Everyone is different. How quickly you burn calories when you are not physically active can be very different from other people based on your specific genes, biology, and past. While scientists know that there are 3,500 calories in one pound, simply eating 500 fewer calories every day for a week (or 3,500 fewer calories in a week) does not always end in losing exactly one pound.
Healthy eating works best when combined with regular physical activity and active living. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that all adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, in periods of 10 minutes or longer. Physical activity can mean joining a gym, jogging or bicycling. Active living also includes walking the dog, mowing the lawn, taking the stairs, parking further from the mall or walking to the bus stop. To make exercise more enjoyable, choose activities you like to do, and plan activities with friends and family. Being active burns calories, and it helps you feel better and have more energy.
Even if you do meet your goal, it's nearly impossible to keep off the weight over the long term: "The amount of restriction required [to maintain that number] will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct," Dr. Seltzer says. And since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, he adds. That could mean gaining more pounds than you lost in the first place.
Choose low glycemic index foods often. Low glycemic index foods include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, whole grain pumpernickel bread, sweet potato, apples, plums and oranges. Eating low glycemic index foods probably helps you to lose weight in the short term, but it is not known whether this helps to keep the weight off in the long term. For information on low glycemic index foods see the Glycemic Index page at www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/diet-nutrition/the-glycemic-index
People were not asked to count calories at all. Over the course of a year, both groups attended 22 classes reinforcing these very sound principles — and all participants had access to health educators who guided them in behavioral modification strategies, such as emotional awareness, setting goals, developing self-efficacy (also known as willpower), and utilizing social support networks, all to avoid falling back into unhealthy eating patterns.
Cory attributes her slim-down diligence to using a fitlosophy fitbook journal. "Track what you eat, your exercise, goals, progress, struggles, motivation," she says, because it helped her efforts turn into habits. "Using a journal was really a key to my success." And science agrees: Keeping a food diary can actually double the amount of weight you lose, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Apples of all varieties and types help suppress hunger for a number of reasons. First, apples are filled with soluble fiber and pectin, which help you feel full. Apples also regulate your glucose and boost your energy level. Finally, apples require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you're no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!