.4-1.5
- sitting with Strenuous physical activity: 1.5-1.6
- standing: 1.8-1.9
- intense physical activity: 2.0-2.4
- Sportive physical activities 2 or 3 times per week for at least 30-60 minutes will add 0.3 to each figure.
If you multiple these coefficients (depending on your situation) by your REE, you'll get your required energy expenditure.
For instance suppose a 50 kg salesman who is standing most of the time:
REE: 50*1*24= 1200 Cal/day; 1200*1.8= 2160 Cal/day
This means he at least needs 2160 Cal per day to be able to do his job.
* TEF (Thermal Effect of Food): this is the heat released by your body after you consume food. TEF is usually around 10% of required Energy Expenditure.
So in the above example, it will be 2160* 10%= 216 Cal/day

Now we get to calculate the real Energy Requirement of your body: you shall add TEF to the Required EE. (2160+216= 2376 Cal/day in the example)
Therefore there is this simple equivalent for your body energy need: (REE*P.A) + TEF
Obviously, if you consume more Cal than the figure, you'll get fat & the less you consume, the thinner you become.
If you want to lose weight healthily, your diet should contain 10 to 15% (on top) less Cal than the figure you calculated above. Remember that a diet with less than REE Cal can damage both your health & sanity.
When you're done calculating, then it's time to manage your diet. You shall consume 40% of your Cal during lunch time. It is said that you can have 25% at breakfast & 10 to 15% at dinner time & divide the rest into 2 or 3 meals along the day.
You're supposed to receive 60-65% of your Cal through Carbohydrates (like sugar, Starch, Rice, Potato, Bread & Fibers), 20-25% through fats & 10-15% through proteins.
I hope this very basic information about Nutrition would help to somehow managing the diet & food consuming habits. Remember that this is just about the Cal you get. In a healthy diet there are other factors involved like the need for vital micronutrients, maximum & minimum level of consuming the three basic nutrients (Carbohydrates, fats & proteins), your health state & a lot more.
Please, please do not follow a diet before consulting your family doctor &/or a nutritionist. For an optimum diet you shall take into account different aspects. Even if a diet had worked fine for someone else it does not mean it's good for you too.
Yeah & remember to EXERCISE. That is the Magical Charm to lose weight.
Well, if I should be of any assist, is where you can leave me a message.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There are a lot of things in my mind; I don’t know which one to pick.

First of all there is Norooz & the New Year & all the traditions related to it. this year however, I don’t feel the mood for the spring & New Year. It is sort of weird cos the weather is like heaven & the sky is clear, the birds singing & you know the usual stuff... still it fails to reach my heart somehow. I gathered it would due to the new job & the whole unstable, still adjusting I'm in.
On the other hand, my mind keeps bothering me about the whole nuclear power thing going on in Iran. I'm frightened & unsure of what lays ahead for my country. We really don’t need another war. Honestly, I doubt US would attack Iran due to the new tone in the public speeches of US politicians. Yet if the government would clutch to unreasonable discussions, then another ban on Iran would be underway. & heaven knows it's the last thing this country needs.
Apart from general worries, there are some quite personal issues running around in my life too. it is kind of related to the gang & the way we all changed. Now I'm hearing some sort of disappointing news about the whole group & I wonder where we went wrong. I wonder what happened to the innocent friendships & trust between us. I still have my friends but the gang is shattered to pieces. We would hang out but it's not the same. There are hurts & disappointments, unspoken frustration which is building itself up & it seems to be undefeatable. We all need time to get used to the changes. I hate the fact that an unpredictable misery made us drift apart instead of bringing us close & unite us. Enough said about that.
There are bright sides in life too. I met P- the pampering wife today. (he was a friend in my CLC class) & she is such a sweet girl. We seemed to bond quickly & that was cool. I hope she liked me too. & I hope to see my other friend's fiancée too. (The one who had a crush on me!) & that would the more important one cos I want to leave a good impression to save our friendship. Let's pray it goes smoothly.
Well, now I get to go & sleep... tomorrow would be another day at work... correction another hard day at work!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

What had happened to me?

I'm still alive... well, at least I can say that I'm breathing & everything is fine. The weather had been pretty cold here. Tehran had not had the amount of snow it snowed in 50 years or so. & in some parts of the country the electricity were shut off due to the heavy snow & cold weather. & in one particular area in the south coast of Caspian the capital of Gilan province, Rasht, was isolated & the unexpected natural disaster comity had to take charge of the city.
However, right now the weather is pretty nice. It is sunny & a cool breeze is blowing. The air pollution is under control & you can actually behold the great Damavand from the city center. I wish I had a digital camera & I could post some pictures from Tehran these days.
It's going to be New Year here in less than a month & this means everyone is out there buying & getting ready for the New Year & spring.
Among all the rush in the streets & the strollers who pass by chatting & window shopping, I feel like a complete freak. The New Year rush had not hit me yet. It might be because of the fact that the new job is kinda separating me from the usual stuff. Typically I should have started my spring cleaning up by now; but alas, spring cleaning is becoming more of a burden than the joyous job it once was. I'm at work from 8 to 4 & most of my evenings are spent out either I have classes or there is a gathering somewhere I had to attend or simply my friends want to hang out. So it's almost 8 pm when I get home.
This very last weekend the Masc. entrance exam was held. I participated in two different majors: Food Engineering & MBA. This means I had exams on Thursday & Friday. It was kinda straining, cos I didn’t get enough sleep & it sure affects my job.
Now I shall stop whining & get some sleep. It would be another full time, hectic day tomorrow but I promised myself to write more (if only I get the time & energy to turn on my pc!)