The holidays are over and January is here. Many of people will commit to losing weight, wishing there was a quick fix to make this happen.
Unfortunately, quick remedies do not have lasting effects. To be successful, consider reaching a healthier weight as a balancing act. Calories are considered the "energy in" and are found in the food and beverages you consume every day. "Energy out" is the calories you burn during exercise and performing daily activities.
The mypyramid.gov Web site illustrates these equations to make understanding weight loss easy:
Energy In = Energy Out
Your weight will remain the same if the calories you eat and drink equal the calories you burn.
Energy In < Energy Out
You will lose weight if the calories you eat and drink are less than the calories you burn.
Energy In > Energy Out
You will gain weight when the calories you eat and drink are greater that the calories you burn.
A sensible approach to weight loss is focusing on the Energy In < Energy Out equation. To help you achieve your desired weight, make two lifestyle changes. First, consume 100 less calories a day (energy in) and second, take 2,000 more steps a day (energy out.) Making these two changes will contribute to a weight loss of approximately 1 pound per week.
Cutting 100 calories per day may be done by substituting a piece of fruit for dessert rather than cookies, eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead of going to the vending machine at work, packing a healthy lunch instead of eating out, eating smaller portions, drinking one less soft drink per day, or by not snacking after dinner. Examine your daily routine and look for areas to make adjustments. One hundred calories per day only needs to be one change. Begin by making a small change and before you know it healthier lifestyle choices are a way of life.
Adding 2,000 more steps a day is approximately one mile. Look for ways to incorporate more steps into your day by parking farther away from your destination, stand and walk while talking on the telephone, use the stairs instead of the elevator, take a 10-15 minute walk at lunch or after dinner, deliver a message in person rather sending an e-mail or hide the remote on purpose -- make yourself get up to change the channel. Be creative in adding steps to your day. Not only will you burn additional calories, you will also be more energized and feel refreshed.
When trying to lose weight, remember the weight loss equation: the energy you consume (calories in, the food you eat) should be less than the energy you burn (through exercise and daily activities.) By making small changes in your life -- eating 100 less calories a day and adding 2,000 steps to your day, you will succeed making healthy, long-term results.