Shedding the Holiday Excess

Monday January 14, 2013

With the holiday season wrapping up and no doubt a few extra pounds to shed, it is time to get back into the swing of things and increase your metabolism. Remember this: it is much easier to not eat the peppermint bark than to burn it off. Think of all of those times you’ve walked on the treadmill for thirty minutes only to find that you burned about 100 calories! Consider this, a tall (that’s the 12 ounce) Pumpkin Spice Latte with no whipped cream and soy milk is 230 calories. Imagine the calories in a grande with regular milk! So let’s get down to business; it takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound, and the order in which you exercise is important. To burn fat, you must first get through the glucose (sugar) stored in your muscles. Try lifting weights (an anaerobic activity) before doing your cardio­vascular work (an aerobic activity) because anaerobic exercise uses sugar as fuel. Lifting weights for 20-30 minutes prior to your group fitness class will allow you to spend all of your class time burning fat. Compare that to coming in and jumping on a treadmill for 30 minutes where you might have 10 minutes of fat burning at best and it is an eye opener! A spin class alone will allow you to burn up to 650 calories in an hour and all 650 of those calories could be fat calories if you just lift a little first! Let’s break the 3500 calories down into working, reasonable numbers. In order to lose one pound a week, aim at eliminating 500 calories a day for 7 days. Think about burning 250 calories with some form of exercise (how about trying a stationary bike or a group exercise class?) and eliminating 250 calories per day from your diet. I have an idea—don’t drink the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Try a flavored brew with fat free half and half or skim milk instead. Doesn’t sound so bad now does it? Stick to this program and you’ll see those holiday pounds melt away in a matter of weeks!