*A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity*
… the conventional wisdom of 3,500
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.
Another finding: Huge variations in your daily food intake will not cause
variations in weight, as long as your average food intake over a year is
about the same. This is because a person’s body will respond slowly to the