Monday, January 5, 2009

Lose 30 lbs in 30 days!

Okay, please tell me you know that the only way to lose 30 lbs in 30 days is via a gastric bypass operation! This post is certainly NOT to convince everyone to sign up for surgery, but to make it crystal clear that advertisements that suggest this type of weight loss are all ridiculous! Of course, we'd all like to believe that weight loss could occur that fast, but let's look at the reality. It takes a deficit of 3600 kcal (calories) to lose ONE pound. Period. There are no short cuts (excluding temporary water weight shifts.)
If you simplify the math by rounding down to 3500 kcal and dividing by 7 days in a week, it takes a deficit of 500 kcal/day to lose a pound per week. Now, if you're snacking on a bunch of candy (271 kcal in a snickers, for example) or drinking frequent sodas (roughly 150 kcal/can), it can be simple to eliminate 500 calories per day, but if you're already making healthy choices, focusing on a 250 calorie daily deficit (which equates to a half pound weight loss per week) might be more realistic. Before you decide that a half pound per week weight loss isn't "worth it", realize that in one year, you're looking at 25 pounds coming off!
Of course, coupling fewer calories consumed along with exercise (more calories burned) is really the way to go. Again, realize that small efforts "count". An easy rule of thumb is that walking a mile burns around 100 calories and takes only 15-20 minutes. So, if you simply give up one Coke (or latte, or...) and add walking one mile per day, you'll be looking at a healthier, thinner you in 2010 by up to 25 pounds!
BOTTOM LINE: It's calories in/calories out that count- to the tune of 3600 calories per pound. Set your goals realistically, and watch your health really improve this year!


Dr. Jennifer Shu said...

Do you have any thoughts about a recent study that reported diet is more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss?

Dr. Jill Grimes said...

The truth is that it's that total calorie count in and out that matters, and whether an individual chooses to focus more on the IN or the OUT, it's the net deficit that will make you lose. Meta-analysis studies have shown repeatedly that the only variable that is consistent for people who MAINTAIN weight loss (and isn't that the goal?) is DAILY EXERCISE. I'll have to read the study you're referring to in order to figure out why they had that slant, but that's my opinion!
Thanks, J