Calories in; Calories out!

Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is an important concern for many people during the holiday season. I personally am recovering from surgery; therefore, my normal exercise is limited, and the old fear of gaining weight is ever present in my thought processes. So, how do you keep from gaining, lose weight, or find a way to eat through the holiday season?

I have learned through my personal training certification at Cooper Institute that it is all about the calories that you consume. I know, I know. Many diets tell you that calories really do not matter; it may be (according to them) the combination of foods you eat or the absence of high calorie foods. The list goes on and on. How do I know that? I used to be very overweight, and I have tried them all!

Good nutrition is a must, first of all. As I have been resting more often since surgery last week, I have watched far more T.V. than normally. However, I have a new favorite--Dr. Oz. He really has some great advice. Now, granted I have only been his viewer for two days, but I am impressed! Dr. Oz has some great advice -- "Eat the colors of the rainbow every day in your food choices."

Two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of veggies should be a great starting point. Even if you don't really enjoy these types of food, make it a priority to get these foods in by noon, and you are on your way to eating healthier. Eat a red apple, orange apricots, dark blueberries, green broccoli, yellow squash or corn, and purple cabbage. Look at the colors that you have added to the normal American diet of everything that is WHITE!

Secondly, record everything you eat. You can choose a sticky note, a journal, a notebook, or a website like calorie count. This creates mindfulness of your eating (which is what yoga teaches us), sets a standard to help us know when we are full vs. loading our plates up with goodies of undetermined amounts, and it gives us accountability. Just write it down!

Remember, it takes 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound of weight, and 3,500 calories less to lose a pound of weight. However, these are accumulated day after day. Our goal is 300 calories less IN a day; 300 calories more OUT a day. If you cut out two ice cream sandwiches out of your normal daily eating, you have essentially taken out 300 calories of out your normal eating. Make that your goal every day. Substitute a high calorie food with a low calorie food in snacking or your afternoon or evening meal.

Now, the hardest part is always MAKING time to exercise. Once we are there, everything else flows. It is getting there that is the most difficult for us. I always tell people that participate in my yoga classes. Grabbing your yoga mat and showing up for class is the challenge. Once you are there; everything else will naturally evolve, and you will leave feeling proud of yourself for taking time out to be healthier and feel more confident due to your good choice making. Our goal is to burn 300 more calories a day. You can achieve this just by putting on a pedometer and walking 10,000 steps a day. You can do a jog/walk in your neighborhood or put your dog on a leash, strap on your tennies, and take off. You would be amazed at how much more ENERGY you have just by adding in 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. Give yourself a star every day you make this choice.

Join me in the 300 less calories in; 300 more calories out adventure this holiday season! We will weigh back in, measure your waistline, see if you can drop a jeans size (or just make a tight pair easier to wear) by the Super Bowl game! I would love to hear your daily comments or be able to encourage you through this challenge. E-mail me at to share your daily count, your daily exercise log, or just let me know you are there endeavoring to make yourself healthier, more confident, and more functionally fit! Start today, and we will weigh, measure, or just look better - feel better by February 7, 2010.


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