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'How Much Weight Loss' Calculator

The 'How Much Weight Loss' Calculator can help determine how much weight you can lose on popular diets and specific calorie plans.

For example, how much weight could you lose if you followed a 1,200 calorie (women) or 1,800 calorie (men) diet plan for two weeks, a month or six weeks? Or perhaps you are wondering how long it would take to lose 30 lbs on a liquid diet, Atkins or Weight Watchers.

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When you’re trying to lose weight you should try keep your lean muscles at all cost! Muscle is your secret “fat loss” weapon. Muscles increase the body’s overall metabolic rate, burning calories three times faster than fat cells.

Muscle gives you definition, you will look stronger, more solid and fit. It will also help avoid the dreaded amorphous skinny fat look.

Unfortunately a large percentage of weight loss is muscle mass, almost 50%, when you follow very low calorie diets.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, women should not drop below 1,200 calories per day and men should eat at least 1800. It is recommended that dieters only cut between 500 and 1000 calories from their diet per day as any more will risk muscle loss.

You can also determine your safe daily calorie intake and avoid minimal muscle loss by eating at least 70% of your maintenance calories. Anything less can result in muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. Your maintenance calories refers to the amount of calories you consume daily to remain at your current weight.

In order to lose weight and avoid minimal muscle loss a 200lb male needs to consume at least 70% of his daily maintenance calories. Seventy percent of his daily maintenance calories equates to 1,610 calories, a deficit of 690 calories.

Low calorie diets are short term, high risk weight loss solutions which are quickly reversed when dieters go back to their old habits. The weight loss is essentially due to starvation. This process slows down your metabolism, meaning that weight loss in the long term is made much more difficult.

The initial weight loss which may have been dramatic, is, for the most part, water loss and degeneration of muscle health, not fat loss.

Physically, a very low calorie diet can have ongoing side effects that last long after the participant has stopped the low calorie diet. These include an increase in insulin resistance and a decrease in the effectiveness of the thyroid gland.

The effects of a low calorie diet don’t stop there, you may also experience extremely low energy levels, an obsession with food and cravings and a loss of clarity in your thinking. In extreme cases, it can even lead to depression.

The healthiest and most sustainable way to lose weight is to choose a diet with the right amount of calories and nutritional content to lose around 1 -2 lbs per week. This is sustainable and maintainable, particularly when paired with regular moderate exercise.

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Cybercriminals on Dark Net Make $1000 to $200,000 in BTC a Month

Ever wondered why the number of hacking incidents or ransomware attacks has increased over the years? The answer to that question is good pay. For those who didn’t know, cybercriminals manage to make a decent amount of money each month at others’ expense. A recent report states that the monthly payouts for their crimes are on an average of $1000 to $3000.

The report, published by Recorded Future is the result of a thorough study conducted by the organization on the dark web. The researchers have spent a lot of time studying and tracking the actual cybercrimes, activities on forums and analyzing the behavior of those involved in these activities over the last few months. The report, complete with a chart of hierarchy in cybercrime syndicates was released last month.

According to Recorded Future’s report, about 20 percent of cybercriminals are highly resourceful and they make 10 times the amount other 80 percent of their peers make per month (about $20,000 per month). For a handful of them, it may go as high as $50,000 to $200,000. In most of the cases, a major portion, if not all their earnings are received in the form of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

What’s disturbing is the potential involvement of former law enforcement officials in the cybercriminal network. Their familiarity with the investigative techniques used by law enforcement agencies may prove handy to cybercriminals. In addition, most individual cybercriminals do not have any prior criminal records and are very careful when it comes to hiding their online identity, making it even harder to catch them.

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The report advises companies to not inquire about cybersecurity testing solutions on dark net forums as hackers may find their infrastructure to be attractive targets. Instead, companies should seek help from reputed cybersecurity providers. Fostering an in-house cybersecurity team is another attractive option.

Individuals and businesses should take a hint from the increasing cyberthreats and ensure necessary precautions for adequate protection. After all, it is better to be on the safer side.


5 Real Ways To Make An Extra $1000 A Month

1000 down 200 a monthIt seems like everyone is struggling to make enough money these days. I see so many people working multiple jobs just to make ends meet and they hardly have any cash left over. It’s unfortunate that our economy is so bad. But we have to work with the hand we are dealt. Many people are scared to take big risks and that’s understandable. So here are 5 low risk ways to make an extra $1000 every month. Any one of these could potentially replace your current job and have you making more money than you are now. And also they will help build your confidence and you could be on your way to taking bigger risks down the road. And ultimately, getting a higher payoff because of it!

Blogging is not necessarily a new career path, but it certainly has been getting a lot more attention lately. And why wouldn’t it when so many people are making crazy amounts of money from the luxury of their own homes AND you can work whenever you want!

I was making money in about three months after starting my blog and was making $2300 a month in just seven months. After I did a bit of research and saw the people who were making money from blogging with no prior experience or college degree, I thought why not me too? I am so glad I started my blog last year. Now I can work from home and spend more time with the people who matter most to me. Learn how you can start your own blog here.

So many companies want feedback on their products and services and know that people aren’t going to help them for free. You can start earning money by taking surveys to help them out right away! These survey sites are all free to join and free to use.

Most people don’t know how much money you can make waiting tables. I was a server at a buffet and later on at the Cheesecake Factory. I made on average $200 on both Friday and Saturday nights at both places. Many people who worked with me had degrees and worked their full-time job during the week. Just working on the weekends they were making $1600 extra a month!

The flexibility is awesome in the serving industry. I worked four days a week and only worked about six to eight-hour shifts. And I was making roughly $2400 a month! That’s really good money for having no degree and taking no risks. Some restaurants require you to have prior serving experience, but most don’t. I wouldn’t say serving is an extremely easy job, but it is far from hard. And the funny thing is I’m was never a big people person. I think so many people think you have to be outgoing to be successful, but that is not the case. You only have to be friendly. Most customers don’t want to talk anyways.

Most people tip at least 15-20% on their total bill. I love that I have so much experience (7 years) as a server that I can always fall back on if I’m low on money. The more experience you get, the more easily you will be able to work at higher class restaurants. If you have a yacht club or country club near you I highly recommend working there. You could make anywhere from $300-$400 a night!

This is a great side hustle that anyone can do. You could easily make this into a full-time gig very quickly. You can also buy items from Craigslist, Facebook yard sales, garage sales, or thrift stores and sell it for more (double, triple, or more if done correctly). So many people have to get rid of their stuff fast and you can easily talk them down. There is no risk unless you start buying stuff and paying more than you should for it.

I used to be the person that people would come to when they needed money asap. I would buy their electronics and other valuables for more than a pawn shop would. Then I would resell it for way more than what I paid for it.

Some people have told me that I was wrong for “profiting from people’s financial troubles”. But I see it this way. I helped those people be able to pay their bills. No one else was going to help them and I gave them a fair amount. Everyone knew I only bought their stuff so I could sell it. Let people know that you would be willing to help them out if they ever need you. I made a couple thousand dollars extra a month doing that. It’s easy money and you hardly have to do any work. Buy it and put it online to sell it.

This has a little more risk, depending on what direct sales business you get into. There are many that don’t require you to buy anything to get started. But there are some that require you to buy a website or something of that nature. It’s usually a small investment that is well worth it in the long run, but many people are scared to even spend $50. Be very careful if they are asking more than a couple hundred dollars. I had someone try to tell me they required $2000 to start (they did make it sound good, but thankfully they didn’t scam me).

Low risk, low reward and high risk, high reward is usually true. The great thing about most direct sales is they are low risk and high rewards down the road. You can easily make $1000 a month selling for companies like Mary-Kay or Scentsy early on. Many people think sales companies are all just scams. Of course, some are. But many people become very wealthy in the sales industry. You can easily work in direct sales part-time and make good money.

Did you find any of these ways to make $1000 a month helpful? Let me know in the comments below.


Milestone – $1000 a Month in Dividends.

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If you’ve been following along, I started this blog in March of 2012. I never expected to make this much progress but it’s great to start seeing results. I also didn’t expect to encounter a great community of like-minded investors to bounce ideas off. It’s also very motivating to me to see other people invest and reach their goals.

Well, with my latest purchases that I’ll mention next week with my weekly purchases article, I’ve reached a forward dividend income of $12,000. That means I’ll be receiving $1,000 on average each month over the next 12 months without any further capital being invested. This is certainly not enough to retire off of but it’s a great mental milestone to hit the $1k mark per month.

The beauty of dividend growth investing is seeing compound interest work its magic. It’s sort of like a snowball rolling down a hill. You may start with a tiny ball of snow but the longer that the snowball rolls (time) , the faster it rolls. It’s not just moving at a constant speed, it’s accelerating! The more snow it accumulates (dividend increases or new capital added) , the faster the acceleration.

This acceleration means you should hit $200/month just a little faster than $100/month and so on if you are keeping contributions the same.

Pretty soon you’ve got a snowball that will produce $100/month, $250/month, $500/month (posted June 2013), $600/month in dividends (posted Aug. 2013) and now $1000/month! Next stop , $1500/month (hopefully by late next year or early 2016).

The hill is very high but I am picking up speed. I can just start making out what looks like FI at the bottom! I hope to see you there some day!


How I saved $15,000 in 15 months on a $29k Salary

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You don’t have to make a ton of money to save for long-term travel.

“Don’t wait around. Don’t get old and make excuses. Save a couple thousand dollars… get a world atlas. Start looking at every page and tell yourself that you can go there…Are there sacrifices to be made? Of course? Is it worth it? Absolutely. The only way you’ll find out is to get on the plane and go.”

One of the biggest mistakes would-be travelers make is assuming that long-term travel requires a great deal of money, and that you’ll never be able to save enough to afford it. This is the ‘deferred life-plan’ concept in a nutshell: I won’t have enough money to travel until later in life when I retire, or maybe when I win the lottery, or sell a company for $10 million.

This is a bogus framework. You don’t need a lot of money to travel, and as a result you can save enough very quickly.

It’s just a matter of priorities.

After graduating from college in 2005 I spent 6 months trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It was a period of high personal development, but before landing my first job my checking account dwindled to roughly $500.

Fast-forward fifteen months and I’d saved $15,000 on an entry-level salary of $29,000 a year. $15,000 may or may not sound like a lot of money to you, but at the time it was a small fortune and proved more than enough to fund a 1-year round-the-world trip.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how simple, effective, and repeatable the process is. It’s budgeting 101, but something most people struggle with, mainly because it takes a lot of work.

But it’s a process I still use to get a handle on money and make things happen.

Here’s how I go about it:

#1 Realize that saving money is about priorities, and audacious goal-setting.

When I started this process, I wanted to spend a year traveling more than I wanted anything else. This is the single most important part of my plan of attack. Once you have an audacious goal all the details simply fall into place.

Find a goal that’s so compelling it’s visceral: the vision of standing next to a glacier in Argentina (above), cycling through the French countryside, or surfing the entire Pacific coast from top to bottom are examples of dreams I’ve had that almost bring tears to my eyes.

Once you have the goal there’s an implicit understanding that every dollar saved now is a a dollar available for Pisco or bus tickets later. When I’m thinking about perfect waves at some secluded destination it’s much easier to forego a great deal of mindless spending that typically goes on in the USA.

#2 Take stock by creating an asset inventory.

The next task is to write down (paper, spreadsheet, or Mint.com) all the money you have, in every account: checking, savings, CDs, money market funds, all of it. The first time I did this, it wasn’t much.

Then you have to ask yourself: how much of your net worth can be applied to a travel fund?

In this example, since most of my savings were locked up in retirement accounts the answer was basically $0. I also didn’t really have any assets to sell, like furniture or a car I was ready to part with, so I started from scratch.

Fortunately, I didn’t have any debt (and still don’t). If you have debt, read I Will Teach You to Be Rich and make a plan to get the hell out of there.

But all you’re trying to do in this step is figure out what the baseline is and what, if any, cash can be immediately applied to your savings goals. These days Mint.com makes things a lot easier than the first time I did it.

#3 Find your baseline budget by writing down all expenses.

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The next step is to write down every dollar spent, every day, for 1 month.

Ramit Sethi will laugh at me for this, but it works. Like anything else, the only way to become fully conscious of what’s going on is to carefully track it. You don’t have to do this forever, but it’s so effective that the first time I continued recording my daily expenses for 6 months, and it’s a simple technique I use today whenever my finances start to feel out of control.

The answer to “how do you travel so much” turns out to be not that sexy.

Yes, it’s time-consuming and a total pain in the ass, but data-collection is also a generally useful skill: any time you want to make change in life you have to first record, then plan and execute, then re-measure. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking finances, business, or fitness: you have to get comfortable with data collection to get started.

As you can see above, every day I wrote down all expenses–I did this in a simple graph-paper notebook–then I tallied up the total at the bottom. During the day I’d use a small pocket-sized notebook and transfer expenses to the graph paper each evening. At the end of the week I reviewed the total I spent and the total by category (ie Food, Rent, Coffee, Clothes) etc.

At some point I may have plugged all this data into a Google spreadsheet. There are numerous online tools to do this automatically for you today (eg Mint.com), but the key is to keep it simple. In my opinion, the act of writing things on paper is more effective than glancing at an online feed.

#4 Create a budget and plan of attack.

Once you have a month of data it can be surprisingly easy to cut costs. Oh, I’m spending $200 a month on beer. Hmm..

Now that you know how much is going out the door, the trick is to a) cut as many fixed costs as possible, b) determine exactly what you can afford to save for your travel bankroll and c) decide what’s left that you can use to pay for variable expenses, and d) automate everything so you don’t have to think about it.

Based on what you’ve written down in step 3, it’s easy to create a budget around the three categories:

  1. Current Fixed Expenses: Rent + Utilities, Cell Phone, Car Insurance, Health Insurance
  2. Target travel bankroll
  3. Current Variable Expenses: Food, Gas, Alcohol, Clothing, Entertainment, Gear, Misc, etc.

It’s easy to tally these up: what do you spend on rent, phone, car insurance, etc? The real trick is figuring out which of these you can drastically cut.

The biggest X-factor in my budgeting success for the original experiment was location: I was living in the small college town of Corvallis, OR. My rent at this point in my life was only $375 / mo. including utilities, because I lived in a shared apartment. I opted to throw out my cell phone and make calls with Skype (it may have actually been a Vonage wifi phone) since anyone I wanted to get in touch with was geographically close to me. I drove a cheap vehicle, so I dropped my car insurance down to the lowest possible tier. I was younger, so health insurance didn’t cost much.

As I said, it’s much easier to make these kinds of ‘sacrifices’ with a clearly defined mission: when you know the extra $50 a month is going directly into a travel fund that you’ll be using next year.

If you’re thinking this is impossible because you live in an expensive city: I followed the same plan of action 3 years later in San Francisco. The cost cuts were just as dramatic even though the overall budget was massively inflated: $1300 / mo rent down to $700, for example.

Some things to consider: moving to a cheaper apartment, lowering your insurance coverage, and dropping to a cheaper cell-phone plan. A few big wins here can add up quickly, but you really have to be honest about needs vs wants. I got along just fine without an iPhone before they were invented (NFW!).

Originally, I had no idea how much to save for travel, so I estimated $15,000 would last me for a while. This turned out to be a surprisingly good estimate, but it lasted much longer than I would have thought.

The point is to make a specific target, whatever that may be, then divide that by the number of months until you leave. In this case a target of $15000, 15 months, so $1000 a month. Yikes.

Consider these the dregs of your budgeting efforts. Anything that didn’t make the first cut.

How many times a week do you need to eat out anyway? Did you really need the 5 DVD at-a-time Netflix plan? And absolutely get rid of Cable TV.

This is where having fixed expenses and the travel bankroll established makes it easy:

Money left over for Variable Expenses = After Tax Earnings – (Travel savings + Fixed Expenses)

Once you have a ballpark number for variable expenses, go back and allocate it by category. So maybe $100-200 a month for bars and eating out, $300 for groceries, etc.

But the important thing to remember is that if you allocate $100 a week to entertainment/booze/whatever, once the money is gone you don’t spend any more on that category. In my example here, after I spent this I just didn’t go out. Or I’d go out and only drink soda water, whatever I could do to cut costs.

So what if people think you’re cheap. They don’t realize you’re trading 10 units of fun now for 50 units later.

Putting it all together + My Example Budget from 2006

The first time I did this, my target to leave was about 15 months away, so I needed to save $1,000 a month, or about 40-50% of my after-tax income. I knew I could do it because I had the numbers on paper. All I had to do was show up for the next 15 months.

This is roughly what it looked like:

So $540 + $1000 = $1540 per month. That left $660 per month for variable expenses.

Yep, I wasn’t balling, but I had plenty of leftover cash to cover the bases.

Most people will have much larger numbers in all of these categories, and these days I do too. But it’s really about properly managing money in vs money out.

#5 Automate the system so you don’t have to think about it.

After a few months following the budget it was easy. I knew how much I generally spent on different categories, and I developed a more intuitive feel for how I was doing.

But the most important thing you can do to solidify this routine is automate the whole system.

I have a fully automated financial system now, but the first time I did this I logged into my checking account and set up an automatic-transfer for the day after I got paid. In my case, I was getting paid once on the last day of the month, so I set up an automatic transfer on the first from checking to savings of $1000 per month. This secured my travel savings as a top priority.

The key is to quickly and automatically funnel money you don’t want to spend out of reach.

Next, I paid my rent on the 1st and set up all my other fixed income bills besides to pay automatically on the 1st using my airline miles reward credit card. I always paid the credit card off monthly, never carrying a balance, so I earned a bunch of frequent-flyer miles (and credit) through this is as well.

Since all savings and fixed costs were taken care of, anything left went to variable expenses. I lived on rice and cheap vegetables for a while, but it was worth it.

Conclusions after 2+ Years of Traveling

I’ve now used this 5-step plan 3 times since 2006 to save money for both travel and other goals, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized this is just a standard operating procedure. You may think it’s ridiculous that I wrote it all down, but I’m blown away by how many people I’ve met that don’t get these fundamentals. I’m also blown away that I was resourceful enough to save $15000 while making a salary below the poverty line in many parts of the US.

It reminds me how much is possible with the right priorities and plan of action.

So make a plan, save some money, and get out there.

For more, check out the most down-to-earth book on how to manage your finances : I Will Teach You to be Rich.

How do you manage money?

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