This is the season where so many people are hyper-focused on losing weight as it is part of our new year’s goals and resolutions. As you know, I am always talking about sustainable and lifestyle solutions especially when it comes to weight loss. Last week, I wrote about fad diets and why they aren’t a sustainable weight-loss solution. So, what are my science-based recommendations? Here we go…
Did you know that it is not recommended for you to lose more than 1kg per week? Less is definitely better. The slower we lose weight, the more keep it low.
What if you lose more weight than the recommendation above?
- You are losing muscle, not fat,
- You are losing water weight and may become dehydrated,
- It’s not sustainable and you will gain it back and most likely increase your weight to even above where you started,
- You aren’t eating enough calories and are actually reducing your metabolic rate putting your body into starvation which causes your body to hold on to fat instead of burning it off,
- You are starving yourself and being too restrictive- This is neither an enjoyable experience nor one that fuels your body with what it needs to be healthy. This can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
- You aren’t getting enough carbs and may become lethargic and have headaches. Because of this, you won’t be in a place to finish your workouts and will be less likely to build muscle.
Ask yourself: Can I continue what I am doing to lose or maintain this weight loss for the rest of my life?
If the answer is NO, your plan is not sustainable and it is not a lifestyle change. It is more likely to be a quick fix and/or fad diet. Once you change your diet and/or stop exercising it’s most likely you will gain the weight back. To avoid that, you have to be sustainable and realistic in your approach to weight loss. Be honest and check yourself- Are you happy with the example you are setting for yourself and others, especially the kiddos watching you?
Remember its not all about the scale:
- Inches can still be lost
- Clothes can still fit better
- Don’t discredit the positive mental health impacts
- Muscle weighs more than fat
- Risk factors for chronic disease can still improve
- You can lower cholesterol levels (total cholesterol and LDL-bad cholesterol)
- Increased good cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol) is possible
- Improved blood pressure can be achieved
- Reduced blood sugar levels is also a win
- Lower triglycerides is a positive improvement
- Having more energy is always an advantage
- You being able to do the things you love more easily due to better physical mobility and muscle gain is positive change
Everybody has their own ideal weight and it doesn’t help to compare yourself to others.
Know that there is such a thing as weight plateaus and that they should be expected. Show gratitude to yourself for everything you’ve accomplished this far and all the amazing things your body does for you! Persistence is the key to the development and maintenance of any healthy habit.
Slow and steady always wins the race!