In the last post I recommended Better than Before, a book about habits. The advantage of a habit is that it requires no thought or decision-making; you just do it automatically, such as brushing your teeth and hair.
The people who get the best results and who achieve their fitness goals soonest are those who make exercise a habit. They say, “I walk 20 minutes at lunch time and 30 minutes after dinner. Strength training is Mondays and Wednesdays. Water aerobics Tuesdays. Yoga Friday.” They have a regular routine and just do it.
I’d like to recommend an excellent book about habits: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin.
It’s a highly readable book chronicling the author’s exploration as to why habits are useful, how to create habits, how we sabotage our efforts, and how the strategies differ for different personality types.
There’s nothing ground-breaking here, but it’s an excellent summary of research you may have read previously, presented all in one place, in an easy-to-read style. You will doubtless pick up a tip or two that you hadn't considered---and wonder how you could have overlooked such a simple technique.
The book's content applies to all habits: cleaning your office, managing your work day, eating, and, of course, exercise.
My only caveat: the author is a no-carbs fanatic. She doesn’t discriminate between simple ("bad") carbs, like cookies and complex ("good") carbs, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So ignore that part and enjoy the rest.
3500 kcal = 1 lb ???
I was taught this formula at many workshops and in numerous publications. You probably have seen it, too.
For nearly 60 years, we were taught, through more than 35,000 textbooks, that to lose a pound of fat you needed to create a deficit of 3500 calories, through a combination of diet and exercise.
The diet and exercise part is still true, and it's still mostly diet that affects weight loss or gain. But that "magic" number of 3500 calories? No, it's not that straightforward. The number of calories in a pound of adipose tissue can range from 4000-9000 calories, depending on the contents (fat, cholesterol, triglicerides, water, and some other stuff) in a person's adipose tissue.
How did the number come about? An oversimplification of the science. If you want to read the geeky details, ask in the comments section and I'll provide references.
If you've been following the 3500-calorie rule and it hasn't worked for you, it's not your fault! You may need to take in fewer (and/or burn more) calories than 3500 to lose a pound.
So, how do you reach a healthy weight?
Use these tools:
Hint: The supertracker works better on desktop or laptop computers than on mobile devices, including tablets.
"People are not fat because they exercise too little. They are fat because they eat too much."
World Health Organization, 2012.
These reasons are all supported by research.
5. Better job performance
4. Workplace happiness
3. More brain power
2. Creative stimulation
1. Better paycheck: studies show those who exercise regularly earn 6-10% more and those who exercise the most, earn the most
Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor since 1998.