Why do those pounds hide in the closet and come out at night to sneak back on your body?
I know it can’t be the five nights in a row that I had ice cream and brownies. Or the two weeks of frigid temperatures in my normally sunny state of Arkansas. It might have been the cravings for comfort food on those cold winter nights or the hearty breakfasts in the morning. Yes, our frozen hills did keep me indoors and off my exercise routine. Well, maybe it wasn’t five nights, but it was two at least. I’m amazed at how quickly the pounds can suck back onto my body, as if I had a giant shop vac inhaling all the nutrients and their attendant pounds directly to my hips and thighs.
When we lose weight, our bodies don’t need as many calories to survive. For some reason, that loss tricks the body into thinking it’s in a survival mode, so our brain tells us to move less to conserve energy. This further reduces our calorie burn. Think couch potato snacking while channel surfing.
When you most feel like sitting, this is the time to get up and walk around. It will feel counterintuitive, but it’s the best thing to do. Even walking around your home for three minutes at a time is a weight bearing exercise. It will burn more calories than just sitting still. If you do this every 15 minutes, you get 9 minutes of exercise per hour. That could add up to over an hour per day. This exercise can help defeat your desire to eat extra calories also. Drink a glass of water or decaf tea to help fill your stomach. If you need to get up in an hour to relieve your bladder, you are walking! That’s a good thing. Go to the back bathroom, if you have more than one in your home.
Weight lifting is an important way to build muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and it’s trimmer looking too. You don’t need a gym for this. A lady’s purse may weigh up to 5 pounds or more. Pick this up as “bicep curls” 12 times per arm each hour. This will tone that arm. You can find heavier weights in the kitchen: gallon of milk, 8.6 lbs or gallon of water, 8.3 lbs. if you need to start smaller, a one pound bag of beans is a good start. Look for a weight that you can lift with good form, control the movement, and repeat for the entire number of repetitions. The final one or two moves should be a slight strain. Rest in between sets. Slow and controlled is better than fast and ragged. Remember to breathe!