You would have to look really hard to find a fitness trainer, trainer or dietician who did not "know" that reducing your intake of food by 3500 calories would result in a loss of one pound. Reduce 500 calories a day, and after a year, you've lost 52 pounds, right?
It is easy to find confirmation of this fact. It is estimated that at least 35,000 weight loss websites and probably 100,000 other fitness sites mention the 3500 calorie rule.
Unfortunately, the rule turns out to be a particularly good example of what Mark Twain meant when he wrote, "A lie can travel halfway around the world as the truth puts on its shoes."
Only in this case has the lie traveled the world for the last 61
And we all swallowed it, hook, twine and pork rind. without knowing that the weight loss is determined by a completely different mathematical formula and is not linear.
It took a mathematician by the name of Kevin Hall, Ph.D. In the first year of a diet, people only lose about half of what is predicted. In fact, the actual number of calories required to burn one pound of fat is closer to 7,000.
Yes, some people are spoiled
Before you scream in rage and frustration, consider what Hall said: "I suppose some people will be bombarded, but we believe it's better to have an accurate one In this way, you do not feel like a failure if you do not reach your goal. "
The main problem The 3500 calorie rule did not take into account that the body pivots and adapts differently to minimize or even eliminate the effects of decreased calorie intake. It is also not responsible for the sex or the fact that the metabolic rate decreases as the body weight decreases.
These observations explain the oft-heard complaint that "losing the last 5 pounds is the hardest".
So what the hell am I supposed to do now?
Hall and his colleagues have put together a more accurate weight-loss predictor called Body Weight Simulator, but to be honest, it's probably best used by people who have significant amounts of weight to lose and expect to have calories. Limited to 6 months to a year or more.
But what about the average reader of this site who is unlikely to lose more than 10 pounds to prepare for the summer? For them, the old 3500 calorie rule is probably for the first few weeks of the diet, but then the formula starts to fluctuate. Losing 500 calories a day is no longer reliable or viable.
Adjustments must be made to continue weight loss. Additional calories need to be reduced and the intensity or duration of the exercise must be increased. Protein-to-carbohydrate-to-fat ratios may need to be re-evaluated and adjusted.
But instead of gritting our teeth about this new formula with 7000 calories, we should rejoice, as Hall said, about a more accurate assessment of what I myself might lose. However, I think the biggest benefit will come to those of you who are training overweight people or giving them nutritional advice.
If customers know what they can realistically expect, they probably will not be so frustrated if their weight loss can not be measured down to what they and the now-defunct 3500-calorie rule have promised them.
A calorie is sometimes not a calorie
Calories – should you count?
- Kevin D. Hall, Steven B. Heymsfield, Joseph W. Kemnitz, Samuel Klein, Dale A. Schoeller, and John R. Speakman, "Energy Balance and Its Ingredients: Effects on Body Weight Control." Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr; 95 (4): 989-994.
- Denise Webb, "Farewell to the 3500 Calorie Rule", Today's Dietitian, Vol. 26. No. 11, p. 36.