Q&A: weight loss
Conceptually weight loss is "simple" it's plain old math. You need to consume LESS calories than you use each day. In real life, weight loss proves to be very difficult for a lot of people and there are some definite twists to the process. So, here are a couple of questions I get and their answers:
Q: If I eat well for breakfast and lunch, do my 60 min of exercise but let loose for dinner will I still lose weight?
A: Maybe, but maybe not. I'm not saying you have to be perfect but you need to create a healthy calorie deficit. If your total consumed calories for the day are under your calorie max with your individualized plan then, yes you will. If letting loose on dinner means you go OVER your maximum desired calories then you will maintain or gain weight.
Q: But what about the exercise I mentioned?
A: If your calories for the day are calculated WITHOUT exercise then you MIGHT still have a caloric deficit. But you could also break even or go over. If your calorie count for the day does include your exercise, it's likely you've gone over your goal and could gain weight even though you are trying to do the right thing by exercising (and kudos for that! You are developing a healthy habit, keep it up!).
Ex. You burn 2,000cal/day + 500cal of exercise = 2,500cal burned
You eat 500cal Breakfast + 500cal Lunch + 500cal snacks +1000cal Dinner = 2,500cal ===> you break even.
Q: How do I know how many calories I need to eat a day?
A: To get exact as possible you would need a Basal Metabolic Rate test or to get your BMR. You can get the test done at SOME universities, doctors offices, hospitals or at institutions that offer VO2 max tests for athletes. (If you're interested contact me and I'll help you find one near you.)
For most people, though, a more general approach is to go to a site like this one, plug in your information and get a pretty decent idea of how many calories you should take in each day. What's cool about this calculator is that you can change it according to your daily activity. What's annoying about it is that there's no app and you can't log it.
Now for the kicker:
Q: I don't eat very much and I often skip meals, why am I still gaining weight?
A: Your body NEEDS a certain amount of calories per day to function. Within those calories it needs a blend of nutrients to allow your body's systems to do their jobs. So, if you are not taking in ENOUGH food your body holds on to the fat and maybe even brings more into storage to help you gain fat in an effort to avoid starving. Think of it like a panic reflex of your body; your body notices it's not getting enough of what it needs so when it does get something it sticks it into storage just in case it doesn't get the nutrients it needs in a timely manner.
Need help deciphering what is going on with your body? Contact me for a free 10-15 min consult and I can point you in the direction that will get you on your way to your goals.
Getting started takes baby steps
Starting a training regimen can be quite overwhelming. I often get the question of, "how do you to it?" Which translates to, "how do *I* do it?" My first response is just about always, "baby steps".
The hardest thing about your training is most likely going to be motivating yourself to put your sweat-friendly clothes and shoes on; coupled with making it out the door or onto your treadmill. After that it gets much easier, I promise. Just be sure to take it slow....
Once you get in gear it's time to start getting active! If you are a go getter you might even need a friend or trainer to curb your enthusiasm, if your happy to go slow then you might need someone to coax you into pushing a little harder. Either way, it can be helpful to find a trainer/friend/family member to help motivate you; quick texts, phone calls, or maybe they'd even join you!
When you get started with your training program, whatever it is, you have to start from where you are. Not where you were in high school or 6 months ago, but from where you are NOW. If you have been sitting at a desk for the last 6 months and the most activity you've done is walking the grocery store then a good place for you to start may be something like walking for 20min a day most days of the week. If you are an avid walker already then you can push yourself to walk longer, faster *OR* start intermittent jogging.
Notice the *OR*, trust me, it's important. Too much too soon can lead to over-soreness, injury, frustration and feeling too overwhelmed to keep going with your plan.
So, if you'd like to get started, get out your clothes and put your shoes by the door, or the chair you sit in to get ready. When you find the day you are all suited up pick a comfortable distance or set the timer for an out and back 10-15min each way. Stretch gently, sleep, eat, repeat 3-5 times a week!
These days I wear two very fun, interesting and time consuming hats. Hat #1 is being mom. Hat #2 is being an Exercise Physiologist/entrepreneur in the sports and wellness world. Right now these two worlds are happily colliding as I am deep in the planning of two really fantastic (family centric and kid friendly) sporting events; The Women's Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix on Saturday May 2nd, complete with a Family Fun Ride and Block Party and The Huguenot Street Nursery School 5k on Friday May, 8th at 6pm.
This is the first year we have had a Family Fun Ride at the WWCGP and I for one can't wait to take the baby on her first ride! The 6.2 mile course is on the beautiful roads of Woodstock and will give riders just a small taste of what the ladies are doing in their race to conquer the cats. We have tremendous support from the local Fire and Police Departments, which is not only inspiring as a community event but assures our safety as riders and spectators alike.
The Huguenot Street Nursery School Spring Race 5k walk/run is a fundraiser for the school. It's a longstanding annual event that we, the parents, put on to raise funds for the nursery school. This year the proceeds will go towards bettering the playground. The great thing about that is that the updates will benefit both the children who attend the school and the families of the community who like to visit the playground during off school hours. It's a wonderful little playground, well worth supporting. Not to mention the run itself is fun, festive and goes through beautiful Historic Huguenot Street and a portion of the New Paltz Rail trail.
Both races make it a point to be safe, community centric and affordable. Both races are now accepting donations/sponsorships and are looking to fill a few volunteer spots that are left. I hope to see you there, whether its to race, ride, run, volunteer or cheer!
I am an Exercise Physiologist and mother of two lovely ladies. I love teaching my community about health and wellness and I love helping likeminded people implement natural solutions into their everyday lives.