The two not-so-magical secrets of losing weight are eat less and move more. For most people, it’s a whole lot easier to eat a little less than to move a little more.
Consider the Four Mile Donut. If we were to walk as fast as we could for an hour, we’d cover a breathless, heart pounding 3-4 miles. If we then decided to celebrate our workout with coffee and a donut, we would eat more calories in a minute than we burned off in an hour.
People who often start exercise programs claim to gain weight in the first couple weeks. My Food and Brand Lab has started investigating what we call Calorie Compensation. We’re finding that almost all of usbelieve that we burn more calories exercising than we actually do. The problem is that after we excerise we often try to reward ourselves with that pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and that’s where things go wrong. If we pat ourselves on the back, we should also pat ourselves on the stomach because that’s where all those calories are going.
Exercising is an important part of our life and of good health other than just our weight. But for most of us, it will probably be easier to eat one less donut today than to walk four more miles.
One guideline I recently learned was that 30% of weight loss comes from the gym and 70% from the kitchen.
For 30 years my Lab and I have focused on discovering secret answers to help people live better lives. Some of these relate to health and happiness (and often to food). Please share whatever you find useful.
This video of one of my post-docs gives a flavor of one type of research that we've done: