Keeping Lyons Fit!
by Mary Chase
The statistics are staggering. Thirty-three to fifty percent of American Adults are obese. What is also alarming is the rate at which we are becoming more obese. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that roughlythirty percent of our adult population in the United States was obese. Now they believe that statistic is closer to fifty percent, half of our population. The effects of obesity are drastic, however so are the causes of being overweight. Exercise is an excellent way to “battle the bulge.” Equally important is what you eat every day.
Did you know that one pound of weight is equal to approximately 3500 calories? Yes that’s right, just to lose one pound. However how does exercise and food consumption break down into calories? Well here is just what you are looking for. An adult male should eat somewhere around 2000-2500 calories a day to maintain a healthy body weight. A woman should eat approximately 1600-2000 calories a day. Go online to use a calorie counter calculator in order to figure out exactly what your caloric intake should be. I recommend “My Fitness Pal” for an accurate database for counting as well as tracking of calories consumed, as well as expended. Your caloric intake can be affected by several factors, including but not limited to, how active you are, your body size, age, and gender.
Now about what you eat. You can’t open a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing it. Americans eat too much. Way too much. So instead of hearing the same lecture again, how about if we talk about how many calories are in some of our favorite guilty pleasures. A can of Coke has 207 calories, a Big Mac with Cheese at McDonalds has 900 calories. A 3.5 oz glass of wine has about 80 calories. Now on the flip side 18 carrots have only 30 calories. See how important the food choices we make are?
What about expending calories? Most are shocked at the amount of time it will take to burn off those calories. A 150 lbs. person will burn 170 calories in an hour walking at a 2 mph pace. If you ride your bike sixteen miles in an hour, which is quick, you will burn about 45-50 calories a mile. If you run a twelve minute mile, you will burn about 100 calories a mile. Strength training can burn about 100 calories in an intense half an hour session.
So I urge you. Do the math. Make sure that the calories you are consuming are offsetting the calories you are burning during your physical activity. Find out what your caloric goals should be, based on your goals and current body mass. I urge clients to track their caloric consumption on weekdays as well as weekends, as we all know our habits change during those different days. I guarantee it will be an enlightening experience and may even make you think next time before you open up.