It has been estimated that 65 percent of American adults are classified as being overweight or obese.

It has been estimated that 65 percent of American adults are classified as being overweight or obese.

Unfortunately, the concern for our kids’ health being impacted by obesity has become a major issue as well.

This is very important, since excess body weight is most often labeled as a major risk factor for poor health.

Even though uncontrollable factors like genetics, age and gender influence our body composition, it is nice to know we do have control over other factors like foods, vitamins and exercise that help keep us healthy.

Another comforting concept I like about exercise is that you can make the decision to start anytime.

So, if you have not began your physical activity program, its OK, start today.

Just remember to check with your health care professional before beginning your exercise program.

The month of December is a great time to start your quest for establishing healthy habits and weight loss for the new year.

For weight reduction, decreasing body fat and body weight is important, and may be achieved when a negative energy balance is maintained.

This is achieved when daily energy expenditure exceeds daily caloric intake.

Keeping your metabolism burning at a high rate is crucial for maximal caloric expenditure.

It all begins with five to six small healthy meals spread out evenly throughout the day, and providing your body all the essential vitamins, and minerals necessary to fill in every nutritional gap.

When you provide your body what it needs, it has an amazing ability to perform at a high level and do what it is supposed to.

It will help you burn the fat, keep your immune system strong, keep your intestines clean, build the lean muscle, and so much more as it relates to your better health, performance, quality of life, and ultimately weight loss.

Our body burns calories in several ways.

One way our body expends a large percentage of energy (65 to 70 percent), is by supporting the physiological functions of normal life (breathing etc…).

Another component of energy expenditure is the thermal effect of digesting the foods we eat (10 percent).

The remaining 15 to 30 percent of energy expenditure comes from our physical activity which includes occupational, recreational, daily activities and structured exercise.

Here are a few safe weight loss guidelines for you:

· Caloric intake should not be lower than 1,200 calories per day to stay strong.

· Include foods low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and monitor your sodium.

· Negative caloric balance per day should not exceed 500-1,000 calories to promote gradual weight loss.

· One to two pounds of weight loss per week is very healthy.

· Identify, modify and eliminate poor dietary habits.

· Exercise program should promote daily caloric expenditure of 300 calories or more.

· Make dietary and physical modifications that can be maintained throughout life.

Maximizing your caloric expenditure with regular cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is important.

Typically 20 to 30 minutes of continuous activity most days is satisfactory.

If you are a beginner, or older exerciser, it may be more feasible to complete two to three shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each.

Just do what you can.

You may only be able to complete five minute sessions when you begin your program.

That’s OK!

Just remember, your program should be viewed as a marathon for life, and not a 50-yard sprint.

Everyone is different and must stay within their limitations during exercise.

Duration and frequency of exercise are more important than intensity.

Although higher intensity exercise may yield greater caloric expenditure, it also more likely to cause injury than low intensity programs.

Elite athletes may endure high-intensity exercise with proper training.

Always start slow and build up incrementally as your body adapts.

Go from one day a week to two days, followed by two days to three, until you get to five days per week progressively.

Take your time.

This process may take weeks or months depending on the age or fitness level of the individual involved.

Finally, resistance training using dumbbells, strength machines, proper nutrition, fluids, and supplementation are so very important to promote good health and weight loss.

It increases lean body mass, which causes an increase in your resting metabolic rate.

Since muscle burns more calories than fat, it makes it easier to achieve your negative caloric balance, maintain a healthy body composition, improves your physical independence, quality of life, as well as weight loss.

Until next week’s column, please make it a nutritious and healthy day.

For more information on getting started on weight loss and healthy nutrition products, stop by Reggie’s Personal Training & Nutrition shop, 104 E. main, Shawnee, or call Reggie at 613-0237, or email at