Simple Math Equals Easy Weight Loss
Here, from the experts at Harvard Medical School, are the numbers you need to know in order to succeed at paring off pounds:
Food for thought: The pleasure of eating a candy bar lasts but a few minutes. Burning off the calories the sweet treat delivers can take nearly three-quarters of an hour.
To lose one pound by exercising, you need to burn approximately 3,500 calories. It can take days of moderate exercise to do this. A better strategy for weight loss involves a two-pronged approach: exercising and cutting calories.
Although exercise by itself isn’t the fast track to weight loss, it does offer important benefits beyond cancelling out calories. It slightly increases the rate at which you burn calories even when you’re not working out. And pounds lost through boosting your activity level consist almost entirely of fat, not muscle.
Do the math
Start with this number: 3,500. That's how many calories are stored in a pound of body fat. With that number you can tally up how much weight you can lose through activity, cutting calories, or both.
*Walking or jogging uses roughly 100 calories per mile. (Precisely how many calories you’ll burn depends on a number of factors, including your weight and how fast you walk.) So you'd lose a pound for every 35 miles you walk — provided you keep food intake and other activities constant.