The magic weight loss number: 100

Charmaine Yabsley
Friday, February 8, 2013
Cut 100 calories per day to shed weight
Brought to you by Good Health magazine

If you’re fed up with trying to lose weight by drastically cutting down your food intake, then the results of a new study may be good news indeed.

For decades, health professionals have recommended cutting back at least 500 calories per day for successful weight loss but now, according to research from the US – published in the British medical journal The Lancet' s Obesity Series – shaving a mere 100 calories, or 418kJ, every day off our daily intake will result in slow but sustainable weight loss.

How? Losing weight at a slower pace means our metabolism is less likely to be affected.

"If you cut the calories in someone’s diet, the metabolism slows down and it slows down the more weight that is lost until it reaches a plateau,” says Kevin Hall, a mathematical modeller at the US National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases in Maryland.

In Australia, food energy is measured in the metric form of kilojoules, while the US still uses the imperial form of calories.

To do the sums yourself just multiply the number of calories by 4.18 to achieve the amount of kilojoules. For instance: 100 calories = 418 kilojoules .

Food swaps

One packet potato chips (30g) 156 calories for One cup unbuttered, air-popped popcorn with a sprinkle of salt 27 calories

Shop-bought 250ml glass of orange juice 95 calories for 50ml glass of light cranberry juice 19 calories

Creamy chicken pasta bake 334 calories for Wholemeal pasta and chicken cooked with tomatoes and onions 239 calories

What does 100 calories look like?

25 ‘Jelly Belly’ jelly beans = 100 calories

2 Grissini bread sticks with hummus = 97 calories

1 apple = 100 calories

10 Pringles = 100 calories

1 Tim Tam = 97 calories

6 dried apricots = 100 calories

Count you calories with our free online tool

For the full story, see the March issue of Good Health.

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