If you've decided to begin a weight-loss journey, it's natural to want to lose pounds as quickly as possible. This may be because you have a big event, like a wedding or reunion to attend, or just because you stay motivated when you're seeing results. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the most effective and healthiest rate of losing weight is about one to two pounds per week.
Why it's most effective
The most effective way to lose weight is to eat properly, with the right combination of fast and slow carbs and protein at every meal, and get enough exercise. Aim for 60-90 minutes multiple times a week. If a "fad diet" claims that you can drop 10 or 15 pounds in a week, it's probably significantly limiting your caloric intake. This is useful for quick weight loss. However, it's not a sustainable or healthy way to keep the weight off. After all, you can't starve yourself forever. In many cases, this leads to binging and gaining the weight back quickly, and potentially even going over your previous weight.
"It's difficult for the body to burn so many fat calories so quickly."
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you lose a lot of weight quickly, you're probably losing more water weight than actual fat since it's very difficult for the body to burn fat calories quickly. This can even cause your metabolism to slow down. When you're consuming fewer calories, your body can adjust and become more efficient and require fewer calories to perform - thus, burning fewer calories both during activity and at rest, and interfering with your weight loss.
Keeping it off
Slower weight loss is more sustainable than dropping 10 pounds in a week. Even though it takes you longer to lose weight, you're more likely to lose actual body fat and much more likely to keep it off. There are a few steps you should take to maintain your weight after you've hit your goal:
- Continue your meal plan of fast and slow carbs and protein at every meal. The Food Lovers Fat Loss meal plan isn't a temporary fix - it's a simple way to integrate healthy eating into your lifestyle so that you can lose weight steadily, week after week, as well as make it easier to keep the weight off.
- Weigh yourself a couple of times a month to make sure you're keeping those pounds off. If you wait until your jeans feel snug, you'll have a lot more work to do.
- Try tracking your food and exercise. Writing it down will help you realize when you start neglecting your meal and fitness plans, so you can get back on track.
- Keep getting enough sleep. Sleepiness causes brain fog and cravings that you wouldn't normally have. You're also less likely to exercise when you're tired. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Keep a "before" photo in a prominent place. You put a lot of work in, so seeing a photo of yourself before your weight loss will keep you motivated when you're tempted to overeat or skip a workout session.