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407 Upping the Routine 2011-05-31

Peeler Park Greenway, Nashville

I have trouble keeping the pounds off in the winter. Like a lot of folks, it is not uncommon for me to put on twenty pounds of extra weight, as if I were a bear needing to hibernate or something. Every year, I say, I am not going to gain weight again this year; but then before you know it, the Christmas holidays come and my loose pants seem tighter. By Valentine's Day my belt needs loosening and by Easter I begin to wonder about changing sizes. Finally, the warm weather of summer comes, and I once again need to loose weight. My weight gain and loss is almost a pattern. In the summer months, I am so active that I can eat all that I want and will still lose weight.

Now don't get me wrong, I stay active all winter by running most days and walking every day without exception. Despite my exercising the extra weight returns, because I still eat like I did in the summer. Though active in the winter, I do not exercise near as much as in the warmer months. Still, I continue eating like I did in the summer, the extra thousand calories each day when exercising more, finds a home on my body as fat in the winter.

So now, it is almost June, and I have upped my exercise again and decreased my eating. For weeks I have been hungry all of the time; but now, finally I am getting used to the diet. I am now trying to increase the workouts and yes, once again, my weight is dropping.

The theory of weight loss is really not that hard; just consume less than you burn and you lose weight. The problem is changing my routine and making the sacrifices in order to consume less and burn more.

A good article in the Tennessean today suggested keeping your body guessing by doing interval training so that you do not reach a plateau. A weight plateau is when your weight just seems to be stuck at a less than desirable number. Intervals keep upping the exercise ante without more spending more time exercising. If it works for you, then do it!

My favorite weight loss program is not really a diet or an exercise routine; instead I try to find that sweet spot where my normal calorie intake is about five percent less than the calories I burn each day. My weight slowly begins to drop and continues to drop until I begin to consume more calories than I burn. Interval training, dieting even more, or spending more hours exercising each day, will all help reverse the gain. If it seems like I have plateaued, then it is time to decrease the food or increase the exercise regime. If I am still gaining weight, sad but true, it is then time to diet even more and increase my exercise routine.

Now for the winter ... this year I will try once again to keep the weight off, the principles are the same as in the summer, but I just enjoy staying a bit too full during the cold months. In our cold house I feel like I might need a little extra just in case I need to hibernate!

Happy slimmer trails



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