From diet programs to detox teas, so many products promise instant gratification when it comes to transforming your bod. Unfortunately most folks gain back more than they initially drop.
A slow and steady slim-down approach that vaporises one to two pounds per week is the way to go if you want permanent fat loss.
It takes a deficit of approximately 3,500 calories to shed one pound of fat—so cutting your daily intake by 500 calories should lead to weight loss in the region of one pound per week and up to two if you are adding exercise.
"When people lose weight slowly, it’s usually due to making sustainable behavioural and lifestyle changes, as opposed to crash diets with unhealthy restrictions."
Here's how slimming down ASAP can backfire in a big way:
YOU CAN BECOME HIGHLY STRESSED
Eating less than your body needs triggers the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
That stress drives up appetite and can increase fat storage, especially around the middle.
YOUR METABOLISM SLOWS WAY DOWN
Rapid weight loss plays mind games with your body: Our body recognises caloric deprivation as an external famine and flips on its metabolic survival switch, telling your metabolism to slow down to conserve energy, stores more fat, hitting you with a weight-gain double whammy.
YOU WANT TO EAT EVERYTHING
When you go on a crash diet, your levels of leptin, a hormone that controls hunger, plummet. As a result, you’re ravenous, obsessed with food, and primed to binge.
MUSCLE TONE & DEFINITION WILL BE A DISTANT DREAM
Cut calories too fast and your muscle tone will seriously suffer. When you don't eat enough, your body resorts to using muscle mass for fuel.
Besides losing that sexy, toned look, dropping muscle mass actually decreases how much fat you burn. The less muscle tissue you have, the more likely you are to sabotage your get-slim goals.
YOU'LL BE DRIER THAN THE SAHARA
A large weekly weight loss is mostly from water or stool being eliminated, and is not body fat loss. Water weighs approximately eight pounds a gallon, and this rapid loss of fluids can lead to dehydration.
When your stores of H20 are depleted, you’ll likely have to contend with side effects like headaches, constipation, muscle cramps, and low energy. All of which hinder your ability to work, exercise, and enjoy life in general. Your calorie-torching power, in the meantime, will also suffer.
So, yes, your best bet is to aim to lose one to two pounds per week, but that pace might still be too tough if you're nearing your goal. It's more reasonable for a 300-pound person to drop one to two pounds per week than for a 150-pound person to lose at that same rate. The closer you are to your healthy weight, the slower you should lose.
Forget about the scale and focus on eating right, exercising, reducing stress, and getting adequate rest. If you do those four things, in addition to addressing any emotional eating, the weight will come off and stay off.