The Quick Fix: How Long Should It Take to Lose Weight

With all the fad diets, pills and shakes on the market, and obesity running at an all-time high in many countries, it is no wonder that we wish to lose weight in the fastest and easiest possible manner. Losing weight too fast may, however, be counterproductive to your overall weight loss goals and it may also be detrimental to your health. We, therefore, take a look at what exactly is defined as obesity, what rapid weight loss may mean for your health and how long should it take to lose weight?

Healthy Weight Loss

When we opt for a diet, a pill, a shake or some exercise to aid us in our weight loss journey, we tend to choose those products or regimes which advertise a faster result rather than an overall positive result over a longer length of time. This is not only unsafe but not at all sustainable in the long run. It is much safer to lose weight at a slower pace to ensure that you keep off the pounds with no negative effects on your health but how long should it take to lose weight?

While rapid weight loss might seem like the obvious answer, research shows that an average gradual weight loss of approximately 1 to 2 pounds per week is the healthiest and most sustainable for the body. Usually, with products or diets promising rapid weight loss, it becomes impossible to continue the diet after the weight has been dropped because it may be dangerous or even extremely expensive. Losing weight gradually, however, means you have adapted your lifestyle around your diet and you will be much more successful in keeping this weight off even after you stop your diet. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however. When losing even just a little weight you will immediately start to gain positive health benefits and improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels. You will also start to feel less pressure on your chest, ankles, and knees,

Am I Even Overweight?

Many women look in the mirror just to see a larger version of themselves staring back at them. This does not in the slightest mean that you are obese or even overweight. It does, however, reflect on how you view yourself. In order to ascertain whether you are indeed overweight and furthermore, obese, you need to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Your Body Mass Index is an approximate measurement of your body fat in relation to your height and weight. To calculate Body Mass Index you divide your weight by the square of your height in meters egg: kg/m2. The number you get from that equation will tell you in which weight category you fall:

If your BMI is less than 18.5 you are regarded as underweight. Between 18.5 and 25, your weight is normal and in relation to your height. From 25 to 30 you are considered to be overweight while a BMI of more than 30 puts you in the obese category.

Is Losing Weight Too Fast Really a Bad Thing?

There exist many diets or pills that will enable you to lose weight extremely fast. This is unfortunately extremely unsafe. Anything that provides a quick fix or instant relief is usually a fad, so try to steer clear of quick diets which promise high weight loss in little time. There is a pretty good chance that it might cause you to be unhealthier coming out of the diet than going in.

Some of the negative effects of losing weight too fast include the following:

1. Losing Water Rather Than Fat

It is extremely hard to burn the number of calories to cause a genuine quick weight loss. Therefore, chances are you may not be losing fat but actually water and lean muscle tissue. This rapid loss of water in your body may actually cause you to dehydrate. This may cause headaches and fatigue and should you proceed with your diet for a longer time, it may cause dysfunction in your kidney as well as kidney stones

2. Excess Skin

When you put on weight your body stretches the skin slowly to allow for the extra fat to be stored. As you lose the weight, the skin slowly returns to its original state (plus a few stretch marks usually). If you rapidly lose weight, your skin does not have time to gradually return to its status quo and therefore becomes excess saggy skin. This could mean that you would require surgery to get rid of the excess skin.

3. Shedding More Hair Than You Usually Do

We shed hair on a daily basis but losing weight too quickly could mean that you are not getting enough of the required nutrients like iron, protein, and zinc. Your body, therefore, needs to distribute what little nutrients it has among your body parts. Unfortunately, hair is one of the least required parts on our bodies and is therefore shed.

4. Slower Metabolism with Practically No Fat Loss

When you choose a diet, you need to choose one aimed at allowing enough calories for your body to burn as fuel. Diets aimed at quick weight loss usually allow very few calories which trick your body into thinking that you are starving. Your body then goes into survival mode, slows your metabolism down and stores the fat to feed on it slowly while you are ‘starving’. The human body truly is an amazing machine.

5. Unbalanced Electrolytes

Although this may seem like a minor issue it is actually one of the worst recorded side effects of rapid weight loss. Electrolytes are required by your body to function correctly. An imbalance, however, means that some of the elements are either too high or too low. This may cause muscle weakness, seizures, an irregular heartbeat and may even result in death if not treated quickly.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to losing weight, and losing weight too fast is detrimental to your health. It is very important to choose a diet which will allow you to lose weight at a gradual pace. So rather steer clear of fad diets, pills and shakes and rather opt for a well-balanced healthy diet. To ensure that you lose weight gradually and keep the weight off, it is also important to choose an exercise regime of some form. This will help you lose weight while also strengthening and toning your muscles.

 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/fast-weight-loss/faq-20058289
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/should-you-lose-weight-fast/
https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

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