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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lose Weight: New Year, Same Resolution

By Tom Taglang

This is the year I’m going to lose weight. I’ll lose 20 pounds by graduation. This year I’m going to drop 10 lbs. Yup, it’s that time of year again; time to make your new years resolution to “lose weight.” We all know the number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. It’s the same every year. So why are so few people successful?

Quite simply, losing weight is not easy.

We need to realize this fact and prepare for the effort its going to take to “drop some pounds.” Every year people set themselves up to fail by thinking this year it’ll be different. The pounds will just fall off because I’m going to, uhhhh, start a diet! Oh yah and I’ll exercise too. That’s what I’m going to do… Well, that’s a great start but do you know what you’re saying? Weight loss takes time, effort and commitment. Weight loss isn’t easy.

Although it’s not easy, weight loss is simple.

It’s simple math. Each day, put fewer calories into your body than you burn off. If you do this you’ll lose weight.

Calories are really just a unit of measure of energy. They’re the energy your body needs to function throughout your daily life. All day, everyday your body is burning calories. Whether you are standing, sitting, walking, running, driving or just watching TV; your body is working to pump your heart and expand your lungs to breathe. You’re moving your legs to walk and moving your fingers to type, even sleeping takes energy. You are constantly burning calories.

In addition to all the vitamins and nutrients you need to maintain good health, the food you eat gives your body the calories it needs to function. Your body burns off as much of this calorie energy as it needs. It saves the rest for later, just in case it needs to exercise, go dancing, play basketball or some other fun activity that takes additional energy. The way it “saves” these extra calories is in the form of fat. Unfortunately if we don’t go dancing, play basketball or get some other exercise the body keeps storing this fat. You know, just in case… Even though we’re not using this fat, the body keeps saving it. Plus, if we consume more of these “extra” calories, the body makes more fat to store. You know, just in case we might want to join a dance-a-thon…

Here’s where the simple math comes in, 3500 calories = one pound of fat. This means, every time you consume an “extra” 3500 calories, you will probably gain one pound of fat.

By reducing your calorie consumption (diet) or by burning additional calories (exercise) you will, in most cases, lose weight. It’s really that simple. Most diets, in one way or another, help you consume fewer calories than you burn. And you probably already know, increasing your exercise will help you burn more calories.

Limiting what you eat and doing the exercises you need to do is the hard work of losing weight. Finding the right diet, personal trainer, or fitness program will increase your chances of success by increasing your commitment and motivation. Try to keep in mind, losing weight isn’t easy, BUT it’s worth it!

About the Author: Tom Taglang is a staff writer at BodySpex.com, an online resource and weight loss community where members track their progress and achieve fitness together, for more information go to http://www.bodyspex.com

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