3500 Calories = 1 pound… Or Not!

I am here tonight to discuss and debunk a well known nutrition “fact” that many people believe whole heartedly. As a Registered Dietitian, this is what I was taught in school not too long ago:

3500 calories = 1 pound

Creating a negative energy balance of 500 calories a day, either through decrease in food intake or an increase in energy expenditure, leads to a weight loss of one pound per week.

When you think about it, that seems so simple. Guess what folks, it’s not! Our bodies are unique, equipped with different metabolic rates and prone to adaption leading to weight loss plateaus and frustration. So even when you are counting every calories and doing everything “right”, the logic behind it all is flawed. And we wonder why yo-yo dieting is so common! Yes, I do believe in food diaries and tracking intake, because it creates awareness… but those phone apps always lie about my predicted weight loss based on my intake and expenditure… the math is faulty!

Today I found a great article with video presented by a Registered Dietitian, that goes deeper into this topic and new age thinking. Check it out for more information on this topic: http://www.karencollinsnutrition.com/smartbytes/2013/05/02/video-interview-3500-calorie-rule-for-weight-loss-is-out/

We all need to rethink our expectations when it comes to weight loss AND weight maintenance. Remember, we are all unique and next time you hear someone say “3500 calories = 1 pound”, I hope you don’t let that fly.


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