Weight Loss (the Mathematics)

        By the use of relatively simple math, you can devise a weight loss diet for yourself, according to your own needs and wants.

        This is based on calories. Nothing fancy. Any book store can sell you a book that gives you the caloric content of ordinary foods.

        You'll need to remember two numbers, 13 and 3600.

(1) The average sedentary adult requires 13 calories per day per pound of body weight to maintain his weight. In other words, if I weigh 200 pounds, and I eat an average of 2600 calories per day, I will not gain weight nor lose weight.

(2) A pound of body weight is equal to 3600 calories.

        We will be assuming that you do not exercise regularly; that your job does not require extensive physical work; and that you will not engage in a program of regular exercise while you're on your diet. Of course, if you do start an exercise program, you will lose more weight.

        So: let's suppose that you are that 200-pound man, and you want to lose down to 165 pounds. You need to decide how long you want your diet to last. We're all in a hurry to lose weight, but the longer you diet, the easier it is, because you don't have to reduce your daily caloric intake so severely.

        Let's suppose that you've decided that you want to lose the 35 pounds in four months (120 days). The math works like this:

If you weren't on a diet, you'd eat 2600 calories per day for 120 days. 2600 x 120 = 312,000. That would be your NORMAL caloric intake.

You want to lose 35 pounds; a pound equals 3600 calories; 35 x 3600 = 126,000. That's how many calories you have to "cut out" of your diet over the next 120 days.

Therefore, instead of eating 312,000 calories over that 120-day period, you'd eat only 186,000 calories (312,000 - 126,000).

186,000 calories over a period of 120 days = 1550 calories per day. That's your weight loss diet.

        You can eat anything you want, as long as it doesn't go over 1550 calories per day. If you overdo it one day, you can make up for it the next day by eating less than 1550 calories. You may even "plan ahead" for days when I know they're bringing cake or bagels to the office.

        One more item: at the end of the 120 days, you won't weigh 165, you'll weigh 161. When you lose weight this way, you also lose about four pounds of fluid along with it.

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