Are you dieting and/or exercising to lose weight right now? And how much weight do you expect to be able to lose and keep off by following your weight loss plan?
You've probably heard that rule of thumb that says you can lose one pound by either eating 3,500 fewer Calories over time or by burning 3,500 more Calories through exercise. And you might very well have heard it from some seemingly reputable sources, like NBC's Today show or from the winning contestants on that network's show The Biggest Loser.
The only problem with that kind of math is that it doesn't work in real life. Here's what we learned on that topic last year, when we looked at what might happen to our weight if we started eating one extra chocolate chip cookie (or 210 extra Calories) every day:
What happens in real life is that your body's metabolism will adjust over time to compensate for the additional calories you're consuming, in such a way that the amount of weight you might gain will be much smaller than what that 3,500 calories = 1 pound relationship would predict.
One way to look at that situation is that the weight you would gain would also cause you to burn more calories, which limits how much additional weight you would actually gain in that situation.
The body's process of metabolic compensation then works in reverse if you're trying to lose weight. Here, many people will recognize that force at work if they ever had the experience of succeeding in losing some weight, but reaching that certain point where it became really tough to lose any more.
Political Calculations is a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics.
Be the first to read Political Calculation's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Friday, March 14th, 2014 | John Ransom
Taxi Publication Threatens To Expose ‘Secretly Gay’ Aldermen If City Doesn’t Ban Ride-Sharing | Nick Sorrentino