Many people eat too much and spend little time doing any physical activity. This is the reason why nearly 2/3 of the world population is overweight or obese. Simple things like eating low-calorie meals or skipping 1–2 high-calorie foods/drinks a day, and training our mind to eat the right portions and moving a bit more than usual can be a good way cut down calories and start our journey towards a healthy lifestyle because “every number you cut down counts”.
COVID has made clear that being healthy boosts the immune system, thus reducing the chance to join the very crowded hospitals. But what “being healthy” truly means? In the end, all come down to understanding the “Energy Balance”: “whatever comes IN (calorie intake (foods and drinks)), must come OUT (body activity)”.
Here are some easy tips to start cutting down on your daily calorie intake which will eventually help you to reach the so-called Ideal Weight.
Cutting down calories from foods and drinks
Eating fewer calories does not necessarily mean you will need to eat less. Low-calorie foods typically contain a lot of water and are fiber-enriched. Start by identifying those high-calorie foods that you usually eat and that you could easily cut out.
Switching to low-calorie foods
Simple meal substitutions can make a huge difference. For example, eating some fresh veggies instead of a slice of pizza could save you 260 calories approx., or drinking water instead of beer during lunchtime could save you approx. 180 calories.
Half the portion size means half the number of calories you are consuming. For example, cutting down your big slice of pizza by half, and reducing by half your glass of orange juice could reduce approx. 405 calories at one single shot.
Skipping part of meals
While skipping whole meals might not be recommended, skipping only parts of them is not only healthier by also more effective. For example, during hot summers, skip the ice cream (285 calories) you use to have as dessert every day.
Ideally, our daily calorie cut down in meals could be complemented with an increase in daily activity. In other words, we could help to could cut down or burn more calories from our daily intake by moving our buts a bit more than usual.
You could try calisthenics as it is easy to do and does not require any equipment, which makes it perfect from home.
If you are a gym person then go ahead and register if you are not yet a member. You may have plenty of choices near your home. If further away, perhaps this a great opportunity for you to start running or walking fast not to be late to your aerobic class.
Try to find creative ways to get more activity daily. For example, you could take a walk from home to your office, or wear a headset and walk at a pace while being on conference calls. Standing up double the number of calories burnt compared to sitting. You could also read the newspaper or reply to your phone emails while standing up. You could try to talk directly to your coworkers instead of sending emails, or take the stairs not the elevator, or get up from your desk and stretching your legs and body every 1–2 hours, or answering e-mails while peddling away on a static bike, or reading or dictating business proposals or briefs while you are busting it on a treadmill. Being such creative will certainly pay you back! Though this might not be a total substitute for a regular workout, surely every cut down on calorie numbers is better than nothing at all.
Carrying on business conversations with your boss or colleagues while taking a walk, or brisk walking yourself while thinking how to solve an office issue is not only refreshing and problem-solving but at the same time very healthy. You could even send an invitation to any of your coworkers to join you for a brainstorming meeting around your office.
--> Every number counts - Part 2 <-- (coming soon)