Monday, February 1, 2016

Hitting the diet marks when you're getting older!

Three things impact the human form as we age; 1) we tend to slow down and don't exercise, 2) our metabolism also slows so that we don't burn as many calories, and, 3) and worst of all, when we do diet, our metabolic rate can slow down even more making the whole effort appear pointless. But, there is hope!

A dietitian once told me that my choice of foods has an even bigger impact on my overall weight than exercise! She said that by just cutting down on the 'snack category' would go a long way to help me stay at least on the correct weight ballpark. Alas, a quick mental review of my recent eating habits easily confirmed why my middle was bulging once again. Since I keep track of my grocery purchases in a data file, it was easy to see where some of my problems lay. I had at least a starting point in my renewed weight control and general exercise plan for 2016! Less junk food and more exercise would be the focus.

I subscribed to an online and free diet tracker called MyFitnessPal some time ago. This easy-to-use program helped me a lot as it tracked my food intake and efforts at exercise. I quickly learned that going to McDonald's for a Big Breakfast (and thus loading on 740 calories not counting a beverage), was problematic for my overall dietary effort. Nope, I quickly figured out a simple rule of dieting, (assuming I were to plan on eating three squares a day) and still be able to have snacks.

Rule #1 – Limit your caloric intake at any one setting. In my case that came to something below 500 calories. That equates to 1500 calories per day which also happens to be my goal if I want to shed some pounds. Now here's the important part. Any snacking calories have to be worked off via exercise on that very same day! [Now, just to be clear, each type of snack therefore has a penalty of sorts attached to it. And, it amazed me at how some of those snacks I love to eat added up]! So, when I would purchase something like Pringles, I merely attach a label to the box with a readout on how much exercise each chip I consumed added up to. As 16 chips equaled a 150 calories, then a single chip was about 10 calories. In order to burn 10 calories on my exercise bike, I'd have to got for about a minute and a half – remember, that's per chip! Sixteen chips, which go down pretty quickly equate to …drum roll... 24 minuets! Holy crap! Well, that little label does go a long way to killing my appetite for Pringles, I can tell you that! Bottom line; label all your favorite snacks!

The take away here, it to allow you to get a fairly good fix on just what foods are sinking your diet effort right from the get go! (You might also want to build up a list of foods that are pretty safe to snack on, and yes, carrot sticks are likely on there somewhere).

A good start, (for any weight loss effort) would be to estimate your individual daily caloric limit. A good place on the net to find out would be Fit Watch! Once you have that figure in hand, keep meticulous track of both your food intake and exercise efforts on a tracking program like MyFitnessPal. Sure it's a pain in the ass, but if you stick with it over a three month period, you just might find that your big old ass has shrunk!

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