The most important kind of exercise is one in which you exercise self-control! 1 pound of fat equals 3500 Calories. Which means if a person would like to lose 1 pound of fat, they would need to eat 500 calories less a day (7 days x 500 calories = 3500). For those of us who would like to lose 10 pounds over 10 weeks, we would need to eat 500 calories less a day for 70 days or eat 35,000 calories less over those 10 weeks.
That is crazy?!??? But that is just the math. Shedding 500 calories a day is not as difficult as one would think. A Cliff Bar or Lara Bar each have 200 calories packed into those healthy “cookies”. A Grande Latte averages 200 calories. Snacking on nuts, even a small handful = 180 calories. And who can eat just one handful of nuts?
Exercising a little dietary discretion can really jump start your diet and health goals. Just losing the extra weight improves your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers. America could sure use a course correction in the world of healthy numbers!
If a person did nothing else but cut out some “treats” or all treats and didn’t add anything to replace them, it would be enough to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. What happens if you add walking one mile a day? A 150 lb. person burns 80 calories/mile. The pace is important but not that important.
The trap here is that most people “reward” themselves when they do something healthy with a treat! Don’t buy the lie! Just do the math! For a 150 lb. person to burn off one latte or Cliff Bar or a small handful of nuts, they would have to walk 2+ miles a day to ZERO out that treat. Do we have to mention ice cream as a reward???? The deck is figuratively stacked against healthy choices and healthy gains.
What can a person do? I believe that eating mostly whole plant-based foods and exercising are critical steps to losing weight and being healthier in the long run. But exercising only accounts for 10% to 15% of calories being burned. It is important for heart health and strength, but not as important for weight loss. If a person would like to lose weight the biggest factor is eating better and eating less. Our bodies burn 70% of their calories just by doing body things: thinking, breathing, digestion, pumping blood, etc.
Adding exercise to your regimen is great but exercising self-control over what you eat will have the biggest impact at the scale. For me, the real goal is to live as healthy a life as I can for as long as I can. Which means that today, tonight, and tomorrow I get to make another healthy food choice for a healthier me, and you get to make the same choice for a healthier you.
I believe in you, cheers to a healthier you in 2019!
Your Farmer and Health Advocate,