Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You Cannot Exercise Yourself Thin

One of my goals for 2011 was to lose 10 pounds. I am happy to report that I am making great progress! I have lost 5 pounds and 1% body fat in about a week and half.

So what have I been doing? Calorie counting! It is truly amazing to see how quickly the pounds are melting away and how almost effortless it has been. The bottom line for me is I was obviously overeating. A lot of factors go into how your body gains and loses weight, age, metabolism, genetics, height, body-type. I've never been overweight but my weight has fluctuated from 127-147 over the past 15 years. I am 5 feet 8 1/2 inches and have a relatively small frame so that entire range is in the "healthy" category. Unfortunately for me all my weight goes to my middle section in an area I call the spare tire, belly fat, side fat, and back fat, not a pretty picture.

I calorie counted and lost a few pounds this summer so I had a baseline for how many calories I needed to consume to lose weight, in my case around 1800 calories. About 2000 calories is probably the amount I need to maintain my weight. I was likely consuming 2200-2500 calories per day to pack on an extra 7 pounds over the last 6 months.

I'll also tell you I haven't exercised much over the past week and half. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill once, took a couple walks, less than normal due to the frigid cold. I firmly believe exercise is not the key to weight loss, yes it is important but not the key. While I gained 8 pounds the past 6 months I was training for a 10K and running 3 times per week, about 10-15 miles per week. Obviously the exercise was not keeping me thin.

I guess the real question is can calorie counting be maintained long term? I think the answer is no. Hopefully the lessons about portions and purposefully thinking about everything going in my mouth can stay with me and I can maintain a healthy weight long after the calorie counting app on my phone has been turned off.

2011 is off to a great start!

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