If it sounds too good to be true…

September 17th, 2012

I often get the question, “isn’t there something I can do for a jump start or isn’t there a pill I can take?” A mistake many people make is trying to hurry the process. They feel that they are more successful the faster the weight is lost. This is not true. Often when we look for quick fixes, the end result is we may take of some weight, but then regain the weight loss plus more.

Rather than focusing on how fast and how much, try to focus on making permanent changes where weight loss can be achieved. It takes 3500 calories to either gain or lose 1 pound of fat. In order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn. By creating a deficit on a weekly basis, long-term weight loss will be achieved. If you reduce your intake by 500 calories/day this would result in a 1 pound/week weight loss and 52 pounds/year.

Long term weight loss is made by making small changes that you can continue. In fact, by cutting your intake by 150 calories a day and increasing exercise by 100 calories per day, a person can expect to lose ½ pound a week, 26 pounds per year.

Small changes can add up over time:

  • It is important to recognize correct portion sizes to keep calories under control. For example, reducing meat portion from 6 ounces to 3 ounces can decrease calories from 450 to 225. This would result in saving 1575 calories/week and losing 23 pounds/year.
  • Cut down on sugary foods such as regular soft drinks and added sugar. If you cut out 3 rounded teaspoons of sugar from your coffee or tea daily at 32 calories per rounded teaspoon, you could save 96 calories a day or 35,040 calories a year resulting in a 10 pound weight loss.
  • Cut down on high fat foods such as butter, margarines, oils, salad dressing, fried foods, cream sauces and gravies. For example, eliminating 1 pat of butter daily can result in 3 ½ pounds of weight loss in 1 years’ time.
  • Increasing calories burned on a daily basis will also add up over time. Little things like parking your car further away from entrances, getting off the bus 2 stops early, taking the steps rather than the elevator will make a difference. Walking 30 minutes every day would burn approximately 200 calories/day, 1400 calories/week which would result in a 20 pound weight loss/year.

Gimmicky Fad diets that sound to be too good to be true, usually are and do not work in the long run. These are just some small lifestyle changes you could make on a daily basis and see the positive lasting results.

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