Monday, February 21, 2011

How Fast Can You Lose 30 Pounds?

You only have to drive around town, flip open a magazine or your computer, and you will see an ad promising weight loss of "30 Pounds in 30 Days". And of course, all you have to do is buy this brand new miracle pill. You don't have to exercise or eat healthy foods. Ready to sign up? I hope not!

Our parents taught us that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Yet, as Americans, we have become so used to instant gratification, we are convinced that somewhere out there exists a pill we can pop for easy, quick weight loss. Let me ask you this- do you think there would be any fat doctors (especially women, forgive my bias!) if such a prescription existed?

So, what is realistic? Well, obviously, it depends on your starting weight. If you are only 20 or 30 pounds overweight, though, a good rule of thumb is a half to one pound per week. It takes a 3600 calorie deficit to lose a pound. Period. If you can burn an extra 250 calories a day (walk 2 -3 miles, for example) AND delete another 250 calories from your usual diet (give up two sodas or one loaded latte per day), then you can expect to lose a pound per week.

Try to look at the big picture. There are 52 weeks in a year. If you make healthy changes such as eating MORE fruits and vegetable servings and moving MORE, you can easily take off those extra 20 to 50 pounds in a year...and KEEP THEM OFF because you did it through small, permanent changes!

BOTTOM LINE: Fast does NOT equal good, nor permanent, weight loss. Realistic, EXCELLENT weight loss is ONE POUND per week, so it will take 6 months to lose 30 pounds.

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