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Diet And Exercise

Proper diet and exercise are the mainstays for a healthy lifestyle, although many Americans turn to costly fad diets and exercise programs that fail to provide weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. The basic tenets to good health include developing healthy eating habits and increasing daily physical activity.

Want to lose a pound of fat? You can work it off by hiking to the top of a 2,500-story building. Or by running 60 miles. Or by spending 7 hours cleaning animal stalls. (It is amazing what scientists have actually measured.) Exercise is a very difficult way to lose weight. Here's a rule of thumb: exercise very hard for one hour (swimming, running, or racquetball)-€" and you'll lose about one ounce of fat. Light exercise for an hour (gardening, baseball, or golf) will lose you a third of an ounce. That number is small because fat is a very energy-dense substance: it packs about 4,000 food calories per pound, the same as gasoline, and 15 times as much as in TNT.

If you run for an hour, you'll lose that ounce of fat and also a pound or two of water. By the next day, when you've replenished the water, you might think, 'the weight came right back!' But you'd be wrong - you really did lose an ounce. It is hard to notice, unless you keep running every day for a month or more, and don't reward yourself after each run with a cookie.

There is a much easier way to lose weight, eat less. A reasonable daily diet for an adult is 2,000 food calories. That's 8.36 megajoules per day, or about 100 joules per second -- in other words, 100 watts. Most of that ends up as heat, so you warm a room as much as a bright light bulb. Cut your consumption by 600 calories per day and you'll lose a pound of fat every week. Most diet experts consider that a reasonable goal. Don't drop below 1,000 calories per day, or you might get lethargic. But at 1,400 calories per day, you can easily maintain an active life.

Of course, there is a catch. You'll be hungry. It's not real hunger-€"not like the painful hunger of starving people in impoverished countries. It's more of a mild ache, or an itch that you mustn't scratch. To be popular, a diet must somehow cope with this hunger. Weight Watchers does it with peer support. The food pyramid does it by encouraging you to eat unlimited celery. Some high-fat diets satisfy all your old cravings - and figure you'll eventually cut back the butter you put on your bacon.

Week 1: Basic Training

Spend a week getting used to not eating like Jabba the Gut. Eat lots more protein than you normally do—it will make you feel fuller longer because your body will take more time to break down the chow.

Start every day with caffeine. But put down the ax, Hannibal! You’re making us nervous.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
One fast-food burger won’t build a back porch in your pants…but stay away from ones that are called Biggie, King, or the McFlabby with Cheese.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
When it’s drinking night, choose Option 3! Loading up on grease will keep you from waking up with toxic alcohol poisoning. Whom you wake up with is your problem.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Workout Menu
Burn at least 300 calories every day by doing any combination of these:
The Snack Bar
Eating one of these under-150-calories snacks a day will keep your levels steady and keep you from binging on a metric ton of Mallomars.
Week 2: Double Or Nothing

Once your body realizes it’s not eating for three anymore, it’ll try to adjust its metabolism to burn fewer calories. To beat this annoying built-in fat preserver, we’re keeping your calorie intake steady but doubling the workouts to convince your metabolism to burn more fat. Sneaky! Huh?

Sure, figuring out serving sizes is a pain. Here’s a hand: One tablespoon is about the size of a testicle—or a Titleist 2, if you prefer.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
A juicy quarter-pounder is 420 calories if you leave the last quarter of it on your plate—a damn good idea unless you’re looking to win the next “American Rhino” competition.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Go sirloin: The redder the cut, the less fat and calories. Buying it will also slim your wallet! White sauce, however, loads you down with artery-clogging oil and cream—at no extra charge!
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Workout Menu
Combine 300 calories’ worth of last week’s lazy-man’s exercise every day with one hour of one of of these activities every other day.
The Snack Bar
Two of these 200-calories-and-under protein-packed snacks a day will keep you from begging for donuts in the streets.

Week 3: Hell Week

Think of this as fat-burning boot camp. To make sure you succeed, we’re lowering your food intake and upping the workouts. It sucks, but you gotta do it if you ever want to be a runway model, soldier!

Nuts add extra protein and energy without the tasty but artery-clogging fat. Plus, studies show men who eat nuts have a lower coronary risk. Insert your own childish joke here.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Load up on condiments like ketchup and mustard. They add lots of flavor with negligible calories. Mayo, on the other hand, is the equivalent of eating a tub of lard, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Barbecue is perfect for the cave man cook. Since you don’t add butter or oil, you don’t load on the grease and fat. Plus, you get to play with fire!
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Workout Menu
Get ready, this is gonna hurt. Get your ass outdoors and ride a bike, rollerblade, jog, or play naked volleyball five days this week for an hour a pop. Then burn 200 calories more. Some ideas:
The Snack Bar
Come this far without cheating? We’re impressed. Treat yourself to a little crap by picking one indulgent item daily from this list.

Counting fat grams is for girls. Eat by color. White, red, and light green are bad for you. White flour, white sugar, white rice, and the like have zero nutrients. When you eat them your blood sugar levels can fluctuate, increasing your chances of getting diabetes. A tender steak is friendly and packed with protein, but only in small doses. Excess red meat has been linked to cancer and heart disease. That marbling, Marlon—that’s fat. Lighter greens are “empty” foods—that leaf on your Big Mac ain’t doin’ shit. Iceberg is everywhere because it’s cheap, not because it’s nutritious. Eat the napkin instead.

Orange, yellow, brown, and green are good for you. Oranges are packed with C, which boosts the immune system and is an antioxidant that protects the brain in old age. Look at Gramps—now you see how important that is? Bananas are “as good as medicine.” Packed with carbs and potassium, they can lower blood pressure while reducing plaque buildup in the heart. Whole-grains have more fiber, which means they’ll help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, prevent heart attacks, and keep your tailpipe clear: a fuss-free enema. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale are heaping mounds of cancer-fighting power. Sorry, but Mom was right on this one. - By Kevin Skiena

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