Fat-Burning Exercise + Cutting Back on Calories = A Slimmer You!

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.

*If you walk briskly, at a pace of four miles per hour for 30 minutes on five out of seven days, you’ll log 10 miles a week. That means it would take three-and-a-half weeks to lose one pound if the number of calories you consume stays the same. *If you alter your diet by cutting back 250 calories a day (½ cup of ice cream or two sugar-sweetened sodas), you'd lose a pound in two weeks even without exercising. *By now you’ve probably already guessed that a one-two punch of exercise plus fewer calories is the secret to slimming down more quickly. By eating 250 fewer calories a day and walking for 30 minutes a day, it would take just over a week to lose one pound. Reducing calorie intake even more and exercising more would further speed the process. So that’s your formula for weight loss success! For doable exercises that will produce results, buy Exercise – A Program You Can Live With from Harvard Medical School.
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