If you want to lose weight and make sure that your body doesn’t suffer as a result of it; if you also want to make sure that your weight loss is sustained over a longer period, you should know more about a healthy weight loss rate.
When it comes to weight loss, quicker is not necessarily better. In fact slow and steady is a better bet. Diet pills, weight loss programs may all offer quick weight loss; even rapid weight loss, but this is not necessarily good for the body. A healthy weight loss rate is the speed that you can lose weight at and still be healthy.
So how much weight can you lose per week and remain healthy? Most experts recommend that losing between 1 and 2 pounds a week is the optimum. Since one pound of weight loss is equivalent to a 3,500 calorie deficit, you will have to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume in a week.
Reasons why experts recommend healthy weight loss rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week
- First of all when you aim for very rapid weight loss you will be subjecting your body to extreme caloric deprivation or extreme exercise. Both of these are bad for several reasons: one the body perceives stress and will refuse to part with the fat and the metabolism will slow down. This prevents weight loss and also deprives the body of vital nutrients. Extreme exercise may mean physical stress on the muscles and ligaments; possibly injuries as well. Extreme measures may work for a while and may cause rapid weight loss to begin with; but a plateau is typically reached very rapidly.
- A healthy weight loss rate will not shock the system but will give it time to adjust to a lifestyle change. This also gives the person time to form new and healthier habits. It gives you time to shop differently, cook differently, eat out differently, to explore new food options, to find the time to exercise and so on.
- Extreme caloric restriction also increases chances of binge eating and this can negatively impact one’s overall weight loss program. This is because the body may feel deprived and you may feel hungry all of the time, putting great strain on your self-control.
- Very rapid weight loss may also cause the body to conserve fat stores and to expend valuable lean muscle. At a more healthy weight loss rate the body is more likely to lose fat rather than muscle. At first when the weight comes off too quickly, it could only be water that you’re losing and not fat.
- Rapid weight loss is difficult to maintain and you may find that you’re putting the weight back on as quickly as you lost it; and end up gaining even more weight than you lost in the first place.
Though healthy weight loss rate is the rule to be followed, in some cases rapid weight loss is recommended; such as when obesity is causing health problems. But it has to be remembered that extreme caloric restriction or very rapid weight loss should always be done only under medical supervision.