Calories. You've heard all about them, yet like gravity, you have no idea what the heck it/they really are, or even how they really work. Without going into the scientific definition, the facts are: the more of them you take in through your diet (diet:the word I use to refer to your eating habits) the more likely you are to end up with some round, flabby 'pudges' here and there. No one really wants this, but too few really understand the simplicity of how calories and the body work. In general:
Most 'diets' in societies terms are geared toward getting people to count calories, or count fat, carbs, sugars, which I think is OK, but not very fun and, to be honest, a little disheartening. After all, it's great to be aware of what you're eating. But do you know what it means if you're intake of carbs is 300 per day? You probably only know two things: what the diet says is the 'OK' range, and what is above that. The truth is, in my opinion, its simpler than this, and counting can be frustrating and make you feel limited in food choices.
Being healthy does mean some limits on certain foods, no doubt about it. But did any of you catch the CNN.com story on the "twinkie diet?" The facts are in people. The choices in selection of your food, in essence, is not as important to your goal of weight loss as the amount of calories your portion sizes and food gives you.
I'm not advocating Twinkies, Kit Kat bars, Reese's, or Swedish Fish, but the study proved one thing: calories trump where they come from any day of the week. Regardless if your calories are coming from fats, proteins, or alcohol (yes, alcohol has calories...lots), cutting back on portion sizes is a huge help to weight loss. Challenge #1: Don't have seconds. Just don't. Allow yourself one plate, one bowl, one serving, and call it good.
I suppose within the next few days I'll add another post on activity levels. For now, try eating less per meal, and 500 calories is 500 calories no matter where it came from. In closing, don't feel bad counting calories one day to see where, on average, you sit calorie wise, this is good information, but don't get caught up counting every day, every item, every bite. Who likes doing that? It's like guilt in a spoon.