The Fast-Food Challenge
You don't have to completely give up the convenience of fast food to lose weight.
Exercise Makes the Difference
But if those biggie fries are calling your name, go ahead and
enjoy them once in awhile, says Carter, also an ADA spokeswoman. "Life's
too short. Anyway, no one wakes up one morning weighing 600 or even 300 pounds.
Just like one day in gym will not make you Arnold Schwarzenegger. It isn't one
food, one day, that will make you fat."
Just remember, it all adds up.
"You can very easily put on a pound a week, or a pound a
month by going overboard, by simply eating an extra 100 calories a day,"
she tells WebMD. "Calories go down a lot more easily than they are burnt
off. When people realize how slowly you burn calories, it makes a difference.
The difference it makes is cumulative over time."
"The key is to burn up those calories, and that's not as
easy as most people think it is," Carter says. "You might burn 180
calories if you walk an hour -- but you haven't even burnt off half the
calories of those biggie fries."
What you'll burn in an hour, if you weigh 110 lbs.:
- Driving burns 115 calories
- Mowing the lawn burns 225 calories
- Yoga burns 200 calories
- Skating burns 275 calories
- Laundry burns 100 calories
- Food shopping with cart burns 100 calories
In one study, people who lost weight -- and kept it off for
five years -- were those who burned about 400 calories a day in exercise. They
walked four miles a day. "They had to do it religiously, because not all of
us have this wonderful metabolism. For most people, four miles is going to take
about an hour."
Exercise has a way of tempering your cravings. "The more
physically active you become, and more aware of how hard it is to burn off
those calories, the easier it is to say, 'small fries is fine,'" says