Eat Less Move More
May 19, 2014
The wonderful summer weather that arrived on Friday and is still in my neck of the woods brightened my spirits. Blue skies and sunshine are my favourite kind of weather. But they also brought some weight loss benefits that I hadn’t really expected. I knew that there would be barbecues in the offing and pretty much my whole neighbourhood had the scent of sausages in the air.
But I discovered that as the temperature increased, my appetite decreased. My need for glasses of water increased but I really didn’t want fizzy sodas or sticky fruit juices. Just iced water and a slice of lemon. It was the perfect thirst quencher and came in at precisely “nil” on the calorie count.
I had planned a menu of outdoor dining but discovered that as Lovely Husband had a stinking cold he really wasn’t too keen on firing up the barbecue or of running the risk of passing on his lurgy to any friends and acquaintances who came over.
His bug also meant that he had very little appetite at all, and his ailing taste buds appeared to go on strike so everything was “con cardboard”, and difficult to swallow with his very sore throat. (And I have to confess that my initial thoughts that it was a typical male over-reaction to “a bit of cold” which turns into “man-flu” in the male of the species were cast aside when I took a look at him on Friday night...dripping with sweat and barely able to breathe...he did have a very nasty forty-eight hour bout).
However Sunday dawned and he was feeling a little better. His appetite was still in decline (as was mine, due to the warm weather rather not LH’s germs), so we were both in “eat less” mode, but decided that a gentle stroll in the sunshine might be a good idea. We agreed to take it steadily as LH’s lungs had taken quite a beating with his breathing and the nasty cough that he had developed, and we each armed ourselves with a bottle of water from the freezer (I had retrieved all my small empty diet cherry cola bottles from the recycling bin and filled them with water and lemon juice and put them in the freezer overnight, which meant that they were completely frozen when we set off and would stay ice-cold and refreshing for quite some time).
We decided that we would stroll across town to one of the main parks that we rarely visit. If I’m being honest, the last time we were there we had made the ten minute journey by car. However this time we decided to walk, and as the route on foot is far more direct than the convoluted one-way traffic system which has been inflicted on the town (and has been the subject of many jokes and jests in the media, that’s how bad it is) the walk to the park was a mere twenty five minutes.
Once at the park, I confess that we did find an empty bench under the shade of a tree and sat there for fifteen minutes, but once we had recharged our batteries and drank some of our water we decided that we would walk the entire perimeter of the park.
We didn’t “crack a pace”; we just walked steadily, chatting as we went. We paused only to feed the ducks for a further ten minutes and did make it all the way round, although we both admitted that it was a much bigger circuit than we had imagined. We then had to walk back through town and eventually arrived home. I was astonished to see that we had been walking for almost three-and-a-half hours (having deducted the fifteen minute bench stop and the duck feeding time).
The time had passed really quickly and had been really enjoyable. Even LH said that he felt better for having got out and about and, even though we hadn’t been power walking, it was three hours of “move more” that I wouldn’t ordinarily have done.
It seems that warm sunny weather is my new ally in the mission to make my waistline waste away.
“Eat less, move more” is the single most basic way of encapsulating what is needed for effective, sustainable weight loss. It is a four-word mantra that really can make a difference. The “eat less” part of it doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the foods you love, it is just a reminder that portion control is a really important element when it comes to reducing the number of calories we consume. The “move more” part doesn’t necessarily mean “going for the burn” in a sweat-drenched frenzied gym session. The mantra is exactly what it says. Eat Less-Move More.
Our frozen bottles of iced lemon water were incredibly refreshing, so much so that our plan to “maybe stop off for an ice-cream” never materialised. We got to the park café and kiosk and both decided that we didn’t fancy a sweet treat. The park was so full that all the tables and benches nearby were occupied, and so we just continued to make our way round the park.
As we got nearer Hudson HQ I did enquire if LH wanted a late lunch when we got back but he said no – and I realised that I would simply be “eating for the sake of it” because I didn’t actually feel hungry. So we got home, each retrieved another bottle of frozen water and sat in the shade of the gazebo (or as we call it the "Toot-bo") tackling one of the crosswords in the Sunday paper.
I did end the day by casting an eye over the WLR food database and noting that I was nicely under my daily calorie allowance once I had input the calories I had “earned” from my three hour Sunday stroll.
But that was an unexpected benefit. I hadn’t planned the walk in order to “gain” the exercise calories, and I hadn’t deliberately not eaten a great deal, the heat of the day really had meant that I had very little interest in food. But it did reinforce to me just how effective even just a small amount of “move more” can be in terms of weight loss.
And it hadn’t been a chore. I hadn’t taken each step grinding my teeth and grizzling about not liking exercise… I had spent some quality time with LH, enjoyed my stroll and the “people watching” that went with it... and definitely felt better in terms of my mood and well-being once we got back home.
So… it would appear that as well as all of the wonderful tools available to me via the WLR site, the wonderful Summer weather can also have potential benefits when it comes to my weight loss efforts. There is no reason why I can’t go for a thirty-minute evening stroll after I get home from “the day job”, or wait until LH gets home from work and accompany him on a meander down the cycle path when the sun is setting and the evening is cooler.
I’ve always loved Summer. I think I’ve just found a reason to love it even more...
Here’s to a fabulous WLR day for all.
With a hug.
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