Daily Archives: August 5, 2008

Did you lose something?

I’ve battled with my weight since I was a child. It’s hard to lose weight. I find weight all over the place and it keeps attaching to me. I’m not overweight by any means but there are times when pounds just find there way to my hips and cling, outta nowhere. Could be lack of sleep, could be the stress, and could be holidays. President’s day gets me every year! Could be, I’m not eating mindfully and not aware of what I’m taking in and what energy I’m expending to keep my body balanced. We all overindulge at times and too often we are just plain not paying attention to what we are ingesting.

Whatever the reason, I know for me, it was a lot easier to shed pounds when I had a lot of weight to lose It’s the nagging few that seem to be the headache to get rid of.
Here’s the deal, it’s all about calories. I know I have used this analogy before but calories are like a bank. You have a certain per diem to use per day and once you’ve spent your cal cash, you are done. If you over spend, cal credit, you have to burn it off by working out or you store it as love handles or lunch lady arms and really, we can’t afford that can we? The tips below are going to help you understand how to manage your weight immediately. If you have more weight to lose than a couple to ten pounds, there are many other fantastic plans to use and the below can help get you on your way. So will the help of a good program, nutritionist and ahem, fitness trainer.

I have to tell ya, getting rid of the lil lbs might actually be easier than you think. And you don’t have to call it a diet and you don’t have to do it forever. These are things that I have done to keep the weight off and maintain that weight for years!

1. For a few days up to two weeks, keep a food diary. Grab a notebook. You don’t need anything fancy. Unless, of course, you want something fancy. Only you will be lookin’ t it so don’t lie to yourself. Write everything down, EVERYTHING. All you are doing is gathering an inventory of what you are taking in. Write the time you eat as well.
From this simple exercise you will be able to see where your possible food weaknesses may be in your diet, when and what you crave and where those extra calories that added up to pounds have been hiding. After careful review you will be able to see how to tailor your diet and get those nagging pounds off of you.

2. Know your portion sizes and how many calories are in what you are eating. This will help with your food diary as well. I know you are probably thinking, I love to eat out or grab a quick bite at this restaurant or deli. The nutrition facts aren’t listed on everything so what do I do? Well, if that’s the case, there are websites dedicated to counting the calories of your favorite foods in your favorite places. If the places you go aren’t part of a large chain, you can still search out your favorite foods by plugging them into the search bars on these sites. If you know the brand name of a food, that will help. If all you know is, I ate three slices of bologna, for example, just plug bologna into the site search bar and you can guestimate by what they list by grams, ounces, pounds et al. Understanding portion sizes is very important. Many of us overdo the portions. Check your labels too. When a label says the serving size is two and you eat the whole thing, you gotta multiply the calorie total by two. Ahh, math. Remember math from school? That’s ok. No one does. You have to remember your math. I don’t want you nit picking every ounce and I don’t want to say we’re dieting but it is a great thing to know what an ounce looks like, what a real tablespoon looks like, what calories on a plate look like. It might already seem like a lot of work but seriously, after a few days of doing this, it’s like balancing your checkbook. You can monitor your whole day in a matter of minutes. That easy. And, if you know what you like to eat, you only have to do it once and keep the record for next time. Here are the sites with accurate descriptions of what portion sizes sound and look like and how to easily count your calories. Here are some sites that help you do the math without a calculator. These sites will help you do the math without a calculator.
www.About.com and www.Cancer.org are also great sites that have tons of nuggets on nutrition, portion sizes and what 100, 200 , 300 et al calories look like.

3. If you are stuck on how many calories you can spend and save in a day, here’s a site that will help you figure that out. It will show you exactly how many calories your particular body needs to live off of per day. It’ll take you a minute and you can find it right here on blogspot. Just plug in your height, weight, age and activity level and boom…
For example,
I’m 123 pounds, 5’ 8’’ and ahem years old. I need about 1670 calories per day with the activity level that I have, bouncing about town, teaching etc. If I add a workout per day, I earn more calories that I can use to lose weight (don’t need to do that) or enjoy a Sarah Lee Cheesecake bite or fourteen.

4. How much protein, carbs, fiber and all that other stuff do I need in one day? At
you can find a breakdown of what the nutrition facts are on the back of labels, how to read them, understand them and implement the necessary amounts of nutrition into your diet.

6. Finally, are you exercising? If you feel like you are spinning your wheels, perhaps you are spinning too much and your workouts have plateaud. Mix up your exercise routine. I love working out and I love cardio. However, I get bored super easy. I need to mix up my exercise magic every few months so I don’t plateau. It doesn’t mean I have to abandon any one exercise for too long but just mix up your routines often. I think one of the things my clients like about working with me in fitness or in yoga is that we never do a sequence more than once or a few times. It keeps things interesting and keeps the muscles working hard when they don’t know what to expect.

7. Get a heart rate monitor. A really good one costs about $80 bucks. I’ve spent enough money on other types and the Polar watch is my favorite. It’ll show you how many calories you are burning as well as your heart rate whilst working out. Good deals and return policies at www.amazon.com and www.jr.com If you can see how much you are burning when you exercise, it will motivate you to keep exercising. For fun, I sometimes wear my heart rate monitor when doing the laundry or washing dishes or swiffering my living room. It’s amazing how many calories you burn just doing normal everyday activities. It all counts toward the calorie account in and output. So does that biscotti. Put-it-down!

Of course nothing is 100% accurate, not even your food labels. But these tips are as good as it gets for staying on track, understanding what you are eating and how you are exercising. Once you are in the practice of doing this, you might want to continue to do it daily. Don’t over obsess. Have fun with it. Allow yourself at least a day once in a while where you don’t focus on every calorie you eating or burning. It’s okay.
If you stick to this plan, you will notice those nagging pounds drop off you without really trying to change anything in particular. All you are doing is monitoring.

Don’t over eat and don’t under eat. Don’t over exercise if you over ate. It’s all about balance and portion. If I can do it, you can do it!
And, make sure you stretch a little before and after your workout.
And, practice mindful eating where you aren’t in front of the tv or reading or talking on the phone.
And, drink water.
And, laugh often. It tones the abs.
And, recycle.
And, call your mother.