You’ve seen the advertisements and you’ve heard the miracle claims.
Lose twenty pounds in one week!
Drop four dress sizes in fourteen days!
Lose fat and build muscle without doing any exercise!
Most fat diets and diet supplements make the same outrageous claim: You’ll lose weight fast. And in today’s society of quick-fixes, most of us are willing to jump at a chance to get rid of our flab in a mere 48 hours – especially if it doesn’t require any work! In fact, most of us wish we had lost the weight yesterday!
But most health experts agree that fast weight loss is bad weight loss. Instead, they recommend that people lose weight at about a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week. And though this may not seem like a speedy rate of weight loss – especially when compared to some of the outrageous claims made by diet companies – a 2-pound-per-week loss of fat would mean you’d be 24 pounds lighter in just twelve weeks!
Sure, it would be great to lose those 24 pounds in just one week. But it’s not a good idea. Here’s why:
It’s impossible to sustain that rate for the long haul. No matter why you’re losing weight so quickly – whether it’s diet, exercise or a supplement – it’s impossible to sustain that kind of major weight loss rate for the long haul. Eventually, you’ll only lose a few pounds a week. And your weight loss may even stall – or plateau. For many folks, especially people who have achieved big successes initially, this can cause a rebound of returning to old habits.
The weight won’t stay off anyway. Studies have found that people who lose weight quickly almost always gain it back again. There are exceptions, of course. But in general, losing weight fast is a pretty good indicator that you’ll one day be wearing those pounds again. On the other hand, folks who have managed to successfully lose weight – and keep it off – are likely to have lost the pounds gradually over time.
It’s bad for your health. Dramatic and fast weight changes – like losing lots of weight very quickly – stresses your body, your heart and your immune system. And, since you’re likely to put that weight back on again, you could start a cycle of yo-yo dieting that will negatively affect your overall health. Losing weight slowly, however, allows your body to adjust to the changes gradually, which lessens the stress it endures when you’re dieting and following an exercise program.
It may be tempting to try a fad diet or extreme exercise program in order to lose weight quickly. But the healthiest method – which is also likely to be more successful in the long haul – is to take off the pounds gradually and slowly.