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Maintaining Weight While Stuck At Home: Managing Calories to Lose Weight

Updated on March 23, 2012


I recently underwent my second shoulder surgery in 8 months and found myself, once again, stuck at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do. My doctor told me absolutely no running, no walking even, but okayed me to ride a recumbent bike after a little over a month. It can be frustrating, going from being a runner to being told you can’t do the one thing that truly puts you at peace. However, life goes on and I had to find a way to stay active so that I didn’t put all the weight back on that I have fought so hard to get off. One of the things I learned after my first surgery is that the first step to not putting weight back on is that I need to adjust my caloric intake. I was used to eating based on spending 1-2 hours in the gym five days a week; dropping to not going to the gym at all and continuing to eat the same packs the pounds right back on.

Losing weight, or even just maintaining weight, is a simple balance of calories burned versus calories eaten. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more than you eat and to maintain weight you have to not eat more than you burn. How your body burns calories is something you have to find out; there are online tools that take your height and weight into consideration, or there are more refined tools like the BodyBugg by Apex that you actually wear on your body. Personally, I own a BodyBugg and pay for a subscription, I have found that I need the accountability, but not everyone needs that. Once you know how you burn calories, and find a way to track it, you can figure out how many calories you can eat per day. There is a method used when calculating how much to burn and how much to eat when wanting to lose weight and the same can be applied when ensuring that you don’t eat to the point that you will gain weight. In order to lose one pound of fat a week, you have to cut 3,500 calories a week, or a 500 calorie deficit a day during the week. This means every day you have to burn 500 more calories than you ate in order to lose one pound a week, so the same goes conversely that if you eat 3,500 more calories than you burn you will gain a pound.

Now that we got the math out of the way, we can talk about low-impact things you can do around the house to maintain or lose weight while being sick or laid up. Everyone needs to clean their house, but did you realize that this burns calories? For example, mopping and sweeping floors can burn about 110 calories in 30 minutes and work your shoulders and arms; if it takes you 15 minutes to sweep then mop your kitchen floor, you can burn 55 calories, roughly. Dusting is another great way to burn calories, in one hour of dusting you can burn approximately 170 calories. As you can deduce, just by moving you are burning calories. The trick to maintaining or losing weight while being laid up at home, is making sure that you move more than you eat! Keeping track of what you are doing and what you are eating is easy to do but requires dedication to do so. If you have the drive, then you have to tools to be successful. There are several websites out there, free of charge, that help you find out how many calories you are burning while completing household tasks and even more websites that list how many calories are in the different foods you can eat. So there you have it, the tools and the techniques to help you maintain your weight in your own home. Now all you need is you to do it!

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    • manthy profile image

      Mark 

      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Good Hub, Voted up and useful

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