Here at Profile, we celebrate “Simple.”
For years, the simple answer to the number of calories in a pound has been
3,500. We all know weight loss is complex, and an error in the 3,500 calorie
rule can help explain why people lose patience with a change in diet eventually
leading to a weight loss steady state stemming from your body burning
fewer calories for every pound you lose.
What the heck is a weight loss steady state? Calling it a plateau might
help. However you prefer to look at it, people typically quit losing weight
because their motivation to follow the new diet wanes and they start doing
more and more things they shouldn’t. It is normal for people to
follow diet plans for 6-9 months. New thoughts on the 3,500 calorie rule
tell us that patience beyond that is required to get the results people expect.
Let’s look at an example of a 55 year old woman who is 5’6
and currently 210 pounds. Her goal is to lose 50 pounds in a year. When
doing some basic math and applying the 3,500 calorie rule, if she reduces
calories by 500 per day multiplied by 365 days in a year, it appears that
she can reach her goal in a year. (365 days * 500 calories/3,500 calories
in a pound = 52 pounds). Everyone knows the rule, right? Does that add
No, there are some errors in looking at losing weight this way.
Knowing that your body needs fewer calories for every pound you lose, the
math gets quite complicated. Truthfully, if this woman only reduces 500
calories, she will probably only lose 17 pounds! Yet, if she expects to
lose over 50, surely she will lose motivation somewhere along the way
when her goal no longer seems possible. With such sharp contrast of expectations
versus reality, it’s no wonder that many people start to waiver
from their meal plan after a period of time; eventually, falling off the
wagon when the dreaded plateau hits, leading to weight regain.
Further, this shows us all how and why diets that include only calorie
restriction do not work. People have to change something about their lifestyle
to see long-term results. Profile plans provide calculated research-based
meal plans that boost a person’s initial weight loss reducing the
overall time needed to get to a goal weight. Most importantly, Profile
educates and uses behavior change techniques to help a member improve
parts of their lifestyle to healthier ways.
Bottom line; the 3,500 calorie rule is generally inaccurate and is not
part of the Profile program. Instead, under the guidance of a Certified
Profile Coach, we focus on making behavior changes while following a plan
tailored to your body which results in a healthy lifestyle and maintainable
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