Currently, I am on a weight loss journey, and I’m finding so much conflicting information online that it’s making me feel hopeless.
The Golden “Rule” of Weight Loss
If you’ve ever heard of someone counting calories to lose weight, you’ve probably heard about the “rule” that states you need a 3,500 calorie deficit to drop a single pound. This rule grew from a single line from Max Washnofsky in the 1958 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which stated “that 3,500 calories is the caloric value of one pound of body weight lost.”
Depending on the amount you weigh, what activity you’re doing, and how fast you’re moving, that can amount to a lot of exercise! For instance, if you weigh around 160 lbs and walked at 7 mph, you’d need to walk for approximately four hours to drop that one little pound.
The good news is that the golden “rule” that’s been around some 50-odd years is finally being challenged by scientists and nutritionists. Whether or not those challenges are good news is up to you.
Challenging the Deficit
While there’s been no scientific evidence to refute the rule of the 3,500 calorie deficit, it’s been continually regarded with skepticism. After all, there are people dropping five pounds in a week who don’t walk four hours per day, right?
The National Institute of Health, along with Mathematician Kevin Hall, recently unveiled a Body Weight Planner (WBP) that defies the rule. The counter shows a realistic weight-loss strategy and progression. The model was built from Hall’s rigorous analysis of the best weight-loss studies and then tested against them for accuracy.
WBP found that the amount of weight loss decreases over time as the body and metabolic rate adapts. This is the opposite of what many nutritional experts expected to find, and for those attempting to lose weight it can be a harsh reality. Essentially, it means that over the course of a year, it takes a 7,000 calorie deficit to lose a single pound.
How to Make a Healthy Deficit
With this new knowledge, weight loss experts are trying to reinvent the strategies and goals of those aiming for a healthier body mass index. Individuals are also attempting new diets and exercise plans so that the 7,000 calorie deficit is possible. If you are among them, just remember:
- Don’t starve the body. This has a negative effect on weight loss and health.
- Eat the right calories. If you’re highly active, carbs are okay. Otherwise, avoid them. If in doubt, always consume protein.
- Split up your exercise time. A deficit of 7,000 calories can happen over the course of a few days or even a week. Try to tackle a 1,000 calorie deficit each day and increase it over time.
- Vary your routine. The body becomes accustomed to certain exercises. Try new fitness classes or plan a weekend escape to change your normal bike route.
A calorie deficit does aide in weight loss. And now that evidence has come out to give nutritionists and health experts a more solid idea of how to set realistic goals, results are nearer than ever!
This article was placed by InterHealth.