1) Eat Less
2) Exercise More
Because it really is that simple…or is it? Of course it’s not! Weight loss is one of the hardest things to do in today’s modern society. We are constantly bombarded with enticing food advertising not to mentions hundreds of quick, easy and cheap eating opportunities.
My mother, like so many others, has spent her entire life fighting the good fight, and for the most part losing the war. I wish I had stock in Jenny Graig for when she’s on the program the company’s profits must sore.
So why is it that so many of us fight the battle of the bulge and lose every time? Logically we all know what must be done (eat less and exercise more) and yet we try the newest diets, eat the newest low-cal foods and go to all kinds of extremes to shed the increasing pounds.
I really need to add a few chapters to my book. Two to be exact:
4) Be honest
5) Stay motivated
I find that when I’m trying to lose weight I turn into one massive liar and I develop an ability to rationalize that would make Kirstie Alley proud. What’s worse the harder I try to lose weight, the more I lie to myself. I come up with all sorts of rationalizations for my poor eating habits like, “I just ran for half hour so I can eat this peanut butter cup and Oh what the heck, the other one as well. And I might as well wash it all down with a Coke since I just burned all those calories running.”
But it gets worse. When I’m really working hard to lose weight I’ll rationalize my poor diet with the expectation of a heavy workout. For instance I’ll do things like, “It’s OK to have this burger and fries and a chocolate shake for lunch since I’ll be going for an extra long swim tonight.” The problem is that by “tonight” I get tired and that extra long swim turns into an extra long nap.
To help me stay honest I’ve put together a little cheat sheet that translates caloric intake into the actual amount of time needed to burn those calories. It’s kinda like Deal-a-Meal
(the weight loss card program that lets you choose foods by mixing and matching cards) except that it lets you eat empty calories based on how much work it will take to actually burn them off.
For instance, the above mentioned lunch at my favorite burger joint is about 1700 calories:
Total lunch 1700 Calories
Now this may seem like a lot but my favorite local hamburger place is Red Robin and their burgers and shakes are big and their fries are bottomless. Remember we’re being totally honest.
So how much exercise do I need to do to burn off my lunch?
2.0 hours of swimming (at 1:15 per 100 yards) that’s way fast for me so figure
2.5 hours for me.
2:00 hours of biking (at 20 mph) and that’s way fast for me so figure about
2:30 hours of biking for me.
1:15 hours of running (at an 8:00 minutes per mile pace) way fast so figure
1:30 of running for me.
You can use the following as an easy rule of thumb You’ll burn:
That means that if you have a 12 ounce can of coke (140 calories) plus a Chocolate Hershey bar (130 calories) as a snack you better figure on spending a half an hour on the bike or in the pool just to burn off that 5 minute snack.
When I look at it this way, I begin to wonder if that snack is really worth all the effort. And the problem, of course, is that I’m assuming that I’ll actually do the work. If I get lazy I’m in trouble. Watching Television burns about 100 calories an hour.
That means that if I go to Red Robin for lunch tomorrow I’ll have to watch 17 hours of television to just stay at no weight gain. Or I could always type on this computer for 10 hours (typing on a computer burns about 170 calories an hour) to get that much need work out.
Next time: Chapter 5 Stay Motivated