Did you ever meet a person who simply gave up their daily addiction to sodas, juices, or even “healthy” drinks? One can of Coca-Cola has 97 calories nearly all calories coming from 27 grams of sugar – almost 2 tablespoons of good old white table sugar! Add just one can of Cola every day and that is nearly 700 extra calories each week.
Here are a few common calorie culprits:
Orange juice: 8 ounces = 125 calories (on average, a serving of orange juice is closer to 12 or 16 ounces…so nearly 300 calories!)
Half & Half in your coffee: 1 tbsp = 20 calories (but realistically, you’re adding a lot more! Do you even measure it or just casually pour it? How many coffees are you having everyday!?). This could add more than 100 calories to every cup of coffee you drink.
16 ounce non-fat latte: 168 calories (in addition to your breakfast!)
1 full glass of wine (6 ounces): 150 calories
1 Bud Light beer: 110 calories
I will put it in perspective for you:
· 1 pound of fat = 3500 calories
· Add 100 extra calories/day = gain about 1 pound/month
· In one year, you have packed on nearly 12 pounds
· Take it the other way, cut 100 unnecessary calories everyday and you could potentially keep off 12 pounds a year…without really dieting!
KEY DIFFERENCE MAKER: Not drinking water is a buzz-kill for your metabolism. Drink between 65-85 ounces of water each day (if you can aim for 100 ounces, even better!). We often mistake “hunger pangs” for “thirst pangs.” When you keep hydrated you are less likely to overeat, your skin will be gorgeous, you will have a better sense of well-being…it is like the oil in a car…it keeps all the parts running smoothly and efficiently. Spruce up your water by adding fruit slices (citrus is great), or do one part no-sugar added cranberry, grapefruit, or pomegranate juice to four parts water to switch it up. Unsweetened herbal tea is another great option (just be careful of the caffeine).
REASON #2: You insist on bulking your calories late in the day
Here is a common scenario I hear all the time: “I eat so “healthy” early in the day…I have a 100 calorie yogurt for breakfast and a salad for lunch. But I get these cravings around 3 o’clock and it seems like I can’t stop eating and I make all the wrong choices.”
THIS IS THE MISTAKE: You have not given your body enough fuel (i.e. food) to keep up with your activities through the earlier part of the day since this is when you need it most, so right around the late afternoon/early evening, your body is out of fuel and hungry. Snacking unconsciously later in the afternoon to make up for what you did not eat earlier in the day leads to overeating, and most of the time you will make poor choices. On top of this, we typically eat our largest meal at dinnertime and the problem is that we do the least amount of activity after dinner…so our bodies store those extra calories as fat. Eat the bulk of your calories earlier in the day, and you will use those calories more efficiently since you have the whole day to burn it instead of store it.
REASON #3: Your breakfasts are lame, so you end up binging later in the day
(if you are even eating breakfast at all)
Mom was right…breakfast is absolutely the most important meal of the day. Your body decides within the first hour of waking if it is going to burn fat or store fat. You will store fat if you do not kick start your metabolism upon waking. You have been brainwashed that if you do not eat, your body will “decide” to burn fat as energy. Sorry…here is the truth: your body will burn your muscle since it is a better source of fuel, fat does nothing! However, your body will look to burn excess fat if you start with a good breakfast of protein, fiber, and good carbohydrates. You will also be less likely to binge later in the day. Studies have repeatedly shown that those who eat breakfast regularly weigh less on average than those that do not.
CRITICAL: Eat a breakfast that satisfies you. For most women, between 300-400 calories made up of protein and quality carbohydrates (whole grains, fruit, veggies) should kick-start your metabolism daily and keep you full.
REASON #4: You think getting on the elliptical until you are blue in the face
is how you are going to lose the weight…and that lifting weights will “bulk” you up.
Cardio Myth: Running until you are nearly about to pass out is an effective way to burn fat.
If this was the case…I may have to reconsider my career choice, no one would ever want to workout. Walking around the block a few times is not enough to make a significant difference in sparking weight loss. We wish it was just that easy. On the flip-side, even 60 minutes on an elliptical may not cut it.
Resistance Training Myth: Lifting weights will inevitably lead to “bulking up”.
I promise you will not look like the Incredible Hulk with moderately intense resistance workouts. It takes very specific nutrition and workout regiments to attain a “bulky” physique, but regular resistance training is what will decrease inches and give your body the shape and tone cardio training will not.
THE GENERAL CONSENSUS: A combination of both cardio and resistance training is critical to a well-rounded, healthy fitness routine.
Simple workout plan for optimal health and maintained fat loss:
Cardio Training: 30-40 minutes, 5-6 days/week, 65%-85% of your Maximum Heart Rate (calculate your fat burning zone by using the Maximum Heart Rate calculation below)
1. Calculate 220 minus your age
2. Multiply the number in step #1 by 65%
3. Multiply the number in step #1 by 85%
4. The numbers from #2 and #3 give you the number of heart beats per minute (bpm) that is within your “fat burning zone”
Resistance Training: 3-4 days/week
This is why Body Project Boot Camp gets results – the workouts are based on maximal calorie burn doing a combination of cardio and resistance training. Email me for your free trial week of Body Project Boot Camp and lose 4-7 inches in just 4 weeks!
REASON #5: Your pantry is filled with 100-calorie packs and pre-packaged “healthy” foods
Even those 100-calorie packs and fancy “health” bars you think are so great and convenient could be killing your plan to get back to your svelte figure. It is as simple as this: if what you are eating does not rot OUTSIDE of your body, what do you think it is doing INSIDE of your body? So if you can keep it in your pantry for months at a time without it going bad, chances are, your body is going to have a very difficult time figuring out what to do with it. The result is an inefficient metabolism, extra fat, an increased risk of diabetes and high cholesterol among others, and a guarantee that you will still be hungry when you are done.
TAKE ACTION: Dump all the packaged stuff you are feeding you and your family. It is not just a weight issue, it is a health issue. Find a few healthy alternatives for “emergencies” – Kashi bars are a great convenient food to keep handy, but do not resort to eating bars every day.
REASON #6: Your refrigerator is empty
My favorite analogy of the way we should eat is to think of our ancestors. Our ancestors were not overweight or obese. They ate purely to give them the energy to sustain living (plus they were moving all the time!). The foods they ate were from the earth. They did not eat excessive amounts of meat, breads, pastas, cheeses, or 100-calorie packs of cookies. They ate grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and moderate amounts of meat (since they had to work so hard to get it). If we “eat to the earth” we are eating what our bodies are intended to metabolize. Does this mean we cannot splurge on occasion? Of course not!
FRIDGE QUIZ: Go to your refrigerator right now and look at the contents. Are you seeing copious amounts of color, leaves, lively fruits and vegetables? Or do you see bottles, boxes, and fancy packaging? If you left your food alone for more than a week – would it rot? If it does rot…you are on the path to eating for optimal health and finally shedding those unwanted pounds! If your refrigerator is pretty much empty other than bottled sauces, frozen meals, and condiments, you need a serious fridge makeover.
REASON #7: You may be an obsessive yo-yo dieter
Think of the last five years. How many diets have you tried? How many actually worked (and by “worked” I mean getting you the results you want and keeping those results long-term)? How many diets did you enjoy being on? How long did you “stick to the plan?” Why are you reading this? Is it because you still have not found the “answer” you are looking for even after all the diets you have tried? From experience, when my clients stop getting wrapped up in their “failures” and stop obsessing about every morsel of food they put in their mouth and begin to focus on how amazing and liberating it feels to live a lifestyle of health and fitness, they LOSE WEIGHT!
REALITY CHECK: You do not wake up one morning 10 or 15 pounds overweight. It is a few extra calories here and a few skipped workouts there that catch up to you. In the same way, you will not lose the weight overnight (sorry to bear the bad news). It requires cutting out bad calories and adding in more good calories while increasing your exercise. Take a moment to reevaluate your perspective. Are you completely realistic, and more importantly, are you being completely honest with yourself? Are you willing to commit to a lifestyle and not simply the newest fad of a diet? Commit to YOU…not the scale.
Committed to your success,