You know, you rarely think about the fact that you burn calories with everything you do in life. Even just sitting still requires X amount of calories to keep you going. There are a lot of people who absolutely hate calorie counting to keep themselves inline when they are trying to lose weight. But, I actually enjoy it. It helps me not only ensure I’m staying where I need to be calorie-wise; but, it helps me to understand how healthy I am (or am not) eating and living.
Today’s example shows that I have eaten breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast was pretty substantial and really hit the spot. I tend to eat breakfast about two hours after I’ve gotten up and rolling. I just cannot bring myself to eat immediately upon waking. It just does not sit right.
Lunch doesn’t look like much, with just the overview; but, when you break it down, it was actually enough to keep me going through the afternoon until I get home tonight to make dinner.
It was a Turkey on Rye…I don’t know how many of you have checked out the calories in various sandwich ingredients; but, Rye is amazingly low in calories. Lower than the ‘low calorie’ wraps I’ve see out there. Mustard – basic yellow – has next to no calories. Turkey, lettuce and tomatoes – and, bingo. You have a very flavorful sandwich that comes in under 120 calories. Rye bread tends to be pretty good sized slices – so, you use ONE slice of bread to hold all the ingredients together. Eat it slowly and enjoy it. It’s full of good things for you – a healthy, low calorie meal that will tide you over for the next couple of hours…and, it’s not bland, boring or nasty tasting.
While that’s all well and good, I’ve still spent 478 calories, right? That can be pretty rough when you’re on a restricted diet. But, you’d be amazed at the amount of calories just driving to work and doing your desk job can burn. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not enough that you can go crazy with your caloric consumption; but, it’s enough that you can breathe a bit easier about what you do and do not choose to eat.
Surprisingly, just driving to work and doing my job burns 508 calories – that just a bit under one calorie an hour. Not exactly going to burn it off in a blink of an eye; but, it does mean that there is more wiggle room in your day than you might imagine. The walking “under 2mph” that’s there that shows 5 min? I park on the far side of the parking lot. It takes me about 2.5 minutes to get into work – crossing the lot and climbing a flight of stairs to get to my cube. Who’d think to put that on their exercise list, right? I mean, it’s only 7 calories…but, 7 calories here and there can add up. Going to the bathroom – I use the women’s handicap stall and do a couple of minutes of side kicks and squats. Only 13 calories…but, I do it every time I go to the bathroom – some days more than others; but, you know….at 13 calories a pop – that’s not too shabby. Add to that, walking to the bathroom farthest away from my desk takes me about 2 minutes each way, so there are more calories burned. Last night, I wound up 20 calories over my goal…but, I was still within my caloric goal for reaching 1.2 pounds lost per week. I hate that it’s such a low amount per week. I’ve grown up in an “instant” society and I want it right now; but, this way is much healthier and much better at helping me to ensure not only that I eat enough; but, that I eat healthy.
Yes, eat enough. I think one of the reasons so many have trouble with dieting is because they do not take into account all they are doing throughout their day. They log every bite consumed; but, they fail to log every action taken (well, within reason). So – someone may go on a 1200 calorie diet…and, essentially starve themselves because they also begin to work out and increase their caloric burn. It’s one reason I find tools like MyFitnessPal or MyFoodDiary so invaluable. They help give you the real picture about what’s going on…and, the nutritional feedback is even nicer (though, I wish there was a bit more robust information, what they do provide is wonderful). For more information on how many calories are burned for every day activities like walking, shopping, sleeping, watching TV, cooking, putting up groceries, etc you can go to this link provided by Harvard.
The end of the day report really helps you see how well you’ve done at living healthy, while trying to lose weight. This is actually my middle of the day report – I still have dinner to get through. However, because of all the little things I’m doing throughout the day, I can have a fairly decent dinner and still be within my caloric range. Not to mention, I still have my rowing I’ll be doing tonight which will burn off a few more calories – that means I can gift myself a single glass of wine as an apertif. Not too shabby
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy. Breaking the sugar habit is HARD. Cutting back on caffine? Really hard. Trying to identify the cravings that you get so that you can provide healthy alternatives for what your body is demanding? It takes a lot of fine tuning and really coming to understand your own body. It’s not easy; but, I think, in the end it’s worth it.