Thursday, September 21, 2017

How to Lose a Little Weight

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Losing a little excess weight goes a long way toward improved health. Drop an easy 10 pounds. Go!

Last week’s article, “Weight Loss: A Little Goes a Long Way,” http://fitnessandwellnessnews.com/weight-loss-little-goes-long-way, shared healthy motivation to shed five percent of unneeded body fat. Here are easy lifestyle adjustments to make it possible. Lose that weight on the go! (You’ll hardly notice the additional effort.)

Control Stress

Burn off stress to help burn off calories.

Take steps to manage your stress level. Stress releases hormones that encourage the accumulation of belly fat. It also contributes to binge eating and indulging in comfort foods. (Too bad carrots don’t qualify as comforting or we could binge eat them.) Regular exercise, especially done mindfully, drastically reduces stress and its negative impact on mind and body.

Get Creative

Keep fitness next to your TV remote control.

Instead of mindless snacking during your favorite show or while chatting with friends, put your hands to better use. Take up a hobby or craft that keeps your hands busy. Snip away at a bonsai tree, knit, or play with the recent onslaught of fidget toys on the market. Not inspired? Fold clothes or do small chores while catching up on your latest DVR saves. Lift dumbbells or lightly jog. You can’t snack when free time is filled with more creative, full-filling tasks.

 

Drink Water

Water consumption maintains hydration so thirst is not mistaken for hunger. This avoids inappropriate eating. Plus, with zero calories, it should be everyone’s drink of choice. If you want to waste 150 calories on a sugary soda as your treat, go for it. However, most probably prefer to spend the indulgence on something a little more satisfying, like a cookie or, if sipping calories is your preference, a glass of wine. Think about what you drink. Beverages stack up calories, too.

Use Your Legs

Get a leg up on weight loss with leg work.

Walk or ride a bike to local destinations. Walking to and from the Center provide a great warm-up and cooldown. Biking to the office saves money and the environment while reducing stress. Also, exercises that challenge the larger muscles of the legs torch more calories because they require more energy. Goal: Try to walk 2 minutes out of every 30.

Sleep Well

Those who regularly manage seven to nine hours of quality sleep tend to choose healthier snacks rather than fuel by ultra-sweetened coffees and sugary snacks. Plus, you’ll have more energy to work out and prepare healthy meals instead of dialing for takeout. And don’t forget about extracurricular bedtime activity; a 150-pound woman burns about 60 calories from 30 steamy minutes between the sheets.

Go Public

Let family, friends, and coworkers know you are trying to tighten your belt. It may motivate them to do the same. Breakroom donuts can be replaced with jaunts around the building. Get-togethers can be held at a park instead of a café. Surround yourself with those who will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Consider starting a contest to see who can reach their fitness goals faster. 

Reality

To lose a little weight, you can take a casual approach to weight loss (meaning you aren’t weighing every morsel of your food and working out for hours daily). However, be aware of a frequent math mistake. Weight loss occurs when more calories are burned than consumed. Simple math. When we work out for 30 minutes to burn off half a cheesecake, well, that’s magic math done by innocent exercisers worldwide.

Here are some favorite eats and the amount of exercise needed to make them (not so magically) disappear, based on a 140-pound individual:

  • A 260-calorie latte disappears with 1 hour of moderate weight training.
  • A 210-calorie chocolate bar disappears with 13 minutes on the stair climber.
  • A 300-calorie slice of cake disappears with 50 minutes of hiking, or treadmill time with appropriately adjusted settings. Ask a trainer for help!
  • A 400-calorie sundae disappears with 75 minutes of cycling.
  • A 300-calorie cheeseburger disappears with a 30-minute kickboxing class. Fries not included.
  • A 300-calorie slice of pepperoni pizza disappears with a 60-minute, fast-paced dance class

Sources

“10 Ways to Burn Calories from Guilty Pleasures,” by Madeline Vann at everydayhealth.com

“50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds,” by Joy Manning at prevention.com.

Image Credits

Kickboxing: pixabay.com/en/kickboxing-course-gym-training-1178261

Kettlebells: pixabay.com/en/kettlebells-gym-exercise-slimming-1677217

Burger & fries: pixabay.com/en/hamburger-cheeseburger-burger-fries-207295

 

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