If you've ever set out to lose 10 pounds, I've got an idea for you to actually do it. Be careful, though, this will change your life, and it's pretty simple. All you need to do is cut 35,000 calories from your life, and we will get there.
Every pound of fat you want to lose requires the loss of 3,500 calories. When you find a way to lower your calorie consumption easily (no restrictive diets) and you find things that make you move but aren't "exercise," it is easy to remove a few calories every day.
(Photo: Mrakor via Getty Images)
Think about the foods you eat daily. I put a few of my "whoops, I didn't mean to eat that" foods.
Tim Horton's large double double = 270 calories
Your average chocolate bar = 250 calories
Starbucks venti latte = 190 calories
Can of Dr. Pepper = 150 calories
Glass of wine = 150 calories
The next part of the equation gets into understanding serving size. It's how healthy food can put extra body fat on our bodies.
Chicken is 50 calories an ounce. Three ounces is a serving of chicken. Everyone ounce you eat extra is calories you don't need. The average chicken breast right out of a package is seven to 10 ounces. Eating a whole chicken breast is 200 calories extra.
Average salad dressing has 70 calories in a tablespoon. Two tablespoons should make any salad taste great. Most people use about four tablespoons if they use the standard ladle at a salad bar. There's 140 extra calories.
If we all do this and keep it really simple, we can be down 10 pounds in 10 weeks.
I'm not suggesting you start fearing your food and counting calories. In fact, I hope people get the opposite from this post. We have made food into the thing that makes us fat or skinny. Food is also readily available and has lost its value to being critical for survival. Now we just hop over to the local grocery store and buy without thinking. Imagine if we made certain things "treats" again. If we selected days where we eat those treats and savoured them -- we felt zero guilt and only indulged once in a while.
I'm hopeful these numbers open your eyes and you enlist the help of a registered dietitian to make a plan.
For the sake of my goal to get us all down 10 pounds, try this:
- Drink a black coffee on Tuesday and Thursday -- it's functional, not as delicious. That's going to save us 400 calories a week.
- Make Wednesday wine free -- save another 150 calories
- No pop on Monday -- 150 calories gone
- Remove one chocolate bar a week -- that's 250 calories
- Ensure that you measure, and eat correct servings at three meals. That will save the average person almost 1,000 calories.
Without being on a diet or changing too much, just making conscious decisions daily, we are going to save 2,100 calories each week.
Now, to talk about burning calories! If we follow the above plan, or a close variation, and find a way to burn 1,400 calories, we will lose pound of fat a week as a community of conscious eaters and movers.
Here is the fun fact: a simply 30-minute walk will burn about 150 calories. By simply going for an easy walk, you'll get more than half way to that 1400 walking Monday - Friday. I'd suggest from there you head to a site like ParticipACTION and find something new to try. Nothing too intense if you are new to exercise, but they have a list of things that could inspire you to more activity.
Fitness has become synonymous with the gym. For me, my New Year's resolution was to get out hiking more. I've promised myself two active vacations via road trips and hiking this summer. I'm heading to Portland, Ore. soon to hike and explore. I'll also be heading out almost every weekend to explore a new trail or adventure in my home province. I'll be using Travel Manitoba's site. I figure since there is $1.6 billion dollars spent on seeing the beauty of my province, I should put more value on seeing my own back yard. My Instagram account is going to be full of pictures of adventures this summer... each adventure is going to burn calories.
If we all do this and keep it really simple, we can be down 10 pounds in 10 weeks.
Once we set a foundation of smart eating and movement, and it becomes a lifestyle, then we can talk about some of that high-intensity nonsense. I'm not going to lie, I love that stuff, too. Spin classes where my legs burn, bootcamps where I get sick to my stomach, martial arts classes that leave my head spinning. All of those things are what change a physique, and add to sex appeal. But that stuff doesn't matter -- we need a nation that covers the health basics, first.
Your best bet is to enlist the help of a professional. Check out your benefits at work -- it may be covered. Involve your friends, cover the basics, make it a lifestyle and let's make our nation healthy, One Fit City at a time.
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If you've ever eaten a meal in a hurry, you know how easy it is to take just two bites before swallowing. But registered dietitian Hubert Cormier recommends chewing your food at least 20 times, since studies say the extra chewing can cut calories by up to 15 per cent.
Chocoholics rejoice — you can still have some chocolate while you shave off those last few pounds. According to the baking experts at King Arthur Flour, espresso powder highlights the rich flavour notes of chocolate, leaving only the slightest hint of coffee flavour behind. With that logic in mind, Cormier recommends adding a little espresso powder to your brownie mix so you get the decadent chocolate flavour without the extra chocolate.
Of course exercise will help you get healthy, but you can start sweating in the kitchen too. According to Cormier, adding a little spice to your diet will kick up your metabolism, so don't pass on those chili peppers!
You don't have to go meatless to melt away your muffin top. Cormier says you can make simple swaps by using half a portion of meat and half a portion of tofu in your spaghetti sauce. Making this slight change will reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol you would be ingesting if you make the dish with minced meat alone.
When it comes to buying low-fat and no-fat foods, Cormier says shoppers should be on the lookout. "Light mayonnaise contains less fat, but not necessarily less calories since the manufacturer adds more carbohydrates to the mixture," he explains. Instead, Cormier recommends eating smaller portions of the full fat stuff or getting creative by "mix[ing] mayonnaise with an equal portion of plain Greek yogurt to help to cut the fat and increase protein."
Cormier says following nutritionists and fitness bloggers online can help motivate you. Weight Watchers created the #betyou10lbs challenge to help motivate and support those looking to lose that last bit of weight. Other great motivational hashtags to follow include #10poundsdown and #healthyeating.
When watching your weight, water is the best beverage. Alcohol can even make you hungry, says Cormier, who suggests that if you have to have a glass of wine, it's best served with dinner. And when it comes to happy hour, Cormier recommends sipping on a sparkling water.
Yes, you can still have take out, even if you're trying to lose weight. Cormier says take out is a better option than dining in, since you won't run into temptations like the bread basket or dessert menu!
According to Cormier, eating out of a clear bowl will help you control your portions because it helps you see just how much is in there.
Cormier says whole fruits will help you feel full faster than juice. "Fresh fruit will provide more vitamins and minerals, and allow you to reach your daily dietary fibre intake more quickly and provide much less carbohydrates," he adds.
A recent study from scientists at the University of Calgary found that fiber and high-fiber foods likely play a key role in helping to prevent weight gain. Raspberries may provide weight loss benefits as a one cup serving contains about eight grams. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Foods That Can Help Prevent Weight Gain
A recent study from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the types of carbohydrate- and protein-rich foods we eat may have an effect on long-term weight gain. While the results found that those who consumed more refined grains, sugars, starches, and red and “processed” meat products were more likely to gain weight, they also found that yogurt consumption was associated with weight loss. However, be sure to choose yogurts that don’t contain excessive amounts of added sugar. Instead, try purchasing unflavored varieties and adding your own sweeteners, like fruit or honey. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
The same study published in in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found an association between eating yogurt and weight loss also found the same was true for seafood. Fish like salmon, tuna and shrimp are high in protein, which means they’ll help keep you feeling full and satiated, and also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Foods That Can Help Prevent Weight Gain
Another protein-rich food, the study from Tufts also found that skinless chicken (like grilled chicken breast) was associated with weight loss. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Additionally, the Tufts researchers found that eating nuts, which contain protein and healthy fats, was associated with losing weight. Just be sure to keep your caloric intake in check by measuring out appropriate portion sizes, as nuts are typically a higher-calorie food. Click Here to See Foods That Can Help Prevent Weight Gain Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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