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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > February 2016 > WHY HAVE I STOPPED LOSING WEIGHT?

WHY HAVE I STOPPED LOSING WEIGHT?

Cut around 500 calories a day and you should easily lose weight. But frustration sets in when, all of a sudden, it seems you can’t shift another pound… Registered dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker leads you off the plateau

hfg WEIGHT LOSS

How many times have you read that to lose 1lb you need to create a calorie deficit or shortfall of 3,500? For many years, this formula has been widely accepted by dietitians and scientists (including our experts at HFG). When advising patients on how to lose weight, this dieting wisdom has been translated into the simple message that you should cut 500 calories a day. Do this every day for a week and that’s a calorie saving of 3,500 calories, which will leave the scales showing a drop of 1lb, every week, until you reach your target. So if you have 2st to lose, you should achieve this in 28 weeks!

But, as many dieters have discovered, while the pounds melt away over the first, second and even third week (especially in people who have a lot of weight to lose), eventually this formula stops working and weight loss reaches a frustrating plateau.

IS THE FORMULA WRONG?

BASICALLY, IT’S TOO SIMPLISTIC. The 3,500 calorie rule is based on a calculation originating from researcher Max Wishnofsky, who in 1958 reviewed the research available at the time and concluded that the calorie equivalent of 1lb of body weight lost or gained was approximately equal to 3,500 calories. Until recent years, his findings were taken as read within the nutrition world and used as the basis for counselling patients who needed to lose weight.

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About Healthy Food Guide

New Year’s resolution slipping by the wayside? Get back on track with February’s HFG: we’ve expert advice on beating the weight-loss plateau, fitness motivation and 12 essential skills to help your healthy cooking. Plus, get the sane view on The Sirtfood Diet, improve your mouth health and build a better lunch box with our canny tips
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