If you are an avid dieter you probably already know that 1 pound = 3500 calories. With some basic calculations, you can figure out how many calories you need to decrease/increase to hit your goal weight. Examples: 10 pound weight loss = 35,000 calorie deficit = 10 weeks to lose 1 pound per week with a deficit of 500 calories per day. However, for you avid dieters, how many times have you been meticulous about keeping a food log to make sure you hit that 500 calorie per day reduction for 10 weeks and still come up shy of losing 10 pounds?
Initially, when a low-calorie diet is introduced, it is followed by rapid weight loss during the first few days or weeks. During this rapid weight loss, carbohydrates, water, and protein are the first energy sources to go. Additionally, it takes considerably less than 3,500 calories for the initial weight to come off.
However, when following a low calorie diet, reduction of at least 25% of baseline energy requirements, hormonal and neural regulatory mechanisms change as well as the thermic effect of feeding (calorie expenditure of consuming food), thermogenesis (body temperature regulation), resting energy expenditure, and reduction in metabolically active tissues. In so doing, this slows down the rate of weight loss which can last months and even years.
Therefore, to help your body move away from plateaus incorporating resistance exercises is important. By exercising on a regular basis, cardio and weight training, it will help increase muscle mass. An increase in muscle mass results in greater energy expenditure at rest. This in turn, with a reduction in calorie consumption, will help you to move away from the inevitable plateau. Nevertheless, diet and exercise regiments should not be static forever. For example: I shouldn’t eat the same foods with the same exercise routine for months or even years as this will equate to another plateau. Instead, constant diet changes and physical challenges will help keep the body working in an efficient manner in your quest to lose weight.
Overall, weight loss is not easy. However, if your goal is to lose weight, don’t give up on that goal when the weight no longer falls off. Rather, work with a Registered Dietitian to help you gauge what changes need to be done as no single diet works for all people. Each diet/wellness program needs to be specific to each person, their body, needs, past medical history, etc. for best result.
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