Most people believe the popular circa-1950s “rule” that when you cut 3,500 calories from your diet over time, you lose a pound. In fact, as The Washington Post recently reported, that’s a fallacy—the body fights weight loss with all its might, so the longer you diet, the more stubborn your metabolism gets. (“Oh, you’re feeding me fewer calories? Then I’ll burn fewer calories.”)
“As time goes on, it gets harder to drop pounds,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Ward, R.D. “The less you weigh, the less you get to eat. A 250-pound guy with a lot of fat can eat much more than a 150-pound guy just trying to drop the last 10 and he’ll still lose weight.”
To beat the body at its own game, Ward says to try the USDA-approved SuperTracker (supertracker.usda.gov), whose Body Weight Planner uses your weight, height, age, etc., to give you a calorie target and time goal. Then update it every few weeks, says Ward, “and as your weight changes, it will adjust the recommendations.”
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