Weight loss mistake #1 - Not altering your calorie plan as you lose weight. The fallacy of the "1200 calorie diet" plans and the like.
Most people set their calorie intake at a given number and expect to keep losing weight at the same constant rate over a period of weeks. Therefore dieters look for 1000 calorie or 1800 calorie diet plans on the web.
Simply put, fixed calorie diet plans don't work. If you burn 3000 calories a day at the start of your diet, after losing weight for a week or two, you are no longer burning 3000 calories a day. Now you might be burning just 2800 calories.
If you maintain a constant calorie intake in the face of a decreasing calorie expenditure, your weight loss will continuously slow down as you lose weight.
If you really want to lose weight at a constant rate, you repeatedly have to:
It's also important to understand that you have to set realistic and slow weight loss goals. If you opt for fast weight loss, you won't be able to sustain it for a long period unless you go to an extreme in your calorie reduction and exercise plans.
- Lower your calorie intake to accommodate the calorie expenditure drop
- Exercise more to increase your calorie output
- Do both
For people who want to lose 20 pounds or more, the goal should be a loss of no more than 2 pounds per week. Those who need to lose just a small amount of weight should try for weight loss of 1 pound per week.
Why does our calorie expenditure drop as we lose weight? The most important factors are:
These important factors contribute to an ever-decreasing calorie expenditure as we lose weight. The more we cut calories, the bigger larger our calorie expenditure drop. Also, the leaner the dieter, the greater the calorie expenditure drop.
- You weigh less! A smaller, lighter body burns fewer calories both while active and at rest
- You may involuntarily burn fewer calories than you did before. Many dieters lack energy and move around less
- Calorie reduction lowers the body's metabolic rate
- Your reduced body fat may further suppress your metabolic rate
Now you need to understand that if you want to succeed in losing weight, you first have to make changes in your nutrition plan. I recommend burning more calories because it facilitates smaller calorie restriction and a milder calorie expenditure drop.
It's extremely difficult to estimate the rate of the metabolic drop, but as a general rule, the bigger you are, the smaller the rate of the metabolic drop. The more weight you lose, the more you must cut your calorie intake or increase your level of exercise.
If you're overweight, you might need to cut 10 more calories for every pound that you lose. If you're lean on the other hand, you might need to cut 60 calories for every pound you lose. (I chose these numbers just as an example.)
Part 2 >>
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Conclusion
About the author:
Hristo Hristov is the owner of X3MSoftware, a company specializing in developing training and nutrition software. He has a Computer Science degree and a passion for powerlifting.
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