The Calories Burned Swimming

I took up swimming recently, mostly because it is something I always wanted to do, but also because it is a great way to burn calories and unlike other sports is zero impact. Because of the zero impact nature of swimming, it is something you can do long term without risk of injury although the calories burned swimming are not as high as other physical activities like Basketball or running.

Skip Directly to: Calories burned swimming: breaststroke | backstroke | freestyle | sidestroke | treading water

As you will see from the list below, for any given body weight, the Butterfly stroke burns the most calories. It is also the hardest to learn and in my experience the last you do learn. The calories burned figures below are based on swimming each specific stroke for an hour, based on the closest body weight. For shorter time periods, simple divide the numbers shown. As an added bonus, in addition to calories burned from the actual physical movement, research also shows that thermogenic effect of the water adds to the calorie burn and increases fat loss.

Calories burned swimming Freestyle

130lbs: (fast) 590 calories | (slow) 413 calories
155lbs: (fast) 704 calories | (slow) 493 calories
180lbs: (fast) 817 calories | (slow) 572 calories
205lbs: (fast) 931 calories | (slow) 651 calories

Calories burned swimming Backtstroke

130lbs: 413 calories
155lbs: 493 calories
180lbs: 472 calories
205lbs: 651 calories

Calories burned swimming Butterfly

130lbs: 649 calories
155lbs: 774 calories
180lbs: 899 calories
205lbs: 1024 calories

Calories burned swimming Breaststroke

130lbs: 590 calories
155lbs: 704 calories
180lbs: 817 calories
205lbs: 931 calories

Calories burned swimming Sidestroke

130lbs: 413 calories
155lbs: 493 calories
180lbs: 472 calories
205lbs: 651 calories

Calories burned treading water

130lbs: 236 calories
155lbs: 281 calories
180lbs: 327 calories
205lbs: 372 calories

The Side Effects of MSG

Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer created from the sodium salt of the glutamic acid. It is meant to stimulate the taste buds and trick the brain into thinking that the food ingested is delicious. Processed foods are not exactly tasty – they lack the flavors that natural meat and vegetables contain. So, food manufacturers add liberal doses of MSG to enhance the original flavor of processed foods like canned soups, food flavorings and condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, processed cheese, instant noodle soup powders, and even sausages, chips, frozen meats and canned goods.

Because of its bad reputation, it has hidden itself in food labels with other pseudonyms like “natural flavorings”, “spices” and “hydrolyzed protein”. They still mean MSG, and they are not safe. Here are the noted side effects of MSG.

First, it is believed to affect the neurons of the brain, so frequently eating processed foods that contain MSG could be a possible cause if you suffer from frequent headaches. Other people may also complain of a tight, uncomfortable sensation in the chest and upper body. There could also be feeling of burning and numbness, like a bad heartburn.

Other neurological side effects of MSG are due to its long-term consumption. MSG predisposes a person to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, it can also cause seizures, brain tumors, allergies, asthma attacks and even cancer. In the interests of your health and wellbeing, stick to natural flavors like salt, pepper and vinegar and stay clear of any food you suspect might have MSG.

My Four Hour Body, Slow Carb Diet Progress

four-hour-body

I’ve been on Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour body Slow Carb Diet now for just under two months. For those of you interested, or in the middle of it, here’s my progress and some of my general observations that might help if you are hitting a plateau of any sort. In the interests of perspective, my starting weight was 156.2lb (71kg) and 19% body fat measured using a bio impedance scale (used only  for the purpose of tracking improvements).

Weeks 1-4
During my first month, I lost a total of 4kg (approximately 8.8lbs) and went from a 19% bodyfat percentage around 17%. Most of that loss (about 1.5kg) was within the first week and loss of water weight probably accounts for most of it. For the rest of the weeks, the loss was consistent but just short of the 1kg mark. The only things I did during this first month was to switch over to the slow carb diet, and attempt to eat within the first hour of waking and took low dosages of the AGG stack.

Weeks 5-8
The second month, in terms of overall weight loss, has been much much less, around 1.5kg and dropping further from 17% bodyfat to the low 16% region. During this month, the actual loss of weight was only within the last week. I noticed a sudden stop to the fat loss during the start of the month, and I was at a loss to explain why. I had only done two things differently from the first month. 1. I added 24g in Whey form to breakfast to hit the 30g of protein mark, and 2. Upped the dosage of ALA to 200mg.

As it turns out, I was using flavored Whey, which has, in rather minute quantities, Lactose. After reading around on Tim’s blog and his post on updates and corrections to the book, it turns out, that you need to consume Unflavored Whey, which has no Lactose, but is nearly impossible for me get where I live and is prohibitively expensive anyway. So I have stopped taking Whey until I hit my desired weight and body fat percentage target (10-12%). At that point I will do a combination of Geek to Freak and Occams Protocol and build muscle at expense of fat loss.

In addition, in terms of exercise, I try to do at least 75 kettlebell swings twice a week along with the Cat Vomit and Myotatic Crunches.

I post another update at Week 12, which should be around the 9th of March. If you have any questions and/or suggestions please let me know.

The Ideal Body Fat Percentage

ideal-body-fat-percentage

No two people are alike. The ideal body fat percentage, varies from person to person and it depends on many factors such as age, height, genetics, types of activities, and eating habits; however, there is a percentage (a rule of thumb in a manner of speaking) that is considered healthy and attainable for most men and women. The following chart (from the American Council on Exercise) lays out the ideal body fat percentages for both men and women according to age. Age and gender must always be taken into account, as they a the primary differentiating factors.

DESCRIPTION WOMEN MEN
Essential Fat 10-13% 2-5%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-24%
Obesity >32% >25%

Elite athletes fall under the lean category. They have different standards than the average person and therefore comparing yourself is pointless unless you have the same level of physical activity and nutrition, remember, we are talking about training everyday on a strict diet regime. So what about the rest of us who aren’t top-performing athletes? In general, a 30-year old man should ideally fall somewhere between 10-16% (my personal target is to get to 12%), while a 30-year old woman should fall between 18-22%.

Obesity in the U.S. and Europe is on the rise. Men with a percentage of over 25% and women with a percentage over 32% can experience severe health complications. This is clearly a visible unhealthiness. But what about dropping too low? Having a low body fat is equally as unhealthy, just in different ways. Having a low body fat percentage decreases performance and can also cause serious health issues. Unless you are training for the Olympics or some other high-intensity competition, there is really no reason to drop below 8% for men and 14% for women.

Some people continue to blame genetics on their health problems and/or levels of body fat, especially when it comes to weight. Where you store fat on your body can be contributed to your genetic makeup, but most weight gain and loss is linked to your lifestyle. The good news is, if you want to change your body composition you can. You are not confined to your present state of being. The biggest thing you can start to change is your diet. To achieve a healthy body fat percentage you must create the right balance between the food you eat and the energy burned (calories in versus calories out). It’s not about total weight as this can usually give a false sense of healthy versus unhealthy. Underwater weighing, skin fold thickness measurements, bio electrical impedance, general measurements and the body mass index are ways in which you can determine your body fat percentage and start to reach healthy goals. Just remember to always use more than one form of measurement, ideally body fat percentage and measurements.

If its six pack abs you are after then, the ideal body fat percentage for men, is around 12% for basic definition and 9-10% to look ripped.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator

Body Mass Index Calculator

The Body Mass Index, also known popularly as your BMI, is calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters). It is designed for men and women over the age of 18 and represents a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

BMI Table:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or more

[wet_bmicalc]

You can check out the entire table over at the HHS website.

Top 5 Good Foods for Weight Loss

Good Foods for Weight Loss

With the emphasis on exercise when it comes to taking care of our health, ever so often, the idea of maintaining a good diet is lost. The bottom line here is that what you eat has more to do with weight loss than how much you workout.

On the other hand, people look for good foods for weight loss but don’t even bother to get any exercise at all. On the assumption that diet alone will make a difference.

For those of you who fall into the first category, considering the trouble you go to get exercise, there is no excuse not to eat well. For those in the second category, there’s no point in starving when proper potion of good, healthy food would do.

Good Foods for Weight Loss

Good Foods for Weight Loss

Salads
For most of you who have been working out for sometime now would know that the calories in Salad are very low. Using vegetables like carrot, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, lettuce and cucumber along with a dash of curd or lemon can really make exceptional salad dressing. Even a nice low calorie greek salad would do the trick.

Grapes
Seventy calories in a hundred grams of grapes is the figure. Excellent choice for the good foods for weight loss list, you think? Grapes are a much better option any day as compared to stuffing your face with high-calorie snacks (you know which ones… don’t you) while you are sitting in front of the television. Read here for calories in grapes.

Oranges
This one’s a real stunner when it comes to low calories. While it also makes you work for your snack. With only 48 calories per orange, that’s what one could call a “slim figure” alright!. Here’s my page on the calories in Oranges.

Potatoes
No, not the fried version but the baked or boiled version is excellent especially when served with pepper and lime, of which the latter has a plethora of benefits. And trust me, anyone will agree! You can go there for more about the calories in Potatoes.

High Fiber Cereal
Cereal-based foods such as oats, corn flakes and the like with skimmed milk are also an excellent choice as they contain very few calories and taste wonderful and fruit are added to the mix.

Remember to work out while keeping these foods a part of your diet. These are good foods for weight loss and good food for you.

The Components of a Home Gym

home-gym-769137

home-gym-769137A gym membership is great for workout novices and for the absolute experts. For the novices, it’s because they usually need a gym instructor who can train them on the proper use of equipment, proper form and will assist them in creating a workout. However, a person who simply wants to maintain his or her workout routine and keep fit does not have to step out of the home to get this done. A more convenient and cost-effective way to achieve this is by setting up a gym at your home. There are some absolute basics you will need to cover, in addition to whatever specific needs you have based on your workout.

Start with the basics: You will need a mat for stretching and working on your abdominal muscles. If you ever feel the urge to try them out, you can use them for yoga and Pilates as well.

A must-have for your gym is equipment to use for aerobic training, or cardiovascular exercises. Invest in a treadmill, a bike, or a stair-climber. A general rule of thumb is at least one machine for cardio, the most popular option being a treadmill.

If you are into strength training, your basic home gym equipment should include elastic bands, free weights and resistance machines. The actual equipment will vary according to your workout, but generally dumbbells, bands and all round resistance machines will do the trick.

Before purchasing and using any of the basic components of your home gym, always put safety first. Check for any protruding metal pieces or loose screws. If possible, invest in equipment which has guaranteed safety features like safety switches on treadmills. Even home gym equipment come with extensive multi year warranty, so when purchasing look for the brands that can give you 3-5 years, the extra cost is worth it.

Swimming to Lose Weight

swimming

swimmingLike most exercises, swimming to lose weight will work for some people and not work for others. The reason behind this is that our body has a very specific method of getting to the point of burning fat. The first stages do not favor fat burn and instead go through a process in which the minor stores of ATP are consumed. At this point the body moves to burning carbs, and at this stage still no fat is being burnt. It is after this low impact exercise is constant that you move into the fat burning zone. [Read more...]

Weight Loss Herbs

herbs

herbsPeople are always looking for more ways to lose weight, I know I am. Most people would rather use natural remedies or herbs to aid in their weight loss than something that comes in the form of a pill, since we are not really sure what goes into it.  When it comes to natural herbs that supposedly aid weight loss, there are literally hundreds of products available that you see advertised, and they all claim to be natural. But be warned, even though they may contain a specific natural ingredient or are based around the extract of one, they also tend to be populated and mixed in with a lot of other substances which we cannot account for, and with the general lack of a breakdown we would never really know. So when looking for natural herb weight loss remedies, remember to check the ingredients carefully. Very carefully. [Read more...]

Victorinox Chefs Knife Deal

chefknife

chefknifeIn my view, there are five main items any kitchen cannot do without. One of those must-have items, is the classic 8inch Chef’s knife. Unfortunately, getting your hands on a good chef’s knife, can be a very expensive business with good chef’s knives costing between $100-$200. Recently I came across a  post in the Cool Tools Weblog recently spoke about a $27 dollar chef’s knife worth taking a look at, and I though it was a good deal that had to be talked about: [Read more...]

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