One of the most important aspects of losing weight is the concept of burning more calories than you put into your body. This notion is commonly referred to as calories in, calories out (CICO). Calories in is fairly straight forward and is measured by the number of calories consumed in a day. Calories out is slightly more complicated but can easily be estimated by calculating the sum of the number of calories your body consumes at rest or your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and the number of calories burned through movement (Activity).
Sounds simple right? However, research has found that the common equations that estimate ones BMR are over generalized and often do not provide the most accurate information on an individual level. One potential source of error (and your insanity) stems from the thought that our BMR is a static number. You metabolic system is highly complex and there are far too many variables to try to account for each one individually. Rather than attempting to acquire a complete understanding of each component of metabolism, it is much more time efficient to monitor your weight while you manipulate individual variables.
It turns out that Mary Poppins was right when she said “in every job that must be done there is an element of fun, find that fun and snap the jobs a game.”
One question that is continually asked in the field of psychology is: “Why do people not do things that are in their own best interest?” We see this all the time in our daily lives, yet it is especially significant in our health behaviors. An interesting aspect of the decision-making process is that we usually know what we should be doing and yet, we continue to make poor decisions. For instance, we take the escalator when we know the stairs burn more calories, diabetics wait over a year to begin insulin treatment and patients at risk for heart disease resist changing their lifestyle.
Have you ever lost a bunch of weight just to put it all back on plus more? The main reason so many of us are stuck on this roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain is that we kill our metabolism with intense dieting and cardio.
The roller coaster begins when we get to busy to exercise, indulge in our favorite treats and eventually gain weight… Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick. One day you look in the mirror and realize where you have gotten yourself… the top of the roller coaster of course! So you throw your hands in the air in anticipation of the ride back down. You lose your stomach (pun intended) and the weight comes off with ease as you soar through the loops and twists of dieting and daily cardio.
Quick victories in decreasing that pesky number on the scale makes sever calorie restriction and countless hours on the treadmill seem like the best way to lose weight. However, you’re definitely not doing yourself any favors in the long run by over-training and under eating.
Let’s keep the momentum building. In our last post, we talked about losing weight one pound at a time. Small steps can make a big difference. So can how you feel along the way to where you’re going.
“Great things are done by a series of small things done together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he’s a well-known financial expert who created a system of paying down your debts starting from the smallest to the largest. You pay the minimum on all of your debts, except the smallest one to start. This frees up money to pay off the smallest debt as quickly as possible. Once you pay off the first debt, you take the monthly amount you were paying, and add it to the next payment in line (now the smallest). The idea is to create quick energy and excitement you can sustain, because the feeling of accomplishment is so great. He calls it the ‘snowball effect.’ As you pay off each debt, you continue to take the previous payment amount and add it to the next debt until it’s paid off, and so on.
- Take 10 minute mini-breaks at work and walk up and down the stairs. Work up to 3x/day.
- Create a workout plan for yourself using home equipment like milk jugs, chairs, stairs, boxes, packages and cans of food.
- Leave your shoes by the front door, so you are always ready! You will be ready for a walk or an organized trip to the gym.
Mindfulness – This word and practice has the power to change your life completely. Meditation gurus will tout the benefits of mindfulness, and teach the importance of being in the present moment. You do not have to spend hours in a meditation center to learn mindfulness. You can practice it in your everyday life, because it is simply the art and act of paying attention.
Sounds easy, right? In theory yes, but what do you do when the kids are crying for dinner, your boss needs that work project yesterday, and now your mom is calling you? How mindful can you be when life gets busy? Add in an extra 75 emails you have yet to respond to, because your internet has been down for the last three days.
More than 1/3 of American adults are obese (34.9%), and roughly 2/3 of American Adults are overweight or obese. 15.5% of American teenagers are obese, and 30.4% of American teenagers are overweight or obese. As of 2012, 18% of kids ages 6-11 were obese, and more than 1/3 of kids and adolescents were overweight and obese.
Do you see a pattern here? We are definitely not getting healthier, at least in a big enough way to make a dent in these statistics. “In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in reducing obesity rates,” according to Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and a founder of the Global Burden of Disease approach.
The other day, I was sitting at a resort watching a group of kids play soccer on the front lawn. It was not an organized game of soccer. Rather, they were just a group of kids kicking the ball around.
This surprised me. Then it surprised me that it surprised me.
Playing just for fun seems to be such a lost art. Yet, here was a group of innocent children doing just that.
Growing up, I remember playing with the neighborhood kids. We would get together after school and in the evenings to play kick the can or running bases. We even played basketball. Not organized basketball, but games like H-O-R-S-E and knockout.
Have you ever heard of people writing their own personal obituaries even while they are still alive? Sounds morbid I know, but it has a point.
It’s easy to think your life has no meaning, or you haven’t done anything noteworthy, but is this really true? Writing your own obituary gives you a chance to reflect on your life and remember the highlights. How do you want to be remembered?
Maybe obituary is not the right word. Let’s call it a Celebration of Life writing exercise. Now is the time to write your own personal triumph story. Highlight the good stuff! Here are a few guidelines to get you started: