It’s Time to Think about Fitness

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I’ll get off the writing kick for a while.  It is January and it is once again time to think about health and fitness.  This is when you see all the ads for the miracle diets and the health clubs.  The same evening news reporters that were telling us about the best pies and cakes for the holiday season will now be telling us how to get in shape.

I believe that I am an old person that personifies the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  I stick to the basics.  You can compute, based on your activity level and current weight, the number of calories you can consume and maintain that weight.  I found this site http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm.  Just put in the information and it will give you the calories that you can consume per day for maintenance, fat loss, and extreme fat loss.  From my numbers fat loss is reducing calorie intake by 500 calories per day which works out to about a pound a week. That is doable for most people.  In my opinion extreme measures are rarely successful.  You didn’t put it on in a hurry, and you won’t take it off in a hurry.

The calculation worked out for my height, weight, physical activity that I would need to consume a little less that 2500 calories a day to maintain my weight.  It turns out that I need to lose eight pounds.  I will attempt to consume no more than 2000 calories a day for eight weeks and that should knock off the eight pounds.  I know, easier said than done.  I will have updates here and that should put the pressure on me to stay on track.

The numbers don’t lie. If you want to eat more, you have to burn more.  But exercise does more than help you burn calories.  It firms and tones your body.  Two people may weigh the same but they may not look the same.  Muscle is heavier than fat.  The more muscle you have the healthier your pounds are.  At my age toning is very important in order to avoid the dreaded hanging skin.

Once you have decided how many calories a day you can have, then you need to determine what you’re going to spend those calories on.  It is another budget to work with when you’re planning your trip to the grocery store.  This item is X calories per serving and that item is Y calories per serving, yes you have to look at that stuff.  This is where all of diet products make their money.  I will not go to eating special food because I don’t want to have to change what I’m doing after eight weeks.  Special diets to lose weight, to me, are not a good way to maintain health and a very good way to put the weight back on after you’ve reached your goal.  That’s just my opinion.

I’m lucky.  My wife Cathy is great at making good tasting healthy meals.  If I didn’t go crazy with the quantity that I eat and with deserts and snacks, I probably wouldn’t have to lose weight at all.  Fruits and vegetables are your friends.  Learn to love broccoli and it will help you, just not in broccoli and cheese soup. 

So off I go, on my journey to lose eight pounds.  You may ask, if you know how to do it, why didn’t you maintain your weight?  Why do you have to lose eight pounds?  I will answer that tomorrow.  I will republish an article I wrote on that very subject called, “Making Peace with my Yoyo.”  I’ll see you then.

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About

Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at Lulu.com; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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Posted in Diet and Fitness

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