Repeat after me…Eat Less, Exercise More.
Portion sizes in this country have continued to grow, as have the waistlines at Luby’s and The Golden Corral. The southern US has become Canada’s fat, dragging behind. Every time we turn around, some guru with a book is trying to sell us on low fat, low sugar, low salt, low carb…and every time we buy what they are selling, the only things we end up with are lower accounts and lower IQs.
Forget every fad, and go back to the science with me. Back to the numbers. To the…gulp…MATH. Wanna lose weight? Put down the Chipotle Burrito and follow me to the chalkboard.
One Pound = 3500 Calories. It’s that simple.
Think you gained 5 lbs of fat this weekend from the hedonistic binging you did? You might be carrying 5 extra pounds this morning, but it’s not necessarily fat…yet. It’s food, water, waste, and fat. But I guarantee you probably did not consume 17,500 calories in 48 hours. If you did, take a bow…I’m impressed. Need help getting up now?
Back to the math. One Pound = 3500 Calories. That’s the first component. Now, how many calories do you need to consume per day to simply maintain your current weight?? Five parts will figure into this: your height, your weight, your gender, your age, and your sedentary or active lifestyle. You will need a Calorie Calculator, and there is a great one found at My-Calorie-Counter.com.
I’m 6 foot, 194 pounds, male, 41 years old, and am lightly active (and I am being generous with that characterization)…that means that I need 2636 calories to simply maintain my current weight. If I eat less than 2600 calories, I lose weight. If I eat more, I gain.
So now, if you are remotely competitive, you can really get into this. My-Calorie-Counter.com (it’s free, by the way) has a HUGE database of foods and all their nutritional info, even if they are from a restaurant. So every day, you can enter into your profile your daily weight, and exactly what you consume, food and drink. Make a game of it.
When I was really intent on losing the weight, I would see how low I could go calorically, because the fewer I ingested, the faster my weight dropped. If I consumed only 1636 calories each day, I lost a pound every 3.5 days. Plus, in the process of entering all my foods into the database, I learned what everything “cost me”, and could sub other foods in future that maybe were more substantive, and made me feel “fuller” for the same calorie total. Still today, I make a game every day of how few calories I can ingest, or what I can sub for what, etc…eating a lot of fruit, yogurt, wheat bread, and tracking it all.
Also, try a book called “Eat This, Not That” by David Zinczenko…great for fast food junkies like me, it has a total breakdown of what you should order rather than what you normally order.
One mood killer, however, the Chipotle Burrito with all the fixins…drumroll…1100 calories. A true, delicious gut bomb. Try TWO turkey sandwiches instead on wheat bread with lite miracle whip, avocado, mustard and and lettuce…only 550 calories…and filling…
And look at this: One whole large apple, 110 cals. One large banana, 110 cals. One lite vanilla yogurt, 110 cals. Cut up the fruit, mix in the yogurt, you have a big, filling lunch or breakfast for 330 calories. One large bowl of granola and raisins with skim milk instead, 600 cals..see the difference?
A recent study showed that people who tracked their diet were more successful at weight loss than those who did not…it’s about first making a game, and then keeping yourself in it.
Now is it EASY? No. The human motivational component will always be there. But the one thing I have really taken from this process is learning what my body needs, what is “too much”, and finally balance… in place of ritualistic gluttony.
Jay Lessons is a novice ‘burb daddy, a husband-in-training, and a sarcasm specialist. You can find more of his reflective rants at HalftimeLessons.com, and Twitter @HalftimeLessons.