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How weight loss REALLY creeps up on us!

Common scenario, “I used to be really slim but I’ve put weight on as I’ve got older”.

Here’s how…

Age 20. Average height woman 5ft 4, middle of healthy BMI = 9 stone (126lbs)

Age 40. Just creeping into the obese category = 13 stone (182lbs)

That’s 56lbs over 20 years!

20 years is 7300 days / 1040 weeks / 240 months.

56lbs / 1040 = 0.0538 lbs per week

56lbs / 240 = 0.233 lbs per month

56lbs / 20 = 2.8 lbs per year

1lb of fat is roughly 3500 calories.

56 x 3500 = 196,000 calories ABOVE TDEE/Maintenance.

So, if we take the 196,000 calories that have contributed to the 56lb weight gain over 20 years, and spread it out over 7300 days, it’s 26 calories a day.

So, if your daily energy expenditure is 2000 (for example) and, on average, you eat an extra 26 calories a day for 20 years, you end up putting on 56lbs.

TWENTY SIX calories!!! Let’s just let that sink in!!

Just 26 extra calories a day (on average, of course) for 20 years and you go from a healthy weight, to obese! Absolutely mind blowing!

So, what is 26 calories?


  • 1/4 of a banana
  • 1/2 of one stick of KitKat
  • 4 almonds
  • 25g of chicken breast
  • One Starburst

No wonder it’s so easy to gain weight as we get older!

So, does that mean we should be stressing and feeling like crap every time we have a mouthful of anything? Absolutely not!

We can have 20 starbursts, 300 g of chicken, a handful of almonds, two bananas AND a 4 finger KitKat every day if we want, WITHOUT gaining weight!! As long as we account for it in our TDEE and maintenance calories!

Think of it like a bank account – we have a budget.

  • Some people have a bigger budget than others, sometimes due to the amount of exercise they do / career progression.
  • Some people have good genetics / inherit a fortune.
  • Some people mis-manage their budget and go overdrawn.
  • Some people make mistakes then have to graft like mad for a few years to get their finances back in order.

We don’t necessarily have to keep a spreadsheet and stress over every penny / calorie that we ever spend, but it’s a good idea to be mindful, so that we don’t end up in a place we don’t want to be.

Start YOUR journey towards the body, health and life you want here