Losing weight: fat chance

If you are overweight or obese, it is advised to cut 500 calories a day in order to lose half a kilogram off your weight. However, research evidence suggests that a flabby person will have a different metabolism compared to a muscular guy or a skinny one, and will therefore need varying strategies.

For example, a 23-year old like me who is 170 cm tall (5'7") and weighs almost 70 kg, should eat 2294 calories a day. However, a 110-kg version of me must eat 3080 calories per day to fend off his daily body needs, while a 90-kg clone would require 2729 calories.

Clearly, as a person becomes heavier, more calories must be cut from the diet, and adherence to diet should become stringent. This is not the usual case, however. Increasingly few of the overweight and obese subjects are strictly compliant with proper food intake. Fat chance.

Expectedly, those who have the willpower to resist gustatory temptations rarely become overweight and obese. More likely, those are the guys and ladies plastered on billboards with svelte, chiseled tummies.

image credits: Angel Locsin's facebook fan page

The mantra for the rest of your life therefore is to stay, rather than to become, slim.

Nonetheless, if you want to get a personalized realistic assessment of the steps needed to reduce your weight, you can visit Dr. Kevin Hall's site of the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov.

Source: The Economist. 2011. A wide spread problem. The Economist, August 27, 2011. page 71.