I’m sure you’ve noticed advertisements for quick weight loss… Or an acquaintance from high school selling some kind of supplement. Something that is supposed to help you lose a whole bunch of weight in a short amount of time. What is being advertised could be true, and you could start losing weight quickly, but is it safe?
Fad Diets and Weight Loss Aids
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of fad or crash diets. I never have been, and you will never see me trying to sell a weight loss miracle pill, wrap, smoothie, diet, etc. I just do not believe in them at their core, I believe they prey on desperate people trying to lose weight.
The thing is, they work – initially. Think about it. If you are drinking two meal replacement smoothies a day followed by a healthy meal for lunch, of course you are going to lose weight. Unfortunately that weight loss is superficial, most people end up gaining the weight back PLUS some.
Smoothies are only one example of course. There are also pills, wraps, and fad diets like keto.
Any diet plan that you stick to will get you to lose weight. It’s when you come off the plan that it gets tricky.
READ MORE: How to Spot Fad Diets
What is the Risk of Losing Weight Quickly
When on an extreme weight loss program, you can very easily get into a state of malnutrition, which can cause hair loss, bloating, mood swings, fatigue, and can also cause your body’s ability to heal wounds or cuts to stop working like it should. The muscle tissue loss that you will most likely experience with these quick weight loss diets returns as fat, so in the end, you’re in a worse place than when you started the program. Losing weight the correct way allows you to lose fat and gain muscle mass.
How Fast is too Fast?
These type of programs usually have people severely cut down on their food intake while increasing the amount of exercise you do to an extreme level. A program like this will drop the weight fast, but you won’t necessarily just be losing fat. When using one of the quick weight loss diet programs, you will lose some fat, but you’ll also be losing water weight and muscle tissue. While continuing to use a quick loss diet plan, your immune system and metabolism will slow down.
An immune system that isn’t working like it should will give you increased chances at becoming sick and even getting a serious disease. When your metabolism is working correctly, it can help with a normal weight loss diet, but once it slows down, even having a normal, healthy lifestyle can make you gain weight. By slowing your metabolism down, you might just end up gaining more weight instead of losing some. Metabolism is very hard to regulate, and after it slows down, it might never get back to where it was before.
To lose a pound of body weight, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories. In other words, if you want to lose 2 pounds in 1 week, you need a deficit of 7,000 calories, which is still safe. A quick weight loss diet, on the other hand, would have you losing 5-10 pounds per week, which is the equivalent of approximately 17,500 to 35,000 calories. Considering that on average, a 30 year old adult should eat approximately 14,000 calories worth of food to sustain their energy, it just doesn’t seem right to lose more calories than you would need in a week.
Losing Weight Quickly in a Safe Way
First of all, it’s important to note that doctors recommend losing no more than two pounds per week. However if you are very overweight, you will end up losing weight much more quickly. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned with how your weight loss is going.
Keeping in mind that to lose one pound per week, you will need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500, there are two ways to do this.
One is by making sure you are eating nutritious, balanced meals focused on fruits and veggies as well has lean proteins like beans, fish, or poultry.
Second is by making sure you are exercising regularly. This could be as simple as taking a walk everyday. Once you start the habit, you can incorporate strength training for even better results.
When you can incorporate both the healthy eating and regular exercise into your day, you will see healthy weight loss. A healthier lifestyle will give you long term success with your weight loss goals, and you’ll be avoiding all of the negative side effects that a fad diet program brings.
Doing What’s Best for Your Body
There is no one size fits all method when it comes to losing weight quickly. You have to find what works for your body, your lifestyle, and even your family. If it’s a super restrictive plan that you can feed to your kids too, chances are it’s not going to work.
Instead, cook healthy meals for your whole family. Focus on eating all the food groups and lots of fruits and veggies. You can start by making sure you are eating one fruit or veggie with every meal. It may not seem like much, but it is a simple start that will form a long term habit. You can also incorporate family activities that gets everyone moving. It doesn’t have to be an every day thing, but try and incorporate a family walk or bike ride a couple times a week.
And don’t get me wrong… If you have tried weight loss gimmicks and they have worked for you, long term, I am happy for you! Every one deserves to be healthy and happy with themselves.
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