How much exercise is enough to lose weight?

As I was on my afternoon jog today, I had an epiphany.  There is only so much exercise necessary for successfully losing weight.  Any extra exercise simply allows you to eat more.  Before I delve deeper into this idea, it is important to acknowledge that this post is written from the perspective of losing weight.  Your doctor may prescribe a specific level of activity for you depending on your health (my doctor prescribed an hour a day of exercise).   When I first started The Wine Diet, I didn't exercise at all.  The most exercise I got typically was 5,000 steps a day as I walked my daughter to one of the nearby parks to play.  Even though later in the diet I got more walking time in, I can safely say exercise is not absolutely necessary for losing weight.  

Back to the epiphany.  As I was jogging along, I started to wonder what the difference was between running two miles and four miles.  Sure running four miles meant burning more calories and getting closer to exercising for one hour a day.  But how much are those extra calories worth?  The difference in running two miles and four miles is approximately 300 extra calories burned.  Which is easily good for an extra dessert or two glasses of wine.  But is it really worth it?  For me, some days the extra effort is worth a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream and peaches or two glasses of wine.  On other days, it's a lot easier to run a little less and skip the extra dessert.  Which is a great thing because you have a choice.  You don't always have to run hard and push yourself to the limits.  Sometimes you can take it easy, drink wine, and know you are still losing weight.

Lose Weight: Drink Water

One of the weight loss strategies in The Wine Diet is drink more water.  Drinking plenty of water is important for a number of reasons such as feeling fuller and keeping your body hydrated.  But most people have a hard time drinking enough water as part of a weight loss program.  There are some people who already drink lots of water and keep a bottle of water with them.  Then there are other people who start with coffee in the morning, switch to ice tea or diet soda in the afternoon and evening, and then it's straight to beer or wine.  Those types of people (I fall into this camp as well) have a hard time drinking enough water.  They simply are not in the habit of carrying water around with them.  If you are one of those people, here is a simple strategy that I found very helpful.  

Since you don't carry water around with you all day, try finding another cue to remind you to drink a glass of water.  These cues can be a cup of water every hour or other hour, specific times throughout the day (for example, 10am, 1pm, etc.), or before events like working out or running.  Personally, I like to drink two full glasses of water right when I wake up (before my first cup of coffee) and then one glass before each snack and meal.  This type of schedule ensures I get plenty of water all day and helps me to stay full.