Monday, March 21, 2005

Go with your gut

Here’s a new spin on the old phrase. In terms of weight loss, your gut doesn’t lie. It gives you an instant report card on how well you’ve balanced the calories going into your body with the calories you’ve burned over the course of your life. No if’s, and’s or but’s (well maybe some butt’s too).

Most people believe they do a decent job of balancing their calories in and out and on a daily basis they’re probably correct. But as the title of my book suggests, only a few bites a day can make a big difference over the course of a month, a year or decades. One hundred extra calories a day, or three bites of a chocolate chip cookie, can add 10 pounds each year.

Sometimes it takes decades to add the pounds. If you’ve seen the 1980s Star Wars/Star Trek satire, Spaceballs, you’ll understand this. The space travelers in the movie found that they arrived millions of light years from their intended destination because someone originally set course a millionth of a degree off. Ooops. Similarly, gaining only one to two pounds per year adds 30 to 60 pounds over three decades.

If you’re ever in doubt on how well you’ve balanced your calories simply take a quick gut check. You don’t even really need to calculate your BMI. Just look down. Is your gut or butt hanging out? Those are sure signs calorie intake has exceeded your calorie burn.

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