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A vegan pear with a measuring tape.

Each excess pound of weight represents approximately 3500 calories.  If you want to release a pound per week, reduce your caloric intake by 3500, or 500 per day.  Exercise will further potentiate your success – both by burning additional calories AND by revving up your metabolic system.

Of course, a calorie is not always a calorie.  Sensitivities to gluten, for instance, can cause a perpetual state of bloating and inflammation, and a dense diet heavy with meats and grains can sometimes slow absorption/digestion processes.  But dietary refinements aside, “500 calorie/day = 1 pound/week” remains a good rule-of-thumb when developing an action plan to reach and maintain your own ideal weight.

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