Sunday, April 24, 2005


One key to my weight control, that I don't touch on in my book, but nonetheless is very important is consistency. By this I mean consistency with my diet and exercise.

I was riding my bike a few days ago in perfect weather. Most days aren't like that, but I exercise on the bad weather days as well. In the winter, summer, snow, rain, cold, dark, strong winds and heat - I'm out there.

Many of my friends aren't very active unless the weather is nice. And that's when it occurred to me how vital consistency is to my weight control success.

I once believed that I burned many more calories than I really did during exercise, which contributed to my weight problem. When I first learned how few calories I actually did burn, I was shocked. I went through the normal stages of denial and frustration. "Well, if I only burn a couple hundred calories in a 1/2 hour workout, why even do it?"

The answer is summed up best by personal finance author, Jean Chatzky. "We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year." So true.

In the whole scheme of things, one exercise session isn't going to make or break my health. But, the calories I burn during all of my exercise sessions over the course of a year makes a huge difference. For example, I exercise 5 days per week for anywhere between 20 minutes to 4 - 5 hours. Over the course of a typical week I burn around 2,000 additional calories by exercising, which is less than 1 pound (or 3,500 calories). But, over the course of a year that adds up to to 100,000 calories or 30 pounds.

If I only exercised when the weather was nice, that extra calorie burn would be much lower. Consistency keeps me on track.

Same goes for diet. We often think, "I'll splurge just this one time." Once isn't likely to make a difference, right? But, splurging again 2 days later and again in 3 days adds up over the course of the year. And, as the title of my book indicates, it only takes a few bites a day to make the difference between being in control of your weight or having your weight control you.

So, from now on, I'm going to keep the thought of consistency in mind whenever I think about skipping exercise or eating more than I should. Maybe you will to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YOU ROCK! How did you become so smart? Profound and simple.