If you find that your weekly weight loss is slowing down, maybe it’s time to readjust your calorie intake.
First, some calorie math.
Your calorie baseline is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. Most diets are based on reducing that number by 1,000 calories a day for a two-pound-a-week loss. But the less you weigh, the fewer calories needed to maintain your weight, and fewer still to lose weight. For instance, you need about 100 fewer calories a day if you drop from 160 to 140 pounds.
- If you’re moderately active, it takes about 2,250 calories a day to maintain 160 pounds, and 1,250 calories a day to lose 2 pounds per week.
- If you’re moderately active, it takes about 2,150 calories a day to maintain 140 pounds and 1,150 calories a day to lose 2 pounds a week.
So, without lowering the total number of calories you’re eating on your diet, that 2 pound-a-week weight loss could drop off a bit. You’ll still lose weight, just not as fast.
To keep losing at the same rate, increase exercise, reduce calories, or try a combination of both. High-protein and high-fiber foods are often more satisfying, so choosing fish and whole-grain cereals, for example, will help you feel fuller on less.
For a more exact approach, try an online calculator that uses your height, weight, age and activity level to determine your changing calorie needs. Recalculate every time you lose 5 to 10 pounds.
To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.