Query by Mrs. A Verghese
Answered by: Ms Shubi Husain, Consultants Nutritionist.
The short answer to your question is that, to lose a pound of body fat, you have to burn off approximately 3,500 calories above and beyond the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight.
Your question provides a good launching point to talk about the mathematics of weight loss and our concept of Negative Calorie Balance. Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds — that means you’d have to burn off an extra 70,000 calories (20 X 3,500) through exercise OR create a deficit of 70,000 calories by cutting back on your food intake. This probably sounds like a lot if you only need 1,800 calories a day to maintain your present weight, which may be the case if you are currently not exercising.
If you tackle the weight loss by diet alone, cutting back to 1,200 calories a day, here’s the maths of how long it would take you to lose the 20 pounds:
1,800 (daily calories needed to maintain your current weight) – 1,200 (number of daily calories eaten on your weight-loss diet) = 600 (excess calories burned each day that “count” toward weight loss)
Now, take the 70,000-calorie deficit required to lose the 20 pounds and divide that number by the 600-calorie deficit each day on your diet, and it would take you 117 days or nearly four months to lose the weight.
If you add exercise as well as our Ayurvedic formulation into the equation, however, it can speed things up. If you were to only briskly walk for 15 to 20 minutes a day (in addition to following the 1,200-calorie diet) you could burn off an extra 100 calories a day which would enable you to lose the weight in approximately 100 days. And similarly you can reduce it even further when you add our Indiadiets Herbal Weight Loss Formulation to your Diet Routine
Rather than diet, some people prefer to go about things more gradually. It always used to amaze my patients when I told them that if they cut back their calorie intake by just 100 calories a day — that’s the amount in a tablespoon of butter — or if they increased their activity level by 100 calories a day, they would quite painlessly lose 10 pounds in a year’s time!
Be aware, in all of this, that weight loss varies greatly from one person to the next depending on overall body size, metabolic rate, and activity level.
If you’re a slow loser, it’s important to give yourself credit for any weight movement in the right direction — and not to be hard on yourself if the scale gets stuck for awhile.