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Why does weight loss slow down?

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One of the most frequently asked question when losing weight is 'why does weight loss slow down'?

An average woman needs about 1800 – 2000 Calories a day to fuel daily activities including the task of keeping the body warm and internalfunctions. An average man needs about 2000 - 2500 Calories a day to fuel daily activities including the task of keeping the body warm and internal functions.

Obesity is caused by consuming more Calories than the body needs. By consuming 100 Calories a day more than is required, the body will store the extra energy and it will result in about a 10-pound weight gain over the course of one year. (I.e. 100 x 365 = 36, 500 with one pound of fat equalling 3,500 Calories. The definition of obese is BMI >30. Height in metres squared, divided into weight in kilos i.e.

To become 3 stone overweight, someone has to have consumed 147,000 more Calories than they needed. To remain 3 stone overweight they have to eat 300 – 350 Calories a day more than they need.

 

To lose weight you have to consume fewer Calories than your body needs. When you restrict intake, the first fuel the  body uses is glycogen and contains 4 Calories a gram (1800 Calories a pound). We have about 1lb of glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is stored with about 5 times its own weight of water.

 

To lose the first 7 pounds, which is glycogen and water, you have to cut back 1800 – 2000 Calories. If you cut back by 300 Calories a day it will take 7 – 10 days to lose the glycogen stores; the weight loss will be about  7 pounds

 

The next fuel is body fat and contains 9 Calories a gram (3500 Calories a pound). To lose the next 7 pounds, which is body fat, you have to cut back 3500 x 7 which is 24,500 Calories. If you carry on cutting back by 300 Calories a day it will take 7 – 10 days to lose another pound. It will take 7- 10 weeks to lose the next 7 pounds.

 

This is one reason why people lose heart and give up. The initial weight loss is not sustained, not because they are doing anything ‘wrong’, but because they are now burning fat and it is a very dense energy rich source of fuel.