Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Did I Gain Eight Pounds This Year??

I have been thin my entire life (I'm 32 years old now) and just this past year I have gained eight pounds and it's making me look fat. The only thing I have done differently is switch from artificial sweetener in my tea to using honey. I use 4 teaspoons of honey a day.... could this be what's making me gain weight?
Anne M.

Dear Anne,
Actually it may be exactly what's making you gain the weight! I have never heard such an accurate account of what a person changed in their eating habits over a year, but this makes complete sense: Each teaspoon of honey has about 20 calories; four teaspoons each day is about 80 calories. Over a month this would lead you to gain 3/4 of a pound; after 12 months that would be exactly eight pounds!

If you would like to keep using the honey to sweeten your tea, there is nothing wrong with that at all. You can easily burn 160 calories per day by walking about one-and-a-half miles (which takes about 1/2 hour for most people). This will allow you to lose the weight over time, and then you can back off to just one mile a day to maintain your weight while using the honey.

Many people cite advantages to using honey; there aren't really any health benefits to using artificial sweeteners except for saving calories. In my opinion you would be better off getting into the habit of walking 30 minutes a day to burn the calories. Walking is good for your joints, heart, circulation, and often peace of mind giving you time to just relax and take some time off from being busy!

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