Friday, November 5, 2010

A Pound of Truth!

by Kris Pitcher

The truth is, it's hard to lose a pound of fat. I'm going to share a pound of truth with you by running the numbers to prove it. This is going to sound a little like a story problem (because it is a story problem) but don't get all panicky and sweaty-palmed...just stick with me, I'll make this easy.

A pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. We store calories, these units of energy, for later...oh, just in case there's a famine. Our body prefers to use other sources of stored energy, glucose - stored in our muscles and liver - for most of our activity. But that was just a side note so let's go back where we started. A pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. Here's the story:

Jane weighs 150 pounds. She does 30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week and burns about 250 calories per session. Jane will burn 1000 calories doing her cardio per week. A week is 7 days. You're doing the math in your head aren't you? It will take Jane 3.5 weeks to lose 1 pound of fat. HELLO 3.5 WEEKS! Jane needs to pay attention to her diet in addition to increasing her cardio. If Jane bumps her sessions to 6 per week at 30 minutes, now she's expending 2500 calories through her exercise.

By reducing her intake (yes, this is food) just 150 calories each day, Jane can create an additional deficit of 1000 calories. Add that to her 2500 calories through exercise, and Jane just lost 1 pound this week! Great work Jane! Jane won't even miss that 150 calories once she gets going. It's a manageable change that she's going to be able to live with. She's not going to starve, let's put it that way.

When you do the math, you can see why this is hard work and why it takes time. Don't be in a rush, if you are making progress to the tune of 1-2 pounds per week, you are doing A LOT of work. Now you've got a pound of truth to back that up!

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard it explained that way. That is great! Thanks.