Surprisingly, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, average weight gain during the holidays is merely a pound, but don’t get too excited…the same study found that most people never lose that pesky pound and continue to pack them on each year throughout adulthood. Therefore, although most of us only gained 1 pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we probably have lingering weight from holidays past. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming. To put it into perspective, a 150 pound woman can lose 1 pound per week by trimming 500 calories each day through exercise, diet, or ideally, a combination of both. Here are some easy ways to cut calories without making major changes to your daily diet or routine:
Add intervals to your existing workout
Interval training mixes up the exertion levels of your workout, be it running, walking, or any other cardio exercise. For example, if you normally jog on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 6 MPH, you will burn more calories and rev up your metabolism more effectively if you run for the same amount of time at different speeds and/or varying inclines at intervals of 1-2 minutes. Studies show this type of training will burn 36% more fat per hour than continuous, moderate exercise.
Make your sandwich skinny
First of all, with approximately 10 fewer calories per slice and higher fiber content, wheat bread is always a smarter choice than white. You can also reduce the amount of bread in a burger or hotdog bun or bagel by simply ripping out excess bread from the inner, fluffier portion, saving approximately 25 calories (depending on type of bread and amount removed). Another option is an open-faced sandwich with only one piece of bread or cutting off crusts which sometimes contain extra calories from egg or butter brushed on the outside of the loaf for baking (20-30 calories cut). Or you can scrap the bread altogether and use large pieces of lettuce instead, creating a wrap and saving approximately 150 calories.
Take extra steps
Walking at a brisk pace (4 MPH) on a flat surface burns 340 calories per hour. If you walk more briskly, uphill, or with weights, which includes hand weights or other loads such as a backpack or a child, the calorie count rises. If you can commit to walking just half an hour more each day, you will burn almost 200 extra calories. A few ideas: walk the dog instead of letting him out the back door, skip the cab or subway and walk instead, or park at a distant parking lot when you go the mall.
Smarter spreads and salads
Mayonnaise and other spreads and dressings add hundreds of calories to sandwiches and salads. A healthier alternative is Hellman’s Dijonnaise which offers the creaminess of mayonnaise with the tang of mustard at only 15 calories per tablespoon. Hummus, although normally used for dipping, can also be a delicious and nutritious spread on sandwiches, only adding about 20 calories per tablespoon. As for dressing, Wishbone offers an array of salad spritzers with only 1 calorie per spray.
Share your ideas
Please feel free to share your own easy resolution ideas in the comments box or email me at email@example.com. Look out for more easy resolution ideas in part 2 of this article early next week. If you liked this article and would like to receive email alerts in the future, just click the subscribe button at the top of the page.