Even if the results are quick, it is neither healthy nor permanent.
You’ve probably heard the advice a million times: lose weight slowly but surely. And yet you’re scrolling through Instagram posts and looking at before and after photos of a person, you know, who lost 10 pounds in just a few days and provides a link that explains exactly how they did it. Tempting.
The person’s efforts may have garnered a slew of applauding emojis, and they may go down a size, but their method may not be near as emulated as it seems. While it’s true that some diets, which involve some degree of food restriction, have short-term success once you step on the scale. However, experts point out that rapid weight loss is often unsustainable and, in many cases, harmful to health.
How much weight can you lose in a week?
“Many people who want to lose weight want to lose weight fast,” says Cheryl Mussatto, nutritionist and author of The Nourished Brain. If you want to lose weight while staying healthy, research shows that losing 0.5-1kg per week is a safe place. Otherwise, your weight loss can harm your muscle mass. You only want to lose fat, not muscle.
However, when you start your weight loss journey, it is pretty standard that you initially lose more than 1 kilo per week. At this time, you’ll also lose water until your weekly weight loss levels off.
How to lose weight fast and keep it off?
The first thing to think about is always why do you want to lose weight? And more specifically, why do you want to lose weight fast? Is it a spontaneous impulse due to current dissatisfaction? Did a situation particularly trigger you? If you are dissatisfied, why exactly? It is possible, but it does not have to be based solely on weight, as many things can cause dissatisfaction or discomfort.
Intending to lose weight quickly, it is advisable to pause and become aware of your inner impulse. Because yes, you can crash diet and go into a radical calorie deficit and lose weight quickly, but maintaining the weight over the long term will probably be difficult. Unfortunately, the famous yo-yo effect often sends its regard.
The alternative, however, can be that you are gentler with yourself, first acknowledge what your body has already achieved and plan to lose weight, with which you can permanently develop new healthy habits and thus strengthen your happiness in the long term.
It sounds like less pressure and stress. We don’t have to do it ourselves.
The cornerstones of healthy weight loss
1- You’re why
Before you embark on your weight loss journey, you should understand your motivations. What is your motivation for losing weight? The reasons can be varied or overlap. Here are a few examples of possible causes:
- Health problems related to weight.
- A general feeling of being unwell in one’s own body can also affect self-confidence.
- An upcoming wedding to feel fresh and comfortable saying yes to your loved one.
- Limited fitness makes it challenging to play with your children.
- Feeling more active, awake and happier.
Your why determines your goal and keeps you going, even if things don’t go the way you imagine. And that can very well happen. It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose 5 or 15 kg. However, your motivation may change over time, or something may be added. So it makes sense to do a quick check of what drives you from time to time. To remind you or to readjust.
Some people are very good at motivating themselves and don’t need a lot of external stimuli to stay on the ball. Others need more support. For example, through someone who starts with you, a community, or even a coach who accompanies you personally. Do you already know which type you belong to? Then it will probably be easier for you to start. Otherwise, you try one or the other.
2- Your diet
Alongside exercise, nutrition is one of the two key factors in losing weight. That’s why most concepts for crash diets also start here. However, radical renunciation cannot be sustained in the long term and does not make you happy either. Because let’s be honest: don’t we all like to overeat?
Instead of just giving up everything you love to eat, you should become aware of what and how you eat. A balanced diet is essential for your health. And in addition to protein, it should also contain carbohydrates and fats, the so-called macronutrients. So it would help if you didn’t banish them radically. THEREFORE, at WW, we also rely on the principle of losing weight without hunger and with pleasure.
You can achieve a calorie deficit and lose weight, but at the same time, get packed and enjoy. However, the debt must not be too low, as your body needs the energy to remain efficient. So don’t look at calories as the enemy or the only yardstick.
“Calories say nothing about our well-being,” says Sina Peters, graduate ecotrophologist and WW expert for program and science. “That’s why the WW program, with its points system, aims to accompany people to generally healthier eating habits – based on scientific findings.”
It helps to track what you eat. This way, you can keep track of your meals and the nutrients. It also makes you aware of what you eat throughout the day and what works well for you and what doesn’t. For example, you can easily record your meals, including snacks, with the WW app. Or even plan your week so that you can keep an eye on everything.
When we talk about the so-called calorie deficit, your level of exercise also plays a role. To achieve a calorie deficit, you should consume less energy than you expend so that your body can draw the missing power from your fat deposits.
But that doesn’t mean you should starve. This is where movement comes into play. With sporting activity, you can boost energy consumption and at the same time do something good for your health, such as counteracting a possible loss of muscle mass, increasing your endurance, and generally feeling fitter and more flexible.
Research also shows that people who change their diet and exercise more simultaneously lose 20% better.
You are now asking yourself: Which sport is suitable for losing weight?
The following applies here: every movement counts. If you build more exercise into your everyday life, you are doing something good for your body – regardless of whether you want to lose weight or not.
- Be it taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
- get off a few stops early
- to walk around the block once a day or or or.
When looking for an activity that suits you best, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The most important thing is that you have fun. If a 5-kilometer run through woods and meadows bores you, this is not your sporting activity. Just test yourself and find the movement that you enjoy. And the same applies here: Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Start slowly and don’t aim for a 60-minute power workout every day.
Ideally, you’ll find a mix of strength training to work your muscles and endurance training, e.g., B. with a step challenge. Whether it’s 5,000 steps or 10,000 steps per day – whatever suits you and, above all, fits into your everyday life.
What you should also consider if you still want to lose weight quickly
1. A restrictive diet aimed at rapid weight loss can increase feelings of hunger.
In the beginning, the highly restrictive rules that underlie most extreme diets can, in the short term, leave you feeling better physically and emotionally than you did before you started losing weight, especially if your diet wasn’t balanced before or lacked healthy foods. “A so-called normal diet often includes processed foods that are not good for your health,” explains psychologist Dr. Sari Fine Shepherd.
And what happens when you step up a gear with a turbo diet? “It’s not uncommon to initially feel an increase in well-being,” she confirms. She cannot approve of drastic or strict weight-loss programs or crash diets. Because the surge in serotonin you’re likely to feel at first is bound to be temporary.
“Very quickly, extremely low-calorie diets, typically those that restrict daily calorie intake to less than 1,000 calories, can cause side effects such as nausea, constipation, insomnia, and irritability,” warns Cheryl Mussatto. And don’t be surprised later if you also get a raging headache, lack energy, and get in a bad mood now that you loosely fit into the previously too-tight dress.
What about that “dying of hunger” feeling, that bad mood that kicks in when you haven’t eaten enough? Fact: According to a 2018 study published in the journal Emotion, feeling hungry can throw people into a hostile and antisocial mind.
2. Fast weight loss methods are incompatible with real life.
Adhering to a restrictive diet or fasting for a week during which you share meals with a partner or family, friends, co-workers, or clients will inevitably result in you saying “no” a lot and probably finding it stressful deciding what to eat and what to avoid.
This can be not easy from a logistical standpoint. Still, the many situations in which deprivation is felt can lead to increased hunger pangs, leading you to overeat once you stop losing weight.
It should be noted that “over the long term, people who choose a fast weight loss method may actually lose weight, but ultimately these programs end in failure, and people typically have a hard time not gaining weight again,” Das said. Conclusion by Cheryl Mussatto.
3. Fast weight loss diet programs can cut out nutrients you need.
According to a 2018 study published in Nutrients magazine, diet programs designed for rapid weight loss, such as cutting out entire food groups or macronutrients like carbohydrates, can lead to deficiencies in specific essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. These deficiencies in certain micronutrients can negatively impact the immune system, energy, mood, and even sleep. And what’s the point of losing weight if you’re physically and mentally in worse shape than before?!
4. Experimenting with inadequate approaches to losing weight can harm the body.
It is always advisable to consult a doctor before trying a new diet. They will most likely caution you about the lack of research on the safety of specific diets that are currently fashionable.
According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the risks are real. Researchers have found that highly low-calorie diet programs can cause some people to experience worsening heart function.
It would help if you kept in mind that regardless of whether or not a modern diet will make you lose weight, the number on the scale doesn’t tell you everything about your overall health.
5. Weight loss cost trap
Many supplements and specialty foods that promise weight loss can cost you dearly. But are they efficient? They usually aren’t, or at least not for long. “Methods that healthily enable slow weight loss to involve several factors, such as portion control, moderation, and focusing on unprocessed rather than processed foods,” Cheryl Mussatto.
Teas or shakes, or special pills cannot replace these essential foods.
Buying such products with the goal of short-term results is a waste of money. And how can you keep an eye on your wallet and weight simultaneously? Start with small changes in your diet, such as replacing sugary (and expensive) smoothies, specialty coffees, and sodas with still or carbonated water or unsweetened tea.
Lose weight quickly: our conclusion
“If a weight loss program seems too good to be true, it often isn’t,” warns Cheryl Mussatto. To lose weight sustainably, use a method to help you develop healthy eating habits and continue to eat out and enjoy what you enjoy – even if it takes a little longer to reach your weight loss goal.