Too many calories, especially from fat and sugar, help to put
on the pounds and keep them there.

It takes 500 extra calories a day to gain a pound a week, using the calculation of 3,500
calories contained in one pound. It’s been estimated that most
North Americans are eating at least 200 extra calories a day. That
translates into a weight gain of 15 to 18 pounds a year.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong commitment. Fast
weight loss programs don’t help people keep weight off for
extended periods because they don’t teach them anything.
People can restrict their calories for several weeks and lose
weight. However, after the diet they often return to their
“normal” eating patterns, which caused the weight gain in
the first place.

Consider the following facts. A 16-ounce glass of cola has
about 200 cal. and about 45 grams of sugar. The 32-ounce
supersize version has up to 400 calories and about 95 grams
of sugar. Do the french-fry math. An average order of french
fries has about 350 cal. and 16 grams of fat. Supersize
that and you can get up to 600 calories and 30 grams of fat.

Just as a reference, an average, moderately active adult male
should consume about 2,500 cal. and 85 grams of fat. An
average, moderately active adult female should consume 1,800
cal. and 60 grams of fat. Better enjoy that super scoop
of fries, because they contain one-third to one-half of most
people’s fat needs for the day.

Behavior changes, regular exercise, and a healthy low-fat
diet have been found to work best for weight management
over the long haul. A good diet watches for fat, not calories.
Low-fat diets are more effective than low-calorie diets. Foods
with less fat have fewer calories.

Calorie counting and food deprivation aren’t as effective as
simply eating more low-fat foods. In other words, have the
pizza. Rather than allowing yourself only one-half slice of a
sausage-and-pepperoni pizza, go ahead and eat three slices
of vegetarian pizza heaped with three kinds of peppers, four
kinds of mushrooms, and some olives. If you
feel full, you’ll feel satisfied and more likely to continue on
the plan.

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