Monday, December 1, 2014

3500 Calories - Repeat

I know I referenced this in my repeat post last Wednesday, but with Thanksgiving just done and the holiday (eating) season in full swing, I thought it would be worth a revisit.


Maybe you already know this. 

3500 calories = 1 lb of body fat

What does that mean?  To lose a pound at your weigh in next week, you need to:

    (A) Eat 3500 calories less per week
    (B) Burn an additional 3500 calories over the week
    (C) Or complete some combination of both A&B above

My preference? Working out, duh!

(Disclaimer: hopefully you're not trying to just burn off spaghetti, nachos and a cookie.  Fruits and veggies, folks, fruits and veggies).

Honestly, I think working out is the easiest of the options to incorporate into your daily routine.  All you have to do is get out there and move your fanny.  And don't get all intimidated, thinking you have to be like me and sign up for a half marathon!  Keep it simple.  Take a walk around the block, do some gardening.  Anything, really!  Just get up off your butt.

Calories Burned During Physical Activity (estimated)

For the below calorie burns, assume the person is about 5’ 8”, 180 lbs

Walking 3-4mph, 30 minutes – 200 calories
Swimming Easy/Moderate Pace, 30 minutes – 200 calories
Biking 10-12mph, 20 minutes – 200 calories
Downhill Skiing, 20 minutes – 200 calories
Yoga, 45 minutes – 200 calories

Let's apply the above to your daily life... if you add a 30 minute leisurely walk to your routine each day, within a week you would burn 1400 calories.  You could do that over your lunch hour, and still have time to eat too!  Not hard at all, right?

Then, maybe on Saturday you want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.  Hop on your bike and go for an hour ride around the neighborhood.  There's another 600 calories.  Already to 2000, and you haven't even broken a sweat!  See how quickly even little changes add up? 

Now I bet you're saying - hey, that's only 2000 calories.  I thought you said I needed to eliminate 3500 to lose a pound?

Yep, I did!  And here's another easy way to do it!

Food Awareness

Most people consume calories throughout the day that they don't even think about.  Let's call these "hollow calories". 

What are "hollow calories?"

Consider this... how many times have you walked past the office candy dish and grabbed a couple of pieces of candy without even thinking about it?  Were you hungry?  Did it make you feel full afterwards?  I bet the answer to both of those questions is "no".

Or how about your liquid caloric intake?  How many times during the week do you drink regular sodas, juice or even alcoholic beverages?  Are any of those beverages consumed because you are thirsty, and could you substitute water?  I bet the answer here is "yes".

So, how hard would it be to eliminate a few of these "hollow calories" from your diet?  You got it - not hard at all!

Here are some calorie fun facts for you to consider (again, estimated):

Regular Soda – 200 calories per can
Beer – 100-200 calories per pint
Candy Bar – 200-300 calories each
Snack Bag of Chips – 200-300 calories
2-3 Slices of Cheese on Burger/Sandwich – 100-200 calories

Eliminate 1 serving per day:
   7 days x 200 calories = 1400 calories / week (just under ½ lb)

Eliminate 2 servings per day:
   7 days x 400 calories = 2800 calories / week (almost 1 lb!)

Hardly any work, right?  And you're not feeling hungry or deprived either!

...Ok, so I lost track.  Where are we in working towards that 3500 calorie goal?  Let's see... what have we done so far?  Oh, right:

     (1) Do a 30 minute leisurely walk each day, burn 1400 calories
     (2) On Saturday, enjoy the sunshine during an hour long bike ride, burn 600 calories
     (3) Eliminate 1 serving per day of "hollow calories", eliminate 1400 calories

Hmmm, time for math:  1400 + 600 + 1400 = 3400

Wow!  Look at that!  With very little work, you've pretty much lost a pound.

Think you can do it?  I do!  Give it a try!

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