Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oops - Gained 10 Pounds Now What???

I know my body pretty well and can feel when a couple of pounds decide to crash my weight loss party and really don't need the scales to confirm it.  I'll be honest, in spite of my best efforts to keep those 70 pounds at bay, weight management is something that is always in flux, meaning that its natural to see some pounds come and go, with the operative part of success depending on the "GO" part.  Luckily for me, I decided in the beginning to go with a lifestyle change that I could sustain for the rest of my life, thus I don't worry too much when my weight swings up. 

Ok, so you might be thinking, that if my weight loss plan is so good, then why am I gaining weight??  Very simple, I slacked off a bit during the winter. In fact, I typically end up doing that every winter.  A little less exercise and a little more time in front of TV drinking margaritas.  Bottom line, more calories in and less out, which equals - FAT! 

I weigh myself every week and could see a slow trickle of increase over the past three months or so.  I would just sigh and say "when is it going to warm up outside" as most of my exercise is for outdoor activities, primarily power-walking.  I really wasn't too concerned as knocking off pounds isn't all that hard for me - at least not anymore.  But now that I have hit the 10 pound mark its time to put away the margarita machine and get focused on getting back into my normal routine. (Thankfully spring came early!!!!)

Let's see - 10 pounds - bet I can kill it in 5 weeks or less without doing anything crazy.  I will just simply ramp up the exercise and back off on the high calorie stuff so that I have a net positive burn every day. 

My whole point with this discussion is that choosing to establish and live by a weight loss program that you can easily sustain for life is the key to losing pounds and keeping them under control.  Yes, you will have some weight varations as well, but as long as you are in control and understand how to make adjustments in your dialy living, you will be fine.

The daily changes that I am going to make are fairly minor, nothing drastic, as my body seems to like that 70 pounds (lost) mark and I know what it takes get back there and stay there - which is actually my normal routine, I just let myself stray during the winter.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cleaning Up Your Act With A Bit Of Exercise

Exercise - the word sends shutters down the spines of those who are looking for get-skinny-quick solutions, invoking visions of mind-numbing calisthenics such as sit-ups, chin-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks. Nothing fun, exciting or encouraging about that!  But like it or not, exercise is a key ingredient in a successful weight loss strategy, but luckily there are so many options that anyone should be able to find something that fits their needs.

But exercise goes way past just burning calories, and ultimately your goal should be "getting healthy" not just losing weight, as the two go hand-in-hand.  As you  start shedding pounds (the right way with proper diet and exercise) you will find that your energy levels will climb, age-old aches and pains will start to decrease, (possibly going away altogether) and you will get sick less often.   This in turn will give you more incentive to put more effort into your weight loss / get healthy program.

So on the surface, you can literally feel the effects of effective exercise, but interestingly there are a lot of things going on below the surface that you can't see, but which have just as much benefit as the more obvious outward effects.

An article by Gretchen Reynolds (NY Times) looks at research published in the journal Nature.  The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggests that exercise speeds the removal of icky stuff (physiological garbage) from the body's cells.  Long story short, if the body does not remove such cellular junk on a routine basis, it can cause cells to malfunction or die.  Many in the scientific community suspect that this in turn can contribute to the development of a range of illnesses including diabetes, Alzheimer's, cancer and muscular dystrophy.

Though it's still being researched, the initial findings suggest that exercise can have a positive physical effect on attaining improved health. 

Thus, you need to find and embrace something that works for you.  For me, its 5 miles or more of walking per day.  I started out at 15 minutes on a treadmill over 5 years ago and have worked up to where I am today.  I can maintain speeds of up to 5 miles per hour for over an hour... but it didn't happen overnight.  It may not work for you and that's ok, but you have to find something you can do easily everyday so you don't fall into the chasm of "making excuses not to do it."

Good luck!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Low Calorie Margaritas For The Big Game

Well its game day and Super Bowl Sunday ranks as the second highest calorie intake day of the year (In the U.S.) right behind Thanksgiving.  It's really amazing just how much impact the Super Bowl has on our social lives, as its become more about an excuse for over-indulgence than in celebrating the game itself. 

So how will you spend the big day?  Eating and/or drinking too much or watching everyone else do it, while miserably crunching on some carrots in a dark corner of the room?

Losing weight doesn't mean giving up everything you love to eat and drink, rather its all about modifying how much goes down your throat combined with modified versions that still have all the taste, but not all the calories.  

Take margaritas for example.  Definitely a weakness for me!  I don't drink to excess, but I do love a good margarita.  In fact, I sample and rank margaritas on my other blog -  As it turns out, the average margarita easily has 500 calories or more, so this becomes a serious fat building issue if you aren't careful.

For my part, I focus on balancing daily calorie intake with calorie burn, so I just have to walk a few extra miles every time I drink a margarita!  Or just quit drinking margaritas - NOT!  On the other hand, I can just make the majority of my margaritas at home - which gives me total control on the ingredients - and focus on creating great taste with less calories. 

If that sounds like you, checkout some healthy margaritas recipes and start drinking more with less.

And for those times when you want a great margarita on the road, just counter balance the calorie intake by more exercise or maybe just skip the food and stick with the drinks!  There you go, a margarita meal...  And drop in on for my latest reviews.  By the way, my rankings don't take calories into account!  You're on your own with that aspect...