From trying fad diets to developing eating disorders to becoming a gym rat, people have basically gone crazy trying to lose weight. And it's true, America is fat. But what if the secret to losing weight wasn't in ditching carbs or hurling or doing interval exercises but rather if it was in math? What? Yes. Math.
It's simple. Just punch in your vitals into this model, plug in the weight you want to end up at x-amount of days and the equation will tell you how many calories you need to eat moving forward. The magic of math!
The model was created by Carson C. Chow, an investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, to figure out America's weight problem (1 in 3 Americans are overweight). He created a formula that can accurately predict how much weight a person will gain or lose depending on their caloric intake and activity level. It's a specific numeric value to eating less. According to Chow, he considered multiple factors for his formula:
The conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. The body changes as you lose. Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one.
Also, there's a time constant that's an important factor in weight loss. That's because if you reduce your caloric intake, after a while, your body reaches equilibrium. It actually takes about three years for a dieter to reach their new "steady state." Our model predicts that if you eat 100 calories fewer a day, in three years you will, on average, lose 10 pounds - if you don't cheat.
Also, according to Chow, huge variations in your daily food intake won't dramatically change your weight as long as the average caloric intake over a year is the same. A person's body takes time to respond, you know.
And for Chow's theory on why America got fat? We have too much food. The increase in per capita food supply coincides with the rise in obesity. More food means fatter people. Test out Chow's fat losing equation here to know how many (or how few) calories you need to eat to get to your desired weight. [Body Weight Simulator via NY Times, AlexAnnaButs/Shutterstock]