When it comes to weight loss, many people expect to see results quickly, but as with everything else in life, it is best to do so slowly to make permanent changes. The recommendation of losing 1-2 pounds per week is most healthy and is backed by numerous studies.
To lose one pound in a week, your body needs a deficit of 3,500 calories (about 500 calories less than your normal intake each day). If you were eating a 2,000 calorie diet and maintaining your weight, reducing your intake to 1,500 calories would result in a one pound loss per week. If exercise is increased on top of decreasing calories, this will result in even more calorie deficit, thus producing more weight loss. It is imperative to be aware of both your intake and exercise while losing weight. An uneven balance could lead to excessive weight loss, which may seem like a good thing, but is actually harmful for the body.
Slow and steady wins the race
Losing more than 2 pounds per week leads to loss of lean body mass (muscle mass). Lean body mass is important because it burns more calories than fat mass, making weight loss less straining for your body. Once you begin to lose more than 2 pounds per week, your body begins using the glycogen stores in your muscles for energy and in turn makes lean body mass decrease. Calorie restriction, over-exercising, disease and gastric bypass surgery are reasons for more than the average weight loss. If you’re experiencing increased weight loss, whether you are trying or not, talking to your health care provider should be your first step.
Have some patience
If your weight loss goals are high, it is best to be patient. Losing weight is not only about looking better, but also feeling better. In order to keep the positive changes, take it slowly and learn new habits. Commit yourself to realistic goals; if seeing yourself 50lbs lighter isn’t easy, try making more short term goals to keep yourself on track. Once you’re not so focused on the goal, learning to enjoy healthier foods and a more active lifestyle will become easier, and in the end will leave you happier and healthier.