100 Calorie Diet: How Effective Is It for Weight Loss?

The 100 Calorie Diet has received a lot of press recently. So, how effective is this diet for weight loss and can it help you to lose weight? The 100 Calorie Diet involves studying the calorie counts of all foods (or following the calorie counter guidelines provided in the 100 Calorie Diet book) and putting food into units of 100 calories, 200 calories, etc. In this way, the dieter is easily able to keep track her calories and can keep to the diet’s recommended daily intake of 1500 for women and 2000 for men.

How Is It Effective for Weight Loss?

The 100 Calorie Diet will help most people to lose weight in the short term. The basic tenet of any diet is ensuring that fewer calories are consumed than are used in the course of a day. As women use around 2000 calories per day and men use around 2500 per day, the calorie limits set by the 100 Calorie Diet are reasonable to expect weight loss of around 1 pound per week. However, this is only when the diet is being followed exactly.

How Is It Ineffective for Weight Loss?

If weight loss were as simple as calorie restriction, obesity would be less of a problem. While the body will lose weight on a calorie restricted diet, it will often experience a “rebound” effect when normal eating resumes. This is often because the original, underlying habits have not been changed. These habits might include eating the wrong foods, and not exercising. While the 100 Calorie Diet encourages people to exercise and eat nutritionally balanced meals, it does not insist upon them. In fact, the website encourages people to “eat anything you want.”

What’s Important about Nutrition and Exercising?

Eating too much of any one sort of food can lead to intestinal problems and vitamin deficiencies, which hardly encourage an active lifestyle.  Certain foods can also make people feel hungrier through blood sugar spikes, which makes it unlikely they will stick to a calorie restricted diet. And, no diet can be effective if it becomes impossible to follow.

Exercise, while encouraged for 30 minutes per day by the 100 Calorie Diet, is not considered a necessity for following it. However, building muscle tone and getting into the habit of exercising daily is another useful long term strategy for preventing weight rebound, and regulating the appetite so that the dieter no longer needs to carefully control everything they eat. 

The 100 Calorie Diet will work for some people. However, it is based around a simple premise that taking in fewer calories will result in weight loss, and it does nothing to prepare the dieter for life outside the diet. If this sort of calorie counting is used in combination with other strategies that are not endorsed by the diet, such as exercise and good nutrition, it could lead to lasting weight loss. Without those strategies, the 100 Calorie Diet would be difficult to maintain, and therefore not effective for long term weight loss. 


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