Guest Coach Rachel: Aiming to lose weight? Counting may not be key.
“3500 calories is a pound of fat.” You may have heard it from a variety of sources: your doctor, a friend, a nutritionist, a diet book. Recent research, however, tells us that it may not be so simple. In fact, according to this study by Dr. Kevin D. Hall of the National Institutes of Health and his colleagues, this simplification of the weight loss process can make the results you see even more confusing.
So, what should you base your goals on? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule for weight loss. You may not see the same results as a friend even if you eat and move the same ways. The study does give some concrete guidelines, but finding and applying the ones that are right for you might be a challenge. How can you meet the challenge? By focusing instead on making changes gradually, aiming for your goal (but not slavishly), and taking the steps that you know will lead you to the thing you want.
If you’re aiming for weight loss, it can be a discouraging to see that you’re eating less, moving more, and not losing weight at the rate that the “3500 calories” rule suggests. But this doesn’t mean that you’re failing. Are you seeing some progress? Keep an eye out for changes in your measurements as well as the number on the scale, and keep moving forward on the right path!