At some time in each of our lives, most of us want, or need, to lose some weight. Whether it’s dropping those last ten pounds that have been driving you nuts, or, like tens of millions overweight Americans, you need to drop a whole bunch. 20 pounds? 40? Over 50? Guess what? Do I have some great news for you!
If you can count, you can lose weight. Now, I know you’ve all probably heard a lot of this before—count calories, watch portion sizes, eat less, exercise more—but not all weight reduction programs are created equal. Still overweight? Still need some help? Read on…
That’s the magic number of calories that makes up one pound of weight loss.
Okay, I understand, no one said there was going to be math, right?
Let’s say you eat 2000 calories each day (which, depending on your body size, gender, or age, is a nice, average number to go by). Now multiply that by 7 days, and the result is that you will consume 14,000 calories per week. Here’s where that magic number—3500—comes into play.
If your goal is to lose one pound a week, you will need to burn 3500 calories more than you ingest, per week. Using the above example: if you consume 14,000 calories, you would need to burn 17,500 to lose one pound in a week. Now, take those 17,500 calories and divide by 7 (days). That’s 2500. That’s how many calories you would need to burn, on average, per day, to lose one pound.
Wow, sounds like a lot of math, and hard work.
Actually, it’s a lot easier than you could imagine.
Using this formula, and eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, I lost over 40 pounds in only six months. And I have been able to keep all of the weight off for over two years. And here’s the best news—burning calories is not that difficult. We burn them while asleep! You are burning some right now just reading this post. I burned a bunch writing it!
One of the best ways to burn more calories, though, is to become more active. You don’t have to go crazy and start training for an Iron Man competition, you just need to get up and get going. Start a walking program, work in the yard landscaping or gardening, use the stairs instead of the elevator, clean the house (yup, burns lots of calories). Even going grocery shopping will burn a bunch. Here is a great tool that will help you keep track of all the calories you burn. The good news—burning 2500-3000 calories (or more!) per day is not that difficult to do. The challenge for most of us is consuming fewer calories. That’s why I titled this post: Make Your Calories Count.
If you are to limit caloric consumption (eat less), then you need to make sure everything you put in your mouth has value and nutritional purpose. This means—no empty calories. An empty calorie is something (a bag of chips, slice of cake, most fast foods) that fills your stomach, but gives little in return—no nutrition, few vitamins or minerals. They may even be high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. No value—so, don’t eat them.
Here’s the important thing to understand—if you seriously want to lose weight and decide to limit your caloric intake, you need to ensure that every calorie you consume has a purpose. Why? Because you only have so many in each day/week, to waste any could lead to your weight loss downfall. An example: one trip through that drive-thru window at your favorite (not anymore, I hope) burger joint could blow your calorie count for the entire day. A double cheeseburger, large fry, and soda or shake, depending on which grease house you are visiting, have anywhere from 1000-2000 calories. And watch their salads; most are high in sodium and calories. My advice: Don’t go there!
I talk in greater detail about all of this information at my video website, livelife365.com.
If you are serious about dropping those last ten pounds or ready to take that first step toward losing fifty, or more, count your calories (magic number: 3500), and make your calories count.
Here are a few more tips that have helped me:
• Eat small mini-meals throughout the day, every 2-3 hours. Toss out the traditional thinking that you need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
• Chew gum in between meals. You’d be amazed at how effective this it.
• Eat lots of fiber and less animal protein. Fiber curbs your appetite, digests slowly, helps with regularity, and is good for you.
• Stop eating before you feel full. It can take ten minutes or more before the brain realizes that the stomach is full. We all too often continue to eat way longer than we need to.
• Keep a journal. Jot down everything you eat each day—and I mean everything! This includes “tastes” while cooking and “nibbles” from your kid’s or spouses’ plates. And don’t forget liquids; they count too. This is an excellent way to monitor what is working or not in your diet. I still have my journals!
• Walk. Walking is the easiest, least expensive exercise there is. Here is an informative walking video to get you started.
Remember—3500 calories equals one pound. Burn more than 3500 calories than you ingest and you will lose a pound of weight. Do this every week and, before you know it, you will be well on your way to a healthier, happier, better life. I hope these tips help. And, as always, you can find more healthy information, as well as personal development, how-to, and entertainment videos at my video site, livelife365.com.