One Pound a Week

One pound a week is a good weight loss goal. By strict dieting you can lose more than that, but losing more than one pound a week has some drawbacks. Sudden drastic changes and too rapid weight loss can make it difficult to continue your program, lead to loss of muscle or lean tissue rather than fat, and increase the risk of developing gallstones.

What is one pound a week? One pound a week is 500 calories a day. If you take in just 500 calories a day more than you burn you will gain one pound a week. The opposite of that is true, if you burn 500 calories a day more than you take in you will lose 1 pound a week.

What is 500 calories? 500 calories is three pieces of candy each hour from a bowl on your desk during an eight hour day. That would be 500 calories that you probably wouldn’t even remember eating.

Burning calories takes a lot more time and effort than eating them. The average piece of pie, a nine inch pie cut into 8 equal slices, is about 400 calories. Eating the piece of pie takes about 3-4 minutes depending on how much talking you are doing at the time. To burn off those 400 calories takes walking 4 miles in one hour, or 15 minutes per mile. Most people can’t walk 4 miles in an hour, so they would have to walk twice as long.

Add those extra calories to your meals and you can see where you could easily gain a pound a week. It’s what I call a creeping weight gain. You don’t feel like you are eating much, but you notice your clothes fitting tighter, or you step on a scale and see a weight gain and ask yourself, “Why am I gaining weight? I don’t eat anything!”

Save the high calorie desserts and snacks for special occasions. Regularly eat high volume low calorie foods such as lean mean, low starch vegetables rather than low volume, high calorie foods like fast foods and desserts. Exercise regularly to increase the efficiency of you metabolism. Aim for a weight loss goal of 1 pound each week. By doing that you will make changes that you can stay with.

Make changes slowly. If you change too much all at once, you and your body will rebel against the changes and you probably won’t stick with them. Know what you are taking in by educating yourself on proper nutrition and exercise. Always see your health care provider to discuss diet and exercise changes.

It takes time, thought and commitment to change your lifestyle, but 500 calories a day, one pound a week can make a big difference in your life.

This blog is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered Medical Advice. Discuss with your doctor any personal medical conditions, dietary changes or exercise programs before making any lifestyle changes.

©2014 – Guy A. Crawford – All Rights Reserved

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About Crawford, PA, Retired

I am a retired Physician Assistant. I graduated with the second PA class of Emory University in 1974. My first job out of school was with the ER at the Medical Center in Columbus. After 1 year I moved to Roanoke, AL to work in a rural family practice with Dr. John E. Campbell, the author of the book "Basic Trauma Life Support", a textbook used in many EMT classes. Following that I worked for 3 years with the Federal Prison System, providing healthcare to imates. In 1987 I accepted a position with the University of Florida Transplant Program as a donor coordinator. The last 18 years of my career were spent in family practice and urgent care. I am now retired from clinical medicine but hope to continue to help people through this blog, articles, and booklets about healthy lifestyles.

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