Weight Loss

Why can it be so hard?!  There are so many fads, various info and influencers, various diets, and things that are being thrown at us daily via ads, social media, and pressure mounts daily.  Let’s simplify!

Here is the skinny.  If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit.  Period.  This can be achieved in a couple of ways. 

  1. Exercise and move to burn more calories.
  2. Eat in a deficit and drink plenty of water.

Sounds simple right?  We are barraged by so much info though, and temptations, that we get clouded and lose sight of what to do and where to go.  Many people have no idea how much they eat in a day to start with, so we need to give ourselves breathing room.

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Take a deep breath!  You got this.

First, as we age there really should be a bit of a mentality of “move it or lose it.”  Humans start to lose muscle mass as we age (as early as starting at 30!).  It can be anywhere from 5-10% per decade, especially for inactive individuals.  I don’t know about you, but I want to chase my grand kids around, lift, squat and reach into old age!  So, getting active, exercising regularly, and adding some weights (doesn’t have to be heavy) will help aging, improve insulin sensitivity, and also aid in weight reduction.

To lose 1 pound a week, you need to cut 3500 calories from your diet for the week.  That’s 500 calories per day through food/exercise. 

I am generally one for not cutting out a food group unless you have a medical reason, but a few examples of cutting a few things back or replacing them with lower caloric options during a day are listed below.

-That’s cutting 1 Dave’s Killer Bagel with 3 oz cream cheese (260+297=557 calories).

-Replace burger bun with lettuce wrap to drop about 170 from the day.

-Replace the grande starbucks mocha (370 calories) with tea.

-Replace some or all your nightly beer, gin and tonics, or wines, with sparkling waters or lower calorie “skinny” options to reduce calories.  Standard G & T is about 190 calories.  Standard wine 100-130 calories/glass.  Standard pint of beer 230 calories.  Standard shot of vodka is 100 calories plus whatever mixers (screwdriver about 160 calories average).  DRINKS ADD UP and most people have more than one (if not a whole bottle of wine = 600 plus calories easily).

-Replace that 20oz bottle of coke (240 calories) with something better.  Water, Sparking flavored waters (Spindrift), or Poppi is a lower calorie brand and lower in sugar (not affiliated).

-If you have to be at fast food (hey, life happens) – skip the big mac meal (570 calories+320 for medium fries=860 calories!) and get a classic hamburger meal (250+230 calories for small fry = 480).  Saves you 380 calories alone swapping for smaller meal.  Plus opt for water to keep calories down and improve hydration.  Other options: no fries, get apple slices.  It’s a choice.

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-At restaurants, choose grilled over fried.  Go lighter on dressings or have on the side.  Water or lower calorie drinks.  Skip the breadbasket, swap chips/fries for salad/fruit.

The list can go on, but you get the idea.  Making better choices and replacing things is a quick way to reduce calories during the day.  Occasionally, a splurge is okay, but don’t beat yourself up for it.  Slowly making better choices builds good habits and supports healthy weight loss.

Part 2 of getting into a deficit can be from exercising.  Training and moving your body takes energy.  Building a base muscle mass and maintaining it takes work as we age. But muscles can help increase your resting metabolism which burns more calories during the day you are not working out, and improve insulin sensitivity.  So don’t forget them in your regimen.  Walking, hiking, biking, sports, dance, yoga, weight training, swimming, you name it…  It will help the burning of excess stores. 

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Better yet – reduce intake and exercise for a double whammy of health benefits.  But it is good to know how much you should be eating at a minimum to lose weight safely and still support a healthy body composition.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  Build better habits and make better choices for your overall health one day and one habit at a time.

Try this calculator or others out there to get an idea.   A Certified Nutrition Coach (like me!) can help get the visual on what you need based on your needs and scenario.  We are all unique and at different stages of the game.  We all have various health issues that pop up and they can all be addressed. 

Life is a marathon – we are in this for the long run.  You got this.