Weight loss = Calories in < Calories out

Losing weight is a numbers game… calorie intake must be less than calories expended.  Sounds simple, but those struggling to take off weight know this is no simple feat.

There have been some “scientific studies” that show that eating certain types of foods can boost metabolism.  This could be true for some bodies and not for others.  This approach, along with most diet fads, is not a healthful method. The most tried and true way to lose weight is to take in less than you burn.  Increase what you burn and you can eat a little more.  Look for low calorie options in a variety of foods.  Variety in your diet does have proven health benefits.  

Most people need roughly 50-70 calories per hour to maintain basic bodily functions.  Skipping meals will backfire on you – you need nourishment to make it through the simplest daily activities.  Eat three square meals a day with healthy snacks in between. These calories are essential to your bodily functions and mental state.  

Through physical activity you burn a portion of the calories consumed.  The more physical activity, or the stronger the intensity, the more you will burn.  As an added health bonus, incorporate weight training into your routine.  Weight training works overtime.  You burn calories while you lift weights, plus your muscles require calories to grow in response to the added work.  So, by weight training, you can burn calories before and after you exercise.

Personal health tip: Keep record.  Log your calorie intake and energy outtake for a month.  Set a work-out schedule on Sundays and stick to it throughout the week – I recommend 30 minutes of cardio activity 5-6 days a week with additional weight training 2-3 times a week.  Be sure to vary your routine from day to day.  There are lots of cardio-related exercises to choose from and obviously many healthy food choices.  Jump in with two feet and get started!

Family health tip: Make it fun. Spend 20 minutes a day doing something active as a family.  You and your kids can get in shape while spending time together.  If the weather does not allow for outside activities, keep it indoors with creative approaches to physical fun.  Your kids will learn that staying active is a lifestyle choice that can help them long into adulthood.