Want to lose weight? Burn bad habits, not excess calories!

By Briana Boehmer

MYTH:  Burning an extra 100 calories a day, multiplied by 365 days in the year means you have an extra 36,500 calories burned if everything else you do stays the same. This means about 10.5 lbs. a year! People hear that cutting 100 calories here and there is the fastest way to lose fat. Wrong!

FACT: There are a decent number of scientific studies that suggest small caloric changes have very little long-term effect on weight. BUT there is good news! Small changes, like adding in an extra walk a day, cutting out a soda, increasing your fiber consumption, or watching less T.V. can create a snowball effect of sorts that eventually leads to long term behavior change.

What we do know is this:  whether the small extras definitively create weight loss or alter metabolism, they do have the potential to create lasting behavior change. Your extra walk turns into a run, your increased fiber consumption turns into cutting out large amounts of sugar.  The extra’s turn into a new lifestyle – and lifestyle change is what scientists and doctors (and 411Fit!) are after.

So, instead of five ways to burn 100 extra calories a day…how about 5 ways to instigate lasting behavior change for the long haul?  Give one a try and you may shed that extra 10 pounds after all!

  1. Fiber is the spice of life.  Fiber is actually a form of carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the body.  It will not just create a sensation of feeling full; it aids in digestion and has several meaningful health benefits including increased heart health.  SO, spice up your diet with a little fiber!
  2. Add power to each hour.  Get up and move on the hour, every hour, during your normal workday.  Just a few minutes will do.  Walk around and do some light active exercises like squats or push-ups.  The movement will help prevent chronic pain and open up tight muscles.
  3. Don’t starve yourself.  Numerous studies have shown us that the fewer calories you consume, the fewer calories your body burns.  Your body is wired on survival, plain and simple.  Research has suggested that eating for your metabolism at regular intervals throughout the day (5-6 small meals) can help create an uptick in your metabolism and avoid causing a slowdown.
  4. Eat REAL food.  If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, chances are it’s not real.  The body is wired to digest REAL FOOD. Give it what it knows!
  5. Journal!  We see it in research, and we see it on 411Fit.  When you journal your food and exercise you are more likely to lose weight!  Knowledge IS power!

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