Every Little Helps
Too many of us who want to lose weight, trim down and tone up are looking for a quick fix. The amount of commercial diets available is staggering and there are more and more coming out each day. They promise quick results and seem to solve everybody's problems. However, we seem to overlook the fact that the key to weight loss lies with us and whether we can restrain ourselves, and our own individual eating habits. Much of the time we are our own worst enemy when it comes to shedding those stubborn extra few pounds. We follow the Personal Trainers' advice to the letter but still seem to weigh that little bit too much. All it takes is a little step in the right direction in a few areas of our everyday lives to make the difference. We all seem to think that it is necessary to make drastic changes when exactly the opposite is true.
If this situation sounds familiar and you would like a few ideas to help contribute to that eventual weight loss, keep reading!!
Many people don't realise just how many extra calories and grams of fat there are in the little things that they snack on. Unless you burn off the extra calories taken on by eating a bar of chocolate for example, they will end up in your body's fat reserves causing you to put on more weight. This is particularly important when you consider how easy it is to eat a piece of fruit instead and gain all of those beneficial nutrients. It's little things like this that will help you out in the long run.
- When you are in the department store, don't ride up in the lift or take the escalator, walk up the stairs. This little change will provide you with strengthening exercise for your legs and will also result in you becoming mildly out of breath. This is beneficial for your cardiovascular system and, at that intensity will also be using fat as the major source for energy provision.
- Similarly, depending upon how far away from work you live (or even the shops), don't just jump in the car and drive for 5 minutes to get there. Try to make the effort to walk for a change and you will find that your general fitness levels will increase before too long. Again this is also the best intensity of exercise for burning fat. If you can manage to achieve this each day (walking there and back may take around 40 minutes) then you will be exercising in line with the current guidelines of 30-40 minutes, 4 to 5 times per week and consequently reducing your risk of CHD.
- As far as nutrition is concerned, it is little changes such as the example mentioned above with the chocolate and fruit which will help to make a difference. This example can also be applied to such instances as buttering your toast in the morning. If, like me, you are a fan of butter / margerine on your toast then you are doing yourself a grave disfavour each day of the week. If you can imagine how much butter that you eat each day on your toast, and then multiply this by 6 (you probably wouldn't have toast on a Sunday because you would be having a fry-up - need I say more?), you get the general idea. Just try to spread your butter thinly and you will be cutting out a lot of unnecessary extra fat which is making your attempts to shift those stubborn pounds harder than it needs to be.
- If you work behind a desk and have only 30 minutes for your lunch break, it is all too easy to pop into the bakery and pick up a pastry or a commercially produced meat product to snack on. Take a few seconds to consider just how fattening that pastry and processed meat is and how much harder it is making your relationship with the gym. Now walk across the street to that healthy looking sandwich bar which does sub rolls, which are twice the size for the same price. Yes, they are twice the size, but they will probably contain 30% of the calories and fat of the alternative, and their nutritional advantage is incomparable. Better still, if you can find time to make your own lunch before you go to work, you can put in your own healthy ingredients for a third of the price. You see! Being healthy can save you money too!!!
Compared to the amount of effort it takes to shift the pounds which these indulgences stack on, making a few changes here and there is very easy and you will notice the difference over time. Besides, even if you do not lose as much weight as you expected, your cardiovascular fitness will increase significantly compared to your current levels and you will reap the associated health benefits.