The 250:250 Weight Loss Rule

Posted On Monday, 01 July 2013
The 250:250 Weight Loss Rule
I did a search on Google for weight loss, weight loss supplements and weight loss nutrients. You can only imagine how many web pages and products Google found. We’re talking millions of web pages and thousands of product pages. No kidding.

But here are my questions. Have we overly complicated weight loss and do we really need thousands of “miracle” fat burners? Well, I think we have complicated it too much and I don’t think we need thousands of products. Let me explain.

Weight is About Energy Management

You eat calories for energy to fuel your body systems and cellular functions. The number of daily calories that we need varies greatly from one person to the next. Factors like activity level and genetics determine how many calories you’ll need to survive the day.

Now here’s where your weight comes into play. If you consume too much food, the excess calories are stored mostly as body fat. This is known as a calorie excess, resulting in weight gain. However, if you don’t eat enough, your body will tap into stored fat reserves for energy. This is known as a calorie deficit and results in weight loss.

We can put all of this together in simple math equation: Changes in Weight = Calories In – Calories Out.

If you eat more calories than you burn (calories “in” are greater than calories “out”), the number at the end of the day is positive, indicating an excess of calories. Of course, the excess calories are stored as fat and you gain weight.

However, if you burn more calories than you eat, the number at the end of the day is negative, signaling a calorie deficit. This forces your body to burn stored fat as energy to make-up for the energy deficit. Now, you lose weight.

The Weight Equation is Simple …We’re Complicated

But I hear objections! Some of you might be thinking that I have tried to cut back on calories and exercise more – and that didn’t even work. And I want you to know that I hear you and understand.

The difficulty in losing weight and the complexity of the weight equation comes from the most confounding variable of all time – humans! Some of us have disruptions in hunger and satiety signals and hormones that result in eating too much. Others have metabolic issues that keep you from burning stored fat at any appreciable rate.  

However, regardless of your particular issues, your weight is still determined on a day-to-day basis by a simple math equation. And this is where the 250:250 weight loss rule can help you. This rule is a simple manipulation of a simple equation that works.

The 250:250 Weight Loss Rule

This weight loss rule is a guide that you follow every day for one month, creating small daily calorie deficits. It prepares your body for more meaningful weight loss in the future – when you begin a specific diet program or pill or supplement.

Again, we’re complicated creatures. Most of us need additional help to lose weight beyond simple calorie counting. But let’s take a look at the rule:

  1. Eat 250 fewer calories a day.
  2. Burn 250 more calories a day.
  3. This creates a 500 daily calorie deficit.
  4. Do this 7 times a week for a 3500 weekly calorie deficit.
  5. A 3500 weekly calorie deficit equals 1 pound of weight loss.

Do this for one month. You can lose up to four pounds. But more importantly, you’re off to a good start. Your body is now prepared for more substantial weight loss when you begin your chosen program or supplement.

Eating 250 fewer calories can be accomplished by cutting your bread servings in half or by replacing potatoes with leafy green vegetables. As far as burning 250 calories, use the exercise calculator at  Just plug in the type of exercise you want to do and how long you’ll do it for and the calculator produces the number of calories you’ll burn.

For more discussion on this topic, listen to Healthy Talk here on RadioMD.

Michael A. Smith, MD

Michael A. Smith, M.D. is committed to providing the most current health information available. Dr. Mike's ability to present complex medical topics in a clear manner has attracted a sizable following of anti-aging and disease-prevention enthusiasts who have dubbed him "the country doctor with a city education."

A graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, Dr. Mike is the online personality for Life Extension®, the world's leading organization dedicated to extending the healthy human life span. An author, blogger, lecturer and national media personality, he has created and conducted numerous health‑related webinars as well as scripted and hosted a variety of informative online videos.

"I was taught that learning is the beginning of health," said Dr. Smith. "And, learning something new is what my show is all about. My job is to focus on the general public and engage them in the conversation, while helping them apply what they learn in their daily lives."


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