By: Susan Howard
BURN 500 CALORIES NOW!
After over a decade of touting the benefits of working out for weight loss, I have come to realize that, unless you watch your diet, true weight loss will be an uphill battle.
Diet. I hate that word and I hope I am never on one.
As I use it here, I merely mean “calories in.”
Here’s why just exercise won’t work:
I’ll bet you aren’t going to celebrate finishing a big project at work by running a half marathon with your colleagues, but you might go to happy hour at TGI Fridays and slurp down three strawberry margaritas -1150 calories. (Many of their entrée items tip the 1000 calorie scale as well.)
In the middle of a huge fight with your significant other, you aren’t likely going to go on a 50-mile bike ride to console yourself, but you may eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk -1200 calories.
If you are feeling bored, lonely, tired, or any other emotion really, you probably won’t swim five miles, but you may very well eat a plate of chicken nachos at Baja Fresh -coming in at a whopping 2020 calories.
Point being this: it’s easier to unconsciously consume a large amount of calories, but likely you won’t accidentally burn a bunch. You aren’t going to turn around and say oh shit I just hiked for five hours; I was so angry, how’d that happen?
With restaurants and fast food chains serving such hugely portioned, high caloric fare, nobody’s got your back. (But me of course.) We as a nation are more obsessed with thinness, yet we are fatter than ever and growing. With Venti Cookie Frappuccinos coming in at 800 calories, Starbucks has become a malt shop disguised in a coffee suit.
The next time you are bummed out, down and out, out and about, falling down that slippery slope of food hell, grab a number and do a triathlon instead. Remember you got to pay to play.
How much should you eat in a day? Daily, women can take in about 1600 to 1900 calories and dudes should have about 1800 to 2200. This all depends on size and activity levels. How do I burn 500 calories, you ask? Don’t take them in. (If you do it will cost you one hour running on the treadmill.) There, they are gone.
Take a 30 minute walk after dinner, with your family, or a friend. You will digest your food better and it will set a great example for your kids. Make it a nightly ritual.