Information to Help Build a Better Body

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This site came out of my own desire to get healthy. After blissfully ignoring my weight for many years I finally decided that it was time to do something when I went for a routine checkup and my doctor pointed out that I was in the "obese" area of the BMI chart on the office wall. This was not acceptable. I talked with the doctor and she pointed out that our diets would be fine if we were still farmers working in the fields everyday. Weight loss (or gain for that matter) is simply a matter of calories in verses calories expended. She suggested that I cut out 25% of my calories.

This seemed to be a reasonable suggestion though initially a rather daunting task. I knew that "going on a diet" wasn't going to work. What I needed to do was to change my diet gradually in ways I knew I could live with in the long term. So I started examining at all the things I ate looking for ways to cut out calories. I started slowly with simple changes. For instance, at lunch I often ordered a turkey sandwich on a seeded roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and swiss cheese. Making a change to sliced whole wheat bread, light mayo and losing the swiss cheese I figured probably cut about 25% of the calories and still provided a satisfying meal.

I kept looking for other ways that I could cut back without feeling deprived. Simple things like eating more vegetables at dinner and less pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. You can pretty much eat all the vegies that you want (assuming they're not covered in cheese sauce, deep fried, etc). Also, instead of some fattening dessert after dinner I started eating fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries, and melons being some of my favorites). OK, I do tend to put too much whipped cream on my strawberries but overall it was a positive change. All in all the plan seems to be working. I dropped about 30 pounds over the next six months (putting me in the "overweight" area of the BMI chart) and have managed to keep it off for over a year and a half so far. I'd like to lose more, probably another 20 pounds, but I seem to have hit a plateau. It will take a little more work but in time I'm sure I can reach my goal.

Anyway, these changes lead me to want more information about health and what things like BMI, RMR and MET meant. I looked around and found the information I wanted spread out among various sites. One thing that I wanted to know was how many calories were burned during different activities. I did find a few sites that had this information but the had rather crude interfaces that didn't allow you to easily play with the numbers and tryout different scenarios. I decided I could do better. After doing some research I found the formulas I needed for the various calculations. I also found a site called the Compendium of Physical Activities that had a great list of activities and their associated MET values. From there is was a fairly easy task to put it into a database and create what I hope is an easy to use interface that allows you to play with various values and compare different activities.

This site was a fun project to put together. I hope it provides some help to others who want to make healthy changes to their lives.

Good luck and good health!