A while back I got inspired and found an elliptical training machine to work out on. The digital display on the machine has a calorie-burn counter.
I started jogging slowly and worked my way up. The first day I was huffing and puffing with about 6 minutes of working out. Fine. I wasn’t going to push it. Within 30 days I could work out for 30-45 minutes. (It helps to read a book while working out on the elliptical. Time becomes secondary and 25-35 minutes blow by like it is nothing).
After about 30 minutes, I’d log my stats, including distance, time and calories. I would burn between 250-375 calories on an average workout, not bad I thought. I do lose weight, feel better and shape up when I do the machine consistently,
Later in the day, I had a craving for a cookie. In our house, we generally have natural/organic/healthy snacks. So I quickly downed a few cookies. Took me, let’s say, less than a minute. When I looked at the nutritional facts on the label I did a double-take: the two cookies I devoured in a nano-second contained as many calories as I sweated out in 35 minutes on the elliptical!
I scanned all of the times I sat down while watching TV, consuming a half of pack of these bad-boys! Wow, I’d be on that machine for two days to make up the difference! A definite apathy can set in, wondering why I even set out to work out at all…. which tends to take whatever wind out of the sails that is left to continue.
The good news is that the whole game is to slowly change your metabolism, not “count calories”.
Your body is essentially a furnace. When you tune your metabolism you are causing your furnace to become more effective at burning calories.
Higher metabolism = Higher calorie “burn”.
A calorie, by the way, is a measurement of heat. 300 calories is roughly one BTU, (a BTU is a common measurement of heat. We have a 96,000 BTU furnace at our house, for example).
Just keep it simple to increase your metabolism:
- Do activities to INCREASE the efficiency of your body, thus increasing your Metabolism. This can be anything from walking, working out, taking the stairs, etc. The more you do the better you will feel.
- Cut out the 200-calorie-per-hit garbage foods or do all you can to limit these.
- Add more protein and fruits to your diet. These are “higher-octane” foods and keep the furnace running at a more efficient pace.
- Eat every 2-3 hours. Smaller meals. Keep blood sugar higher.
- Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin C are all important for your metabolism.
Best to you and your family in all your health endeavors!