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Friday, November 18, 2011

"Point shaving" is probably the ultimate taboo in sports, admittedly.  It is, perhaps, the key to losing those pounds, though!  I'm referring to those unnoticed calories that we end up with at the end of the day.  Losing weight can be a less-than-fun process, for sure, but you can do things that will help.  When you get to the bottom line, you have to burn more food than you take in.   That's the magic equation.  It works better, for most people in the long term, if you start gradually.  Crash diets will result in weight loss, but they're simply not sustainable, and are generally a road to ultimate failure.  First, make an HONEST assessment of what you are eating most days.  Keep a log of everything you eat for a few days, without trying to cut it down.  There is plenty of time for that.  Once you know what you eat, you can take a rational, gradual approach to easing off on the food intake, without depriving yourself, walking around hungry, and then giving up and going on an eating binge.   I use the Calorie Count tool at the link on the right of this page.  It will allow you to keep a daily count of what you took in.  After you have kept track of things for a few days, start the process of cutting down.  If you simply back off on some of the intake, you begin to "shave" calories from your daily intake.  Cut down the amount of sugar in your coffee, use lighter salad dressing, or cut down the amount by 1/3 or so.  If you stop on the way to work to get the big Caramel Frapawhatever from your local coffee place, get the smaller size, or drink half or 3/4 of it and throw the rest away.   Eat a LITTLE less of that office birthday cake, or a smaller piece.  Now it's important to keep track of the calories that you SKIPPED.  Make yourself a log of those, and total it up at the end of a week.  Only those things that you intentionally cut down.  Add up those calories.  Keep that total.  You can keep your ongoing food log as well, and you may see that your overall caloric intake is on the decline, but for motivational purposes, keep that "Log of Shaved Calories".  A pound of fat is equal to about 3500 calories.  If you shave that many off in a couple of weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll lose a pound, but it is a pound's worth that you would otherwise be packing onto your waist or hips.  Keep it gradual, but keep track, and you'll see the weight gain trend begin to reverse itself.  This is a long-haul process.  Don't be in a hurry.

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