Disgust drives you to the gym and propels you into the latest fad or celebrity diet. You’re going to jettison the flab in a flurry of pedaling, running, pumping, and starving. The only problem is that most of us have far more fat than determination.
Take a lesson from Oprah. Remember her OptiFast Diet, circa 1990? Off went 70-some pounds and out came her skinny jeans.
A year later, back came the weight and mum went the talk-show queen.
Consumer Reports provides good information. They tested some restaurant calorie figures, and Outback and Olive Garden were amiss in some of their claims. Not sure how long the video will be posted but check here.
When you’re fully resolved, here’s a food and fitness planner that should help.
Some people shed pounds by extricating high-calorie favorites – making a forbidden foods list, essentially. This aligns with the most potent diet suggestion: if it tastes good, spit it out.
Take a look at the best and worst foods, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). http://www.cspinet.com/nah/10foods_bad.html
A more astute approach is to recognize that consuming calories is equivalent biologically to spending money. Overeat and you're fat. Overspend and you’re poor.
But we know a lot more about finance than we do about nutrition. We’re aware, customarily, of the remuneration required for our purchases. But few can even estimate the number of calories in most of the food we consume.
Long-term muscle-to-fat ratio maintenance requires decisive calorie-intake management.
Here are the steps to take:
1. Keep a calorie ledger.
Learn the body-fat cost (aka: calorie content) of the foods you eat. This is much easier with the Internet at our fingertips, or a software application on our smart phone or laptop. The old-fashioned way still works, too, nutrient composition guides can be found at the grocery store, bookstore, and public library. Familiarize yourself with one or more of these.
If you're enrolled in our 6-Week Fat-to-Muscle Makeover, we encourage to the point of demanding that you sign-up at myfitnesspal. But there are other good resources, too. Calorie-King-dot-com has a searchable online food database and a pocket calorie counter. If you eat fast-food cuisine, their yearly guidebook is a must.
You'll have to know, or estimate, the portion size, which will be indicated in either weight or volume. At a convenient time, look up the calories of every morsel put into your mouth on a particular day. Try to compile a comprehensive week's worth of calorie intake.
This practice ranks right up there with learning a new computer program, making financial projections or devising prime-cost estimates. You'll meet initial frustration as you try to identify what you ate in the listings of calorie-counting guides. Portion sizes are critical, as is the particular cooking method.
A way to make the task easier, incidentally, is to eat only those foods for which you already know the calories. Frozen dinners, for instance, usually list their calorie total. Cereal and other packaged goods are easy. But how much peanut butter did you spread on that cracker? Was it two tablespoons of salad dressing, or three? How large was the apple?
It is worth it to iron out the difficulties.
2. Determine average daily calorie intake.
How many calories do you consume in a typical day? Over the last month have you been gaining weight, losing weight, or staying about the same? Where there surprises in the calorie levels of certain foods?
This is a useful analysis. If you seem to be gaining weight while eating 2,711 calories per day, let's say, you know you have to cut back.
You could try to balance the calorie ledger, also, by increasing your calorie expenditure through activities or exercise. For the moment, however, let's concern ourselves with just intake and not outflow.
3. Cost-benefit analyze what you've eaten.
Examine your food consumption item by item. Try to find calorically economical substitutes, just as you would seek the best price on the goods you buy for your home or business.
Here are a few examples:
There is an “eat this not that” industry of website, blog, book.. Refer to it, or even better, start your own substitution list.
4. Work favorites into budget.
How many calories you can consume is just like how much money you have to spend. You probably cannot afford a new house, car, laptop, big-screen high-def TV, a new refrigerator, and a vacation overseas. Maybe you'd be just as satisfied with the vacation and new computer, stick with the old house, buy a used car and have a service call on the refrigerator.
Budget for the calories in foods you really like. Economize on other foods. The choice of how you wish to spend your calorie allotment is up to you. A $500 fishing pole is a bargain to some, an outrage to others.
The only forbidden foods are those for which you cannot control how much you eat. Addictions require abstinence. Otherwise, everything in moderation is acceptable; moderation defined as a balanced calorie ledger.
5. Read Food Labels.
Confused by what all those percents really mean? The percents refer to “percent daily value” and they’re tricky. The FDA bases these percents on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Here's a strategy:
6. Use the Buddy System.
Support and accountability matter. Just make sure choose a buddy who lifts your standards and not one that drags you down. With a Cooking Light recipe book, perhaps, or one of the versions of the 400-Calorie Fix CookBook by Liz Vaccariello, you should be able to dine graciously within sensible limits.
At Body Construction, we provide highly time-efficient workouts. Making lifestyle changes or behavior modification, unfortunately, requires almost-constant attention, at least until the change is secure. Then it really pays off!