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Why Starve Yourself?

Many people think reducing the amount of calories you consume is the only way to lose weight. After all, a pound of stored body fat is the equivalent of approximately 3,500 calories - reduce your caloric intake by that much, and you'll lose the fat, pound by pound.

Unfortunately, eating less can be extremely difficult, especially if you're accustomed to enjoying meals that aren't always low in calories or fat. So, what to do? If you aren't inclined to reduce the amount of calories you consume, you can always burn them with exercise - and as a recent study asserts, this strategy may be even healthier for you in the long run than starving yourself.

The study, published in the November issue of the Journal of Preventive Medicine, investigated whether caloric intake was linked to the risk of death from heart conditions over a 17-year period. Surprisingly, individuals who ate more, but were also more active physically, had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than people who ate less, but also exercised less.

Consistent exercise (at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, at least three times per week) and a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in refined sugars and saturated fats, are established methods of losing weight and limiting your chances of developing heart disease or a number of other troublesome conditions. But don't starve yourself! You'll be more likely to stick to your exercise and diet, and what's more, you'll improve your chances of staying healthy for years to come.

For more information on proper diet and nutrition, visit


Fang J, Wylie-Rosett J, Cohen HW, et al. Exercise, body mass index, caloric intake, and cardiovascular mortality. Journal of Preventive Medicine November 2003:25(4), pp283-9.



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