You Won't Miss Them, and They Could Save a Life

What to Do With Your Uneaten Calories

By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Founder and Editor-in-Chief


Like most Americans, I've let my waistline creep into the Overweight zone. You probably have, too, since you're reading this. One-third of us are obese—twice as many as in 1980.

We have lots of incentives to shed those extra pounds. It will cut our risk of diabetes and other killers. We'll feel more energetic, make more money, enjoy happier lives.

These incentives are proven by demographic studies. They aren't working, though. Last year, obesity rose in every one of the 50 states. Over the next eight years, it's expected to reach an incredible 41 percent. We are becoming a corpulent nation.

Maybe the incentives aren't working because they're essentially selfish. "Happiness," said Helen Keller, "is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."

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I'd feel more committed to my diet if I knew it helped other people—wouldn't you?

Real Money

Not long ago, my little neighborhood church decided to sponsor an impoverished child in the Philippines. Her name is Mariana. The few dollars we send her family each month keep her from going to bed hungry every night.

Thinking about this during my jog around our upscale Connecticut neighborhood today, I suddenly made a connection: Why not donate my extra calories to a child who desperately needs them?

And then I realized something else: It won't cost me a dime.

As any reputable weight-control expert will tell you, the only way to lose pounds is by eating fewer calories than your body needs for maintaining its current weight. It doesn't matter much what you eat—it's the calories.

We even know how many calories. It's 3500 per pound of body weight. This means that if you give up only 120 calories per day (one slice of buttered bread or half a slice of pizza), you'll lose a pound a month.

We also know what those calories cost. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average American food runs a little under half a cent per calorie. At that rate, giving up 120 calories a day will save you $15 a month.

That's real money—money you'll have in your pocket instead of your waistline.

Real People

Download DietPower free trialMeanwhile, around the world, 15 million children die of hunger and malnutrition each year. Most are in Asia and Africa, but even the United States has its share. You've seen their pictures on TV. These are real people—just as real as chubby little Randy next door.

Saving a starving child is far less expensive than feeding you or me. Thanks to volunteer workers and surplus-food donors, nonprofit institutions do it for as little as $15 a month.

Wait a minute. That's the same amount you'll have in your pocket each month if you lose a pound of that dangerous fat you've been carrying around.

Why not start today? DietPower can help. As a public service, we've created Donate Your Calories!, an online calculator that shows how much you can give to charity via the calories you save during your diet. To calculate your potential for helping the hungry, click here.

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