This is part of the Healthy Weight Management Series of articles, tips, blogs and videos which is available on the Sunset Coast Hypnotherapy Facebook page between 25 April and 28 July.
Can I lose weight quickly (and healthily)?
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The healthiest way to lose weight is through better eating habits and exercise (1).
Nutritionist, Fiona Tuck, states that 80% of the weight loss effect comes from what we eat, the other 20% is from exercise. Eating fresh foods and controlling portion sizes is the most effective way to lose weight (1).
The NHS BMI calculator allows you to calculate if you are in a healthy weight range, and suggests a daily calorie intake to achieve that weight by losing around 0.5 – 1 kg (1 to 2 pounds) per week. There are also links to diet plans for 12 weeks (2).
Problems with fast weight loss
Fast weight loss can result in weight gain once we start to eat a normal diet again, as it results in the slowing down of the metabolism as the body goes into starvation mode. In addition, when on a low calorie / kilojoule diet, we lose muscle before fat.
Fast weight loss can also cause electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, dehydration, fatigue, irritability, headaches, constipation, dizziness, irregular menstruation and loss of muscle (1).
The following weight-loss traps or bad habits can make it harder for you to achieve your goals (3):
- skipping meals or eating on the run
- eating and drinking to relieve stress
- eating convenience foods too often, instead of preparing home cooked meals from fresh ingredients
Diets that have any of the following features may be fad diets, and are best avoided (3):
- ban a specific healthy food or all of a food group
- promise fast and miraculous results
- are not scientifically based or approved by accredited health professionals.
So, how much weight can we safely lose each week?
The guideline for this is 0.5 – 1 kilogram per week. In the first couple of weeks, weight loss can to higher due to excess fluid being lost. Even if you don’t see any change in weight in a specific week, you could still be losing fat and gaining muscle mass (becoming leaner). This is good for weight loss in general, as higher muscles mass leads to a higher metabolic rate (1).
To lose a kilogram of fat per week, you need to eat approximately 7,000 calories (29,400 kilojoules) per week less than you burn in daily activities.
To help motivate healthy eating, here is a guide to how long it takes to walk off popular junk food meals . After reading the information, you may decide that it is easier to avoid the junk food in the first place!
If you would like more help with motivation or other tools to assist in weight loss, or simply wish to find out more information, please phone me (Lisa) on 0403 932311 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to answer any of your questions, and to help you decide if I am the best therapist for you. All with no obligation.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, I can work in conjunction with your medical professional (e.g. GP) to assist you to attain a healthy weight.