Here is how healthy weight loss works. Extra weight is just fuel you’ve put into your tank and didn’t use up. You consumed extra calories without burning them.
Calories(kcal) in MUST EQUAL calories out to MAINTAIN your current weight. This means if you want to lose weight the healthy way you must figure out how to create a deficit. In other words calories in MUST BE LESS THAN calories out to LOSE weight.
We can cut our food intake or increase our daily calorie needs (movement or exercise). To lose weight the healthy way create a plan which combines the two. By limiting food calories and adding more exercise to your daily routine it is easier to create enough of a calorie deficit without compromising your energy or health.
For example: Cut 500kcals from your daily intake (about two 20-oz bottles of soda) and increase your exercise by 300kcals per day (30-60 min of activity depending). This creates an 800kcals deficit per day. If you could do this 5 days a week you would expend an extra 4,000kcals per week. To lose a pound of fat you must burn 3,500kcals. So under this plan you should be losing at least 1 pound a week.
Some words of caution.
Food is not the enemy – load up on nutrient dense foods (foods with low calories and lots of vitamins + nutritionist). Healthy weight loss is approximently 1-2 pounds per week. It took time to put the weight on it’ll take time to take it off. Do not cut your calories too low. Less is not always more. See a nutritionist for help. Not eating enough will put your body in conserve mode. This backfires on weight loss because instead of letting go of calories your body will slow functions down to conserve calories. You won’t be getting the workouts because you are likely to be more tired and possibly more sick. This is not where you want your healthy weight loss program to be.
Many people are trying to lose weight. This is no surprise as more than 60% of our population is overweight and obesity has become one of the top health concerns, even surpassing smoking. But unlike smoking, weight gain may not have been 100% personal decision.
First, food company marketing budgets are huge. Companies spend a lot of money figuring out how to sell their products. Small, local farmers selling non-patented things like vegetables don’t stand a chance in the marketing arena. However, we still have choices, and we need to make good choices about what we eat.
Second, we are busy people. Many have been removed from their food supply for more than a generation and have no idea how or where their food is grown or created. Until recently I had no idea you could make cheesecake in your own kitchen! We’ve been duped by our trusting nature giving away power in our food choices just because it was packaged good, tasted close enough, and was easy. Unfortunately, these choices have allowed us to take in extra calories without expending more – ta-da extra weight.
Third, portion sizes are bigger than ever before. This portion growth happened over time and many have no idea what a good portion size is anymore. This portion distortion causes us to overeat just because it the food is sitting on our plate.
The above reasons aren’t so you can blame big industry, your job, or restaurants for extra weight you carry. Instead look at them as educational tools. Now that you know these problems are contributing – how are you going to change your eating choices?
Who doesn’t love a great road trip? As I get ready to embark on mine here are some essentials I’ll be packing.
1) Rubber Tubing – Like the K Bands in this picture. This little workout staple can create a workout anywhere and takes a smidgen of your packing space.
Have a little more room and some tree branches (or other heavy duty hangers) check out the TRX – a strap system that lets you create an intense strength training workout with your own body weight. I own a set and love’em – Fitness Anywhere
2) Good Snacks – try and aim for a solid mix of protein, carbs, and fats in the most nutrient dense foods you can. Fruit, raw veggies, beef jerky, cheese sticks can all help you stay properly fueled up. Try and skip on the processed fast foods if you can. Check out an earlier blog posting for more vacation snack ideas.
3) Good Shoes – I know its summer time and I, too have trouble finding my socks…but if you are planning to stay on workout track make sure to pack your shoes. Who knows giving up some space may be the commitment you need to stay moving.
Here are 10 tips on how to get motivated to exercise. We all could use a refresher to keep us going during these long summer days!
- Take before photos
- Find a picture of yourself when you looked like you’d like to look again – make copies & post all over the place – mirrors, fridge, microwave, car visor, closet door, nightstand, you get the idea. (Be realistic when choosing your ideal weight)
- Write down your goals – Pick one goal to focus on for a month, write it down and post it all over the place – see #2
- Get a workout buddy – see the blog post on choosing a workout buddy for ideas on choosing your best fit partner
- Track your progress – it helps to see how many more push-ups you can do, how much weight you can lift, how many pounds you’ve lost or gained, how many miles you logged this week, etc
- Create a food/exercise journal – writing things down makes you more accountable, creates an easy #5, and helps you focus your attention on you.
- Prizes! – pick something you really want and give it to yourself after you’ve reached your goal – see the up coming blog post on the Rules of Rewards.
- Hang your reward where you’ll see it everyday
- Tell someone about your plans – Pick a supportive person to help keep you on track.
- Breathe – Take a long breath when you get stressed or overwhelmed by your fitness goal – remember fitness progress is over time. Keep working at it and you will get there.
So many of us have great intentions to exercise but don’t do it! We are going to be exploring how to get motivated to exercise! Now that we are past the 4th and the indulgences of the holiday let’s get down to business. Exercising in the lazy days of summer is hard! Many of us want to exercise but we want to lounge in the water or sun more. So the question becomes how to get motivated to exercise.
1st – Revisit your fitness goals – Why do you want to exercise in the first place? What do you want to be different about your life?
2nd – Look at your current schedule – Schedules change with the seasons but many fail to realize that of their own. What has changed on your to-do list, time demands, and attention needs. Adjust your workouts around these new demands. It is also a good idea to begin planning for fall when your schedule is likely to change again. Don’t spend too much time on fall – just begin to consider how you might need to re-adjust.
3rd – Adjust any exercises needed – do you love to run outside but the heat prevents a good workout? Or are you a pool swimmer but can’t seem to bring yourself to stay inside on a wonderful sunny day? Find alternatives – you can come back to your favorites when the season changes.
Check on your diet – Summer is a classic time to indulge. Where can you focus your healthy eating behaviors and work on your unhealthy ones? This is not a time to beat yourself up – instead practice the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time aim for good eating behaviors.
Motivation is a combination of things and changes depending on your needs. Be considerate to yourself as you re-evaluate and re-motivate your exercise. Fitness progress is not measured in one-time shots – it is measured over time – the battle is consistency. Take comfort knowing as long as you are still exercising (even if it looks different than 6-months ago) you are still moving toward your goals.