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Obesity and Weight Management

Weight stable on low cal diet

12/04/2003

Question:

If a person is ~25# over her weight, walks 4-5 times per week, eats ~1200 to 1800 calories per day ( average about 1400 per day), has done this for ~ five years and her weight has stabilized, what advise can be give to aid in weight loss. very discouraged!

Answer:

There are many factors which could be contributing to your plateau. A good place to start would be having a resting metabolic rate test done. Often times when resting metabolic rate is calculated by using an equation, it is often over-estimated. An exact measure would give better numbers to work with. Also a calorie range of 1200-1800 calories/day is too broad, as the 600 calorie difference could be a pound per week. I would have you keep a very detailed journal to be analyzed for an exact calorie count.

Lastly I would take a look at your activity. Is it consistent? Has your activity increased over this 5 year period? We know that for weight loss we need to constantly "challenge" our bodies, so if the activity has been the same, weight loss could be effected. It is recommended, for weight loss, to aim for 2000 calories burned in exercise per week. Trying something new might help with re-motivating, such as a pedometer.

Trying to realize all the positive benefits that have been seen this far from weight loss, not just focusing on the scale number, might be another helpful strategy.

Hope this helps!

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Response by:

Angela Blackstone, RD, LD
Staff Dietitian
Center for Wellness and Prevention
Clinical Instructor
School of Allied Medical Professionals
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University