Calories In and Calories Out

Calories In and Calories Out

The hardest part in trying to create a nutritional plan that works is keeping the proper count of calories. Why is this important?  Well because just like you cannot run a car without gasoline a body cannot run without calories. And running the body is what we are all about.

Although some diets and nutritional gurus may say that counting calories does not matter when trying to lose and maintain a healthy weight–they are relying on other processes of the body–like manipulating the way a person’s metabolism works to reach their weight losing goals.

The biggest problem is that these diets do work–at least for a while.  They work as long as you keep to the parameters of the diet strictly. The minute you change anything in these diets the weight comes back–with often a few extra pounds–that the body will save for the next time the body experiences these manipulations.

We forget that we are not meant to be on a the roller coaster of diets–we were made to follow a nutritional plan that provides the needed calories for the energy of living.

So scientifically, if you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight–you need to know what is going in and what is going out. And more complicated yet…you need to understand what calories you should be eating for optimum nutrition.

The way I see it there are two major challenges:  accurately counting the calories we are taking in and accurately counting the calories we are burning.  When we eat, we usually think we are eating less calories than we are actually eating–and we are usually not burning as many calories as we think we are burning.

Regardless of the challenges–it is important to note that becoming a healthier you is so important that the counting frustration should not stop us.  This is a learning process.

The best way to measure the amount of food in your servings is to use measuring cups and a food weight scale.  Most solid foods should be weighed while more liquid foods can be measured. Being consistent in weighing  and measuring your foods will help you in keeping an accurate count of the calories.

Once we get “used” to the meals that work best for us nutritionally we tend to stop measuring and weighing.  A chicken breast is a chicken breast right?  No. They come in all sizes and when we stop measuring–the calories creep in.

As with everything that is important in your life–I’m afraid to say–you are going to have to write it down. Keeping a food diary is the best way to know what calories are going into your body. (If you are not a fan of writing things down, I’m sure there is an app for that.)

On the counting calories out side–the same applies.  Every activity burns calories–but each person burns calories differently based on their weight.  The more you weigh the more calories you will burn during any given activity.

There are online calculators that will help you track the number of calories you are burning in any given activity or work out.  Keep in mind that to get an accurate count you have to be diligent about entering the accurate time an activity took place and also the level of intensity that you completed the activity.

Walking a mile slowly does not burn as many calories as walking a mile quickly while swinging your arms. And you can’t count walking for 60 minutes if you stopped and spoke to a neighbor for 10 minutes–you can only count 50 minutes.

Ultimately, though, the only way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to know what comes in and what comes out. There is no scientific way around it. Creating this type of lifestyle when it comes to nourishing your body and keeping fit is much more sustainable.

Count your calories and your blessings! We live in the greatest time of nutritional knowledge–embrace it!

Have a great day today!  Leave me a comment or send me an email at emptynestsavvy@gmail.com…I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Moving

Let’s Get Moving

No matter what nutritional plan you are on–I don’t like the word diet–none of them will work unless you include two things: water and movement.

Notice I did not say exercise. Not everyone can participate or likes or even wants to have a specific exercise routine. But all of us do move.

At least we should be moving to stay healthy, flexible, and strong. And to burn the calories we take in everyday from our nutritional plan. If we are not burning calories–our body stores them as fat–in the event we need them in the future.

If we don’t need those calories in the future and we do not burn them–they stay with us–forever.

Here is some good news:  Our bodies at rest do burn calories!  So we can basically just BE and we are burning calories.

(This calculator on the internet can give you and idea of how many calories you burn at rest each day.)

Here is the bad news: Our bodies at rest do not burn enough on a daily basis based on our consumption rate to keep us at a healthy body weight.

Of course, the more you move, the more you burn!  

So I do encourage everyone to embrace an exercise plan. Regardless of your age you can find an activity that you can incorporate into your life as exercise.

Walking, for example, is a wonderful exercise. It gets you moving, the heart pumping and the oxygen flowing in your body. There are countless gadgets you can use to track how much you walk–from telephone apps to watches, bracelets and clip devices you can have on you!

They count your distance in steps, miles or kilometers and can tell you how many calories you have burned each day! Some of these devices will even monitor your heart rate and whether or not you have climbed a flight of stairs!  Amazing!

Your goal would be to walk a little bit more each day than you did the day before to get some real movement into your life.

And, we shouldn’t underestimate all the other movement we do in a day too! Housework, gardening, mowing the lawn, laundry–that all counts (and burns calories!) especially if we are bending, lifting, walking, and climbing to do them!

A word about calories–Calories are a way to measure energy. We are, as humans, made up of energy. Calories is just the scientific measure of the energy in and energy out that makes up our physical, working bodies.

Anyone or any plan that tells you calories don’t matter when trying to balance your healthy intake and outtake of nutritional needs is not being completely honest with you. It matters–because YOU matter!

And so, the more you move–the more your body will ask you to move. And the more you listen to your body the better your relationship with your body will be.

After all–the longest relationship you will have on this earth is your relationship to yourself…and it is a very important one! We should make our relationship to ourselves a meaningful one.

Exercise and movement are one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy–in body, soul and mind.

Find your movement–whatever that is. Get moving and find people that will move along with you! You will be pleasantly surprised how much better you will feel and how much your body will perform. And along the way you just might help others get moving too!

We only have one life folks!  Let’s get moving!

However you decide to move today–have fun!