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All FAQ Sections
 How to Lose Weight FAQs

Q:How do I lose 5-10 pounds a week?
A:First, this goal isn't completely realistic.

If you set a goal like this, you will set yourself up for failure. A far more realistic goal is losing 1 to 2 lbs per week.

Frankly, there is a lot of misinformation out there. We are here to tell you the truth.

Now... On to the answer. You need to simply burn more calories than you eat. To lose 1 lb a week, you need to burn 500 calories more than you eat each day.

Don't think we are correct? Check with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They aren't even a medical organization but they give people lots of information on how to spot fake weight loss ads. (See our Link's page.)

Please don't be fooled. There isn't a miracle pill. Exercise machines aren't the complete solution. Eliminating carbs isn't the answer. Please go with the answer that Doctors always cite--journal your foods and activities and burn more than you eat.
  
Q:How do I lose weight off my face, butt, thighs, or stomach?
A:The process of losing weight anywhere (face, butt, thighs, stomach) is the same.  First, let us dispel a myth.  There is no such thing as spot training.  There isn't an exercise in the world that will take excess body fat off an area of your body you consider a problem spot.

When you lose weight it comes off all over the body in equal amounts.  Think of your extra body fat in layers.  For example, letís say you have five layers around your hips, three around your arms and two in your cheeks.  As your body uses stored body fat as energy it draws equally from all these areas.  When you burn off a layer of fat you will now have four around your hips, two around your arms and one in your cheeks.  What really happens is the cellulite cells begin to shrink (as the adipose tissue inside is used for energy) and it becomes smaller, but the layer example is good for visualizing.
  
Q:What is the fatburn diet?
A:The Fatburn Diet starts with your current diet! Eat your normal carbs, fats and protein.

The key to lifetime weight loss is knowing the calories that you eat and burn.

In the beginning, you eat what you normally eat and do your normal exercises. At the end of the day (or during the day, if you can), you enter the information into our web site. (After a small adjustment period, it will only take a few minutes per day.)

Our site, with over 20,000 foods and hundreds of exercises will take care of all of the calorie math. After you click on the Summary button, you will be able to see the totals and if you gained or lost weight.

If you do this for a week, you will quickly start seeing patterns. In other words, you will see what foods are causing the most trouble. You can slowly start to reduce (not necessarily eliminate) these foods.

The same is true for your exercises.
At that point, if you haven't done so already, you should enter your weight loss goal. As soon as you do this, the site will gain a lot more dimension for you.

During each new day, you will be able to directly see how your food and exercise choices allow you to gain or lose weight.

This is the only way to truly achieve your weight goal and keep the weight off forever.
  
Q:Isn't it better to be given a meal plan of what to eat to lose weight?
A:Very simply... No.

First, most people can't stay on this type of diet for any length of time. (They hate it!) No one really wants to be told what to do. Ultimately, they say "screw you" and revert to their old habits.

Even if you stick with it and lose the weight--you still will not have learned anything! You wil not learn what food choices work; how often you really need to go to the gym; or about how to handle the situation where you are "bad" for a meal or two.

Isn't it better to start with the diet you have and slowly learn the diet you need for the rest of your life?

Besides, you will be losing weight at the same time!
  
Q:Are carbohydrates (carbs) bad for weight loss?
A:No. First, any initial weight loss will be temporary water weight loss. That's part of the reason they have so much appeal. People think that they can do that and stop their diet and keep the weight off.

The truth is that once they start their normal diet again, the water weight will return.

Also, these diets tend to ask you to load up on proteins. Diets excessively high in proteins also tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol--which increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

For more information, please read our Health & Nutrition article, Is cutting carbs the best way to lose weight? for more information.
  
Q:Can I eat out and still be on a diet?
A:Yes. We have an article entitled How to eat out and lose weight.
  
Q:Can I use this site if I am pregnant?
A:You should consult your Doctor before beginning or using our site (or any other!) or trying to do any adjustments to your diet or exercise.

Pregnancy is an important time for the growth of your baby and it usually isn't a good time to restrict calories.
  
Q:Can I use this site if I recently had surgery, or have high blood pressure or any other medical condition?
A:You should consult your Doctor before using our site (or any other!) or trying to do any adjustments to your diet or exercise.

In fact, if you have any medical questions, you should direct them to your Doctor.

We also encourage you to show them the site! ;-)
  
Q:Do I have to give up candy in order to lose weight?
A:You can eat just about anything you want and still lose weight. To lose weight all you have to do is be in a calorie deficit--which means you have to burn more calories than you eat daily. All you have to do is know how many calories are contained in the candy you eat. As long as you stay in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
  
Q:Does wearing a plastic workout "sweater" while exercising to increase the amount of perspiration help you lose weight?
A:Bad idea. Sweating has nothing to do with weight loss. Sweating is a mechanism for your body to cool itself off. If you deprive your body of this ability by wearing a plastic "sweater" you risk overheating your body and serious injury. The only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn. Try fatburn.com for a month (only $7.99) and lose weight the right way.
  
Q:How do I burn all of these calories?
A:Fortunately for all of us, your body burns most of the calories you need to burn by just living! For example, a typical woman burns about 1,300 calories per day--even if she slept or read a book all day.

If you are trying to lose weight, you will probably have to add some exercise to your daily routine to reach your goal of losing a pound or two per week.

Once you reach your goal, you can probably trim some of the exercise--as long as you burn about the same calories as you eat.
  
Q:How do I lose weight around my hips, stomach, thighs, butt, or any other problem area?
A:Spot weight reduction is a myth! You lose weight all over your body at the same time. In other words, it matters not one bit how many sit-ups or crunches you do. The only way to lose weight in any area is to burn more calories than you eat.
  
Q:How long does it take to lose one pound of body fat?
A:The answer is a simple math equation. You must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 500 more calories than you eat for seven days, you will lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 1,000 calories more than you eat for seven days, you will lose two pounds of body fat. The key is to know how many calories are going in and out each day so you can accurately track your progress.
  
Q:How long will it take you to lose weight?
A:The rate of weight loss varies for each individual. Some will see results right away while others may not see if for a few weeks.

It is important to stay consistent and stay on your plan for at least 3 to 4 weeks. You should see results by then.
  
Q:How many calories make a pound of weight?
A:3,500 calories are in a pound of weight.
  
Q:How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?
A:The answer is as individual as you are. Each person will have a different caloric intake total, each day of the week, to reach the required 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 500 more calories than you eat a day, for seven days, you will burn 3,500 calories. On a day that you burn 2,500 calories, you can eat up to 2,000 calories. On a day that you burn 2,800 calories, you can eat up to 2,300 calories. Each person will be different and each day will be different.
  
Q:How many carbohydrates (carbs) should I eat a day?
A:The FDA recommends that you get 50% of your calories from carbohydrates.  The NAS (National Academy of Science's) Institute of Medicine, based on thousands recent of scientific studies, recommend a slightly different approach.  They recommend that adults get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates.  But, they both agree on the kind of carbs you should eat.

Whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, soy foods, green vegetables, and fruits--foods served as nature grew them--are the carbohydrates that pack the highest nutritional octane. They're rich in compounds that support good health, including fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals. A dietary pattern based on these foods lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many major cancers.

Highly processed carbohydrates, which are stripped of their nutritious germ and fiber, are another story. Unhealthful diets often contain too many carbohydrates processed into concentrated forms (corn syrup, white flour) that provide calories and little else. The bottom line: when you fill up with carbohydrates, only nature reliably pumps out high octane.
  
Q:I have been overweight all of my life. Do I have to stay this way?
A:Of course not. Barring some metabolic issue (hypothyroidism), if you start today by eating at least 500 fewer calories than you burn every day of the week you will lose a pound a week. In a year that will add up to 52 pounds! Use fatburn.com to guide you through your weight loss journey. We give you all the tools to make all the right decisions so you can take control of your life and lose weight your own way.
  
Q:I usually skip breakfast? Is this bad?
A:If your question is referring to weight loss, yes.  One of the best natural calorie burning tools you have is your digestive system.  It takes 6-8 hours to absorb and fully digest a meal.  This requires a ton of energy (calories burned).  If you eat dinner at 7:00 p.m., your digestive tract will be functioning until around 3:00 a.m.  Now if you get up and eat again a few hours later the whole process starts over.  But, if you don't, two things will occur.  First, your digestive system will lie dormant until you eat again, probably a full nine hours later.  This causes you to lose a large part of you basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body burns on its own).  Second, your body thinks it's starving and will slow the rest of your metabolism down as a survival instinct.  The end result is that you burn fewer calories naturally, making it harder for you to lose weight.
  
Q:I'm trying to lose weight. Is fast food bad?
A:It depends on what kind of fast food you eat and how often you eat there. Fast food is typically high in calories and low in nutrition. But quite a few fast food chains are incorporating healthy menus. Balance is the key here. If you love fast food and can't live without it, then learn how much of it you can eat and still lose the weight you want. Fatburn.com will help. We have a large database of fast food restaurants that will give you the information to make educated decisions. Under the Find a Food link available to fatburn.com members, simply type in a restaurant name like McDonalds, Baja Fresh, or Taco Bell, and that restaurant's entire menu and corresponding nutritional information will appear. Check it out!
  
Q:Is a high protein diet good for me?
A:No. Too much protein in your diet can cause very serious side effects. In an overly high-protein diet, this acidic environment actually stimulates cells called osteoclasts, which loot bone mineral. Calcium is taken from the bones and can lead to bone disorders such as osteoporosis. In the low-carbohydrate diet, the acidic content of animal flesh and the lack of alkaline foods increases your risk of forming kidney stones. High-protein diets can trigger food allergies. Diets excessively high in protein tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. They're also low in potassium, vitamins A and C, folic acid, carotenoids, and fiber--all of which help to prevent certain cancers and heart disease. If you try one of these high-protein/low-carb diets, you may lose some pounds right away. But most of this is water loss--which is never permanent.
  
Q:Is alcohol bad for losing weight?
A:It can be. For more information, check out our article entitled Alcohol's Effect on Losing Weight".
  
Q:Is it better to eat before or after a workout?
A:Eating before or after you work out is totally your choice.
  
Q:What about all of those ads? Lose 5 pounds a day without exercise or changing my diet?
A:Those ads are just wrong.

Even the Federal Trade Commission recommends against spending money on these products--and they're not even a medical organization. You should see their brochure-- "I lost $350 in two weeks. Ask me how!"

Frankly, it's going to take the authorities some time to stop any given fly-by-night operator. But you can help yourself... There is no such thing as a pill that can make you lose significant pounds. There is no such pill that will allow you to keep it off once you stop taking this magic pill. There is no such thing as a pill that will magically allow fat to pass through you without getting digested.

Do not waste your money on dreamy results. That's not how it works. The dreamy results happen over time. See our success stories.
  
Q:What is my Daily Metabolic Rate?
A:It is the sum of your basal metabolic rate + your stress levels + your work day activities. Each takes energy (calories) to get you through your day. In other words, it's the amount of calories you burn each day for just being you.
  
Q:What's the fastest speed I can lose weight?
A:It is generally excepted that you can lose up to two (2) pounds per week.

If you go faster than that, you are either doing something unhealthy or temporary.
  
Q:Why does my BMI (Body Mass Index) seem high?
A:The BMI chart isn't for everyone. It overestimates body fat in people who are muscular or athletic because it doesn't distinguish between body fat and lean body mass. It doesn't take into account location of body fat. It can't accurately classify elderly individuals who are frail and sedentary, and it's not a good index for adolescents or children. The BMI chart shows percentile statistics, so you can compare your weight to others of the same age and height.
  
Q:Why should I journal my foods and exercises?
A:It's like asking "why keep a checkbook"? When you eat a dozen jelly donuts or eat a bag of potato chips--its like you just wrote a ton of calorie checks. Instead of your body sending you a "you ate too much message", it just stores the excess as fat.

After the years go by, the body will "collect" those calorie checks with heart disease or diabeties! :-)

Frankly, you need to see the numbers yourself to truly appreciate why your gaining weight. Once you see that, you will be able to adjust your "spending."
  
Q:Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?
A:Smoking doesn't make you gain or lose weight. Nicotine does increase the rate of your metabolism, so by quiting you will burn fewer calories during the day. Plus, the physical action of smoking becomes an oral fixation and when one quits he or she may replace that with eating. But the only way you will gain weight is when you eat more calories than you burn. If you quit smoking and are worried that you may gain weight, join fatburn.com so you can track your daily caloric intake and burn to insure that you do not put on those extra pounds.
  


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