As a health coach, I so often hear the stories of folks who blame their past struggles for the weight gain that has happened over a number of years. I feel sympathy as I listen to the stories, but in the spirit of In Forward Motion I explain to these folks that they can no longer blame the past. Moving forward in weight loss is a today and tomorrow choice.
Every bite of food that you put in your mouth either gets worked off through your daily activity OR it gets stored as fat. Yes, the nutrients are very important to your body no doubt (we’ll dig into that later), but it weight boils right down to this, 1 pound is equal to 3,500 calories. So weight is a simple statement:
Calories Consumed vs. Calories Burned
It takes only about 1,500-2,000 calories each day to make a body function properly depending on who you are talking with and who YOU are. This caloric energy keeps your brain, kidney, heart and other organs functioning as they should. That is also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate or Metabolism. Every body’s metabolism is slightly different and naturally slows with age; however, for the most part, on average, proper physical functioning only requires 1,500-2,000 calories each day for sleeping, reading, working at a desk, driving and other light activity.
Based on activity in your life, you may need slightly to more calories. Are you a sit com watching junkie or a marathoner in training? Be honest, the average client I talk with generally doesn’t “do” much beyond the typical activity mentioned above. Now, if you have a job on your feet then there is typically more activity in a day for you, a job that requires constant lifting and running then you have more than “typical activity”, but for many folks there really is not a whole lot of busy behavior that involves a physical outpouring of energy with every task that could be called above the norm calorie burning. You know, most folks don’t workout or move beyond the norm when they get home either, (whine) they are too tired . Well, guess what, there will be substantial weight gain over time.
Easy lesson # 1 for weight loss:
Quick Note: Reading labels and checking portion sizes that you are consuming on the boxes, bags and cans in your pantry is super helpful when it comes to counting your intake! Note that a can of soup is typically 2 servings; therefore, eating an entire can is equal to twice the calories posted under the “per serving” content on that label!
Here it is, Lesson #1: Check the calories per serving THEN check the servings per container. FINALLY, and this is SO important, note how much you are actually eating –this equals “Calories Consumed”… voila!
Easy lesson #2 for weight loss: Move more!!
Simply moving more is going to burn calories. Done. True…but this is your truth! You have to move more today then you did yesterday! Building on this easy to understand lesson will change your weight! When you get to the point where you don’t have “that much time” for more movement, we will discuss intensity & duration. But for the moment, please walk the dogs instead of letting them out the back door and then going back to the couch. Stretch in the morning for 5 minutes straight, set the timer on the stove and just focus on stretching! Yes, that burns calories. 10 minutes of motion dedicated to movement (aka: more activity) can burn approximately 100 calories, so if you do that 3 times each day (morning, lunch and sometime before bed) you will have burned approximately 300 extra calories for that day. WOW!
SUM it Down- get it? for weight loss…I can be punny!
1. One Pound is the same as 3,500 calories
2. Calories are stored as fat if they are not burned off
3. Calories Eaten – Calories Burned with Activity = Weight
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