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What’s Magic about the Number 500?

In a previous post, Jay explained that her strategy for losing a hundred pounds was to lose one pound a week and to do that a hundred times. That made her goal seem attainable to her, rather than overwhelming. It was a brilliant idea, but what does that look like exactly? What does it take to lose a pound a week?

The answer is to eat approximately 500 fewer calories a day. If you do that, you’re likely to lose a pound a week (Guth). Does that seem too slow? Well, consider this: if you had done this this one year ago, you’d be 50 pounds thinner now. Let’s break it down to how it’s possible to eat plenty of healthy food and cut back on calories considerably:

Okay, so the total for the Bad Day is 1,820 calories — and you haven’t even had dessert. On the Good Day, you’ve had 1,020 calories. And that’s just one day! Of course, you don’t eat two donuts and a Big Mac every day, but you see my point, right? Keep in mind, too, that on the Good Day, you’re getting such better nutrition, and you’re eating much, much more filling food!

Honestly, for many of us, a pound a week is actually asking a lot of ourselves. But by paying attention, you can easily whittle off 250 calories a day — definitely enough to make a big difference in how you’ll look and feel. Let me know how this works for you.                                                        



Guth E. Counting calories as an approach to achieve weight control. JAMA 2018; 319(3):225-6.