Have you been watching your weight slowly climb over the years? Does the thought of making changes overwhelm or upset you? WE HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU, SO READ ON!
Beginning to take charge of your life is a monumental decision, but each step does not need to be so grand. You don’t need to work out for hours each day and never enjoy a scoop of ice cream again in your life. YAY! To get started, we have put together the two golden rules of weight loss that you need to remember:
1. Create a calorie deficit
2. See number 1 again
Just kidding! There is only one golden rule of weight loss, and that is to create a caloric deficit! You need to burn more calories than you are taking in. It truly is that simple! But then, why is it so hard? That is where things get, uh, complicated.
A simple internet search will yield millions of results regarding weight loss, weight gain, weight management, exercise plans, special diets, etc… It is very challenging to sift through all of the information and quite frankly, dogma. Should we eat carbs? What about meat? Or vegetarian? Should we eat less at night? Or skip breakfast? But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? It isn’t anymore? **HEAD EXPLODES**
Thankfully there is an entire army of trained health professionals trying to correct half-truths and pseudo-science. The weight loss strategy of counting calories is not very sexy and doesn’t have a catchy tagline with huge promises. But the University of Vermont conducted a study that showed counting calories to be the best predictor of weight loss success and that, even better, it only took an average of 14.6 minutes per day to do! You can read more about that study right here.
It sounds so incredibly easy but the truth is, many people don’t accurately report their caloric intake. A treat here, a handful of nuts there – those things can really add up when they’re not accounted for in food logging especially if those little incidences happen several times throughout the day. It takes a great deal of honesty and accountability in order to count calories and oftentimes, our lack of honesty with ourselves is what led to greater weight gain to begin with.
If you’re interested in counting your calories, there are so many resources available to you. There are apps like Lose It or My Fitness Pal where you can keep your food log right there on your smartphone. You can just write your calories down on post-it notes or a blank notebook if you prefer – no need to be fancy if that isn’t for you! You can find the calorie counts for fresh produce using a little bit of Google researching. If you’re counting calories and are feeling hungry, add more protein to your diet. It will help you feel fuller for longer, which will enable you to stick within your calorie budget. And of course, make sure you write everything down, including the treats! Work the treats into your daily calorie budget as part of your healthy, balanced diet, because living without treats is not living your best life.
If you’re at the beginning of your health journey, we celebrate you! It takes a lot of courage to make big or small changes in our lives. South Valley OrthoMed is here to help in any way that we can, but even if you don’t end up working with us, we want everyone to be living their best life possible. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information!
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” –Malcom Gladwell