Healthy Weight loss

Have you had difficulty losing weight in the past?

How about maintaining that weight loss once you have achieved it? It is extremely common to want to lose weight immediately. Typically, any diet that produces quick results will either be impossible to continue or will cause only a temporary weight decrease. Most times, a sharp decrease in weight will be followed by an increase in weight over the next couple of weeks, making the overall weight loss goal even further away.

Weight loss should be considered a journey, not a destination.

You will not achieve your goals in a week. Getting fixated on losing weight quickly is a great way to get discouraged and give up. Instead, it is better to focus on small life changes that can be continued. Healthy weight loss should consist of dropping 1-2 pounds per week on a consistent basis. This means decreasing your calorie intake by 500-1,000 calories per day, or exercising enough to create a 500 to 1,000 calorie deficit. The best way is to combine these methods. If you eat 250 less calories per day and exercise to burn 250 calories per day, you can plan on losing 1 pound per week. Not only will you steadily lose weight, you will also gain the benefits of sustained exercise.

250-500 calories per day sounds a lot harder than it really is. 1 can of Coke has 140 calories.

You can easily intake 500-1,000 calories a day through beverages alone. Many people find if they switch most of their beverage choices to water or coffee they see sustained weight loss. It is much easier to switch out empty calories in beverages than it is to deprive yourself of all the things you like to eat. Dieting does not have to consist of starving yourself every day. Starving yourself is the quickest way to hate your diet and give up on it. Making 1 or 2 small changes to your daily food intake and exercise goals can lead to consistently dropping 1-2 pounds per week. That’s 4 to 8 pounds per month, which may not sound like a lot but ends up being 50-100lbs per year. It is much healthier to lose 50 lbs over the course of a year than it is to drop 20 lbs in 1 month and gain it all back.


On that note, what about those diets that promise massive weight loss?

Most diets that involve huge weight decreases in the beginning involve completely cutting our carbs. When your body has no sugar, it also can’t store as much water. Water is a large percent of your body, so as soon as you shed it, your weight will drop dramatically. The downside? Once the water is gone, there is no more weight to lose (water is also important for every bodily function, so you want to keep it). The other downside? Completely dropping carbs is a great way to start having massive hunger spikes which can lead to overeating once your willpower runs out. Low-carb diets aren’t all bad, but they require attention to the other foods you are eating. Simply dropping carbs will typically lead to a failed diet.

So what’s the answer?

In the beginning, don’t make a massive diet change. Change 1 to 2 things at a time and decrease the amount of sugar you are consuming. Dropping sugar and empty calories from beverages is the easiest way to create sustainable weight loss. You don’t have to be hungry 365 days a year for your diet to succeed. If you don’t feel good while dieting, it is probably too extreme and it will be hard to stick to. Focus on small changes and continued progress.

You won’t see huge changes in the beginning of changing your diet and exercise plans.

That’s OK, the changes will come. The good news is, even those small initial weight changes can lead to important health changes. According to the CDC even a modest weight loss such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight is likely to produce health benefits. These improvements include decreases in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.

Side note: Sleep has been shown to impact weight loss as well. People who don’t get enough sleep on a consistent basis will gain weight faster and have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Disclaimer: Always get looked at by a health professional before starting an exercise program. Joint pain can be a huge factor in why people stop exercising. Don’t let aches and pains deter you from pursuing a healthier life.

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