submitted by REIXEN
It takes just as much time to gain weight as it does to lose it, 3500 calories. When gaining weight, you hit plateaus, the same as you do when losing. Neither happen overnight, but habits contribute to both. It isn’t inconceivable to burn a pound a week–this is extremely doable with only a few small changes in your life.
To lose a pound a week, you are looking at 52 pounds in a year. I, for one, would be at my ideal weight if I could lose that much. And one year of your life, think about it, it’s minute when you consider your entire time on earth. To dedicate one year to changing habits and being more attentive to your health will actually increase your life expectancy. That one year becomes an additional 3-5 or maybe even 10 that you’ve miraculously tacked on. That’s some impressive math.
52 pounds of fat. Have you ever seen a pound of fat? It’s a large mass the size of a coffee mug. Imagine 52 coffee mugs filled with butter on your bedroom floor. Fill a backpack with 52 pounds and carry that around for 10 minutes. How do you feel after setting it down? And that’s the kind of stress on your body you would be relieving with just a year of dedication. The habits you form in that time would be your new routine. You won’t even need to think about being healthy–you’ll be living it!
Your heart will be stronger. Your breathing will be less labored. Your slumber will be more restful…your temperament more even. Most people want a quick fix. They want to pop a magic pill that does the work for them : drop 30 pounds in two weeks. They want to starve and then binge on the weekends. They want to chain smoke or drink diet sodas and chew gum, but why torture yourself? This is your life. Weight loss isn’t something that can be done overnight or in a couple weeks; your weight isn’t a coat you can put on and take off. You live in your body, respect it–do right by it.
Aside from all the tips you frequently hear, like removing salt, butter, soda, sweets and overly processed foods from your diet, here are a few more that you may want to consider, ones that are easy to implement:
1. Drink more water. We are frequently dehydrated and don’t even realize it. When our bodies need water, our minds often confuse that with hunger, triggering compulsive eating in an effort to satisfy a hunger that was really just thirst.
2. Skip the second helping. If you really loved the meal, store it away for the next day, and that will save you from having to cook or spend money on lunch. If you commonly have a second helping, you are eating more than one meal at a time. This taxes your midsection and your finances. Enjoy the meal throughout the day or spread it out over several, just pace yourself.
3. As I’ve gained weight, I found myself reaching for food more commonly out of boredom, even unconsciously. I’m not hungry, but I just eat. I also pick up habits of those I’m around, like eating in front of the tv–when personally, I don’t even like having the tv on. When bored, don’t go to the fridge or dig through your pantry. Do something else. Put on some music and clean, take a nice shower, read a book, learn something new, work on a project, call a friend, go for a walk outside, or dance around your living room. There are so many options. Boredom should never be a reason to stuff food in your mouth.
4. Don’t eat late at night. When you are digesting food, you will not sleep well. You are restless and your breathing is more likely to be impaired; you will also probably have nightmares rousing you throughout the night. Think about how kids are forbidden from swimming until an hour (or two) after having eaten. Well, if nothing else, don’t eat within two hours of going to sleep, and even when eating that close to bedtime, make it a snack, and I don’t mean potato chips.
5. Now, this one you hear frequently: change the food you eat when snacking. Yeah, you may think there is nothing wrong with crackers and cheese or a bag of nuts. Even though this may be healthier than how you normally eat, by ingesting so many calories, carbohydrates, and fats at one time, you aren’t doing your body any favors. My suggestion is to grab an apple. When in doubt, eat an apple. If you have to snack, go for an apple. Look for the ones labeled organic or buy from a farmer’s market if pesticides concern you, but honestly, if you’ve been regularly ingesting fast food or canned food or other processed foods, the pesticides found on produce aren’t going to kill you any faster.
The most important thing is changing your habits. Change your habits, change your life–and it goes both ways: for the good or the bad. It is movement. It’s adventure. 🙂 52 pounds in one year, what a difference that makes.
And here’s a little math…
Typically, a person can ingest in calories about 10x their weight and still lose weight (e.g., a 200 lb person can consume 2000 calories in a day and be slightly under their daily requirement for weight maintenance).
If you decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 calories, you’ll have a surplus of at least 3500 calories each week, which is the equivalent of losing one pound of fat. Now, let’s say a standard dinner is somewhere around 500 calories for a plate (and usually, it’s more than this). Well, skip the second plate, save it for the next day, and you’ve accomplished your goal. How easy is that?
Switch in an apple instead of chips or crackers, and you are looking at quite a few calories saved, especially since one apple can actually be pretty filling–yes, that itty bitty fruit. It’s like magic! I once lost around 25 pounds by just incorporating apples and applesauce into my daily diet without changing anything else, but then again, I’ve never been a potato chips, cookies, or hot dogs person, yet just think about it: I was still able to lose a lot of weight (and actually pretty quickly) with that little change. You can do it, too!
If you were to walk for one hour per day, let’s say half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening, uninterrupted, you are burning ~300-400 calories (depending on your weight and pace). You don’t need to jog or run, which is bad on your knees anyway… just walk and keep walking. When you go to a grocery store (or a big box store like WalMart), do a lap around the store before you begin to shop and then another before you head to the checkout line; glance around while you stroll, but keep moving, perhaps scoping out possible purchases for your next outing and make sure to park as far away from the entrance as you can manage–every step makes a difference.
Walking tones your legs, carrying groceries tone your arms; tighten your abdominal muscles (suck in your gut, but remember to breathe) and you are performing isometric exercise, which is actually more effective than tedious crunches… start small and up your activity level as you progress. You’ll find that the physical exertion actually feels good. You may end up exhausted, but you’ll sleep better and be more clear-headed due to the increased oxygen flow to your brain. You’ll be smarter, more clever and improve your memory, which will save time in your day, allowing you more time for productivity and activity.
You’ll feel better about yourself and your life. You’ll feel accomplished, successful, and confident in your abilities, and this will be triggered from the chemical release in your brain…passion, love, happiness, joy and a sense of well-being. It’s really something how our body works! We just show it some love, and then reap the rewards 😉 And remember, rewards aren’t in the food. Rewards are in the care and attention. With the increased love you feel for yourself, others will share in that. And your energy will inspire everyone.
Losing one pound per week equals a loss of 52 pounds in one year–AMAZING!
START NOW and lose 21 pounds (or more) by New Year’s Day. TWENTY-ONE POUNDS!