- Losing a lot of weight fast has been lauded for too long as something we should strive for.
- But drastic weight loss is neither mentally nor physically healthy or sustainable.
- It’s more impressive and makes more sense to lose weight slowly and keep it off, which can also be fun.
- You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.
“Lose 10 Pounds in Two Weeks!” “How [insert celebrity here] Lost 5 kg in a week. “” Transform your body in 30 days! “
When it comes to weight loss everyone wants a quick fix: a brief period of suffering that promises drastic results.
But in fact we need to stop calling extreme weight loss desirable or commendable in short periods of time – because it never lasts.
I absolutely hate breaking it down on you, but if a diet “worked” for just a short time, it didn’t work.
Anyone Can Lose Weight – What is really impressive is losing weight.
The nutritionist and nutrition trainer Dr. Mike Molloy told Insider that rapid weight loss is counterproductive in the long run: “Anything that is extremely extreme should ultimately fail.”
As someone who lost 35 pounds in six months from a slight calorie deficit two years ago and has been around the same weight and body composition since then, I know the slow and steady approach works – and allows you to do your life too enjoy.
Weight loss is not a case of the faster the better
When you lose a lot of weight quickly, you are more likely to regain it for a variety of reasons.
First, when you suddenly start eating a lot less, the first thing you lose is water weight, not fat. But it is also more likely that you will gain weight again afterwards.
Molloy said that when you have a drastic calorie deficit (using less energy than you use), a process known as metabolic adjustment occurs: “If you put yourself in a really big calorie deficit – over 25% – you will preferably lose muscle mass. And as a result, your metabolism will slow down. “
“With relatively extreme approaches, you are simply preparing for a long-term recovery,” he continued. “Slower, more controlled, and sustained weight loss also preserves muscle mass. And this enables you to maintain a higher metabolism when you eventually get to your lower body weight.”
A process known as adaptive thermogenesis also occurs when you have an energy deficit that helps slow your metabolism. “The more extreme your diet, the faster this process sets in,” said Molloy.
Maintaining weight loss is the laudable part
Science aside, if you are not learning healthy lifestyle habits that you can maintain, then how can you expect your results to be sustainable too?
Whether your motivation for losing weight is based on health, aesthetics, or a combination of both, this is the place where your lifestyle choices have guided your. So if you just go back to the same lifestyle afterwards, you go straight back to the same position as before.
No one can adhere to a strict calorie restriction – even if a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight, whether it’s a “juice detox,” the Atkins Diet, or anything else – because it’s completely uncomfortable .
If you lose weight in a way that doesn’t allow you to celebrate birthdays with friends or enjoy all of your favorite foods in moderation, it is not a sustainable way of living.
I’m not saying that you don’t have to use discipline to lose weight, but that mindset and learning to exercise moderation are keys to long-term success.
The problem is, people want quick fixes
Everything looks very good on a four week transformation photo, but what about four months or even four years after that? We should really celebrate that.
Fitness and nutrition trainers often share “before and after” photos of clients showing rapid weight loss to get new clients, but what they really should show is the same people a year later. That would prove that the coach taught that person how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
There’s a reason headlines and diet plans promise quick results: people don’t want to be patient, no one wants to put the work in long-term, and I understand that. It’s human nature.
Quick fixes sell, but they don’t teach people healthy habits so they get trapped in an endless cycle of diets.
For example, Jordan Syatt, Sustainable Fat Loss Trainer, always says if he wrote a weight loss book it would be a five year plan, but people don’t want to hear that.
Sustained weight loss doesn’t mean long-term punishment
Nobody wants to take a long-term approach to weight loss because they think they have to give up everything they enjoy in life, but that’s just not the case.
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to feel like punishment. Losing weight shouldn’t mean hating grueling workouts and depriving yourself of all the foods you enjoy.
It’s about getting your body moving in such a way that you feel invigorated and energized, making small diet changes that include all foods in moderation, and overall leaving you in a slight energy deficit.
Yes, you want to prioritize whole foods and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fiber, grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins as these are good for your overall health and will keep you full too, which will help keep hunger pangs at bay from a calorie deficit . But if you try to cut out all of the food you enjoy, be it chocolate, pizza, or ice cream, you won’t be able to stand it and end up binging.
The next time you see a headline celebrating rapid weight loss or diets that promise extreme results, this shouldn’t be considered desirable. Take a step back, remember that this is not a healthy approach, and think twice before starting your next faddy fitness plan.