Lifestyle

It's official: It's hard to lose weight

A popular misconception is that overweight or obese people have a slower metabolism.
A popular misconception is that overweight or obese people have a slower metabolism.

BAD news for people trying to lose weight. A new assessment of how the body responds to dieting shows that it is about twice as difficult as previously thought to shed fat.

The calculations also puncture the myth that cutting calories will lead to continued weight loss. In fact, the effect of reducing the intake of calories levels off after about three years, scientists said.

Obesity experts had previously suggested that cutting 100 kilocalories a day from the diet for six months would lead to the loss of about 5lb in weight. But it turns out that this amount of weight loss is more likely to take a year and that any further weight loss will reach a plateau after three years, rather the continuing forever at the same rate.

"People have used this rule of thumb for how to lose weight for decades and it turns out to be completely wrong," said Kevin Hall, a mathematical modeler at the US National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases in Maryland.

"The reason it's wrong is that it doesn't account for the metabolic changes that take place when people change their diet. If you cut the calories in someone's diet, the metabolism slows down and it slows down the more weight that is lost until it reaches a plateau."

A popular misconception is that overweight or obese people have a slower metabolism, which would mean that they do not burn off the calories as fast as leaner people. In fact, the fatter someone is, the higher their metabolism is likely to be be, Dr Hall told the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"Unlike the popular notion out there that heavier people have slower metabolism, the heavier you are the more calories you are burning," he said. "And the more of that mass is lean tissue compared to fat tissue, the more calories still you are burning - and obese people tend to have both an elevated fat mass and an elevated lean-tissue mass."

American scientists have used the new assessment to build a mathematical model of how the human body responds to variations in the intake of food energy.

The model allows people to use a website to calculate for their own age, sex and body weight how many calories they need to cut out from their diet in order to achieve a target weight loss.

"Using the old system, someone who cut 100 calories a day could expect to lose 5lb in six months," Dr Hall said. "Under the new system, it would take a year to lose this 5lb - making it twice as difficult. The rule of thumb is cutting 10 kilocalories per day from your diet for every pound you want to lose."

Dr Hall said that giving people unrealistic expectations of how easy weight loss is can itself be dispiriting if the advice turns out to be wrong.

Topics:  calories, dieting, health, healthy eating, weight loss


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Isaac region can expect rates notices in next week

Rates out soon: Isaac rates will contribute to the maintenance and upgrades of our roads and open space for families like the Andersons to enjoy.

Isaac rates notice are due to arrive by Monday, September 5.

Prepare now for flying fox migration

Little red flying foxes naturally migrate through Isaac from August to January and are known to establish temporary camps.

Take the time now to prepare for flying fox migration.

Melting pot of cultural styles

ENJOY: The Multicultural Festival promises  fine food and performances.

Multicultural festival promises a feast for the senses.

Latest deals and offers

Bridge works to cause delays

Isaac Regional Council would like to advise that bridge inspections will be carried out throughout Isaac from Monday, August 29, to Monday, September 12.

Isaac region can expect rates notices in next week

Rates out soon: Isaac rates will contribute to the maintenance and upgrades of our roads and open space for families like the Andersons to enjoy.

Isaac rates notice are due to arrive by Monday, September 5.

Bikie Laws: MP compares bikie logos to burqas

Outlaw motorcycle gang colours and logos would be outlawed under the proposed changes.

"Are you going to become the fashion police?"

Rio Tinto gets $50,000 penalty for victimising worker

FINED: Rio Tinto's Hail Creek Mine. Photo Contributed

Judge has handed down a $50,000 penalty against Rio Tinto

Court to decide on Carmichael mine challenge

Adani Carmichael Mine.

Carmichael coal mine to be hit with a legal challenge

Forensic teams investigate serious Cap Hwy crash

One of the vehicles involved in a two-car crash on the Capricorn Hwy about 4.30am today.

UPDATE 2.35PM: Serious-crash patients to be treated at Rockhampton

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

More buildings earmarked for demolition at Bunnings site

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF