Do you know people who effortlessly maintain a healthy weight yet don’t follow a rigid diet or exercise program? You know you do: your svelte girlfriend from the gym who’s always eating but never gains an ounce, or the guy at work whose weight never seems to fluctuate—even during the holidays—what planet is he from?
These lucky (albeit annoying) people know a secret and they’re using it to their advantage!
Most of us follow a similar pattern: we get revved up and motivated to make a significant change in our lives and we decide that we’re going to hit it hard, knuckle down, and transform ourselves in short order. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by an enormous task like losing weight or getting in shape. Once the initial enthusiasm wanes, it’s tempting to bail when we feel in over our heads and as though we may never reach our goals.
Little Changes Make a Big Difference!
Consider this: one pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. This means that omitting just 100 calories a day from your diet will make you ten pounds lighter over the course of one year. If you burn an additional 100 calories a day with exercise, you will be a total of twenty pounds lighter over the course of that one year. You would hardly notice the small changes in behavior that eliminated the extra 200 calories, but you certainly would notice the twenty-pound weight loss!
Here’s another tip: if you’re exercising for 30 minutes, 4 times per week, by adding just 5 to 10 minutes to each workout you’ll add 20 to 40 minutes of exercise to your week—that’s equivalent to another entire workout! You won’t notice the extra 5 or 10 minutes here and there, but your body will certainly notice the extra workout time!
Everything adds up! Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator! Park your car further away from your destination so you walk more. Carry a hand basket in the grocery store rather than push a cart. Use a manual lawn mower to cut your grass rather than an automatic one. Get up and change the TV channel rather than use the remote control. Sit when you could lie down, stand when you could sit, and move when you could stand still. No excuses; just make it happen. It’s not only formal exercise that keeps you fit; everyday movement or “incidental exercise” also factors in to your total calorie burn for the day.
It’s not complicated, it’s common sense. Little behavioral changes made over a long period of time have a huge impact on our bodies and make a big difference in the final result!
– Tara Marie Segundo, M.A. holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Physiology from Columbia University and is a Fitness Expert, Personal Trainer, Motivational Strategist, and Radio Talk Show Host based in New York City. For more information, please visit www.TaraMarie.com.