Coach PaulIn our last post, we discovered that exercise alone was not enough for sustained weight loss. Let's review our facts:

  • 1 pound (lb) of human fat contains 3500 calories.
  • 30 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise burns between 200 and 400 calories.
  • 12-ounce can of Pepsi or other soda contains 150 calories.
  • In-N-Out Double-Double contains 690 calories.
  • McDonald's regular size fries contain 210 calories.

In Part 2, we looked at the exercise part of the weight-loss equation; today let's look at the other part-caloric intake.

Every calorie that we ingest above the total calories that we burn that day gets stored in our bodies as a fat cell. 3500 fat cells equal 1 pound of body fat. It also works in the opposite direction-every calorie that we burn above the total calories that we ingest eliminates a stored fat cell.

Weight management then becomes an exercise in simple math:

  • If ingested calories > burned calories, you will increase your body fat weight.
  • If ingested calories < burned calories, you will decrease your body fat weight.

To lose fat weight, you must burn more calories than you ingest that day. Notice that I am writing about fat weight, not muscle weight. We'll talk about muscle weight in a future post.

In Part 2 we saw how exercise helps us burn fat calories, but not enough. On average, we burn 10 calories for every minute of moderate to intense aerobic exercise. This is helpful, but consider this:

  • Not drinking 1, 12-oz Pepsi is the same as exercising for 12 minutes.
  • Not drinking 1, 12-oz Budweiser is the same as exercising for 15 minutes.
  • Not eating 1 regular size order of McDonald's french fries is the same as exercising for 21 minutes.
  • Not eating 1 In-N-Out Double-Double is the same as exercising for 69 minutes (1 hour and 9 minutes!).

You get the picture. By paying better attention to the number of calories that you ingest, you can enhance the calories you are burning through exercise. Let's look at one of our previous examples:

Remember John? He was 10 pounds overweight, which meant that he had accumulated 35,000 calories (10 lbs x 3500 calories per pound) worth of fat that he needed to burn off . Exercising 30 minutes a day, it would take John 117 days to burn of the calories contained in 10 lbs of fact. But if John replaces the Pepsi that he normally drinks for lunch with water or Diet Pepsi (saves 120 calories a day) and if he switches only one of his evening beers for water (saves 150 calories a day), the time it would take him to lose those 10 extra pounds would go from 117 days to 61 days. By watching his diet IN ADDITION TO exercising, John would cut his weight loss time almost in half.

I hope this short series has been helpful and I invite you to continue to make exercise and intentional calorie management a regular part of your life. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to share any of your success stories with us.

Warmest Regards,

Coach Paul

“And if your home is just another place where you’re a stranger, and far away is just somewhere you’ve never been. I hope that you’ll remember, I am your friend.” – Rich Mullins

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