By Mary Chase
So, here we are halfway through January. How are those lofty New Year’s resolutions going that you vowed to follow with a glass of bubbly in your hand? I’m sure you are aware how well or how off track those resolutions are; I don’t need to remind you. Instead how about we revisit the basics of what you should be doing every day; not just New Year’s Day.
So, first off calorie intake; if you are a woman you should be consuming between 1700 and 2000 calories each day. For men you should be consuming between 2200 to 2500 calories a day if you want to maintain your current weight. Now if you want to lose any weight, on average you should be cutting 300 to 500 calories a day out of your diet. One pound of weight loss is approximately 3500 calories; so keep that in mind if your goal is weight loss.
However, it’s not just the number of calories you eat, but also the kind of food those calories come from. Ideally you should be consuming about 45 to 75 percent carbohydrates; with as many whole grains and whole foods as possible. These will not only keep you satisfied longer so you have less desire to eat, but they are better for the proper functioning of your body, so you avoid insulin spikes that can make you tired and irritable. As for protein, this should be about 25 to 35 percent of your diet. This is a similar percentage for fats in your diet, which should be in the range of 20 to 35 percent of your daily intake. Finally there should be one to two servings a day of dairy, and sugar should only be part of your diet in a sparse manner. Unfortunately this is the element that derails many people from feeling good and losing weight. We are a society addicted to sugar, and the more we get the more we want. So monitor your sugar intake carefully.
Now that we’ve talked about eating, what about exercise? The surgeon general says you should get at least 30 minutes of rigorous cardiovascular exercise most days of the week (i.e. at least four). Additionally, one key element forgotten when weight loss is a goal is strength training; which actually burns more fat than its counterpart, cardiovascular exercise, and should be incorporated into your exercise regiment two to three times a week, with at least a days rest in between. The more calories you burn during exercise the closer you’ll get toward any weight loss goals you may have.
Finally take care of your mental wellness as well. I personally find exercise to be one of the most effective tools I have for keeping my mental sanity in check. It makes you more effective during your day, and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t want that. So get on track every day, with the resolve to live well in 2013.