by: Scott Lindsey
One of the things that has surprised most people when I talk to them about my weight loss is the amount of food that I eat. Like I said in my previous article, I use a free app called My Fitness Pal to log my entire calorie intake each day. My Fitness Pal calculated my intake by using my height, weight, age, and what my goal weight was. The calculations added up to my intake needs to be 2,460 calories per day.
I thought that somehow, there was a mistake in the calculations when I saw it. That’s a lot of food to eat, and I was expecting to see 1,200-1,600 calories, but I went ahead and planned my program with those calorie numbers. Turns out, My Fitness Pal was a lot smarter than I originally gave it credit. I have learned in my research that one of the main issues with people on diets or weight loss plans is that they don’t eat enough calories. Our bodies naturally burn around 2000 calories per day, as estimated by the USDA, just by waking up in the morning, functioning throughout the day, and going to bed at night.
Eating too few calories has been proven to slow down metabolism, and increase the amount of fat that your body stores for energy. Not eating enough calories actually puts your body into kind of a “starvation” survival mode. When this happens, your body knows that it is not getting enough calories to function normally, so what it will do is start storing what you do feed in by turning it into fat, so it can use it later for energy.
This process will hinder any weight loss goal that you have. It will also cause your body to start breaking down healthy muscle tissue to supplement its lack of fuel. This can have a profound effect on your entire body, including the possibility of organ damage. Maintaining a healthy calorie intake is essential in any goal that you may have for weight loss, or working on getting more fit. Overeating can be detrimental to your health, but not eating enough can be just as bad for your body. You have to find your “sweet spot”.
As far as the exercise portion of my program, I just started by walking as much as I possibly could. Starting out, this was quite a challenge for me. Some days, two miles was really easy. Other days, doing a single mile was really tough. Just know that this is a normal occurrence in getting started, and it does get better with time and work.
The main thing is to just get started doing something, and make it a habit. The hardest thing for me was to get my mind set right. I am a very competitive person, so the challenge for me became in overcoming the mental aspect of my exercise program. It took work, but I built good exercise habits by doing something daily, and once my mind figured out that I was determined to do the workout, it didn’t fight me near as hard as it had been with excuses on why I shouldn’t work out, or why my body was too tired to work out. It finally just accepted the fact that a workout was coming that day. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle from time to time, I absolutely do, but the struggles just mean that I’m having a hard time that day, but I’m going to finish in spite of it. Making it through the struggles will make you proud of yourself, and will make you even more determined to reach your goal!
I want to thank everyone that is reading the column, and all that has contacted me through text, email, direct message, or through my Facebook page. Everyone has been so supportive, and I’m truly thankful and humbled.
My only goal with this column is to share my experiences, and hopefully motivate and inspire someone else to seek out a healthier lifestyle.
As always, if you have any questions for me, or want to suggest any future topics that you would like to see, please see my contact information below. I would love to hear from you.
“Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”
Here’s to better health.
Facebook Page: The Fitness Zone by Scott
This column is about personal experience, shared motivation, and thoughts and opinion on staying active and eating and living healthier. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a physician before participating in any diet, or beginning any exercise or fitness plan. --Darren Doyle, Editor.