Show Us Your Life… Weight Loss & Diet Tips

Sunday, January 17, 2010

With my degree in Exercise Science and being 3 months shy of earning my DPT, I have learned this stuff up the wazoo and could probably write a novel on this topic… But I’ll refrain and try to keep it brief. Most of what I’ll say is just personal preferences anyway—nothing academic.

- 30 minutes a day: this may not change your waistline drastically, but these are the minimum standards for basic health and disease control (Okay, so this is academic...). Walk, run, move, dance, skip, jump (read: cardio) for 30 minutes a day OR 10 minutes, 3 times throughout the day, 5 days a week. My personal goal is workout 21 times a month—this averages out to 5x per week, but setting the goal per month allows me some flexibility if I have a certain week that’s extra busy. I get at least 30-45 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill (I have some great treadmill routines if you want them!), with strength 1-2 times a week. But cardio is always priority. Cardio is what burns the calories, strength training will boost metabolism. (Sorry if that's an elementary concept. Maybe it's common knowledge?)

- FitDay.com: This is a great tool to track your eating. It allows you to create “custom foods” by entering the nutrition info for what you eat (if you know it), instead of choosing from their options which may or may not match what you’re actually eating. A bit tedious in the beginning, but if you’re a routine eater of the same things, it’s great… You can also track your weight, your workouts, and it provides great visuals of what your eating broken down into fat, carbs, and protein. Even if you don’t use it aaaaall the time, it can be eye opening to how much you’re really eating…

- Subscribing to Fitness or Shape or Self is always a great monthly inspiration. They’re full of great recipes, new workouts to shake things up, play lists to workout to, and the fun beauty & clothing stuff too. I subscribe using my Coke rewards points. Great deal.

- Weight Watchers: Not living by it, but I’ve done it before and it’s a great system. I officially endorse it (I know that means a lot). In the end, it's all about moderation...

- I our house, we eat a healthy diet 5 days a week and take two days/nights off-- usually Friday and Saturday night. I don't eat 12 Krispy Kreams for breakfast, don't I don't worry if I’m not eating yogurt for breakfast. Allowing yourself an indulgence will keep you track better than if you feel deprived all the time and you break down after three weeks.

- Eat what you want: There isn't a day that goes by that I don't eat ice cream after dinner. I just eat a light ice cream (Edy's Loaded is my fave) according to the serving: 1/2 cup. I eat it straight out of the measuring cup or eat it out of small caraffe (and you better believe that puppy is crammed full).

- Lastly (this is to answer a specific question for my sister)-- Your body burns substrates in this order: carbs, fat, then protein. So it feeds on carb stores until it runs out and then switches to fat stores. Therefore, the fewer carbs you consume, the faster your body switches to burning fat. Don't go all Atkins on me, but this is why low carb diets are effective... Alternatively, carbs ARE our bodies' main source of energy so don't skip them. YOU NEED CARBS. (That's right, I said it.) Generally speaking, I pay attention to calories first-- that's what our body consumes energy in (that's what a calorie IS-- a measure of energy)—then fat content. Overall, I pay some to my balance of carbs, fat, and protein, but I consider calories and fat first…

That’s it! Most of that is just what I do personally, but don’t ever hesitate to ask if you have real questions about nutrition or exercise…

P.S. I KNOW this is late… I’m determined to join in on the Show Us Your Life in a timely manner. Just not this week!

P.P.S. Re-Beck, consider this your email... :) I DO have an idea for MRE's Oreo habit though.

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