Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Few Bites a Day

Every once in awhile I'm reminded why I named my book "A Few Bites a Day". People often discover that they're overweight after years and years, sometimes decades, of gradual weight gain. They can't seem to figure out how they got to that point. They don't feel like they are big overeaters and they're probably correct.

But doing the math tells a different story. You can eat 50 calories in 2-3 bites of calorie dense foods and maybe 5-7 bites of less calorie dense foods. Let's say you eat 50 more calories, on average, than you need to maintain your weight each day. That adds up to a calorie surplus of 18,000 in just one year.

A pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories, so the 18,000 calorie surplus translates into about 5 pounds per year of additional waistline or 50 pounds over the course of the decade. It's no wonder people can wake up after 2-3 decades of slight, barely detectable overeating to discover that they're overweight. The "wake-up" often happens when they look at their picture from years earlier and realize just how much bigger they are.

Also, based on these numbers, it's no wonder that a few bites a day can make the difference between losing, maintaining or gaining weight.

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