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.

Members needed for club to survive

Auctioneer Len "Fonz” Bargenquest and Rotary member Errol Rix at the Blackwater Rotary Auction.

Blackwater Rotary Club is looking for more members

It's time to pay council rates

The Central Highlands Regional Council office in Emerald.

Rates are expected in the letterboxes of Central Highlands residents

Flood mitigation work complete

MITIGATION PROJECT: The earthmover at work to clear the Nogoa River.

The flood mitigation project in the Nogoa River is complete.

Local Partners

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

A MERE two points separated two teams from My Kitchen Rules, in a spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!