How to Reduce and Expend Calories

Three weeks ago, I wrote about reducing caloric intake. The reason of reducing calories is probably blindingly obvious to everyone. How do we do it though? After reading thoroughly through many fitness websites and personal trainer’s thoughts, I’ve compiled a list of four ways to reduce intake calories and burn more calories.

1. Eat an Abundant Amount of Protein and Fibrous Foods

Proteins and foods in high fiber keep people full for extended periods of time. Fiber absorbs water, giving the body the feeling that it is full (not to mention, high fiber foods will clean your excretory system). This will prevent you from eating so often. Here are high protein foods and here are high fiber foods.

2. Prevent binge eating; Eat less, but more frequently

Whoever thought of breakfast, lunch, and dinner were way off. Meals should be more frequent and food proportions should be reduced. When the body feels full, your stomach secretes insulin and glucagon. Insulin regulates your blood sugar level. When you eat too much, too much insulin is released, dissolving high amounts of sugar into the blood. When your body finally breaks down the insulin, the sugar in the blood drops significantly. Your body detects this and releases glucagon, a chemical that tells the body to store fat.

3. Gain Muscle Mass

Muscles are constantly working and burning calories. In an hour, three pounds of muscle can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of walking. Let’s say you walked 1 hour daily. A 180-lb man would have burned about 200 calories for that hour. Say that same 180-lb man gained 3-lbs of muscle and walked for an hour. That man would have burned over 300 calories from that one hour. (1 pound of muscle burns about 35 calories at rest).

4. Try Interval Training

Studies have proven interval training is more likely to increase metabolism and burn more fat than ordinary cardio training. Interval training is the concept of alternating highly intensive and moderately intensive spurts of cardio. For example, if you’re running on a treadmill, try running high intensive for one minute, then jogging for the next, and repeat. You can burn more calories in less time.

Reduce Caloric Intake

Reduce Caloric Intake

From my list of goals, you can tell my physical and mental improvements have the most weight. That is because a primary factor to being happy is feeling confident. I noticed during my teens, I lost a good amount of weight and had an athletic build. This is when my confidence significantly increased and my happiness was at its acme. Of course there could be numerous reasons why I felt happy, as these are everyone’s young years, but there is a strong correlation between happiness and confidence. Now, I realize comes as common sense to the majority of people; however, it cannot be more stressed.

Today’s focus is on the physical improvements of your body. Think of some happy people in your life. How do they see their self-image? Everyone who claims to happy usually is confident with their image. Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If you answered no, I cannot guarantee that I can help you lose weight, but I want to try my best to walk you through step by step. Here are some tips based on what I learned in my nutrition class during college to get you on your way.

1. Reduce intake of calories. Increase calorie consumption.

I’m sure you’ve heard this, but here’s the reason. Calories are calories. Whether they are from fat from a chocolate bar, sugar from a Coca-Cola, or protein from steak, they are calories. The only way you can lose weight is to have a caloric deficit in your daily diet (meaning you have to burn more calories than you intake). The reason why no one can assure you that you will lose weight is because everyone has a different metabolic rate. Our bodies are constantly undergoing caloric consumption: when you’re sleeping, when you’re running, even when you’re reading this very article here. The difference is we burn more calories doing aerobic exercises. A 180 pound man doing absolutely burns about 90 calories per hour, but if he were walking during that that, he could be burning about 200 calories per hour. Take a look at this chart to see how many calories various activities burn and here’s a chart on what 200 calories of various foods looks like. On the flip side, it does not matter what you eat, but watch what you eat (try to decrease fat intake). (1 gram of fat is equivalent to 8 calories whereas 1 gram of protein or sugar is equivalent to 4 calories).

2. Don’t drink caffeinated drinks containing sugar – this means soda and coffee!

One can of soda (coke, pop, whatever you call it) contains about 140 calories. That is tantamount to about 45 minutes of walking. If you drink a cup of coffee with cream and sugar, the intake of calories is about 100. That’s half an hour of walking gone to waste. Those who drink caffeinated drinks multiple times per day stop! In addition, studies have shown that caffeine intake inhibits ATP consumption and production. This basically means that your body does not burn as many calories as it is supposed to. So when caffeine and sugar are mixed into your body at the same time, this is going straight to your thighs.

3. Avoid eating late night snacks.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before too. The explanation is that when you sleep, you burn fewer calories than when you do nothing. When your body detects any excess calories in your sleep, those calories are stored as fat. If you were to eat a snack during the day, your body would burn those calories before they were stored as fat.

4. Reduce alcohol consumption.

Many alcohol drinkers do not realize how many calories are in their drinks. A 12 ounce of beer contains more calories than a can of soda (150 as opposed to 140). One shot of vodka, whisky, or rum contains approximately 100 calories (equivalent to a cup of coffee). This is where college students get their “beer bellies.”

These are some simple ways to reduce the intake of calories. In the future, I will be going over some health exercises. Also, see how this guy got 6 pack abs within 16 weeks.

Re-Balance Your Life

Take a minute and reflect upon what you have done in the past hour, past week, past month, and past year. How many checks have you marked on your list of goals? How many of your aspirations have been completed? Once a month when I track my progress of my goals, I find I have either gone astray or completely lost. That’s because it’s so easy to get caught up with everything that goes on in life. So, I’m dedicating this blog into balancing and re-balancing each and every aspect of my life.

Success (usually) leads to happiness. However, people tend to give up one part of their life to succeed in another. Life is not about giving one part for the better of another part. True happiness comes from having a perfect balance of each aspect of life. Now, I can’t say I’m truly happy, but I’m striving to find that balance.

How do I balance my life? Where do I start? Well, let’s take one step at a time. Many professional, self-improvement bloggers and authors advise to start with a list of goals. Grab a blank sheet of paper or open a word document and write a list of aspirations that you’d like to achieve. Personally, it’s easier to write everything that pops into my head. Disregard whether they are long-term aspirations or short-term goals. It does not matter if they are mental goals, physical goals, or spiritual goals. Just write.

If you need some help on ideas on what to write, take a look at Steve Pavlina’s 30-day trials. Once you feel like you have written everything you could, try to categorize them into spiritual goals, mental goals, physical goals, etc. Also, you can detail them out with sub-points. I’ve printed out my goals and posted them on my wall. Here’s a short list of mine:

Physical Improvement

  • Don’t drink soda, junk, or any other unhealthy foods
  • Stretch every day
  • Go for a long walk every day
  • Go for a 20 minute run every day
  • Exercise 5 times a week (30 – 60 minutes)
    • Increase each by one set every day
      • Warm Up with 2 sets of 20 high jumps
      • Run for 20 mins
      • 5 sets of 100 jump ropes
      • 5 sets of 30 crunches
      • 5 sets of 15 push-ups
      • Cool down of 1 minute leg lift
  • Work out at least 3 times a week (45 minutes)
    • Day 1 – arms and chest
    • Day 2 – back and shoulders
    • Day 3 – legs

Mental Improvement

  • Learn at least one new vocabulary word every day
  • Spend 30 minutes reviewing previous words
  • Learn foreign languages, study a foreign language for 15 mins
    • Korean
    • Spanish
    • Russian
    • Chinese
    • Japanese
    • Vietnamese
  • Learn to play guitar (at least 15 – 30 minutes everyday)
    • Yesterday – the Beatles
    • More than words – extreme
    • Wherever you go – the calling
    • Canon in D
  • Learn to play piano
    • Moonlight sonata
    • Other classical songs
  • Learn to dance, maybe some bboy
  • Learn to sing
  • Study GREs
  • Read daily

Relationship Improvement

  • Strengthen the relationships I have currently
  • Extend my network for the future – find people who are destined for success
  • Meet someone new every day. Start up a conversation with a stranger
  • Maintain communication with those in my network
  • Listen empathetically to people
  • Provide feedback only when they ask, listen and show that I care when they need to vent
  • Never judge and compare

Spiritual Improvement

  • Find a deeper self
  • Discover what I truly believe in

Family Improvement

  • Begin thinking of ways I’m going to be an exemplary father
  • Teach my children to be strong-willed, accomplished, yet modest people
  • Build a healthy mother-son and father-son bond
  • Explore what true brotherly love is

Financial Improvement

  • Allocate a certain amount of money into investments and savings
  • Increase personal net worth
  • Write finances and update it monthly

Miscellaneous Improvement

  • Give up spending so much time online
  • Go out every evening. Go somewhere different each time, and do something fun — this will be a memorable month
  • Clean your living area for 15 minutes a day
  • Volunteer
  • Write in a journal daily
  • Write or brainstorm possible blog entries daily
  • Cook dinner every day
  • Find out what I really want to do with my life
  • Dispose of unnecessary items