Sorry-There Is No Magic Pill for Weight Loss
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Chances are you have seen the ads for pills, shakes and supplements that claim to take pounds off with no exercise. If these claims actually worked, then everyone would be thin. There is an old saying that says something to the effect that, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. We all want to be fit and fabulous with little or no effort? Who wants to spend hours on the treadmill or at the track? Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for weight loss.
Only two things can help you have successful weight loss. You have to burn more calories than you take in. Calories are a measure of the amount of energy provided by the food you eat — the more calories you eat, the more energy you are giving your body. If you give your body more energy (calories) than it can use, then it is stored as fat.
A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. If you want to lose one pound in a week, you have to cut your calories by 3,500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day. To lose two pounds in a week, you have to create a calorie deficit of 7,000 calories a week, or 1,000 calories a day, and so on. Experts recommend that you lose no more than 2 pounds per week, which is a challenge for most anyway.
There are only two ways to create a calorie deficit, you can eat less and exercise. If you want to meet your weight-loss goals, start by comparing how many calories you take in with how many calories you burn. Start by keeping a food diary of what you are eating and drinking throughout the day. You even have to count those nibbles, they have calories to. Then add in the amount of exercise you get for the day. The best way to do that is get a pedometer to track the number of steps you take in a day, on average, 2,000 steps equals a mile.
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. It uses up oxygen, which causes your body to burn stored fat. It also strengthens muscles, which tones and shapes your body. The increased muscle mass boosts your metabolism, which means you burn more calories, even after you stop walking. Let’s say you burn 100 calories by walking a mile. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, most people average just less than 3 miles throughout their day. If you add a brisk evening walk after dinner you could easily burn 400 calories that day. If you walk 4 miles, 4 days a week, that is 1,600 calories! That’s half a pound of fat gone and all you had to do was walk! Add more steps to your day while making sure you do not increase your caloric intake and you can’t help but trim down.
Although it's not a magic pill, it is very simple. Find a way to reduce the amount of calories you take in and burn more calories and the weight will come off!
For more information on balancing food and physical activity, contact our office and we will send you a free publication. Contact us at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Miller County at 870-779-3609, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
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