Begin With The Basics
With every vocation and avocation, there are certain basic activities that you have to master before you can add to it. If you’re a carpenter, you probably know how to use a level. If you’re a golfer, you probably practice the basics of swinging an iron and a putter. If you’re a writer, you probably (at least we hope) you know the rudiments of grammar. Why is it that people think that we don’t need the follow the basics of nutrition, need regular exercise, or need proper rest in order to stay healthy?
62% of American adults are overweight. Many of us try to blame it on hormonal imbalances or genetics, but the truth is, most of us are fat because we don’t do simple math.. Our calorie intake and output are out of balance. We take in more calories than we use every day causing us to put on the pounds.
We forget that basic math when we realize that we need to lose weight. Someone tells us that we are overweight and we decide that eating right, exercising, and rest are not we need to focus on. We think that we need to “go on a diet”. So we restrict our calories and we starve ourselves or administer some sort of magic pill that is somehow going to melt the pounds like butter.
We do okay on this “diet” or with these pills for a while. We might lose five or even ten pounds. most of the weight that we loose is water weight, but then something happens. Once we lose some water weight, the weight loss isn’t there any more. We are said to have plateaued. What has actually happened is that our bodies have gone into starvation mode and won’t let us lose any more weight. If we do continue to lose weight, it isn’t fat that we lose, but it is muscle that we start losing. Our bodies begin to grow weak and we feel real, genuine hunger. Suddenly our bodies overrule or minds and we eat and eat and eat until our bodies have regained the weight that we lost, but we don’t gain water weight. The weight we gain back is pure fat, and the next time the weight is even harder to get off.
Doing Weigh Loss Math
So, how can we loss weight and keep it off? Well, the best way to lose math is to take it off gradually. Unless you are extremely obese, I think that if you intend to have sustainable weight loss, you should not think that you will lose more than a pound per week. Here’s why.
It is unrealistic to think that you could possibly lose over a pound a week and sustain the weight loss. A pound of fat amounts to about 3500 calories. If you are to lose a pound of fat, you will have to taken in 3500 calories less than you’ve taken in. If you are to lose a pound in a week, you need to decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories per day. Most women use 2000 calories per day. Therefore, if you decrease your calories by 500 per day, you will be able to eat just 1500 calories during the day. That is actually quite difficult to do on a long term basis.
Another option would be to decrease your calorie intake by 250 calories and increase your activity by exercising 250 calories per day. This is the easier solution over the long run because it is more sustainable. A little less food, a little more exercise, and over time you become slimmer, fitter, and healthier.
This last option is the one that I am following. It is all about creating a healthier lifestyle that is completely sustainable. For the first time ever, I am eating whatever I really want, exercising, and still losing weight. I am also not obsessed by food all the time. I eat when I am hungry. I feel good, and I don’t beat myself up when I eat something that is not diet food. I recognize that the weight didn’t come on in a week so it is not likely to come off in a short time either. I won’t be losing all the weight I intend to lose by the end of this month because I know that is not realistic. This month my focus is on making healthy eating and healthy exercise positive lifestyle changes that can last a lifetime.
Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more info about Cygnet Brown and her books.