Danielle Hamo Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Does 3,500 calories really equal 1 pound of weight loss

For decades consumers have heard that 3,500 calories equals one pound, and to lose one pound in a week, 500 calories a day need to be cut. I myself have told this to my clients. However, while reading this months Today’s Dietitian, I found out how this may not always be true.

Screenshot 2015-11-19 14.02.57

The origional equation is called Wishnofsky’s Rule and is based on a study done in 1958, that wasn’t so well designed. Based on this, you can see how this science may need to be rethought.

Current research has shown that people lose less weight then expected in this 3,500 calorie rule. Factors involved include age, height, weight, gender, differences in metabolic rate, differences in physical activity routines, and metabolic adaptations during weight loss.

A new model to better predict weight loss has been developed, called “Body Weight Planner” by the National Institute of Health. Current recommendations still continue with cutting 500 calories a day for weight loss, however if you do not get the results you expected, you now know there are many factors at play.

Try using this Body Weight Planner here: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/bwp/

you can enter goal weight, and time frame to reach that goal, and you will be given a plan based on your height, weight, gender, and age. The downside to this tracker is, that it limits your weight loss goal by the guidelines given by the USDA, however it can still be useful to get going.


Drinking water leads to effortless weight loss

You hear everyday that you should drink more water. But it is not only for general health, it also aids in weight loss! and studies show that drinking diet soda is not the same thing, water is superior.

Water can help you lose weight by:

  • Increasing calories you burn
  • Increasing rate of fat breakdown
  • Decreasing amount of calories you consume by swapping soda or juice for water

A study tested out the effect of drinking water on weight loss along with a diet: Subjects drank more than 1 liter of water per day (1 liter = 4.5 cups of water.) Results showed that over 12 months, drinking more than 1 liter per day of water was associated with significantly greater weight loss than diet alone. Water was associated with a decrease in body weight, waist circumference, and % body fat.

This wasn’t just due to the reduction of calories from other beverages, because noncaloric drinks other than water were associated with 30% smaller effect than water, so drinking diet soda is not the same! 

Over the 12 months of the study weight loss due to drinking water alone was 5 pounds. This might sound small but its reduction of 17,500 calories, without doing anything! By just drinking water! So it is worth doing in addition to other diet and exercise tactics.  

I also recommend my clients to have a cup of water before and after each meal, as it will result in less calories being consumed. Sometimes we also mistake hunger for thirst, so drinking a cup of water prior to snacking or eating is a good strategy.

Tips on how to drink more water 

  • Always have a pitcher of water at the table during meal times (I use Brita) 
  • Buy a reusable earth friendly aluminum water bottle and take it with you where ever you go so you always have water (It is a good alternative to plastic.)  
  • Keep a bottle of water by your bed 
  • If you always have water around you will drink more! 
  • If you do not like the taste of plain water add lemon slices, mint leaves, strawberries, to jazz it up
  • check out this site it has cool ways to increase your water intake http://www.wikihow.com/Drink-More-Water-Every-Day