I’m getting ready to head out of town with my daughter for the weekend, but I wanted to leave you all with some weight loss tips from my friend, Elle. Everyone needs a friend like Elle – not only has she been a personal trainer, but she’s got all this education (including a doctorate and a master’s degree) focusing on exercise science and health promotion.
I think I hit the lottery with Elle. She’s my friend, but she’s also my diet counselor. Poor Elle. She must get so tired of hearing from me, but she sure doesn’t show it. Maybe that’s because I give her vegan goodies from time to time. That’s another great thing about Elle, not only does she know all the science about how to eat and exercise, but she’s also human about it too. She does eat chocolate. I mean, honestly, how could I be friends with someone who didn’t eat chocolate?
Here’s my friend Elle’s Top 5 Tips for Weight Loss:
- Quality of food matters, but quantity counts more. In other words, you can gain weight eating only healthy foods, if you take in more calories than you expend. If you are ADDING healthy foods to your diet, make sure you are taking out extra calories somewhere else. (For example, if you add blueberries to your cereal, cut out the piece of toast.)
- Exercise helps you maintain a weight loss, but only cutting calories helps you lose the weight in the first place. Unless you are literally doing the Tour de France, exercise alone simply cannot create the calorie deficit necessary to lose weight (3500 calories/pound). A 30 minute brisk walk will burn between 200 and 300 calories, depending on your body weight. How easy is it to replace those 200 calories with a handful of chips or M&Ms? Less than 30 seconds. So realize exercise is important and necessary, but it cannot do the trick alone.
- Your stomach has no idea how many calories you ingest, but it does respond to volume. So try to increase the volume of your meals/snacks whenever possible. Fruits, vegetables and high-fiber grains will all help increase the volume of your meals. An orange has about 70 calories and will physically satiate hunger while orange juice, with no fiber, is about twice the calories with no affect on satiety.
- Whatever you do to lose the weight, you will have to keep doing to maintain your weight loss. A 150lb body requires fewer calories to run than a 200lb body, just like a Honda Civic needs less gas than an Ford Excursion. You will need to eat less and continue exercising at your new lower body weight. It may sound unfair but it’s not personal, it’s just physics.
- Eat only when you’re hungry, and that includes breakfast. If you’re hungry when you wake up, eat. Otherwise, pack a healthy snack/breakfast and wait until the hunger calls. Eat by your body signals, not just the clock. Your body doesn’t know or care when you ingest the calories. It just keeps track over a 24-hour cycle and stores away any you don’t end up using.
I’ll share more tidbits from Elle with you down the road, but that’s it for now. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Marly