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Dieting Concept: The 10% Plan

I am not sure which is more difficult, losing the weight or keeping it off. After research involving thousands of overweight to obese subjects, George Blackburn, an associate director of the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, created the 10 percent plan to help people keep off the lost weight. Since the body unfortunately evolved to hang onto excess weight, losing it in stages helps combat the boomerang affect that can happen with rapid weight loss.

His plan works like this – basically you lose 10 percent of your body weight and then maintain that weight for six months before beginning another round of weight loss. For example, a person weighing 220 pounds would have the goal of losing 22 to pounds. Once the weight is lost, it takes six months for the body to adjust to that weight, or as Black burn refers to it, the new, lower "set point." As you lose weight you need to take a pause to let the complex mechanisms of the body recalibrate to your new set point. Once this recalibration happens, your body is no longer conspiring to maintain your predieting weight, but your new lower weight. From there you can proceed to lose more and stand a much better chance of keeping it off.

Sounds fascinating to me. If you are interested in more details check out his book Break Through You Set Point. You can find it here.


Join The Conversation
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
This sounds great, but 6 months sounds like longer than most people would like to wait to start losing weight again. Also, I'm surprised it takes that long for our bodies to sort out new weights (unless there's been a rather large drop). Maybe the six months is referring specifically to the time required to adjust after a significantly overweight person loses 10% (as opposed to someone with a little belly fat)?
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
Interesting... I think if I lost 10% though, I would be too thin... 5 lbs would make me happy!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'd be too impatient to do this but it does make sense if you had less weight to lose than I do.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 9 years
Thats interesting, but why lose only 10 percent at a time every 6 months? where did they get those numbers?
Spectra Spectra 9 years
This is sort of what I did when I lost weight. I started at 190 lbs, so my first goal was to lose 19 lbs. When I did, I set my new goal for another 10%...I was at 171, so I set my new goal for 17 lbs. I just kept going until I got to my goal weight. It made it a lot more bearable for me and I felt like I could actually do it.
hkmarks hkmarks 9 years
Sounds right to me. When I started dieting, I knocked off 10% pretty quickly, in about 3 months, and got about halfway to my goal. But after that I was burned out on strict calorie counting and steamed stir-fry... stir-steam... whatever. I gained back a few pounds right away, but a year after starting I'd knocked off about 15% of my starting weight. I needed a break from the strict rules to form permanent habits. That reminds me... 10 pounds to go... better get on that.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Interesting. It sounds sensible enough, although I think if I were able to lose 10% of my body weight, I'd just want to keep losing till I was at my goal weight.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
That would probably make it easier to keep weight off. It's not a bad idea at all.
randomname12345 randomname12345 9 years
I think this is a very good way of looking at weight loss. It becomes a flight of stairs (downwards) instead of continuous slide.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
This makes sense, but I think everyone is a little bit different. I've lost just about 10% so far and I'm still going to keep working because I'm in a good groove of eating right and working out. I don't want to stop and get complacent again! I want to lose another 20 lbs, but I'll give myself a good amount of time to hit that goal
Kellyim Kellyim 9 years
As someone who has lost about 50 pounds in a few different stages, I think this is right on. I'm working on the last 25 pounds now, but after I lose a bunch, I might bounce back a few pounds, but generally have been able to maintain for awhile.
porkypocky porkypocky 9 years
i think it makes long term weight loss more bearable...and seems good for your body. any kind of rapid change wreaks havoc on it anyway.
missyd missyd 9 years
Hmmmm can't pass this one off as BS, it actually sounds like there could be something to it. I can see that working.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Sounds very true! What a good idea :)
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
That makes sense, i could use losing my 10 percent and once would be enough
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