Up to half of the general population in the 40+ developed countries in the world, today have concerns about how much they weigh.
It is only natural to want to start losing weight as fast as possible. You also probably had someone tell you that it’s better to lose extra pounds at a slow and steady pace instead of rapidly.
There’s a reason why slow weight loss is the preferred method. When your numbers go down fast, then you can face a number of health risks. People who take a quicker approach are also more likely to gain their weight back after they reach a health and wellness goal.
How Fast is “Too Fast” for Weight Loss
Most health experts agree that an appropriate amount of weight loss is about one or two pounds per week. Although some individuals can have higher numbers in this area because of extreme obesity, this general rule is a guideline that most medical professionals follow.
If you lose more weight than that, it may be too fast for your body to adapt to the new normal. People who lose five pounds or more per week are at a higher risk of experiencing nutritional deficiencies, a drop in metabolism, and muscle loss.
Fast weight loss can also contribute to gallstone formation.
Since it is easier to lose weight by making dietary changes than exercising more, people try crash diets and fad ideas to encourage the numbers on the scale to decrease. It is not unusual for rapid losses to happen by following a restrictive eating plan of 800 calories or less. Sometimes, including tested supplements to your diet can make all the difference, and there’s a review on Leptitox that you can check at ScrutinyPortal.
Most people can see rapid weight loss in the first week of a new diet. Anyone following a low-carb lifestyle can lose ten pounds or more safely during the early few days because of fluid retention losses. Once you get past that initial period, you go back to the 1-2 pounds per week standard.
Is It Possible to Maintain Weight Loss?
Losing weight is only half of the battle that people face. Once your scale reaches a satisfactory number, you need to keep the pounds off.
Most of the people who follow a diet end up gaining at least 50% of the weight they lost after 12 months. Almost everyone regains all of the weight after 3-5 years of a successful outcome.
The reason why these rebound incidents occur is due to the unhealthy eating habits that most fad diets require. When someone transitions back into the “real world” of eating, the artificial restrictions can be impossible to follow.
It is possible to keep the weight off after rapid weight loss when you have accountability partners and a healthy eating plan to follow afterward. You must have open, honest communication about the struggles you have with certain high-calorie items to reduce the risk of a rebound.
Then you need to stick to new health and wellness habits that may include intermittent fasting, more exercise activities, or a shift in the foods kept at home.
Healthy eating behaviors make it possible to keep weight off as the years pass. Taking a slow and steady approach gives you time to establish those habits. That’s why the fast method of weight loss isn’t typically recommended.
Risks of Losing Weight too Fast
Unless the benefits of losing weight quickly outweigh the potential risks, your doctor would likely recommend a slow approach to your health and wellness goals.
Several risks can develop that could be more dangerous than being overweight. Here is a look at what might start happening if you lose too many pounds quickly.
1. You can lose muscle mass.
Weight loss goals usually involve fat loss. If you take a fast approach, then you can lose muscle tissue as your body consumes internal resources for energy. People who take a very low-calorie diet over five weeks can lose up to six times the muscle as someone who uses a slower approach.
2. It can impact your metabolism.
People who lose weight quickly can experience metabolism changes that lead to increased feelings of fatigue. If you don’t eat as much, then your body responds by reducing what needs to get consumed to manage your daily responsibilities. Hormonal changes can last long after you achieve your goals, encouraging a rebound as you try to get your routine back to normal.
3. Nutritional deficiencies can develop.
When you lose too much weight because of calorie restrictions, then you might not have enough iron, vitamin B12, or folate in your diet. These deficiencies can create several unwanted side effects, including hair loss, poor immune function, brittle bones, extreme fatigue, and feelings of weakness. Try to eat unprocessed foods as a way to reduce caloric intake without encountering these risk factors.
4. It can cause gallstones to form.
Gallstones form when certain substances stay inside of the digestive juices of the organ until they can bind together. These hardened materials can stick inside the opening of the organ, causing pain, swelling, and indigestion. Severe situations can develop from this outcome, including the need to remove the gallbladder by emergency surgery.
How Can I Manage My Weight Effectively?
The best way to manage your weight or to maintain your current figure is to create a healthy lifestyle that works for your needs.
Your focus should be on eating fruits and vegetables with whole grains and low-fat dairy products. If you choose canned or frozen products, then you need to check the ingredient label to avoid added sauces, sodium, or sugar.
If you don’t have an objection to eating animal-based products, then lean meats, poultry, and seafood are excellent additions to your diet. Anyone who has had their gallbladder removed will need to choose foods that are low in cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fat, and possibly eggs to avoid gastrointestinal distress.
Then watch your portions to ensure that you don’t take in more calories than you can burn. By taking these steps and having patients with slow and steady weight loss, you can achieve your long-term fitness goals.