When it comes to weight loss the bottom line is you have to burn more calories than you are consuming. One pound equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you would like to lose a pound a week you have to burn off or reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories.
On average we burn about 8-10 calories per minute of exercise. An hour walk with a friend, husband, coworker, or child would burn close to 500 calories. It is also okay to mix up your exercise and do it in bursts of 10, 20, or 30 minutes at a time depending on your fitness level. Aim to exercise 30-60 minutes 5 days a week. That will burn about 250-500 calories per day that you exercise.
As for the the other 250- 500 calories per day, here is a list of ways to make small changes in your diet to decrease your caloric intake:
1. STOP drinking soda. If you are drinking a can of soda per day that is 140 calories per can.
2. Switch to skim milk instead of whole milk. You will save 60 calories per cup and 7.5 grams of fat!
3. Have a side salad instead of a side of fries. You will save yourself an average of 300 calories.
4. Switch to Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil as a salad dressing instead of Ranch. Regular ranch contains 140 calories per tablespoon!
5. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT 🙂 go to the vending machine. There are hardly ever any healthy foods in a vending machine. Bring carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, or a small snack bag of whole wheat pretzels with you to snack on. I keep a granola bar in my purse everyday so that if I get hungry I have something healthy to turn to.
Small changes make a big difference! Eating healthier and making it a goal to exercise happens day by day. Today is Monday and my challenge for all of you for the week is to take a twenty minute walk each day in the morning, during your lunch break, or after dinner. Even if you are already exercising for an hour. Grab a friend, your spouse, your dog, or take a moment for yourself and enjoy the fresh air and burn some calories.
I also challenge you to stop drinking soda from now till Friday. Even if it is diet soda, throw it away, grab a glass of water and keep it with you all day to sip from. A couple years ago I admittedly drank about 4 big gulp sizes of regular soda a day. It was my “energy” to get me through hours of teaching, personal training, and even my own workout. I stopped drinking soda and in 3 weeks I lost 7 pounds! I was drinking about 600 calories a day of soda not too mention all the sugar I was consuming!
Have a great day everyone!