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MONDAY'S MOTIVATIONAL MINUTE: "Spring Has Sprung—Got Anything You Wanna Lose?"

Here's the formula for shedding the winter fat and losing weight for the warm weather.

Spring has sprung! It’s finally here.

The days are getting longer. Once again the sun greets us when we wake and waits to accompany us home at the end of the day. The temperatures are beginning to climb as well and the warmer weather is a welcome break from the bitter bite of winter.

The birds are chirping, buds are blooming and brightly colored bundles of flowers have begun peeking their heads through the once-frozen roofs of their winter homes. It all sounds fabulous!

Yet, listen closely and you can hear the early spring cry of the suburban inhabitants awakening to find that winter has left them two sizes larger and unprepared yet again, for the dreaded, spring sweater-shedding ritual.

It’s as predictable as the day is long and it’s upon us once again. As the clocks spring forward, we fall back into the same old destructive dieting patterns responsible for this panicked predicament.

I've heard insanity described as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to get a different result. If you resemble this remark, don’t you think it’s time to get a handle on a new way of navigating the pit falls of crash dieting and finally break through to the other side of the equation?

I mean after everything that you have tried, what do you have to lose? During my career, I have asked this question more times than I care to consider and the answer is always the same: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP!

In order break this cycle and shed our sweaters with confidence, we must reduce our winter weather insulation (body fat). It’s much like removing a blanket of cozy outerwear that covers our ripples, dimples and rolls in the hopes of revealing a body worthy of sporting sleek, sleeveless, summer attire.

It has been my experience however, that most people don’t have a clue how to properly set forth an eating program that will allow them to successfully drop body fat while saving their precious, metabolically active muscle. In order to attain and maintain your goal weight, it’s imperative to develop and implement a program that will not only remove the excess pounds you’ve packed on, but that will also serve as an all out healthy lifestyle change that will sustain us for the long haul. Any panicked attempt for a quick fix will put us right back on the "insanity train" to destination "Crash and Burn."

Having said that, try selling such a sound, safe and practical approach to folks, frantic to loose it all yesterday and you’ve entered MY WORLD. These carnivores are on the hunt for some type of warp speed, Naps Car, fast-track magic to looking svelte in their spring break Speedos, and I’ve often been afraid I’ll be excommunicated for speaking such evil. (I feel compelled to mention that after having trained some of the most awe-inspiring physiques you’ll ever have the good fortune to gaze upon, I have come to the conclusion that it may be possible that noBODY should EVER sport a Speedo, but hey, that’s just me).

Such misguided attempts to rapid weight loss actually render the opposite effect. In return for the effort, butts have broadened; yoyo dieting has become the norm, diabetes has sky rocketed and we have become a country filled with people whose waistlines are larger than the average bear!!

All joking aside, we have an obesity epidemic in this country and it’s not improving!!! It’s not only our waistlines at stake but our health. I believe it’s high time to stop promoting and selling all the "DIET HYPE," take control, and beat this monster back into its cave.

So… where do we start? How do we stay the course? How do we get off this weight loss roller coaster and cross the finish line? Return to the basics. Problem is, most of us can’t remember what they are. So, though we’ve been over this before, please, permit me to remind you yet again. If the volume of calls I’ve received of late are a reflection of the number of ya’ll who have this all wrapped up, well, let’s just say we need a healthy reminder. So, if you’ll permit me, please follow along and... Help me to Help MOTIVATE You and REALLY DO IT THIS TIME!

The first step is to look at how much you are eating in order to be where you are. To do this, you need to calculate (on average), approximately how many calories you are consuming daily. This number represents the amount of food you are eating to maintain your current weight. There are many online resources and books available that will give you accurate caloric amounts for every food know to man. Find the one that seems the most user-friendly to you. Visit your local bookstore or surf the Net and find a resource you like and become familiar with it. Lately, I'm liking the "Calorie Counter App" and if you tend to like the easy way out, try www.Livestrong.com, which will calculate your daily calorie totals for you.

Next, for three days, keep a food journal of every morsel that enters your mouth. Be sure to record both food and drink. Beside each item, record the calorie amount for each entry. Do a running total of each day’s calorie intake and find the average for your three daily totals. Some websites will do this for you.

Try not to do anything out of the ordinary. Often I am handed a food journal. I assess it and then meet with my client and hand it back and tell them "nice try." The reason being that if they were eating what their journal reflected on a regular basis, they wouldn’t need my help, if you get my drift. It’s the equivalent to cleaning the house before the maid comes. If your home always looked like that, you wouldn’t need her. Be honest and be you, anything else won’t render accurate results.

For example… Monday’s total 2,321 calories, Tuesday’s total 2,035, Wednesday’s total 2,200. Add all three days and divide by three. This person’s average caloric in take for three days… 2,321

                 + 2,035

                    2,200

                    6,556 three-day total.              6,556/3= 2,185 Average daily caloric intake.

Now that you have calculated your average daily caloric intake for weight maintenance, take that number and shave off an appropriate amount through plain old food reduction AND exercise, to create a modest  "CALORIC DEFICIT" that will render a reasonable weekly weight reduction.

In order to loose one pound of body fat you must achieve a deficit of 3,500 calories.

One of my clients actually let out a faint yelp the first time I broke this uplifting news.

If you reduce your food intake by a modest 300 calories per day while adding 30 minutes of intentional moderate exercise like fitness walking for example, (worth an approximate 200 to 300 calorie burn)… we create a total deficit of at least 500 calories per day.

So, a 300-calorie “food intake” reduction plus a 200-calorie "exercise expenditure" reduction equals a 500-calorie deficit per day.      

A 500-calorie reduction per day x 7 days a week=a 3,500-calorie reduction per week. This renders a body fat weight loss equal to one pound per week!!!                          

Not much of a wow factor huh? Were you waiting for me to pull a rabbit out of my hat? Sorry, but there are no tricks up the sleeves of anyone out there to make this anything other than what it is. If they tell you they have one, take my advice and RUN! You’ll burn more calories that way and be closer to your goals then by listening to another shyster. The truth is what it is and boring or not, the truth is the only thing that will ultimately set you free from your weight issues for LIFE. Anything else is more than likely just another fad that will come and go as fast as your weight will leave and return to you.

It was true at the dawn of time and it’s still true today. The old commonsensical "EAT LESS/MOVE MORE" theory actually works!! A weight loss of one to two pounds a week is what you’re shooting for.

If you loose a bit faster at first, you should settle down to not much more than two or so per week. Anything faster than that will inevitably have you so hungry at the end of the day that you’ll be willing to eat your shoes, much less anything else you can get your hands on that looks even a bit more appetizing. A few days of that and off you go down the road to the local doughnut shop.

So, now it’s your turn. Plug in your numbers and do the math. Try to eat foods low in saturated fats, high in fiber and chocked full of colorful nutrients. Leave room for a little of what you love and you’ll win. Come on and give it a try. ……… WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE???  

Until Next Time,

Power ON…

Candace

FOR MORE ARTICLES BY CANDACE...go to www.CandaceGrasso.BlogSpot.com

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