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The Myth that a Person Must Eat Much Less in Order to be Slim

Abstract: The best slimming method is not to slim hard for a restricted time, but to follow a diet which suits you even after you have reached your ideal weight.

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The Myth that a Person Must Eat Much Less in Order to be Slim

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 16 Aug 2008.

How strict a diet is needed to lose weight?

Answer:

Many people believe that they must eat abnormally little in order to reduce weight, and that when they have achieved their ideal weight they think they can eat as before. This is an unsuccessful method. Do this instead:

Decide how much you want to weigh in kilos and multiply this weight by thirty. You will then get an approximate measure of the number of calories you can eat per day when you have reached your ideal weight, and want to retain it. However, you can eat the same amount even before you have reached your ideal weight and you will gradually approach this level because the body's calorie requirements follow its weight. This is a much better method than intense slimming. Eating is largely a matter of habit and it is easier to reach and retain a certain weight if the same amount is eaten every day.

As soon as you have calculated the number of calories required for your ideal weight you can begin training to eat within these limits. If it is difficult in the beginning, you can proceed by trial and error until you have found a diet which suits you. You can also get used to eating better and more wholesome food and continue with this both when you want to reduce and when you have reached your ideal weight. In this way you avoid a troublesome change-over from overeating to intense slimming.

Some people use the following method: they weigh themselves every morning and if they weigh more than their ideal weight they make sure they don't overeat that day. If they weigh less than their ideal weight they can allow themselves a little more. This is a method that works well.

You can compare this with how you manage your economy. You make sure that your expenses don't exceed your income. Thus, you should make sure that your diet does not produce too much fat on your body.

An example: Suppose that a person has a weight of 100 kilos (222 lbs) and wants to achieve an ideal weight of 70 kilos (155 lbs). If this person eats 2100 kcal/day, the weight will change as shown in this figure:

If you want to reduce weight somewhat faster, all you have to do is to eat slightly less than the sustaining food intake for the weight you want to achieve. In the example, if the person eats 2000 kcal/day, the weight will change as follows:

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