It's time to stop breaking the promises you make to yourself to eat right, exercise and develop healthier habits. For the next three months, from 05 September 2011 to 05 December 2011, MISSION: INCREDIBLE focuses on getting healthier one day at a time. There is only one rule: do a little more today than you did yesterday to keep your promise of taking better physical care of yourself. Follow that one rule - EVERYDAY - and the changes you see in three months will be incredible.

We're all at very different exercise levels and we all have different weight targets, but it's always nice to know you've got company on the journey. We'll focus on three goals as part of our daily check-in: G1 - diet (the good, the bad and the ugly); G2 - exercise (your physical exercise for that day); and, G3 - healthy habits (things we adopt or learn along the way that help). Join us and leave your comments below!

Day 57

It’s Halloween (Boo!), so I’ve got some scary stuff for you today. It’s called math.

Now don’t go screaming down Elm Street like a sissy. This is math that’s scary, but GOOD. It’s going to help you pay more attention to what you eat – thereby making better choices, hopefully – and encourage you get up and move more. Both of these things, of course, can help you lose weight more effectively. And that’s why we’re here, right? RIGHT!

Step 1:  Go to Here you’ll find a calculator for your Basal Metabolic Rate. This number is the amount of calories you’d burn if all you did was lie in bed all day. Just type in your age, gender, height and current weight and the calculator does the work for you.

Step 2:  When the calculator gives you your BMR (mine was 1688) it will also give you your BMR multiplied by an activity factor to reflect your activity level. See? Easy! The calculator is doing all the scary math for you! 

So, depending on whether you are sedentary (sit at a desk all day and rarely exercise), extremely active (you’re a stevedore and you run a 10K every day), or somewhere in between, you will see the number of daily calories it takes to stay at exactly the weight you are right now at your current activity level. Mine was 2616.

Step 3:  But we don’t want to stay at the weight we are now, right? RIGHT! And we want to increase our activity level at least somewhat, right? RIGHT!

So let’s say you want to lose a pound per week. One pound of fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories. Divide that by seven days and you get 500 calories per day. Therefore, reduce your new number by 500 and that will give you the number of calories you need to consume per day – at your current or INCREASED exercise level – to lose one pound per week.

Savvy? Ok, here’s a real-world illustration. My BMR is 1688. I’m moderately active (exercising 3-5 days per week), so the number of daily calories that will keep me at my current weight if I continue my current exercise regimen is 2616.

Therefore, if I want to lose a pound per week, and I keep doing the exact same level of exercise, I will need to consume no more than 2116 calories per day. That way, I will consume 3500 calories less per week (2616-2116=500x7=3500, whew!) and shed a pound per week.

Of course, if you lower your caloric intake AND exercise more (burn more calories), you’ll theoretically lose weight more quickly. There are a number of good websites that explain BMR in detail.  I found these two helpful: and

It goes without saying that you should consult with a doctor before you go on a bread and water diet and start doing P90-X twice a day. I can’t have you guys falling out and going to the emergency room saying, “Yeah, but the chick from Mission: Incredible said…”, but hopefully you understand a little better the “trick” to losing weight. Fewer calories in and more calories burned potentially equal lowered weight and better health. And that’s a treat.

Happy Halloween! And don’t let me catch you stealing M&Ms from your kid’s goodie bag. Those are mine.

Here’s my check-in:

Day 57

G1: Last Friday was the last day of the five weeks of fat gram and calorie counting that I promised I’d do. But it worked so well to help me learn more about my habits and pick more nutritious foods, I’m going to continue doing it until the end of MI. Counting calories and fat grams can be a chore, I admit, but it gets easy once you get the hang of it. And reading labels is so informative! Believe me, it’s worth doing. So look for it here in every check-in until the end.

G2: I’ve got a three mile walk planned for this evening.  And remember, if you’re taking the kids out trick-or-treating tonight and plan on walking, that counts!

G3: I’m down by nine pounds over the course of eight weeks. I’m so excited! And I’m starting to feel like my day just isn’t right if I don’t get at least thirty minutes of walking or aerobics in. What a great feeling.

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