Count That Carrot: A Better Way To Lose Weight!

Learn the benefits from calorie counting, the basics of dieting and how proper diet and exercise can pay off in the long run!
Of all the vices known to man, losing weight is perhaps the most difficult to manage. After all, food can't be avoided. We must eat to live, but like the old clich?' some live to eat. With the onset of the 21st Century comes the promise of thinner thighs, rock-hard abs and vanishing bat-wings with superheroes named Olestra, aspartame, and saccharine.

Just about everybody's heard all the latest gimmicks from the 'snake-oil salesmen of the lose-weight-fast world'. Lose weight while you sleep. Lose 100 pounds in 10 days. New miracle drug. Mega metabolism booster. Eat all you want and still lose weight. Eat yourself thin. I feel thinner just reading this; skeletal even. And "Mega" could be a viable candidate for the next Spielberg dinosaur sequel.

However, by now we should have all realized that the quickest way to gain weight is to go on a diet. Sure, in the beginning you lose 10 pounds then the holidays roll around and you fall off the weight wagon. You not only gain the 10 pounds back but 5 to go with it. (Not everyone hates fruitcake.)

Then spring pops up and as we envision our bodies (still encased in their thermal fat layer from winter) being lodged into that summer thong of yesteryear, we make a massive effort to ditch the excess and fast. So, off comes 15 pounds just in time for summer grilling; then on goes 25 pounds. It's a vicious circle. So you may ask, "What's one to do?"

One plan of attack is to wise up on the number of calories contained in the foods we eat. One can count fat grams until the onset of world peace and yes, fat intake is vital to total nutrition. However, unless you are in England, a pound is a pound is a pound, which comes to about 3,500 calories.

If your normal calorie allotment is 2,000 calories per day and you take in 2,010 calories then the 10 calories will be stored as fat even if they are derived from an innocent carrot. Of course, you'd have to pig-out on that extra carrot calorie count for about a year before it becomes melted into your thighs, but just how innocent would that carrot be then?


Good Food Gone Bad

Most of us have heard about the 'good food gone bad' syndrome but it bears repeating. Garden salad. Sounds healthy and harmless doesn't it? But if you care to tank up that salad you may need to put away your abacus and drag out your calculator. Top those greens and tomatoes with grated cheese, low-calorie ranch dressing, croutons, bacon bits (imitation or real) and sliced eggs and the calories can really add up. And you don't even want to start frying things.

It's a solid guarantee that fried mushrooms will make one's body mushroom. That's why they made spandex. Black seems to be the most popular color.

Overall, it takes such a short time to consume everything we eat in a day. If one overeats they may spend the rest of the day on a wild guilt trip. If you think about it, those extra helpings and double-mayo sandwiches are just not worth it. We have so many things in life that we cannot control. Fortunately, our weight is something we do have the power to direct.


Exercise

What a nasty word. The New World definition might be as follows: "Sweat, grind, sweat, pump, sweat, run, sweat, puff, sweat, sweat."

In the happy golden days there was no need for ab-busting, thigh-pinching, arm-routing machines. Farmers plowed their fields (literally) and generally burned several thousand calories per day, depending on the amount of offspring one had. The more helpers, the less he burned. That aside, at quitting time they'd retreat to their humble abodes and spend the evening resting up, generally watching their clock set in the western sky as mom dolled out piles of lye soap from the cauldron adjacent to the back porch.

Technology has lunged us forward. Most of us have docile jobs with little activity but great stress. At quitting time we retreat to our humble abodes and spend the evening resting up, generally watching other people do massive activity via television through shows such as Survivor and Boot Camp, eating our 2-bag allotment of lowfat potato chips.

Do you ever notice that when they reduce the number of calories on a goody-item that we tend to eat more rather than reap the benefits intended? "Oh, it has half the calories so now I can eat twice as much. How ingenious! How wonderful!" Then five years later, "I just don't understand why I had that massive coronary. I eat so healthy, lowfat and lots of it."


If I'm Good Will I Live Longer?

When one ponders longevity many things go into play. Our bodies are a bit like a car; if you run it fast and hard and never change the oil, grease the axles or change the fluids you can just about bank that this car will face an early destination to the auto boneyard. The valves will clog (i.e. arteries), the tires will wear out (i.e. heart) and the engine will eventually freeze up (massive coronary).

So yes, if we pamper our bodies it's definitely worth the payoff. This translates into nutritious eating, vitamins, exercise and avoiding habitual substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

However, other things that influence our final outcome include genetics, mental stability, disease and stress levels (good or bad). Of these we have little control, but again technology is making tremendous strides. Toss in Mad Cow and StarLink corn and the formula gets a bit interesting.


Sum it up!

Summing it all up, the message is simple. Take time for yourself because you're worth it! You don't have to go ape with the calorie counting but it's a wonderful monitoring tool when you're watching your waistline.

And remember, modern technology is hard at work, trying to develop a magic pill that will cure all our ills, including the downsizing of our midsections.

Until then:

  • Determine your weight.
  • Determine how many calories per day you need to maintain your weight.
  • Determine how many calories are burned throughout your choice of daily activities.
  • If you want to lose weight adjust your calorie-intake and activity level accordingly.
  • Eat healthy and take those vitamins.
  • Excess equals excess.
  • And last but not least, count that carrot!