Thursday 27 October 2016

Weight loss slows down over time

Published 12/01/2016 | 02:30

It gets more difficult to lose weight the longer you diet
It gets more difficult to lose weight the longer you diet

We have long been told that in order to lose a pound we must cut 3,500 calories. But this is now being questioned.

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The idea that dieters need to cut this many calories - with diet, exercise or both - to lose 1lb of weight comes from an influential scientific paper published in 1958. Max Wishnofsky MD, a doctor who lived in Brooklyn, New York, tried to sum up everything we knew about how calories are stored by the body.

He suggested that when the body is in a steady caloric state, meaning it isn't fasting or starving, extra calories will be stored as fat, and it would take 3,500 extra calories to create a pound of fat. But now experts say the 3,500-calorie rule doesn't work because the body adjusts to weight loss. It quickly decreases the number of calories it needs to maintain its new, lighter size. That means weight loss slows down over time. People who expect to drop a pound for every 3,500 calories they cut will soon become frustrated when the weighing scale doesn't cooperate, says

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