It always seems impossible until it's done.

Nelson Mandela

 

new joiners start here

Use the NHS calculator below to get an idea of your ideal healthy weight.

Then in the TRACKER BELOW, add this as a “Target Weight” and press “Set Target”.

Note you need to be a member to record/store measurements. SignUp/Login here

existing users

Daily or at any other longer interval “Add a New Weight” (be honest and accurate!) and press “Save Entry”

When you add a new weight to the tracker it will only record a maximum of one entry a day, so if you add another weight entry on the same day, it will overwrite the previous one. Once a new day begins, you can not go back and change a stored weight entry.

If logged in, your personal chart will appear after several weights have been added.

Hover over graph points to see actual weight and date recorded.

See the league table to see who’s shed the most!

To lose 2 pounds a week (a safe achievable target), you need to burn 900 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day

Dropping weight too quickly has downsides: Muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, loose skin, gallstones potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia’s, to name a few

The flabbier you are at first, a larger percentage of lost weight will come from fat. Starting at say 300 pounds, a goal of 1% loss weekly means you would shed 3 pounds a week. But if you’re just looking to drop 10 pounds from a lean frame, you’ll have a harder time hanging on to all your muscle

Resistance training is key to keeping muscle while burning fat.

Protein provides essential amino acids that your body uses to make muscle. Skimp and you’ll lose more muscle.

See Further Reading links, for more info about nutrition and exercise.

           tracker

You need to be logged in to record your weight.

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Statistics

(displayed only to the logged-in member)

Your start weight: 
Difference at latest weight input:  
Needed to reach target:  

your BMI

Your BMI based on last weight:

BMI shown only to logged in member

What is BMI?

The Body Mass Index is a measure that uses height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2. For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range.

below 18.5 – underweight range
18.5 to 24.9 – healthy weight range
25 to 29.9 – overweight range
30 to 39.9 – obese range

Accuracy of BMI
BMI takes into account natural variations in body shape, giving a healthy weight range for a particular height. Healthcare professionals may take other factors into account when making an assessment. Muscle is denser than fat, so very muscular people, (eg: heavyweight boxers, weight trainers, athletes), may be a healthy weight even though their BMI is classed as obese. Ethnic group can also affect your risk of some health conditions. For example, adults of Asian origin may have a higher risk of health problems at BMI levels below 25.

acommunity.co.uk league

Just for fun. Target weight and current weight concealed to protect the innocent. League based on percentage of weight lost overall to date, compared to your very first weight recorded. Any value without a negative (-) is a gain upwards ie; you are putting weight ON… lets lose it! We need to be NEGATIVE (-) about this!

Name Weight Difference+/-No of entries
1 Simon -13.8lbs -7% 27
2 Martin -9.41lbs -4% 3
3 Gerry -5.2lbs -3% 11
4 Paul -3lbs -2% 8

Total Community Lost: 31.41lbs

Further Reading
www.nutrition.gov US government website offering healthy eating ideas
www.niddk.nih.gov Weight management from a US National Institute
www.nhs.uk Healthy weight advice from the NHS
www.cdc.gov More advice from our American Cousins
Download NHS guide "Losing Weight"
www.menshealth.co.uk  Cheats guide to lose weight fast
www.youtube.com/channel Top youTube weight loss channel

Tabs of information – Click to find out more. Regularly updated info directly related to weight loss

A calorie is a unit of measurement. Calories in food provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function. Our bodies store and “burn” calories as fuel.

When the word “calorie” is used in nutrition settings, it is usually a casual definition and actually refers to kilocalories.

Calorie (cal) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celcius.

Kilocalories (kcal) is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celcius. A kilocalorie is equivalent to 1000 calories. Kilocalories are sometimes called “food calories” or just “calories” when referring to the energy in food.

KiloJoule (kj) is another unit of metric measurement used to quantify energy. One small calorie is equivalent to just under 4.2 joules. A kilocalorie is equivalent to 4.2 kilojoules. So to find the energy content in kilojoules, multiply the calorie figure by 4.2.

Calories and Weight Gain
When we eat and drink more calories than we use up, our bodies store the excess as body fat. If this continues over time we may put on weight. Too much fat can cause health problems. Daily recommended caloric intake for the average person is 2500 for a man and 2000 for women. Specific, individual calorie needs depend on several factors such as your activity level and metabolism.

Checking calories on food labels
The calorie content of shop-bought foods is stated on the packaging as part of the nutrition label and is often given in kcals (kilocalories) and in kJ (kilojoules). This information will appear under the “Energy” heading.

The label will usually tell you how many calories are contained in 100 grams or 100 millilitres of the food or drink, so you can compare the calorie content of different products. The label may also state the number of calories in “one portion” of the food. However, the manufacturer’s idea of “one portion” may not be the same as yours, so there could be more or less calories in the portion you serve yourself.

An example: A two-finger KitKat contains 106kcal (443kJ), so anything more than 21 of these KitKats would mean an average person had exceeded their calorific requirement that day.

Calories in Food
Different types of food provide different levels of energy. Fat provides more calories per gram. But some types of fat are necessary for a healthy body. Polyunsaturated fat, for example, helps you to maintain a healthy heart. And even though carbs provide fewer calories, some carbs are not as healthy as others. Refined carbohydrates, for example, are considered empty calories.

Experts generally agree that a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t necessarily matter where your calories come from. To lose weight, you need to consume less and burn more.

However, some calories provide special weight loss benefits. For example, calories from protein are helpful in building and maintaining muscle. When you have more muscle, you are better able to stay active during the day and burn more calories. And calories from foods rich in fiber help you to feel full and satisfied throughout the day so you eat less and slim down.

Count Calories to Lose Weight
If you consume about 3,500 excess calories you will gain one pound. So to lose one pound, you need to create a calorie deficit. You need to decrease your caloric intake by 3500 calories or burn an extra 3500 calories. You can also combine both methods to reach the correct calorie deficit.

You can reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day to lose one pound each week. A 1-2 pound decrease in weight is considered a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss. The most important thing to remember is to not cut calories too drastically.

www.nhs.uk Calorie-checker here

There are many different diets. Some aimed at weight loss, others to gain weight, feel healthy, lower fat, change lifestyles, cure medical issues etc. These are the most popular weight loss diets. Diets come with certain risks and you should speak with your doctor if you are considering any.

Atkins – Designed by American cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins, and aims to lose weight by avoiding carbohydrates and controlling insulin levels. Dieters eat as much fat and protein as they want.

FPlan – high fibre diet from 1980s by UK author Audrey Eyton, founder of Slimming Magazine. Restricts daily intake of calories to less than 1,500 whilst consuming very high levels of dietary fibre. Fibre gives dieter “full” feeling and promotes healthy digestive system. Disadvantages can manifest in excessive farting/burping and having to eat food that tastes and looks like cardboard. You’ll need to drink plenty of liquids to prevent constipation. In 2006 Eyton published an updated “F2” diet which claims to be more effective and campaigns against low-carb diets (Atkins).

Healthy

Ketogenic diet – used as a treatment for epilepsy and other uses. It involves reducing carbohydrate intake and upping fat intake, allowing the body to burn fat, rather than carbohydrates, as a fuel. Healthy fats, (eg: in avocados, coconuts, Brazil nuts, seeds, oily fish, olive oil) are added to diet. This causes the break down of fat deposits for fuel and creates substances called ketones. This diet has specific risks for people with type 1 diabetes.

Low Fat

Mediterranean diet – focuses on nutritional habits in Crete, Greece, and South Italy. Nowadays, Spain, South France, and Portugal are also included. Emphasis is on plant foods, fresh fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, seeds, olive oil, cheese, yogurts, small amounts of fish, poultry, eggs, red meat, wine.

Up to one-third of the Mediterranean diet consists of fat, with saturated fats not exceeding 8 percent of calorie intake. The Mediterranean diet is the most extensively studied diet to date, with reliable research supporting its use for improving a person’s quality of life and lowering disease risk.

Paleolithic

Raw foodism – is eating foods/drinks that are not processed, plant-based and ideally organic. Min of 75% of food should be uncooked. There are 4 main types of raw foodists: raw vegetarians, raw vegans, raw omnivores, and raw carnivores.

Vegetarian diets – There are various types, but the majority of vegetarians are lacto-ovo vegetarians (they do not eat animal-based foods, except for eggs, dairy, and honey).

Very low Carb

Zone diet – aims for nutritional balance of 40% carbs, 30% fats and 30% protein in meals. It focuses on controlling insulin levels, which can result in more successful weight loss than other methods. It uses the consumption of high-quality carbohydrates – unrefined carbohydrates, and fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

 

The proportion of some bacteria in the gut may be responsible for how much weight we are able to lose, and under what circumstances. General dietary guidelines targeting whole populations may therefore be less effective than previously believed.

Latest research indicates that there is not a diet that works for everyone, gut flora dictates that it is very personal, based upon each individual’s needs.

Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis

There are around 40 trillion of microorganisms in the gut. We have more bacterial cells than human cells and these bacteria affect our lives daily. Gut organisms digest food, produce chemicals and substances within the body, control infections by pathogens, regulate the immune system and control emotions. Studies link your gut microbiome, to many chronic conditions, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease, psoriasis, lupus, and even autism.

Function of Metabolites in the Gut

Microbes in your gut produce thousands of chemicals, called metabolites, that affect your overall wellness. Some of these metabolites are beneficial to health, such as B-vitamins and short chain fatty acids. Others can be harmful, such as Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is linked to coronary artery disease. This variation in gut microbes explains why people have such individualised needs.

Gut Microbiome Testing to Improve Health

Analysis of the metabolites in our gut allows us to see what to eat and what to take to improve wellness in the fastest way possible.

A company called Viome (for others Google gut testing kit) does a form of testing called metatranscriptome sequencing. It looks at the RNA, metabolites, and the deeper picture of the gut and amongst other things, will identify the ideal ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats you need in your for achieving healthy weight.

Respiration is the chemical reaction that allows cells to release energy from food. The metabolic rate is the speed at which such chemical reactions take place in the body. It varies due to age, gender, proportion of body muscle to fat, amount of exercise/physical activity and genetic traits. Metabolic rate increases as we exercise. The minimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR accounts for anything between 40% and 70% of your body’s daily energy requirements, depending on your age and lifestyle. A “slow metabolism” is more accurately described as a low BMR.  Online calculator using Harris-Benedict equation.

Crash diets/calorie-restricted diets can slow your metabolism. Your body may be forced to break down muscle to use for energy. The lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism.

It is alleged these foods increase metabolic rate and can help with weight loss:

Chile Peppers: capsaicin stimulates the body’s pain receptors
Whole Grains: Oatmeal, Quinoa, Brown Rice, stabilise insulin levels
Broccoli: High in calcium (known weight-reducer), vitamins, folate and dietary fibre
Soups
Green Tea
Apples and Pears
Spices: black pepper, mustard seeds, powdered onion and ginger are more speedy
Citrus Fruits: may be due to fruits’ vitamin C, that reduces insulin spikes.
Foods High in Calcium
Foods High in Omega-3’s: These acids reduce production leptin hormone
Purified Water: speeds up fat burn

Some people seem to have a fast metabolism – they are probably just more active/more fidgety, than others. Most effective ways of burning calories:

Aerobic activity
Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to burn calories. Aim for min 25 mins a day (eg: walking, cycling, swimming).

Strength training
Muscle burns more calories than fat. Do muscle-strengthening activities that work major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms) at least 2 days a week. Eg: lift weights, High-intensity Training, Heavy gardening.

Be active
Make activity part of your daily routine. Eg: walk or cycle everywhere, use stairs instead of lifts.

Fasting for weight loss, eating little or no food , will result in weight loss. But do the risks outweigh any benefits? Can it cause more harm than good? Is there a correct way of doing it?

Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for healthy adults. High-risk people, the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are advised against any type of fasting.

The potential danger lies in fasting for prolonged periods, say 4 days or more. When you dramatically reduce calorie intake, you lose weight. But it may cause health problems, including muscle loss. When you start fasting, your body goes into conservation mode, burning calories more slowly. When you go back to eating, any lost weight usually returns because the now slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. Also, the weight regained is likely to be all fat.

Some scientists say that periods of eating very little or nothing could also be the key to controlling chemicals produced by the body linked to the development of disease and the ageing process. Studies on animals fed very low-calorie diets, found the thinnest (not medically underweight/malnourished) are the healthiest and live the longest.

A factor is the hormone Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 and other growth factors keep our cells constantly active. A way to reduce IGF-1 levels dramatically – as well as cholesterol, and blood pressure – is by fasting. You need adequate levels of IGF-1 and other growth factors when you are growing, but high levels later in life (to age 65 approx) appear to lead to accelerated ageing. See Study here 

Try these various fasting regimes for 6 weeks only, no food:

– every other day
– for 3 days straight
– any 2 days a week

Eat what you like on none-fasting days and continue normal liquid intake on all days.

Michael Mosley, BBC reporter, tried a fasting diets for the BBC’s science series Horizon. He started out at 13½ st. After 6 weeks on various fasting diets he lost 20lb, and his cholesterol, blood glucose and IGF-1 all improved markedly. See program here

Carbohydrates

Carbs are chemical compounds that contain only carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. They are made up of joined-up sugars. Sugars have the general formula Cm(H2O)n, and are also known as saccharides.

Certain carbs are an important storage and transport form of energy. Carbs in nutrition are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. They are considered a basic food group and important to healthy life.

They are macronutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy, or calories: carbohydrates, protein and fats. Macronutrients are thought essential for proper body functioning, and the body requires large amounts of them. All macronutrients must be obtained through diet; the body cannot produce macronutrients on its own.

The energy produced by carbs is 4 calories per gram. Proteins provide 4 calories per gram. Fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Biochemistry (thanks to Wikipedia)

There are 4 types of carbs, named by the number of sugar molecules they contain:

A. Simple saccharides with one or two sugar molecules:
1. Monosaccharides – single sugar e.g. glucose , fructose
2. Disaccharides – two saccharides. e.g. sucrose, lactose
B. Longer chain saccharides:
3. Oligosaccharides (shortish chains), often linked to amino acids or lipids. They play a special role in cell membranes.
4. Polysaccharides (long chains) are complex carbohydrates, with linear chains of sugars or branched clusters. Their function is either energy storage (starch, glycogen) or building structures (cellulose, chitin).

Carbs are the most common source of energy. Protein builds tissue and cells in the body. They are good for energy, but, if a person eats more than needed, the extra is changed into fat.

High levels are in processed foods, refined foods made from plants, and sweets, biscuits, table sugar, honey, soft drinks, breads, crackers, jams, fruit products, pastas, potatoes and breakfast cereals.

Lower amounts of carbs are associated with unrefined foods, like beans, tubers, rice, unrefined fruit. Animal-based foods generally have the lowest carb levels, although milk does contain a high proportion of lactose.

We can live without eating carbs as the human body can change proteins into carbs. People of some cultures eat food with very little carbs, but still remain healthy. However most experts say the recommended daily amount (RDA) for adults is around 135 grams. Intake for most people should be about 50% percent of total calories, depending on who you believe. One gram of carbohydrates equals about 4 calories, so a diet of 1,800 calories per day would equal about 202 grams on the low end and 292 grams of carbs on the high end. Individuals with diabetes or other medical issues may have different carb requirements.

Simple vs. complex carbohydrates
Carbs are classified as simple or complex. The difference between the two is the chemical structure and how quickly the sugar is absorbed and digested. Generally, simple carbs are digested and absorbed more quickly and easily than complex ones. Simple carbs contain one or two sugars, such as fructose (found in fruits) and galactose (found in milk products). These single sugars are called monosaccharides. Carbs with two sugars — such as sucrose (table sugar), lactose (from dairy) and maltose (found in beer and some vegetables) — are disaccharides.

Simple carbs are also in sweets, soda and syrups. However, these foods are made with processed and refined sugars and do not have vitamins, minerals or fiber. They are sometimes “empty calories” and can lead to weight gain.

Complex carbs (polysaccharides) have three or more sugars. They are often referred to as starchy foods and include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, potatoes, corn, parsnips, whole-grain breads and cereals.

All carbs function as relatively quick energy sources, simple carbs cause bursts of energy much more quickly than complex carbs because of the quicker rate at which they are digested and absorbed. Simple carbs can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and sugar highs, while complex carbs provide more sustained energy.

Studies have shown that replacing saturated fats with simple carbs, such as those in many processed foods, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It is probably best have a mostly complex carb diet, including whole grains and vegetables.

Animal-based foods generally have the lowest carb levels, although milk does contain a high proportion of lactose.

Low Calorie Carbs: Seaweed, Vine Leaf, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Cress, Alfalfa Sprouts, Bok Choy, Avocado, Spinach, Chilli,  Silverbeet/Chard, Celery, Artichoke Hearts, Bamboo Shoots, Asparagus, Zucchini, Bean Sprouts, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Rocket, Kale, Savoy Cabbage, Tomato, Eggplant, Green Pepper, Red Cabbage, Okra, Raddish, Leek, Fennel, Turnip, Swede, Green Beans, Onion, Ginger, Water Chestnuts, Kidney Beans, Jicama, Beetroot, Pumpkin

Medium Calorie Carbs: Pasta, Potatoes,

High Calorie Carbs: Rice, Biscuits, Pastries, Doughnuts, Bread, Cereal, Beer

Sugars, starches and fibers
In the body, carbs break down into smaller units of sugar, such as glucose and fructose. The small intestine absorbs these smaller units, which then enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver. The liver converts all of these sugars into glucose, which is carried through the bloodstream — accompanied by insulin — and converted into energy for basic body functioning and physical activity.

If the glucose is not immediately needed for energy, the body can store up to 2,000 calories of it in the liver and skeletal muscles in the form of glycogen. Once glycogen stores are full, carbs are stored as fat. If you have insufficient carb intake or stores, the body will consume protein for fuel. This may be problematic because the body needs protein to make muscles. Using protein instead of carbs for fuel also puts stress on the kidneys, leading to the passage of painful byproducts in the urine.

Fiber is essential to digestion. Fibers promote healthy bowel movements and decrease the risk of chronic diseases. However, unlike sugars and starches, fibers are not absorbed in the small intestine and are not converted to glucose. Instead, they pass into the large intestine relatively intact, where they are converted to hydrogen and carbon dioxide and fatty acids. Most authorities suggest people consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories. Sources of fiber include fruits, grains and vegetables, especially legumes.

Carbs are also found naturally in some forms of dairy and both starchy and nonstarchy vegetables. For example, nonstarchy vegetables like lettuces, kale, green beans, celery, carrots and broccoli all contain carbs. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn also contain carbs, but in larger amounts. Nonstarchy vegetables generally contain only about 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup of raw vegetables, and most of those carbs come from fiber.

Good V Bad
Carbs are found in foods you know are good for you (vegetables) and ones you know are not (doughnuts). This has led to the idea that some carbs are “good” and some are “bad.” Commonly considered bad include pastries, sodas, highly processed foods, white rice, white bread and other white-flour foods. These are foods with simple carbs. Bad carbs rarely have any nutritional value.

Carbs usually considered good are complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. These are not only processed more slowly, but they also contain other nutrients.

Generally considered Good carbs:

Low or moderate in calories
High in nutrients
Devoid of refined sugars and refined grains
High in naturally occurring fiber
Low in sodium
Low in saturated fat
Very low in, or devoid of, cholesterol and trans fats

Bad carbs are:

High in calories
Full of refined sugars, like corn syrup, white sugar, honey and fruit juices
High in refined grains like white flour
Low in many nutrients
Low in fiber
High in sodium
Sometimes high in saturated fat
Sometimes high in cholesterol and trans fats

Glycemic index
Nutritionists say it is not the type of carbohydrate, but rather the carb’s glycemic index, that’s important. The glycemic index measures how quickly and how much a carb raises blood sugar. High-glycemic foods like pastries raise blood sugar highly and rapidly; low-glycemic foods raise it gently and to a lesser degree. Some research has linked high-glycemic foods with diabetes and other problems. On the other hand, research suggests that a low-glycemic diet may not be helpful. Studies found that overweight adults eating a balanced diet did not see much additional improvement on a low-calorie, low-glycemic index diet. Measured insulin sensitivity, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol did not improve. It did lower triglycerides.

Weight loss

Carbs are often blamed for weight gain, the right kind of carbs can actually help you lose and maintain a healthy weight. This happens because many good carbohydrates, especially whole grains and vegetables with skin, contain fiber. It is difficult to get sufficient fiber on a low-carb diet. Dietary fiber helps you to feel full, and generally comes in relatively low-calorie foods. Low-carb diets do help people lose weight, a meta analysis conducted in 2015 and published in The Lancet found that when viewed long term, low-fat and low-carb diets had similar success rates. People lost more weight early on while on low-carb diets but after a year they were all in similar places.

Good source of nutrients

Whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are well known for their nutrient content and all contain carbs. A plentiful source of good carbs is whole grains. A large study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that those eating the most whole grains had significantly higher amounts of fiber, energy and polyunsaturated fats, as well as all micronutrients (except vitamin B12 and sodium). An additional study, published in 2014 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, found that whole grains contain antioxidants, which were previously thought to exist almost exclusively in fruits and vegetables.

Heart health

Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol. The digestive process requires bile acids, which are made partly with cholesterol. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

Carbohydrate deficiency
Not getting enough carbs may cause problems. Without sufficient fuel, the body gets no energy. Additionally, without sufficient glucose, the central nervous system suffers, which may cause dizziness or mental and physical weakness. A deficiency of glucose, or low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia. If the body has insufficient carbohydrate intake or stores, it will consume protein for fuel. This is problematic because the body needs protein to make muscles. Using protein for fuel instead of carbohydrates also puts stress on the kidneys, leading to the passage of painful byproducts in the urine. People who don’t consume enough carbohydrates may also suffer from insufficient fiber, which can cause digestive problems and constipation.

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