Have you ever had dinner out and consumed more than you planned? Of course, we all have. Some folks believe that kicking up the exercise the next morning will erase what you consumed, right..? WRONG!
Many years ago, I was told that you have to run (that means at a speed of eight-minute miles or faster) for ten miles straight to burn off one cheeseburger. Well, good luck with that!
Of course, exercise is a very important part of your health regimen. However, exercise alone will not make you lose weight.
In my opinion, to lose weight you need to limit the number of calories you consume each day for maximum results.
Making Exercise a Regular Habit
The benefits of working out are many. For one, it increases your metabolism – which is great for losing weight. Exercise also builds more lean muscle, which burns more calories than fat.
By doing your workout early, it sets the tone for the rest of day and motivates you to eat healthier. Exercise also makes you more flexible and helps you to be heart healthy as well.
Here are some ways to ensure exercise happens:
No matter when you work out, do something you enjoy because you are more likely to continue the behavior.
If working out first thing in the morning is not your thing, schedule your workouts on your calendar as appointments to ensure they happen.
Make a date with a friend, because it’s harder to bail on working out when you are meeting someone.
Mix up your exercise to avoid boredom.
Note: When the machine at the gym says you burned 350 calories, that is great news. However, it is not a license to increase your calories for the day. Instead, consider yourself ahead of the game.
Some Helpful Dieting Tips
There is no magic pill when it comes to losing weight. The key to diet success is to be prepared and to eat in moderation.
While there are many ways to accomplish this, I suggest you work on the following changes in behavior to ensure your weight loss success:
Eat Slowly. Put your fork down between bites and sip water. This way you will give your stomach time to tell your brain that you are full.
Focus. Eat sitting at a table using a plate and utensils. Eating at your desk or in front of the TV is a distraction that can cause you to eat mindlessly.And if you sometimes eat standing up at the counter or over the sink, beware: Your brain will not register the food you have eaten the way it does when you see it visually on your plate.
Breakfast. Many studies have proven when people eat breakfast, they eat less throughout the day.
Portion Control. This is the key to weight loss success. You can eat whatever you like as long as you keep your portions small.
Nutrition. Eat healthy carbs and fats, make sure half your plate is vegetables and limit your sugar and salt. These are all important steps to maintaining good health and seeing great results when losing weight. I believe in eating 25+ grams of fiber to keep you full and 60-65 grams of protein for energy. The more colors on your plate, the more nutrients!
Water. There are two times people think they are hungry when they are not. One is when they are dehydrated, and the other is when they are tired. After an intense workout, you might think you are starving, but in reality, you are just dehydrated. Drink a large glass of water and wait ten minutes. If you are still hungry, have something, but most likely you will not be as hungry as you were before you hydrated. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will give you a “false” full, and you will eat less.
Sleep. Getting enough rest each night is critical when losing weight. When you are rested you make better decisions and eat more mindfully.
Conclusion: The balance between diet and exercise is simple. You need both. By eating less and moving more, the scale will go south on your weekly weigh-in.
(published April 6, 2012)
Judy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.