Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taking the Steps to Lose Weight

One of the greatest steps anyone can take in the journey to weight loss is to incorporate habits into your lifestyle that burn more calories or lead you to consume fewer calories. Examples include keeping a food diary, going for a morning walk, planning your meals ahead of time, carrying healthy snacks with you, or taking the stairs whenever possible.

Let's look at taking the stairs: Are there stairs where you work or where you live? Do you usually opt for the elevator if there is one? Skipping the opportunity to run up a few stairs could be the reason you gradually put on two or three pounds each year!  Not noticable at first, these few pounds creep up until suddenly you can't fit into your clothes and wonder how this could have happened.

Taking one flight of stairs barely burns 10 calories. Realistically, going down 10 steps might just burn one single calorie.  However that is one more than you burn by taking the elevator ... and if you're doing it every day, these calories add up!

If you take a flight of stairs every chance you get, how many flights would you climb in a day? If it's too overwhelming to walk 15 flights to your destination you could you walk up 5 flights and then take the elevator the rest of the way!  Does this sound more appealing knowing it burns off 5 pounds a year?!

If this seems too insignificant to notice, think again: This is just one example of 5 flights of steps.  Review all the opportunities facing you each day, as you step up a flight to a friend's apartment, up to the next floor of offices at work, up to a doctor's appointment in the medical building, or up to the shoe section in the department store.

Every flight each day adds up to one pound a year you could lose: Five flights = five pounds; ten flights = ten pounds.... how would you feel next year at this time if you were ten pounds lighter and all you had to do was take the stairs?

Try starting a log for yourself: give yourself one "point" for each flight you take.  Watch how quickly you get used to taking more and more flights without being short of breath. Soon it becomes habit. Next year you're in a smaller pants size, voila!