Monday, March 17, 2008

Calorie Burning Chart

I just found this cool website that allows you to enter your current weight along with the amount of time you choose to enter, such as 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc. and it will give you a chart listing all kinds of activities and the calories you are burning for each, based on your weight. I can't tell you how accurate it might be, but it lets you have a good idea of what you do in 24 hour period and how many calories you are burning each day. Then all you have to do is calculate how many calories you are eating each day and see if you are burning more or eating more.

Here is another calculator but it doesn't have as many activities listed. On the other hand, it has other health calculators you might be interested in.

It always takes more mental effort than physical effort for me to lose weight. I suppose it is that way for most of us who are battling with being overweight. A big portion of my problem with weight gain has been the gradual decrease in physical activity over the years. The other part of the problem is obviously that I eat too much for the amount of calories I burn. Now that I am in the state of health that has so restricted my physical activities, I have to do whatever I can to increase my activity level without overdoing it and making myself sick. The challenge has become more than it ever was in the past. That is where the mental effort has to come into the equation. I have to really want to work at this. Always in the past I have had to get "psyched up" to succeed at weight loss. I had to work myself into a mindset that eating right and getting more exercise was what I really wanted to do. Then I usually would attack that project wholeheartedly and have some good success. Eventually, however, I would gradually slip back into the old habits. As all of us who are victims of the yo-yo syndrome of dieting, we lost weight, then gained it back plus more...then lost weight again and gained it back again plus another bonus pack of pounds. I have yo-yo'd all the way up to my current weight and current health and now, after deliberately working on the mental attitude for the past few months along with getting to the place where I have felt good enough to think about all of this to begin with, I am ready to begin. Little things have been changing here and there including appetite changes and changes in what I even want to eat. For instance, I am buying and cooking a lot more chicken and fish and a lot less beef or pork. For one thing, I have figured out over the past few years that certain cuts of pork are actually addictive for me. I know if I buy those I will be in trouble when it comes time to cook and eat them. So, I rarely even buy them anymore. I don't cut them out all together, because then I start craving them and end up buying too much and ultimately cooking and eating too much. But if I buy in moderation, I don't have it to cook so it isn't a problem. There are other foods that can cause me the same problems, so I have learned to not buy those either. Most of those require some preparation to get to the dish that is addictive, so even if I buy the food, I stay away from making the addictive recipe. Mashed potatoes is one of those. In fact, where I used to think I had to have some kind of potato dish for every evening meal, I might only have potatoes once or twice a month now. Some of that was planned, and some of it was circumstantial. It is simple. What I don't buy, I don't eat. I don't feel well enough most of the time to make a run to the store for something I might be craving, so I have been learning how to deal with those cravings.
Basically, I am at a sort of ideal place in my routines and life to start this weight loss project. As long as I can stock up on the healthy foods, and the easy recipes, I shouldn't have much of a problem. There are times I eat only vegetables and fruits and when I do that for any length of time, I feel much better. I can tell the difference if I go back to eating heavier foods. And I can really tell the difference when I end up eating fast foods or too much pizza. I know there are easy, low calorie ways to get that pizza flavor without having the high fat-high calorie pie. Sometimes all it takes is a nice salad with some tomatoes, pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella cheese on it. In fact, another good thing about having been feeling so bad for such a long time, I find it much easier to be satisfied with just a little amount of food rather than going back for seconds. So now I want to try to find out what I can really be comfortable with rather than thinking I have to be stuffed to feel full. That was all I knew growing up so that is what I carried into adulthood and all through my life. From my viewpoint, when I watch someone take the small servings and then be satisfied with that, I have to stop thinking about that as just an appetizer. Now I can be satisfied with a snack size portion or appetizer as long as it isn't one of those addictive foods I have learned to stay away from.
Another part of that mental attitude is working on the self discipline that it takes to stick to the program, especially increasing the physical activity. Right now that part has to be kept at a delicate balance because doing too much can set me into another atrial fibrillation episode. Then I don't want to do much of anything because that just zaps all my energy. Right now, when I am feeling good, I have a lot of pent up mental energy. There are many times I think I can just get up and go do something I used to do only to get up and be smacked by the arthritis pain or the shortness of breath. That shortness of breath is going to be one of the next topics of discussion with the doctor next month. Since finding out that I can't yet get off the "water pills" because the fluid built up again and took my breath away there for a day or two, I am going to ask if there is something different we can do to get more of the excess fluids off. I have always held excess fluids but not to this extent.
This brings me to another thing I have done in my eating. I have cut out all added salt. I used to keep a little salt shaker handy to add salt to everything I cooked. I never put much salt in the foods I cook so those who don't love salt like I do don't have to eat it. Well, I found out I was addicted to salt. The interesting thing about that was that I wasn't addicted to the food with salt...I was addicted to the salt with the food. That means that certain foods made salt taste really good...not that salt made certain foods taste really good. Does that make sense to you? That started my salt reduction, and the health issues continued the salt reduction. Now I probably put even less salt in the things I cook. I haven't seen that salt shaker in months and months. If I can get my plate away from the stove before adding salt, no salt gets added because I am not going to choose salt over keeping my knee from pain. I think I used to buy new salt about every couple of months...I only buy it once or twice a year now. Amazing, huh?
Okay, now that I have written another booklet here tonight, let me close by saying that I am not rushing through any weight loss plan like in the past. This time it will take some time. Baby steps. That is all it is going to be for awhile. And no reprimanding myself for falling here or there along the way. That is another thing I have learned over the years...falling is not failing unless you don't get back up and keep going. It really isn't about the destination, but it is about the journey getting there. My life journey has been and will continue to be an adventure.

No comments: