What is Steff-stainability?

Living sustainably, my way. It's thinking about what you are putting into your body and how it affects you. But it's also indulging in a brownie cheesecake every now and then. It's making your body look the way you want it to and being proud of it. But it's not spending half of the day working out. It's about making small changes in your life to benefit the great earth on which we live. But it's also running your A/C in the summer and driving your car. It's about setting goals and living up to them. It's trying to make the world a better place. And as I am ever-learning and ever-changing, so is this definition.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lose as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time, all while reducing your risk of heart disease and feeling better about yourself!

Sounds too good to be true, right?

In this day and age, everyone is looking for that "silver bullet." That magic pill that will make you skinny and let you eat whatever you want. People are always looking for advice on how to burn the most amount of calories possible in the shortest amount of time, and they do silly things like cutting carbs out of their diet, consuming only liquids, or not eating fruits and vegetables. Really?!

Well, I have the answer for you. The fail-proof method to "be healthy." Ready?

150 minutes of cardio per week. 2-3 days of weight training per week. Eat 500 less calories per day than your body needs. And BOOM. You lose 1 pound per week.

This is literally all you need to do. I went to a fitness summit hosted by American College of Sports Medicine a few weeks ago, and what I learned is that people are always looking for little shortcuts to get an edge on their weight loss. "What kind of supplements should I take?" "Do those shaper shoes really work?" "Should I eat before or after exercising to burn the most calories?" "Should I do cardio or weight training first?" And the answer is: It REALLY doesn't matter in the long run.

Supplements really aren't sustainable because they cost lots of money. So you start using them, get used to working out with them, and then you realize you can't afford them anymore. And then you're back to square one.

There is no study that proves that shaper shoes really do tone your legs and butt, nor is there a study that proves they burn more calories. As it was put by a podiatrist at the summit, the only thing I can think of is that they burn more calories because they are REALLY heavy shoes.

Exercising before eating does, in fact, burn more calories. However, if you exercise before you eat, you won't have the energy stored up to use while exercising. Therefore, you can't work out as hard or as long, and it ends up evening out in the long run. A nutritionist at the summit actually recommended a small amount of Saltine crackers and Gatorade before a workout because of their ability to break down quickly and be used for energy.

Doing weight training before cardio, in theory, will use all your energy you have ready, so when you start cardio, you burn your stored fat instead. This is true. However, if you weight train before cardio, your muscles will be fatigued, and again, you won't be able to do as much. So again, it evens out in the long run.

The only technique to lose weight that is proven time and time again by scientists is 150 minutes of cardio per week, 2-3 days of weight training per week, and 500 less calories than your body needs per day. If you are severely overweight, you can get away with 1000 less calories, but no more than that.

It's a long and grueling process. Often times, it takes a few weeks to see a change. But "being healthy" isn't a short-term process. It isn't a miracle diet. It's a complete change of lifestyle. That means you have to give up certain things, and it means you need to have some foods only in moderation. But in the long run, it's SO much more important to be healthy than to eat the other half of that box of Oreos, or to get that extra hour of sleep instead of going to the gym in the morning. Do what's right for you and your body.