You Can’t See Me

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese?

As human beings we don’t literally stick our heads in the sand but we do have a tendency to do it metaphorically; it’s in our nature to mentally side step those things that we don’t really want to think about and avoid doing those things that we don’t want to do. Unfortunately, the media (both social and mainstream) seems to have encouraged this trait to a point where the responsibility for our actions always lays with someone or something else. How many times do we see “the Government should…..” or “the police should” or “teachers should”? This is a great example of that kind of buck passing; people are eating far too much unhealthy food but they ‘have been tricked into it’!

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese? Perhaps there’s some sort of magic afoot which makes a double burger with fries, extra bacon and cheese look like a healthy salad??  No? Then maybe it’s just the case that we’re all well aware when we’re eating too much unhealthy food but we just stick our heads in the sand until something happens to make us realise that we haven’t made the best choices.

There’s nothing wrong with eating what you want to eat as long as you are happy with the consequences and are prepared to take responsibility for them. If you make your choices consciously then what’s the problem…..

This is a really useful site to help you work out how many calories you should be eating every day, how many you eat to lose weight and how many to gain weight; there are too many factors to consider for it to be 100% accurate but it will certainly give you are really excellent idea. Let’s say you’re a 50 year old woman, 5ft 6 tall, you weigh 160llbs and you do little or no exercise – your calorie intake to maintain your weight will be around 1635 per day, if you eat 1000 calories per day more than this you will gain around 2llb per week.

Cornflakes, toast and butter, orange juice   And black coffee: About 430 calories

Tuna Mayonnaise baguette: Around 520 cals

1/4lb burger with cheese and fries:  Around 800 calories

So that’s it, your 1635 calories blown totally out of the water with fairly average breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course that’s without any drinks and snacks:

Chocolate bar = around 200 calories

A glass of wine = about 125 calories

Cappuccino = another 120+ calories

And there you go, if you have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and a couple of glasses of wine at night your calorie intake has topped 2500 and, if you don’t do any exercise you could find yourself putting on up to 2llb per week or 100llb in a year; that’s 7 stone.

There are some great sites on the internet that will tell you how many calories you’re eating and others that will tell you how many calories you burn when you exercise so there’s really no excuse not to lose weight if you want to. If you don’t want to that’s fine as long as you are aware that your lifestyle means that you will probably continue to gain. It’s really up to you; no-one else should be able to tell you how to live your life, as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters. This is just to give you some awareness and insight so that, if you decide to make some changes, you can do it a little more easily.

It’s Just A Matter of In and Out

There is no magic formula

“After a lifetime of losing and gaining weight, I get it. No matter how you slice it, weight loss comes down to the simple formula of calories in, calories out”. Valerie Bertinelli

There is no magic formula; if we want to lose weight, we need to think about calories, the fuel for our body if you like, and how many we should be eating on a daily basis. There is no exact answer as it depends on our build, our age (we need less as we get older) and how active we are but, for a rough guide, it’s about 2500 per day for men and about 2000 for women. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you eat but, in order to do this, you need to know how many calories you’re taking in and how many you’re burning off.

The 200 calories in a small bar of chocolate will take about an hour to burn off if you are walking at normal pace of around 3 miles per hour. The same applies for a couple of slices of toast and butter or two large scrambled eggs or a salad (no dressing) with grilled chicken.

If you fancy a pizza and eat your way through the whole thing you will have consumed around 850 calories – to burn this off you will need to ride a bike at around 16-20 miles per hour for a whole hour. The same applies if you have a burger and fries, take away fish and chips or a korma curry. If you decide to have a pint of beer with dinner you can add another 200 calories!

So you can see that, if you don’t do any exercise to burn off all these calories, they can add up very quickly indeed. If you have fast food for dinner and opt for a take away curry and rice, with a couple of pints of beer followed by a bowl of chocolate ice-cream you could easily get through 1500 calories if not more; if you’re a woman, that doesn’t leave very many for the rest of the day.

If you decide that you want a healthier life and to lose a bit of weight spend some time working out how much sugar you have in your diet (don’t forget tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol) then work out how many calories you eat in a day. If the sugar is more than 25g (around 6 teaspoons) and your calorie intake is more than 2500 on an average day then think about changing something. You don’t have to live on lettuce leaves and water but maybe making different choices could change how you feel about your body. Add to that 30 minutes of fast walking a day and you’ll be surprised at the results.