Keeping Lyons Fit!
By Mary Chase, owner of Lyons Fitness Center
If you are like me, you are at that point in the summer when you realize the hot days and vacation time make you open a beer a little quicker, or eat a couple more chips at the barbeque. So maybe before any more calories are consumed we can examine how you can be conscious day to day about your calorie consumption.
First off, I believe tracking your caloric intake is a good idea. I don’t think it matters if you are trying
to lose weight or not; a “calorie check in” every so often is a good idea. I’ve found that most people don’t know until tracking calories where they are spending the majority of their daily calorie consumption. Additionally, until tracking caloric expenditure many people are also unaware of how many calories they expend during their active pursuits. For example did you know a half an hour of weight lifting only burns about one hundred calories.
Recently a trainer friend of mine suggested a great idea. Since the problem for many Americans is we consume too many calories, and don’t burn enough calories, maybe we should try this idea when tracking the calories. Accurately track the food you consume, and for exercise cut the calories you burn in half. A single pound of weight loss equals about 3500 calories; so you will get to that end goal faster if you only give your self half the credit, or rather do double the work.
So how do you track calories? Technology and smart phones have done wonders for being able to tracking calories with ease. There are so many apps out there that can assist you. One of my favorites is My Fitness Pal. Calorie King is also good. I like these because they have really good databases with just about any food you could imagine in them. My Fitness Pal has a scanner on it so you can scan barcodes and it will find the food in the database. Also it will give you a summary of your daily consumption, not just limited to calories, but also what your intake of iron, vitamin C, sugar, carbs, etc. This is very helpful to look at to see where your current diet is doing well, or maybe falling short in a nutritional sense.
The best part is this app is free, and will walk you through your current weight, activity level, goals, and create an accurate daily caloric expenditure based on how much weight you would like to lose, and at what pace. As I mentioned previously, even if weight loss isn’t your goal this is a good way to check in and see how your nutritional choices are stacking up.
So before you take another drink or bite of your favorite food, check in with what you are putting in your body. Those calories will determine how efficiently and well your body runs for today and a long time to come.