At the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions, and one common one is to lose weight. This new year has gotten a little old and I should have posted this earlier, but you can always start losing weight at any time.
Now, when many people think of losing weight, they think of joining a gym or starting some exercise program. While exercise indeed can help one lose weight, it is much more effective to lose weight by changing what you eat, so that you consume less calories than you have been consuming before.
As you probably already know, when you eat and drink more calories than your body needs, your body stores the excess calories as fat. This is what leads to weight gain (fat gain, to be precise).
Sometimes, people eat some food that they know has a lot of calories and they feel guilty and want to burn it off through exercise. How easy is it to burn off excess calories through exercise?
Let us look at a simplified example, using a man named Tom. Tom is a 154-pound man who is 5′ 10″.
According to CalorieKing.com, four slices of Garlic Parmesan (12″), Chicken, Bacon, Tomato pizza has 880 calories.
There is a common claim that one pound of fat is about 3,500 calories. This claim is disputed by some, but in this post, to we will assume that this is true.
If Tom’s body needs 2,600 calories a day of nourishing food to maintain his current weight, if he eats well and takes in that 2,600 calories a day, he will not gain weight.
If he decides to treat himself to one pizza a week (8 slices) as described above, in addition to his usual food, and does not exercise, he will gain 1,760 calories per week. If one pound of fat is 3,500 calories, then Tom will gain half a pound of weight per week.
To burn off four slices of the pizza through jogging, Tom would need to jog for about one and a half hours.
If Tom continues to eat one pizza a week, but decides to jog for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, (totaling one and a half hours per week), he will now burn off 880 calories (half of the pizza) and he will now gain 880 calories (the other half of the pizza) a week. So he will now gain 1 pound of weight every 4 weeks, despite jogging 3 times per week. In other words, Tom will be gaining calories faster than he can jog them off.
If Tom decides to stop eating the one pizza per week (but he continues with his earlier healthy diet), and continues jogging 3 times a week, he will now start losing 880 calories a week or 1 pound every 4 weeks.
The above example is a simplified illustration only. The figures may not be exact, and other factors will come into play (such as Tom’s body adapting to his new exercise habit), but the point is, it is much easier to lose weight by reducing the number of calories consumed, than by exercising while taking in more calories than you need. So, if you want to lose weight, it is more effective to change what you eat than to sign up at the gym.
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