December 8, 2009

Weight Loss - Good for You, Good for the Planet

A recent Wired article suggested a couple of interesting and easy ideas for achieving a long-term permanent weight loss of 10 pounds. 

Good for You!

For starters, they suggested doing the math behind weight loss. One pound of body fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories.
Second, they suggest thinking of weight loss as a long, pleasant stroll, rather than a sprint to the finish. 

Combining those two thoughts, if you set yourself a goal of weighing 10 pounds less by next Thanksgiving, then you would need to reduce the amount you eat each day by less than 100 calories a day! 

Multiply the number of pounds you want to lose by the number of calories in a pound of body fat.
10 pounds x 3,500 calories per pound = 35,000 calories. 

Divide by the number of days you've set for your weight loss target. 
35,000 calories divided by 365 days = 96 calories per day. 

What are some easy ways to eliminate 100 calories a day?  
Most people grossly overestimate the amount of food they need to feel full, says Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating. He suggests recalibrating your sensors. Try this: One night, eat only half the amount of food on your plate. Wait 30 minutes, assess your feelings of satiation, and then wait 90. If you're still not hungry, you've probably been overeating. 

100 calories a day is less than the number of calories in one can of soda. Try substituting a glass of water for a can of soda each day and you are on your way to a permanent weight loss of 10 pounds. 

Good for the Planet!

According to recent studies, it now takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food delivered to your grocery store. That means that if you reduce what you eat by 100 calories a day, you can reduce your fossil fuel usage by 1000 calories a day, or 365,000 calories a year. 

That is approximately 1,500,000 Btus of energy, which works out to eliminating about 230 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. 

Every pound you lose works out to 23 pounds of carbon reduction. 

You'll be healthier and our environment will be healthier! 

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