Tag Archives: walking

When does 100 equal 10? (small changes matter)

You never know when you’re going to hear a brief tidbit of info that can be of significant importance. Recently, our local YMCA offered a program on healthy lifestyles with a focus on weight loss. As the dietician shared, I wrote down her info, much of which I already knew. One thing, however, stood out.

If we are overweight, most of us want to lose it quickly without much being required in the way of change, right? But if we’re honest, we could probably look back and see that our weight gain didn’t happen over a three-month period, or even a year’s time. You might notice that you added ten pounds every year or two, which didn’t make a noticeable change because it was so gradual (“Hmmm, these old pants are out of style anyway, I’ll go find some new ones that fit better”). Years ago, I came across a couple of my maternity outfits, and decided to try them on. To my chagrin, I couldn’t even zip up the back of the dress, and the pants wouldn’t fit over my thighs!

Ten pounds annually over a four to  five-year period…the simple math shows that to be a noticeable weight gain. But the truth is (as the dietician pointed out), we can easily lose ten pounds a year without any significant lifestyle change. How is that possible? Two ways: Cut 100 calories a day out of your food consumption or burn 100 extra calories daily through exercise (depending on your current weight that could be as little as a 15-minute walk at a decent pace).

100 calories is just about nothing! Serving sizes and calorie counts vary by brand, but here’s a rough estimate of items that are about 100 calories each: a piece of toast with spread, eight ounces of regular soft drink, ¾ ounce of a chocolate candy bar, two hot wings, ¼ cup ice cream, or (gasp!) ⅓ of a slice of pepperoni pizza.

So, since 3,500 calories equals a pound, if we do the math, subtracting this amount from our daily calorie intake will allow us to lose around 10 pounds in a year, or…adding these extra calories daily will make the scale show a 10 pound increase this time next year (and the next…). Just a little bit of time learning about calorie counts of your favorite foods can help you make wise decisions that’ll whittle the waistline; an easy-to-navigate site I often use is www.calorieking.com.  What choices will you choose to implement this week?

Note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive new articles as they post, you can subscribe on my homepage. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, decisions, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, making changes, menu planning, nutrition data, physical fitness, snacks

Exercise for weight loss: think half-and-half

I wonder how many calories I've burned off with these! (Photo by Ann ManiscalcoTo see our weight loss progress gain momentum, we’d do well to combine eating better (not necessarily “less”) and exercising more. According to the www.mayoclinic.com web site:

 “Because 3500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories). Exercise along with cutting calories helps boost your weight loss. Exercise is also important for maintaining your weight and not regaining weight.”

The article goes a bit further with crunching the caloric numbers. In stating the recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services for healthy adults, it suggests at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic activity weekly, which could average out to 30 minutes, five days a week. It also suggests we “include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in [our] daily routine”.

 So think half-and-half to balance your calorie expenditure – half-an-hour of aerobic exercise (one that gets your heart rate up: brisk walking, swimming, jumping rope, jogging, bicycling, for example) and half-an-hour of other activities such as housework, shopping, or gardening…whatever “moves” you).

 Wondering how many calories you burn with various activities? It really depends on age, weight, intensity and other factors, but here are a couple of sites that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your activity:

 Consuming 250 calories less a day (it’s not hard – think approximately one 20-ounce cola, 1 large hamburger bun, 2 ounces of ranch-type dressing, or about 2/3 cup of ice cream, for starters) and burning 250 through an exercise you enjoy will result in the 3500-calorie weekly deficit required to lose a pound. Of course, results vary, but this is a helpful guideline to make sure your caloric output exceeds your input!

 ***A couple of questions  from slimvictory: What are some of your favorite exercises? Do you find it hard to commit to a regular program of physical activity?

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, nutrition data, physical fitness, walking

Expensive equipment not necessary for effective exercise

The beach near our home... a lovely place to walk, don't you think? (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

Gym memberships may be nice, and can be quite beneficial, but aren’t essential to keeping on top of one’s exercise game.  A pair of sturdy walking shoes, a bottle of water, and enough gas in the car to get me there are all I need to take advantage of this delightful walking area. From the bridge (seen in the distance) to our harbor is around a mile, so a round-trip provides a good workout.

Walking routes are only limited by our imagination. I’ll often ride my bike to our city’s hospital, which is a half-mile from our house. Hubby and I use the professional scales set up in a hallway there to check our weight, and I’ll often (especially if it is just way too hot outside) take to the halls and stairs for a 30 minute walk. I recently read a post from a woman who said she’ll walk the perimeter of her local warehouse store a few times to get her steps in, and of course, many can take an after-dinner stroll (or power-walk) in their own neighborhood.

Swimming is a cheap or free way to experience a mega-calorie burn. There’s a lake about half an hour away from us, and we sometimes swim at a friend’s pool. A large natatorium in a neighboring city costs a reasonable $3.00 per adult as well.

Stretch bands are inexpensive, and give us a chance to engage in strength training, which along with aerobic/cardio and stretching, comprises  a good three-prong approach to physical fitness.  And lunges, squats, jumping jacks and crunches can be done without any equipement other than our own muscles, bones and will-power!

What are some of your favorite exercises that help you head toward your weight-loss goal by burning more calories than you consume?

Thought for the day:

         Invite someone to exercise with you;  you can burn calories and build a friendship at the same time!

 *** A note from Slimvictory: your thoughts and comments are appreciated. If you’d like to receive email update of new articles as they post, you can sign up on my home page.

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Filed under calorie reduction, exercise, healthy weight loss, physical fitness