This Article is About
lean muscle mass
weight loss efforts
exercise plan
kidney disease
goal weight
range goals
best of intentions
excess weight
unrealistic expectations
high hopes
New Weight Loss Rules May Give Better Expectation
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Dieters frequently start a new eating or exercise plan with high hopes and the best of intentions only to lose steam and then fall flat when the weight comes off to slowly. The old diet rule was that you had to decrease calories by 500 each day to lose one pound a week. But, that rule is not adequate because there are several factors that it fails to account for. Every person’s metabolism is different which does not always make 500 calories adequate in the case of a slowed metabolism while it might be too much for someone who has a fairly rapid metabolism. Dieters, especially those that are following extreme plans can also lose lean muscle mass at the same time they are losing fat. The rule also fails to account for changes in the body’s needs as weight is lost as well. That rule also does not take into account the level of activity.

Kevin Hall, PhD, from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), warns that the one pound a week may set some dieters up for failure by giving them unrealistic expectations for their own success. A new, web based model has been developed to give a more realistic vision of what each dieter can expect to lose and how long it might take for them to lose their proposed weight. Having a real idea of how long it might take to lose excess weight may make it much easier for a person to commit to a long term plan and to make long range goals.

According to Hall, half of the recommended caloric deficit is much more achievable for the average person. Decreasing calories by 250 per day can give people a better chance at sticking to their weight loss plans and eventually reaching their goal weight. However, the weight loss will be much slower than one pound per week with this number of calories for most people, especially those who are severely overweight or obese. For them, their weight loss efforts might take as much as three years or more to accomplish. Hall also warns that the slow but steady weight loss will be most dramatic in the first year of the calorie reduction and then will be progressively slower but will remain steady.

Hall, like other weight loss experts advocates prevention rather than treatment saying that it is easier to keep from gaining weight than it is to take it off. He says that people need to focus on eating a well balanced, nutritious diet that consists of mostly fruits and vegetables as well as lean sources of protein. Obesity is now a world wide epidemic with only a few countries that are below the double digit benchmark. In the United States, the CDC warns that the number of people who are obese can reach the 100% mark in the near future if there are not some drastic changes in eating and behavior.

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