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Weight Control Part I: The Balance Sheet


There are all sorts of confusing issues surrounding weight control. The most important beginning to successful weight control is to focus on you, and not anyone else, and to focus on facts, not hype. Let's start this week with some basic facts

Stable weight occurs when calories eaten = calories burned

  • For healthy individuals, there is no exception to this rule.
  • Our bodily functions like breathing and heartbeats burn most of our calories. This is often referred to as a basal metabolic rate (BMR). Evidence suggests that individuals have different BMR, but it’s not clear that higher BMR people are necessarily skinnier.
  • There’s no good evidence that healthy medicines or supplements change BMR
  • Calories are also burned by activity, such as exercise.
  • So, calories burned are from BMR, and activity

Can I take anything or eat anything to help me burn more calories?

  • NO. Despite multiple claims to the contrary, there’s no food or supplement that will help you burn more calories.
  • Thus, adding fruits and veggies, or a supplement to a 3000 calorie diet will do nothing to help burn those 3000 calories faster.

The only way to lose weight is to eat less and/or exercise more

  • Simple, absolutely the only way, but easier said than done.

Next week: How do I eat less, exercise more, and stick to it? We’ll find out first how to know instinctively how much you’re eating and how much you’re burning.



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