Every where you look on the Internet, someone has the perfect diet plan for losing weight. But what if you don’t want to go on a restrictive diet? Can you still lose weight without depriving yourself of some of the goodies out there? In reality, you don’t have to diet in order to drop some of the inches that have been accumulated around your body. However, it often takes a bit of restructuring how you go about your day.
Understanding How You Gain Weight
In order to win the battle of the bulge, you need to understand how you gain weight in the first place. Most people will pack on the pounds because of two major things: a) not enough activity, and b) poor eating habits. These two together can greatly impact your health and weight.
Not Enough Activity
A lot of people will gain weight because they don’t have enough activity in their lifestyle. This is one of my biggest issues. Because I sit at a computer for nearly 16 hours a day, I am unable to burn off the calories I consume. Lately, I’ve been changing my daily habits. This is why I dropped 20 pounds and have been able to keep it off.
If you sit on the couch and eat a couple of cupcakes, it will take you just over four hours to burn those calories. This is based on an average of 1.6 calories per minute of sitting idle according to my Fitbit, which seems about right. This also means you cannot eat anything else within that time frame. Otherwise, you’ll consume more than you burn.
Your body will burn calories whether you’re exercising or not. It uses this as energy in order to remain functional. Heart beat, body movements, internal organ functions and more all contribute to burning calories. Based on my heart rate, I roughly burn 1.6 calories per minute while sitting still. You may be higher or lower as it depends on how much you weigh, height, age and personal physique.
What you need to take away from this point is that increasing physical activity will allow you to burn what you eat at a much faster pace. This could be walking around the block, playing the Xbox Kinect or even cleaning a bit of your house. Any movement will contribute to a higher degree of calorie burn.
Your Own Diet
The quality of the food you eat will influence your weight gain. It’s not just about counting calories as you also need to pay attention to carbs and sugars. You can’t survive off of 2,000 calories worth of cupcakes and expect to remain trim. This isn’t saying anything about how your body needs certain levels of vitamins and minerals to remain operational.
If you don’t want to go on a diet but want to lose weight, you need to pay closer attention to portion control. For instance, one cupcake is easier to burn through than four or five all at once. Use proper portion sizes when eating your favorite meals. You don’t have to go on a strict diet per se, but you should at least reduce the mass you’re consuming.
It may not be a bad idea to add in a bit of healthy foods as well. If anything, health foods can help keep your stomach feeling full without the excessive amounts of calories, carbs and sugars. Plus, it’s a great way to get some vitamins and minerals into your body. Here is what my eating looked like yesterday:
- Breakfast: 2 instant packages of Cream of Wheat w/Kirkland multi-vitamins
- Lunch: 1 can of Tomato Flourentine Progresso Soup
- Snack: 1 Bag of buttered Popcorn
- Dinner: 2 microwave burritos
- Snack: 1 serving of strawberry revel ice cream
This is how I usually eat when I am losing weight. Although my dinner could have been more filling, you can see that I’m not exactly following a diet plan. It’s also best if you stay away from carbs and sugars at night, but ice cream sounded good and it was a hot day.
Using MyFitnessPal to Succeed
I use MyFitnessPal to help monitor my intake of food and the exercise I get every day. By entering every morsel of food I consume, I can see the impact to my health. This is how I discovered that I was consuming nearly twice the recommended amounts of sodium. However, my blood pressure is still where it needs to be. This gives credence to how water can be beneficial to keep the cardiovascular system in check.
MyFitnessPal is a free app that can be used both on your smartphone or through a web browser. It can connect with a variety of other devices, which is perfect since my Fitbit records my calorie burn and shows it in MyFitnessPal. If you don’t have an account yet, it may be a good idea to set one up. Invite me as a friend if you like. I am always interested in meeting new people who are interested in health. You can find my info in the “My Tools” area above.
It’s not as difficult as many think to reach a goal weight. For the most part, it takes determination from yourself to limit your intake while increasing your activity. I don’t believe in fad diet plans or starving yourself of the goodies that help make life enjoyable. Just enjoy them in moderation. An entire large pizza does not a serving make.