The fact is, calories pound of fat is not a cut and dry deal. It’s true, if you eat 3,500 calories more than you burn off in energy, or vice versa, you gain or lose about a pound.
So, forget about eating low fat, less carbohydrates or more “negative calorie” foods, calories are what counts. Healthy weight management depends on the quality and balance between the calories in and calories out. It’s that simple.
Take colas. If you consume 144 extra daily calories in a 12 oz. cola for a year, you’ll gain about 15 pounds of fat. On the other hand, if you give up one daily cola and drink pure water instead, you’ll lose about 15 pounds in a year. By the way, the average American drinks 53 gallons of cola annually. That’s 83,000 calories at nearly 24 pounds a year.
Exercise, on the other hand, burns calories. If you weigh 160 pounds and walked two miles in a half hour five days a week you’ll lose nearly fifteen pounds in a year. If you cut out the extra cola too, you'll lose about 30 pounds.
Although calories do count, no two individuals are alike. How much energy you burn depends on how much muscle you have, how much weight you carry and how much you move that weight around. Running for a half hour burns more calories than walking for a half hour, because you travel a greater distance. However, running two miles burns only a few more calories than walking two miles, since you’re covering the same distance.
Also, at the beginning of an exercise program, you burn more calories, because you’re carrying more weight. But, after losing weight as a result of exercise, your muscle to fat ratio changes and you burn more calories because you have more muscle.
The bottom line is, no matter what your individual differences, 3,500 calories taken in or expended still adds up to about a pound of fat. If you want to lose weight and keep it off permanently (the only way to go), you simply need to commit to eating less calories and/or burning more calories. Anything else (fad and yo-yo dieting) is self destructive and a waste of time. Why go to all the trouble of losing weight for your best friend’s wedding, only to start putting it back on with your first helping of wedding cake? Wouldn’t you rather look and feel your best all the time?
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.