Calories and Sweat
1. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CALORIES
I don’t recommend you carry around a notebook writing down each bite, but you should be conscious of how much and what you are putting into your body. If losing weight, maintaining weight, gaining muscle, or simply feeling good is a priority, it’s crucial to understand how important calories are.
Energy (Calories/Food) into your body vs. Energy out of your body is the Law Of Thermodynamics. Simply put: if you consume the same number of calories your body burns in a day, you will maintain your weight.
The only way to lose body fat is to consume less than what your body burns (caloric deficit).
The crucial part to understand is that if you starve yourself, you will likely lose muscle as well. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn so muscle loss will lower our metabolism - NOT GOOD. For weight loss we have to find that “sweet” deficit: enough to lose fat, but not too much that we lose muscle.
If you want to maintain your weight and feel good, your calories consumed has to match your calories burned; fueling it with nutrition vs. with sugar and refined carbs will help you feel better and ultimately your cravings will be controlled.
Muscle Gain requires a surplus of the right nutrition and calories along with strength training. It’s much like weight loss – if you eat too much and are lifting weights, you will gain muscle AND fat. Finding that “sweet” surplus of calories along with a good strength training routine will encourage muscle growth.
So how can we mindfully apply this to weight loss?
We need to be aware of approximately how many calories we burn a day. The only way to know for sure would be to do a body composition analysis to calculate how much fat and muscle we have on our body. However, there are other equations to get an estimate of our caloric expenditure.
IN SUMMARY: The average daily calorie burn rate for a man between the ages of 31 and 50 is 2,200 to 2,400 if he’s sedentary; 2,400 to 2,600 if he’s moderately active; and 2,800 to 3,000 calories if he’s considered active.
For sedentary women also between the ages of 31 to 50, the average calorie burn is 1,800 per day; for moderately active women, it’s 2,000 calories; and for active women, it’s 2,200 calories per day.
Once you have an idea of your calorie burn you can start to be aware of what you are consuming. It is estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound of body fat. If we break this down into a weekly goal you would need a 500 calorie deficit daily for a 1-2 pound loss.
2. GET SWEATY
We are all different and therefore, are all at different fitness levels. Instead of focusing on specific cardio like a fitness class, run, walk, swim, bike, etc. let your focus be on GETTING SWEATY! Your Cardiovascular system is a priority. Try to do something everyday that makes you sweat and involves movement (sitting in the sun does not count).
Check out these ideas for those of you who have a hard time “exercising” or don't want to join a gym:
- Clean with extra effort: turn up the music and get to work (when I mop my floors, I turn it into a core/arm workout).
- Stairs… 10 minute intervals in your house or at the office. Walk or jog up and down the stairs for 10 minutes… do this 3-6 times a day.
- Follow this 10 minute workout made by my daughters and me! You can repeat it 3-6 times a day. We made it on the fly before heading home from Bend today so don’t judge the lighting, my hair, and or any shakiness. I just want you to have an easy “get sweaty” option. I couldn’t talk my daughter into doing the exercises this time so you're stuck with me on this one.
Those of you that belong to a gym, love to hike or walk, run, swim, bike, etc; all you need to do is set aside 30-60 minutes a day. If you don’t have a full hour, you can break it into 2-3 sessions.
Get Sweaty, Friends! It's good for us!