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Check Your Calories, Not Your Weight

This article was written by Paige Corley, Program Director for The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, the sponsors of our Biggest Loser newsletter.

The other day I was running the path through Snow Canyon State Park – it’s an eight mile round trip run, which is a definite challenge for me – and I noticed during the first mile that I kept checking my watch to see how much time had passed. I don’t mean I was checking my watch every mile, I mean I was checking my watch every minute!

After a little bit of this I started saying to myself, “why do I keep checking the time? I’m running as fast as I can.” This got me thinking… It’s silly for me to keep checking the time when no matter how long it takes me I am going to run these eight miles. What I needed to be doing was monitoring my heart rate because that is ultimately what will keep me from continuing on my running journey (I have found that if I get my heart rate above a certain number for more than a couple of minutes I am toast!).  So, at that point I decided that the next time I did this run I was not going to check the time, but would monitor my heart rate instead.

This got me thinking even more about folks who decide to start a healthy lifestyle with the hopes of losing weight. Oftentimes they find themselves continuously stepping on the scale. Sometime people step on the scale more than once a week; sometimes more than once a day! And it occurred to me that stepping on the scale is like checking the time – If you do indeed decide to live a healthy lifestyle, reducing your caloric intake while increasing your activity and getting good sleep, then you will lose weight.

It will happen. It might not happen as fast or in the way you want it to, but without fail, if you burn more calories than you take in you will lose weight. The things you should be monitoring are your caloric intake (folks often grossly underestimate the amount of calories that they take in), and your activity levels (this not only means exercise, but living an active lifestyle, such as taking the stairs, parking far from an entrance, playing with your kids, etc.). If these things are off, then your results will be too.

June 1st, 2010

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