Looking to shed belly fat? There's only one formula you need to know, and luckily for you, it's easier than anything you encountered in ninth-grade algebra. The magic equation is this:
CALORIES OUT - CALORIES IN = TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS (OR GAIN)
If staying slim comes down to simple math, why are so many Americans fat? The short answer: We're eating our weight in burgers and pasta. People tend to blame their extra flab on lack of exercise (the "calories out" part of the weight-loss equation), but the truth is, overeating is usually the biggest perpetrator of pudginess. It takes 3,500 calories to create one pound of body fat, so if you eat just 500 extra calories a day, you'll add one new pound to your gut each week. Make that a habit--like so many of us unwittingly do--and you're looking at 52 pounds of excess flab per year!But here's the good news: You don't have to give up your favorite foods to keep the pounds at bay. Case in point: The following list of food swaps, excerpted from the new Eat This Not That! 2012. Make these tiny tweaks to your diet, and you'll subtract thousands of calories without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. See, isn't math fun?