Thursday, July 15, 2010

Get out, get moving.

I think we'd all be amazed at how many "found" calories we consume in a day when we're not careful.  A bite of this and that, a midday snack, or a little pre-meal grazing can add calories to our day really fast.  Likewise, some "found" activity time can add in an extra punch to that calorie burn!

This weekend Lindsey and I took our 10mo. old daughter, Riley, to the zoo for the first time.  That was a good way to walk around and burn some calories.  We walked about a mile and a half inside the zoo. 

There are a wealth of things we already do, or can do to add in some activity time.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.  Park in the back on the parking lot.  Do a couple laps around the outside isles of the grocery store before shopping. 

Make quality time count!  When you spend time with your family, make it enriching both to the relationship and the body.  Plan a fun activity outside.  Go on a family walk.  Garden.  Have a picnic in the park.  Wrestle with your kids.  Make family time fun and active.  Go for a bike ride.  Pull your kids around the block in a wagon.  They will love it, and your waist will too!

Do two or more of these things every day.  You could burn an extra hundred calories (maybe more!), and not even realize it.  If you're having trouble getting motivated to exercise, start with some of these ideas.  Get out, get moving!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reaching Higher, Lifting Heavier

Here's an interesting fact: one pound of muscle burns somewhere between 35-50 calories per day.  A pound of fat? somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-6 calories per day.  That's a big BIG difference!

While on my Sabbatical, I was feeling discouraged, mostly becuase I had continued to eat right and exercise, but was not losing any more weight.  I felt like my plateau was never going to end.  There I was, stuck at about 302 and not getting anywhere doing what I had been doing.  Of course, when it stops working as you'd want, it's easy to just stop... or at least to slack off for a while.  That's what I did. 

But I still lost about 4lbs.  In fact, I lost 2lbs in two consecutive weeks.  The difference was weight training. 

I hate to say this, but ladies, you're the most averse to weight training.  I get it - you don't want to look all muscular and manly, or sore either.  Plus, it doesn't feel like you're getting a good work out every time when you lift.

Do it anyway.  If you don't know how to lift, you can find a myriad of great online tutorials, or just ask a trainer at your gym (most gyms give you a free training session when you join anyway).  It's true that you may not burn the same amount of calories as you would with your aerobic exercise, but you're building a foundation for future calorie burn.  Additionally, as Bill Phillips notes in Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength, if you don't change the way your body looks under the fat you have, you're going to have the same body shape you have now... only in smaller form.  I think most of us trying to lose weight are, among other things, trying to change the way our bodies look.

Ladies, here are some tips for shaping up:

1) Focus on really heavy lifting on the legs.  Not only do your legs have some of the largest, longest, and most powerful muscles in your body, they are some of the most highly used.  Don't be afraid to pack on a few lbs of muscle.  Not only will the little extra bulk be barely noticeable, it will probably actually improve the look of your legs.

2) Your arms will not bulk up.  Don't worry about getting "man arms," it won't happen.  You don't have the testosterone that causes men to really bulk up.  Unless you go crazy and lift every day, take the weight lifting supplements, and lift super heavy, it won't be an issue.  You can build muscle without "bulking".  Go moderate on your arms, and work all the muscles.

3) Your core needs to be strong, but a thousand sit ups won't do you much good.  Your core muscles should get some focus, but not all your focus.  Work in some core exercises with your regular weight training.

4) The frequency of your weight training should be planned out in advance.  For supplementing weightloss, 2-3 time per week should be sufficient.  Don't worry about going more often than this unless you really want that strength.

Adding some weight training can really kick-start your routine.  Whether you've hit that plateau, or if you're looking for a new way to get that burn going. 

Here's a great article with more information!  No go out and get moving!

Taking Time Off

Dieting is a tiring thing.  We start out with gusto then... I'm not evenn sure what happened.  I pretty much went into maintenence mode, I guess.  I still lost 2 lbs last month, but never really made the effort for more. 

So it's back on for the month of July, and so is the blog.  I apologize for my Sabbatical.  So I'm now down to 298lbs, but still a long way to go.  My goal is to be somewhere around 250 by the end of the year.  That's about 2lbs per week.  I better get moving!  Good thing I've got my GoWearFit.

What will I do differently this time?  Write down everything I eat.  I've got to keep a food journal so I know wxactly where I'm at for the day.  The GoWearFit website allows me to calculate my calorie intake, then automatically calculates my calorie burn.

Here we go for round 2!  If I can do as well as round one, I'll be perfectly happy!