Step 1: Reduce your calorie intake, just a little bit
Science tells us the body will eliminate a pound of weight by burning 3,500 calories. Though body composition can make the results differ from person to person, finding 3,500 calories to eliminate from things we consume regularly may be easier than you think. Want to lose 5 pounds during the year? Try cutting back just one soda per week (7,280 calories = 2.1 lbs per year); get the single cheeseburger (480 calories) once a month instead of the double (670 calories; at one burger per month, you’ll cut 2,280 calories or 0.6 lbs per year); and substitute fresh strawberries (45 calories) in place of two pieces of toast with butter (230 calories; at one serving per week, you’ll cut 9,620 calories or 2.7 lbs) once per the 3,500 mark will get you well on your way to weight loss.
“Substitutions and slight scale-backs are both great ways to reduce calories while still enjoying the foods we love,” said Mindy Crockett, RDN, CD, a dietitian who counsels patients at Utah Valley Hospital. “For many, it can be too difficult to completely eliminate the foods we love. Scaling back allows for our bodies to reduce our caloric intake while still enjoying our favorite foods.”
Step 2: Park farther and walk longer
If you’re like most people, scoring a close parking stall on your way into the office or sports event is cause for celebration. Consider challenging yourself by parking in the stall farthest from the entrance. A moderate walking pace for a mere five minutes can burn 30 calories. Plus, you’ll get your heart pumping and your joints and muscles moving.
Step 3: Find a workout partner who can hold you accountable
The 5:30 a.m. wake-up alarm can be brutal. And if you’re like some men, the snooze feature can be super enticing. Before you know it, you’ve snoozed for 45 minutes and kissed goodbye any opportunity for your morning workout. However, what if you had someone depending on you waiting in the gym lobby for you to show up? Adds a little pressure, doesn’t it? You don’t have to go it alone on your journey to a healthier you. Find a friend, a colleague or family member you can trust who can hold you accountable when you’re struggling to meet your goals. Set personal goals and identify with your friend ways to celebrate your successes together.
On this Father’s Day, take time to recommit to your family by focusing on your health. Doing so can have lasting, positive results.