Why Is Losing Weight Fast A Bad Idea?
More often than not, the fitness and nutrition industry nurture false notions of being able to achieve success overnight and losing weight fast. Marketing schemes and crazy claims encourage people to turn diets on their head and prioritize weight loss over everything else. Well, effective weight loss does not even have to involve extreme physical strain and dieting. Instead, it is a healthy, realistic, and sustainable practice.
Let these principles serve as your lodestars and you will witness the results as sure as rain and just in time.
A fine balance
Weight loss is not about self-discipline and willpower. It follows a natural course and results do not come easy. And even if you manage to speed things up, the question is at what price? Many drastic programs leave destruction in their wake, causing damage to your body and its hormones. So, before you start exercising like mad, I have some news for you.
There are three interwoven factors that affect our metabolism: activity levels, calorie consumption, and hormonal balance. As for the latter aspect, your body fat levels are proportionate to the amount of a hormone called leptin. It regulates your appetite, metabolism, and fat burning. Now, if you limit your movement and stop eating properly, your metabolism switches to a lower gear and the hormonal balance is subverted.
You are basically fighting an uphill battle against your biological rhythm. Namely, the body is driven by a survival instinct, and when you go too hard on it, rest assured that it will fight back. The most dramatic reaction is the slowing down of your metabolism: the fewer calories we consume, the less our system has to work. What is more, our metabolism always struggles to adapt to spikes and sudden drops in consumption and gives in to cravings.
And since we are low on energy, our organism strives to conserve it, prompting us to move less. To make it worse, the hormonal balance is in great jeopardy. The level of testosterone, growth hormones and libido goes down, triggering slower muscle and strength gains, sleeping problems, mood swings, etc. It may sound contradictory, but those who take it slowly accomplish a faster metabolism in the long run.
Change of pace
So, what is the right way to proceed? Experts argue that the loss rate should be around 1% per week, with goals set at 10%. Others recommend keeping the weight loss rate between one and two pounds per week. Since 1 pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, you have to spend 500 calories more than you eat per day. Some people may consider this to be a sluggish progress, but it is actually the only way to stay on the safe side.
Likewise, with a moderate rate, there is no risk that you will shed water weight and lean mass instead of fat. What you need to do is allow your body time to adjust and recuperate.
Therefore, maintain the new body weight for a month or two in order to dodge weight regain. When the body stabilizes, you can enter another round of weight loss. This way, you are in a position to maintain results and embrace them as permanent lifestyle changes.
Remember that fitness undertakings do not give you instant gratification. The only instances in which very low-calorie diets should be prescribed are when obesity causes serious health problems. Even then, such diets require medical supervision. Hence, you’d better come up with a sound game plan and stick to it.
In short, what you need to do is pace yourself and invest in the future. You don’t want to either hinder your progress nor rush into it headlong and trip yourself over. Buy yourself some quality gym wear, as you will be adopting a new way of life, not just a short-term solution that will shed you a few pounds, only to have you gain them back in a few months.
A long race
Weight loss is a marathon rather than a sprint. There are many rounds you need to go through, but each one brings you closer to your ultimate goal. A fast pace does not end well as you drain your body, deplete your energy reservoirs, and empty the willpower tank.
One cannot just tip the scales when it comes to handling the complex biological workings of the body. Ultimately, a slower approach enables you to steer away from pitfalls and live a long, healthy life.