The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving (2022)

Apr 27, 2020

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Editor's note: This story on weight loss in chess was originally published on Sept. 13, 2019.

ONE WEEK IN early March, on a blustery, windswept day, Fabiano Caruana decides to get away. He drives three hours west from his St. Louis apartment over winding gravel roads to reach his destination, a 2,000-acre compound in rural Missouri owned by a wealthy friend.

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At 7:30 the next morning, he pulls on gray Mizzou sweats and matching running shorts, rubs the sleep from his eyes and heads out for his hourlong run with his training partner, Cristian Chirila. They jog up and down the hills around the farmland, whispering during water breaks about openings and effective chess permutations.

At 5-foot-6, Caruana has a lean frame, his legs angular and toned. He also has a packed schedule for the day: a 5-mile run, an hour of tennis, half an hour of basketball and at least an hour of swimming.

As he's jogging, it's easy to mistake him for a soccer player. But he is not. This body he has put together is not an accident. Caruana is, in fact, an American grandmaster in chess, the No. 2 player in the world. His training partner, Chirila? A Romanian grandmaster. And they're doing it all to prepare for the physical demands of ... chess? Yes, chess.

IT SEEMS ABSURD. How could two humans -- seated for hours, exerting themselves in no greater manner than intermittently extending their arms a foot at a time -- face physical demands?

Still, the evidence overwhelms.

The 1984 World Chess Championship was called off after five months and 48 games because defending champion Anatoly Karpov had lost 22 pounds. "He looked like death," grandmaster and commentator Maurice Ashley recalls.

In 2004, winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov walked away from the six-game world championship having lost 17 pounds. In October 2018, Polar, a U.S.-based company that tracks heart rates, monitored chess players during a tournament and found that 21-year-old Russian grandmaster Mikhail Antipov had burned 560 calories in two hours of sitting and playing chess -- or roughly what Roger Federer would burn in an hour of singles tennis.

Robert Sapolsky, who studies stress in primates at Stanford University, says a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories a day while playing in a tournament, three times what an average person consumes in a day. Based on breathing rates (which triple during competition), blood pressure (which elevates) and muscle contractions before, during and after major tournaments, Sapolsky suggests that grandmasters' stress responses to chess are on par with what elite athletes experience.

"Grandmasters sustain elevated blood pressure for hours in the range found in competitive marathon runners," Sapolsky says.

It all combines to produce an average weight loss of 2 pounds a day, or about 10-12 pounds over the course of a 10-day tournament in which each grandmaster might play five or six times. The effect can be off-putting to the players themselves, even if it's expected. Caruana, whose base weight is 135 pounds, drops to 120 to 125 pounds. "Sometimes I've weighed myself after tournaments and I've seen the scale drop below 120," he says, "and that's when I get mildly scared."

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But there is literally nothing for Caruana to fear but fear itself. Stress and anxiety, in fact, are the greatest drivers of the phenomenon. Here's how it works:

Grandmasters in competition are subjected to a constant torrent of mental stress. That stress, in turn, causes their heart rates to increase, which, in turn, forces their bodies to produce more energy to, in turn, produce more oxygen. It is, according to Marcus Raichle, a neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and Philip Cryer, a metabolism expert at the school, a vicious, destructive cycle.

Meanwhile, players also eat less during tournaments, simply because they don't have the time or the appetite. "The simple explanation is when they're thinking about chess, they're not thinking about food," says Ewan C. McNay, assistant professor of psychology in the behavioral neuroscience program at the University of Albany.

Stress also leads to altered -- and disturbed -- sleep patterns, which in turn cause more fatigue -- and can lead to more weight loss. A brain operating on less sleep, even by just one hour, Kasimdzhanov notes, requires more energy to stay awake during the chess game. Some grandmasters report dreaming about chess, agonizing over what they could have done differently for hours in their sleep, and waking up exhausted.

To combat it all, today's players have begun to incorporate strict food and fitness regimens to increase oxygen supply to the brain during tournaments, prevent sugar-related crashes and sustain their energy. In the 1980s and '90s, smoking, drinking and late-night parties were common on the chess circuit -- that's right, chess had a "Boogie Nights" phase -- but that scene has all but disappeared.

"Physical fitness and brain performance are tied together, and it shouldn't be a surprise that grandmasters are out there trying to look like soccer players," Ashley says.

According to Ashley, India's first grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand, does two hours of cardio each night to tire himself out so he doesn't dream about chess; Kasimdzhanov drinks tea only during tournaments and plays tennis and basketball every day. Chirila does at least an hour of cardio and an hour of weights to build muscle mass before tournaments.

But not one of these grandmasters has perfected his fitness routine like the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen.

IN 2017, MAGNUS CARLSEN realized he had a problem. The reigning world No. 1 for four years felt his grasp on the title loosening. He was still winning most tournaments, but his matches were lasting longer, the victories seemingly less assured. He was beginning to wane in the last hour of games. He noticed younger players catching up to him.

So it was that Carlsen visited the Olympic training center in Oslo, Norway, with his father, Henrik, seeking advice from performance specialists. Their suggestion was deceptively simple: "You need to cut back on the orange juice you drink during tournaments."

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Carlsen had relied on a mix of half orange juice, half water for an energy boost since he was a child. But now, in his late 20s, his body was no longer breaking down the sugar as quickly, leading to sugar crashes. The nutritionists suggested that he instead drink a mixture of chocolate milk and plain milk, which contained far lower levels of sugar but would also supplement his body with calcium, potassium and protein.

"It kept his blood sugar at a reasonable level without too big a variation, and he felt less tired during key moments in tournaments that followed the change," Henrik said.

"It shouldn't be a surprise that grandmasters are out there trying to look like soccer players."Maurice Ashley

But that was merely the beginning of Carlsen's makeover: Since then he has trained his body for chess, down to the very last detail. Before tournaments, he works out for hours -- running on the treadmill, perfecting asanas on his yoga mat, playing soccer with his friends. Before the world championship last year, he went skiing every day and tweeted that it strengthened his legs and his willpower to get to the finish line. He hired a personal chef, Magnus Forssell, who travels with him to ensure he's eating the right combination of proteins, carbs and calcium. (Says Forssell: "Before tournaments, you need a lot of energy, so I am trying to trick him to eat some pasta so he gets some reserve energy.")

These days, during tournaments, Carlsen focuses on relaxing and conserving energy instead of training. Caruana spends at least three hours before a match prepping his moves, but Carlsen does only 15 to 30 minutes of prep. His reasoning: Last-minute preparations are an unnecessary use of energy.

"When you allow your body to relax more during a tournament, it means that it will ask for more food, it means you can eat normally, you're not stressed, so your appetite is normal -- that's what happens with Magnus," Carlsen's father says.

There's more: Carlsen chews gum during games to try to increase brain function without losing energy; he taps his legs rhythmically to keep his brain and body alert between moves.

He has even managed to optimize ... sitting. That's right. Carlsen claims that many chess players crane their necks too far forward, which can lead to a 30 percent loss of lung capacity, according to studies in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. And, according to Keith Overland, former president of the American Chiropractic Association, leaning 30 degrees forward increases stress on the neck by nearly 60 pounds, which in turn requires the back and neck muscles to work harder, ultimately resulting in headaches, irregular breathing and reduced oxygen to the brain.

"A chess player can develop chronic neck and upper back pain, as well as sore shoulders and backaches," says Overland, who has worked with the New York Mets and the U.S. Olympic Training Center. "This is particularly concerning considering how much energy they are exerting on playing a competitive game of chess at the highest level."

Not Carlsen. The Norwegian rests his lower back against the chair so it retains a natural curve, his knees slightly apart at the edge of the seat, feet firmly on the ground, and leans forward at about a 75-degree angle. In this position, which he arrived at through reading studies and trial and error, he's not too far forward to lose alertness and not too far back to use extra energy.

"A lot of times you see Magnus winning games in the fifth hour of play," says Ashley, who has commentated on most of Carlsen's games in the past decade. "He looks like he's just starting out while his opponents are burning out."

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Since he became a world champion in 2013, Carlsen has even practiced a strategy familiar to fans of Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James: load management. Although the average elite player will play 12 to 14 events a year to maintain his ranking and earn money, Carlsen has typically reduced his schedule to six to eight tournaments, taking months off to recuperate after each one.

"Even if he doesn't lose substantial weight like his peers, Magnus understood early on that his nervous system is stressed after every tournament and takes weeks at a time regaining that balance," Henrik says. "He understands his body well enough to know when he's achieved equilibrium before he goes out to play for another title."

BACK IN MISSOURI, Caruana and Chirila hole up in the dining room for six hours of chess, the room soundproofed for secrecy. Caruana is especially careful after screenshots of openings he'd planned to use against Carlsen leaked before last year's world championship. (It's only paranoia if they're not out to get you.)

Afterward, he looks exhausted, his glasses askew. Still, he grabs a handful of nuts and heads out for a final hour of tennis before dinner.

Kasimdzhanov and Chirila, after a dinner of salad, boiled shrimp, beef stew and mashed potatoes, walk into the kitchen for a serving of chocolate pudding pie. Caruana does not join them. "No dessert for me today," he says.

Before big tournaments, Caruana usually goes into detox mode. Last year he gave up alcohol for three months before the world championship. This time, he has chosen sugar. It's a habit he picked up from Carlsen, who is showing signs, at long last, of possibly being mortal. After a run of eight consecutive tournament victories, the Norwegian dropped 10 games at a competition in August and confessed to "constantly doubting" himself.

Carlsen's wobble on the eve of the Chess World Cup, however slight, is the opening Caruana has been waiting for. In his mind, Caruana knows what he has to do; like all grandmasters, he just needs his body to hold up.

"Sometimes you have to shock your body into listening to you," he says.

FAQs

How do you lose weight when you can hardly move? ›

How to Lose Weight When You Cannot Walk
  1. Exercise regularly. ...
  2. Eat fewer calories. ...
  3. Go swimming. ...
  4. Play adaptive sports. ...
  5. Exercise at the gym.

How can I lose the most weight in the least amount of time? ›

How to Lose the Most Weight in the Shortest Possible Time
  1. Work out with time and intensity in mind. ...
  2. Perform a high-intensity interval workout two days a week. ...
  3. Work strength training into your routine two days a week, targeting all major muscle groups -- including the legs, arms, back, shoulders and abdomen.

Why do grandmasters burn so many calories? ›

A grandmaster like Mikhail Antipov could burn nearly 600 calories over a 2-hour game in 2018. This burn was equivalent to a 5-mile run. The calorific burn comes from increased heart and breathing rate and elevated blood pressure, which could add to weight loss.

What is the absolute fastest way to lose weight? ›

Here are 10 of the best ways to quickly and safely drop 20 pounds.
  1. Count Calories. ...
  2. Drink More Water. ...
  3. Increase Your Protein Intake. ...
  4. Cut Your Carb Consumption. ...
  5. Start Lifting Weights. ...
  6. Eat More Fiber. ...
  7. Set a Sleep Schedule. ...
  8. Stay Accountable.
13 Aug 2018

Will I lose weight eating 1200 calories a day without exercise? ›

Yes, if you are truly eating 1200 calories per day consistently over a period of time (at least one week), you will lose weight, unless you have a serious underlying medical condition that has impacted your metabolism or if you have a starting body weight of less than 100lbs.

How do you lose weight if you are bedridden? ›

How to Lose Weight When Bedridden
  1. Eat a variety of healthy foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fat-free dairy products as part of your healthy eating.
  2. Restrict your portion size by 10 to 15 percent. ...
  3. Eat breakfast. ...
  4. Perform an isometric leg exercise. ...
  5. Perform an isometric stomach exercise.

What can I drink to lose belly fat in 3 days? ›

Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out toxins without adding extra calories to your system. Plus, it will help to speed up your metabolism. There is no need to drink fizzy drinks or alcohol. Just drink plain water, and you'll lose belly fat fast in 3 days or less.

How do I lose 5 pounds in a week? ›

Losing 5 pounds a week comes to reducing your food intake by 3500 calories over seven days. The value that represents the decrease in calorie intake is known as the calorie deficit. If you want to lose 5 pounds in a week, you will need to reduce your food intake by 17,500 calories, which is a huge calorie deficit.

How many calories does the brain burn? ›

While the brain represents just 2% of a person's total body weight, it accounts for 20% of the body's energy use, Raichle's research has found. That means during a typical day, a person uses about 320 calories just to think. Different mental states and tasks can subtly affect the way the brain consumes energy.

How many calories do you burn sleeping? ›

As a very approximate number, we burn around 50 calories an hour1 while we sleep. However, every person burns a different amount of calories during sleep, depending on their personal basal metabolic rate2 (BMR).

What sport burns the most calories? ›

Running and Cycling

Running statistics show a pace of 10 mph burns the most calories per hour, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Similarly, cycling statistics show biking at 20 mph is your best bet for calorie burn. A 185-pound person burns 1,466 calories, while a 125-pound person burns 990 calories per hour.

How can I lose 20lbs in 2 weeks? ›

How To Lose 20 Pounds Fast In 2 Weeks?
  1. Make A Commitment. ...
  2. Cut Your Caloric Intake. ...
  3. Up Your Protein Intake. ...
  4. Eat More Fibre. ...
  5. Plenty Of Sleep. ...
  6. Avoid Refined Carbs. ...
  7. Increase The Intensity Of Your Workouts. ...
  8. Set A Nightly Food Cutoff Time.

How can I lose 20 pounds in a month without exercise? ›

How to Lose 20 Pounds of Fat in 30 Days (Without Doing Any...
  1. Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates. ...
  2. Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again. ...
  3. Proteins: ...
  4. Legumes: ...
  5. Vegetables: ...
  6. Rule #3: Don't drink calories. ...
  7. Rule #4: Take one day off per week. ...
  8. Want to Become Superhuman?
26 Mar 2018

How can I lose 20 pounds by walking? ›

If you plan to lose 20 pounds by walking alone, try to burn at least 250 extra calories during your walk per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds you'd have to walk at least 40 minutes per day at a pace of 4 miles per hour to lose ½ pound per week.

Why am I gaining weight on 1200 calories a day? ›

Muscle Gain and Weight

If you've been consistently eating 1,200 calories and working out for at least a month, you may be trading fat for a bit of muscle weight. Check how your clothes fit -- you may notice that despite the lack of change on the scale, the waistband is looser and pant legs fit less snugly.

Why am I not losing weight on 1400 calories a day? ›

The inability to lose weight while eating 1400 calories could be caused by not properly calculating your maintenance and deficit calories, being in a caloric deficit for too long, or not tracking your food properly. Other things to consider would be high-stress levels, poor sleep, or underlying health conditions.

Why can't I lose weight on 800 calories a day? ›

Th reality is you will be underestimating your calories, be it due to portion sizes, snacking, or drinks. You would be losing on 800 if you're not, then you're consuming more. Your metabolism adjusts, eating less than 1200 calories a day is bad for your metabolism because it will slow right down to maintain.

How many calories does an immobile person need? ›

How Many Calories Does a Bedridden Person Need? According to Web MD, this number varies based both on your age and your sex. A sedentary male needs anywhere from 2,000-2,400 calories a day. A sedentary female, meanwhile, requires 1,600-2,000 calories.

How many calories should I eat if I lay in bed all day? ›

For example, lying in bed for 24 hours, a 170-pound man burns about 1,870 calories per day, while a 130-pound woman burns about 1,300 calories. No matter what your REE, however, men should get at least 1,500 calories per day, while women should get at least 1,200 calories per day, to ensure proper nutrition.

How many calories should I eat when bed bound? ›

The paper suggests a daily calorie intake of: 1032 calories a day for a patient weighing 40 kilograms / 88 pounds. 1290 calories a day for a patient weighing 50 kilograms / 110 pounds. 1548 calories a day for a patient weighing 60 kilograms / 132 pounds.

What should I drink first thing in the morning? ›

10 Healthy Morning Drinks to Get Your Day Started
  • Honey and cinnamon drink. Have a glass of honey and cinnamon drink first thing in the morning. ...
  • Lemon Juice. ...
  • Cinnamon Green Tea. ...
  • Coconut water. ...
  • Aloe juice. ...
  • Pomegranate tea. ...
  • Fruit smoothies. ...
  • Green tea lassi.
29 Oct 2021

What food flattens your stomach fast? ›

Foods for flat stomach
  • Our absolute top 10 foods for flatter stomachs. There's a lot of buzz at the moment around research into foods that can help you eat your way to a flatter stomach. ...
  • Yogurt. Choose natural, Greek style, unsweetened/flavoured yogurt. ...
  • Quinoa. ...
  • Almonds. ...
  • Beans. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Salmon. ...
  • Extra virgin olive oil.

How much should I walk a day to lose 2 pounds a week? ›

To lose 2 pounds a week walking, you're going to have to also reduce the calories in your diet — possibly by a lot. You could burn 500 calories walking and cut 500 calories from your diet, but you're still going to be doing a lot of walking — one hour and 20 minutes to one hour and 40 minutes.

How can I drop 10 lbs fast? ›

11 ways to lose 10 pounds
  1. Follow a low-calorie diet. Share on Pinterest A low-calorie diet is recommended when trying to lose weight. ...
  2. Avoid junk food. Junk foods are: ...
  3. Add lean protein. Lean protein helps build muscle. ...
  4. Move more. ...
  5. Try high-intensity cardio. ...
  6. Add weights. ...
  7. Eat fewer carbs. ...
  8. Reduce bloating.
13 Apr 2018

How much do I have to walk to lose 5 pounds a week? ›

The ideal target for weight loss is walking 5 miles a day. This will burn around 3,500 calories a week, the equivalent of one pound of excess fat. Build up to walking 5 miles a day gradually. If you have a high BMI, and you're carrying a lot of excess weight, your calorie burn rate will be much higher.

What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat? ›

7 Foods that Burn Belly Fat
  • Beans. “Becoming a bean lover can help you lose weight and whittle your middle,” registered dietitian Cynthia Sass told Today. ...
  • Swap your beef for salmon. ...
  • Yogurt. ...
  • Red bell peppers. ...
  • Broccoli. ...
  • Edamame. ...
  • Diluted vinegar.

Does lemon water help you lose weight? ›

Lemon water can promote fullness, support hydration, boost metabolism and increase weight loss. However, lemon water is no better than regular water when it comes to losing fat. That being said, it is tasty, easy to make and can be used as a low-calorie replacement for higher-calorie beverages.

What can I drink at night to lose belly fat? ›

Here, we list five bedtime drinks that can help you shed belly fat.
  • #1. Cucumber juice.
  • #2. Warm water and lemon juice.
  • #3. Milk.
  • #4. Green tea.
  • #5. Chamomile tea.
12 Apr 2022

Which organ burns the most calories? ›

Your brain also uses energy to perform normal functions. Although it makes up 2 percent of your body weight, it burns 20 percent of the energy you consume. This metabolic activity is generally consistent, regardless of what you're doing. In fact, your brain burns more energy at rest than a human thigh while running.

What organ consumes the most calories? ›

It is well established that the brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body's total haul.

Do Overthinkers burn more calories? ›

"In theory, yes, a more difficult mental task requires more energy because there is more neural activity," he says, "but when people do one mental task you won't see a large increase of glucose consumption as a significant percentage of the overall rate.

Do you lose weight when you sleep hungry? ›

Going to bed hungry can keep insulin low

"When it comes to weight loss, going to bed a little bit hungry can help because it keeps hormones like insulin low, and that can help facilitate weight loss," Davis says. But she reiterates that having a big dinner right before bed has the opposite effect.

How can I boost up my metabolism? ›

Alrutz shares these five tips to boost your metabolism:
  1. Exercise more. Add interval training to your cardio routine and burn more calories in less time. ...
  2. Weight train. ...
  3. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. ...
  4. Eat fat-burning foods. ...
  5. Get a good night's sleep every night.

How can I increase my metabolism while I sleep? ›

How To Stabilize Your Metabolism When Sleeping
  1. Stick To A Consistent Sleep Schedule. ...
  2. Add Cayenne Pepper To Your Dinner. ...
  3. Split Up Your Workout. ...
  4. Lower The Temperature. ...
  5. Drink Enough Water. ...
  6. Eat A Lean Protein. ...
  7. Consider HIIT Training. ...
  8. Sip On Some Green Tea.
27 Dec 2016

How can I burn 1000 calories in 30 minutes? ›

An interval session consisting of 30-second bouts of sprinting in between five-minute segments of jogging can burn 1,000 calories in less than 30 minutes. According to the American Physiological Society, research shows that sprint interval training can burn 200 calories in just 2.5 minutes.

How can I burn 7000 calories a day? ›

Weight Loss Through Exercising
  1. Walking. Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss — and for good reason. ...
  2. Jogging Or Running. Great exercises to help you lose weight are jogging and running. ...
  3. Cycling. ...
  4. Weight Training. ...
  5. Interval Training. ...
  6. Swimming. ...
  7. Yoga. ...
  8. Pilates.

Which exercise burns most calories in shortest time? ›

Running burns the most calories per hour. But if running isn't your thing, there are other calorie-burning exercises like HIIT workouts, jumping rope, and swimming.

How can I lose weight if I can't exercise with a back injury? ›

Tips to Lose Weight and Treat Back Pain
  1. Get moving. A gym is not the only place to work out. ...
  2. Use smaller plates. Studies show eating on smaller plates leads to weight loss.
  3. Maintain proper posture. ...
  4. Try water therapy. ...
  5. Eat healthier. ...
  6. Get a good night's sleep. ...
  7. Get a dog.

Why is it so hard for me to lose weight? ›

There are some medical conditions that can drive weight gain and make it much harder to lose weight. These include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and sleep apnea. Certain medications can also make weight loss harder — or even cause weight gain.

How can I lose weight with a hip injury? ›

Exercise: There are still low-impact exercises that you can do. Water Aerobics: Performing exercises in a pool will take the weight of your joints while improving cardiovascular fitness and burn a lot of calories in process. Swimming: Another great water therapy to lose weight while protecting your joints.

At what age is it hard to lose weight? ›

As we reach our 30's, our bodies usually need less energy, meaning we may not be able to eat the way we did in our 20's. Then, as you move past 40 and head to middle age, changes in muscle, hormones and metabolism all make it harder to stay trim.

What should you eat when you can't exercise? ›

15 Foods to Eat When You're Not Getting Any Exercise
  • Eggs.
  • Tomatoes/Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
  • Quinoa.
  • Sweet Potato.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Beans.
  • Dark Chocolate.
  • Oats.
17 Apr 2022

How do I get rid of fat on my stomach? ›

Trimming the fat
  1. Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. ...
  2. Replace sugary beverages. ...
  3. Keep portion sizes in check. ...
  4. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

How can I burn calories without exercise? ›

Park at the far end of the parking lot so you have farther to walk to your destination. Use the restroom at the far end of the office rather than the nearest one. Take regular breaks from your desk at work to stretch and walk around. During calls lift light weights or pace around.

How can I boost up my metabolism? ›

Alrutz shares these five tips to boost your metabolism:
  1. Exercise more. Add interval training to your cardio routine and burn more calories in less time. ...
  2. Weight train. ...
  3. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. ...
  4. Eat fat-burning foods. ...
  5. Get a good night's sleep every night.

Why can't I lose weight even though I eat healthy and exercise? ›

Most people who have difficulty losing weight are simply eating too many calories. An important factor in weight loss is how many calories you're eating versus how many calories you're burning. It may seem easy, but if you're not tracking your calories each day, you may be consuming more than you think.

Why am I gaining weight if I only eat once a day? ›

When you eat one meal a day rather than three, your body produces more of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. It's no more effective than calorie reduction.

What helps knee and hip pain? ›

Treating pain with heat and cold may help. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel to ice your knee or hip. A warm bath or shower may also help reduce your pain and prepare your muscles for stretching. Over-the-counter pain relievers.

Does walking strengthen hips? ›

Going for a "pure" walk (no running at all) allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees, and hips. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance.

Why do my hips hurt after losing weight? ›

As you lose weight, your bones and joints may not be used to the change in weight. Combine this with potential core strength issues and you have a recipe for temporary joint discomfort. This is especially noticeable around the knees, hips, and lower back.

Is older fat harder to lose? ›

Yes, unfortunately. Although it is possible to lose weight at any age, several factors make it harder to lose weight with age. Even those who remain active lose muscle mass every decade beginning in their 30s, research suggests, replacing it with fat.

Why is it so hard to lose weight after 60? ›

The first reason it's hard to lose weight after 60 is because of your lack of muscle. Beginning around age 30, you start losing three to five percent of your muscle mass every decade. So you can imagine how much you've lost by age 60.

Why am I gaining weight but not eating a lot? ›

Unintentional weight gain occurs when you put on weight without increasing your consumption of food or liquid and without decreasing your activity. This occurs when you're not trying to gain weight. It's often due to fluid retention, abnormal growths, constipation, or pregnancy.

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