CRAVE: A Food Lovers Way to Think About Weight Loss & Exercise

How is the New Year diet going? Like millions of other Americans I enjoyed a bevy of food and beverages over the holidays. Including some desserts worth eating beyond the traditional pumpkin pie. I love food and both my wife and I enjoy a bit of high caloric intake with some exotic twists (i.e. macadamia nut crusted swordfish, foi gras, and salted caramel chocolate tart!). So needless to say I’ve gained some weight. In fact, my dieting and exercise of late is so that I can eat comatose and glutenous portions. My wife and I have been hitting the local gym since September so this isn’t just a New Year kick only to be forgotten. But with the new year brings a reminder that I gained an additional 10lbs. So what to do.

Losing weight comes down diet and exercise. It is possible to lose weight by exercising or dieting but without both it takes longer and often doesn’t last as long. Or so my Iron Man running friend says and my wife also. The reason is because you have to actually burn more calories than you consume. Think of it like this.

Calories Consumed - Calories Burned = Weight ±

I will say I am not a super fit enthusiast committed to a work out regiment of daily or every other day exercises. I go as often as I find or make time. I do have victories in weight loss and at other times glorious experiences in delicious food consumption. So I wanted to give a few thoughts on how to lose weight from a mildly over weight person. So wait for it…I give you C.R.A.V.E!

Okay not really that exciting but I think it helps in my opinion.

Commit. This is saying you are going to do it. I am going to go on these days to exercise. Having set days and a plan to lose weight as opposed to a generic statement that I will lose weight is not likely to help you succeed. Just write down failed diet attempt right now if that is what you are going to do. You are creating a new habit and without forming a habit you will fail. So committing with real tangible times and details is the more likely way you are going to make it happen. Mind you it doesn’t have to super difficult. Start with things that are manageable and work from there.

Recruit. Get people on your bandwagon. Rah, Rah, Rah your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, an online community, shoot-even Jenny Craig, just somebody to help you stay on track and keep you accountable. The hardest part of burning fat is keeping the drive. The best way to do that for most is have someone rooting for you, holding you accountable, and encouraging you to do it when you don’t want to. If you are really conscious about your weight then find someone you can talk to. For me this person is my wife and a few of my really fit friends who don’t judge but encourage me to be fit even when I eat a giant bowl of ice cream while watching Biggest Loser. Yes, I have done this.

mm-eatingAppetite. You’ve heard it said that you are what you eat. Not knowing what you eat is probably what makes most of us overweight if not obese. When we gain weight it often comes down to the amount of calories we put into our body. For instance, I love pasta and I can make some excellent sauces. I will have to share some with you but I will say they are not all low calorie. The problem is that I don’t want just one serving but two or three. This runs into the next part a little but you will want to watch the calories you take in. For instance, I prefer to drink juice over water. That juice comes with calories. My wife loves tortilla chips and so do I. Nom nom to an extra 2 lbs without even thinking about it. So finding ways to check your food loving self like logging food with apps or online sites like My Fitness Pal will help you track what you are taking in.

Valuate. Here I mean that measure how things are going. Is it working for you? The worst thing is to be dieting and exercising only to find that you aren’t losing. That is frustrating. But think of your body as you eat that there are calories associated with it or as you exercise you are burning those calories. It can be very helpful to know approximately how many calories you are burning every time you exercise. 3500 calories is pound. Get on a treadmill and see how long it takes to burn off. For instance, yesterday I went 6.5 miles in 1hr 20 mins on an elliptical machine which burned 840 calories. Ways to measure can be for you to buy a pedometer, or when you hit the gym measure on an exercise machine the calories burned. The better idea of how your body works the better decisions you can make about eating.

Enjoy. For some it might be a class, it might be an activity like basketball or maybe racquetball. Right now I am doing the gym but there was a time that all did was basketball or I did P90X. And the times I didn’t do anything I gained. Yeah there is a pattern. But see if you like something over another than do what you enjoy. I know someone who does karate and another that does jujitsu.

Also find some food that you might like that is healthier. My wife and I decided to find foods in the store that we don’t typically eat and try them out. And I will say we’ve found a few goodies such as pomegranates (good evening snack) and jicama that we’ve added to our diet as healthy snacking alternatives. Still delicious without all the extra calories like my all time favorite types of desserts like ice cream.

I do have to say one thing about exercising routines. Keep at it. It is tempting to stop but don’t. You will find that you get a better self talk the more you work through.

Also, I would recommend a product that I have used, my parents have used, and some of my friends have used which is P90x workout videos. It is a great workout regiment if you are really looking to make an impact. When I was doing it regularly I lost 2lbs a week during the duration. Now I didn’t quite make it 90 days but if you want to really cut down fat and whip you into shape then use it. If you do it, just know that you will likely feel like you are failing but don’t be discouraged. Keep hitting play and over time you will lose weight.