Archive for December 29th, 2010

Lessons learned from counting calories

I’ve been good about using MyFitnessPal.com so far this week. I probably won’t be so good about using it once work starts again, so I’m using this week as time to educate myself about things I should avoid or do. This is what I’ve learned:

1. Exercise more
More exercise means more calories I can consume.

2. Eat smaller portions
The portions I receive in restaurants are not normal sized. This week I’ve been measuring portions to get a better idea of what is correct.

3. Eat less meat
I don’t need to become a vegetarian, but I didn’t realize how many calories I consume in meat. Again, restaurant sized portions of meat are way too big!

4. Cut back on the carbs
I love me some pasta and bread! But they are full of carbs and calories. I need to think, “Is this worth it?” before I consume a bowl of pasta.

5. Go easy on the oil.
I use olive oil now instead of butter or other vegetable oils, but I need to watch how I use it because even olive oil is not calorie free.

6. Don’t drink my calories
Water, water, water. A glass of red wine is just as bad as a can of coke as far as calories go, however, the glass of red wine has one tenth the carbs of the coke. A pint of Guinness has half again as many calories as the coke, but less than half the carbs. *sigh*

7. Shop in the outside aisles
I’ve done this for a long time, but this just confirms that avoiding processed and frozen foods are the best ways to lose weight. If I cook it myself, I use less salt, less sugar, less everything! And I burn about 50 calories if I spend 20 minutes preparing my meal.

8. Plan for dessert
It used to be that cakes and cookies and chips were a treat, savored at special occasions. But over the years, these things were added to the daily diet. It is okay to have dessert once in a while, but not with every meal, and the portions in restaurants are meant for sharing.

9. Think before eating
Before I consume something, I need to ask myself, “Will eating this be worth burning off the calories?” I spend so much time doing mindless eating. Snacking while watching tv or sitting at my desk. Both activities where I’m not burning any extra calories. Consider the consequences.

10. Remember the goal
I’ll be healthier and happier when I reach my goal, but just reaching the goal isn’t the end. I need to maintain my weight once I reach my target. I need to realize that this is a lifestyle change.

And on that note, it is time to do a workout video!

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