12 Nov What is healthy weight loss?
We are in the midst of the silly season and those of us that did not stay consistent during the winter months are now scrambling to get to the gym and try any fad diet in order to be beach ready for the holidays.
I am busy losing my baby weight and am focused on getting back to my original size so that’s been my focus. What’s good is, I have done this before, so I know it’s possible to lose it all – all I am doing is going back to what worked for me which was exercise 3-4 times a week (HIIT exercise works for me) and high protein low carb eating habits. I am seeing results and it is very encouraging.
The way I am going about my weight loss may not be the quickest way to shed the weight but it is the most sustainable, it’s a lifestyle I can stick to for the rest of my life. If you’re trying to adopt a “diet” to lose weight and you ask yourself that crucial question, ‘can I do this for the rest of my life” and the answer is no – you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.
Yes, you may see results initially with a quick fix, the danger of gaining all the weight back with interest is very likely.
Let’s set the record straight
I am sure you’re wondering then what is the healthy rate to lose weight? Don’t get me wrong, it would be wonderful if we could safely lose 10 kgs in two weeks, but it’s just not the case.
Physiologically speaking, you have to burn more calories than what you eat and drink in order to lose weight. Basic body functions (breathing, nerve function, manufacturing cells, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature) use 50-70 percent of your calories or energy. The rate at which your body uses calories/energy for basic body functions at rest is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Additional factors that strongly determine your BMR include your genes, age, gender and body composition. Therefore, much of your energy use is predetermined. However, the amount of energy you burn each day also depends on how much exercise you do (intensity, type and duration). Once we consume more than our bodies need over a period of time, this then turns into weight gain.
If an individual is significantly overweight and has more weight to lose than the average person who wants to lose five kilograms or less, they might lose more weight more quickly. However, this weight loss may be a combination of fluid loss and fat loss.
So if you’re looking to lose weight responsibly in order to keep the weight off long term, most experts agree that losing between 500 grams and 1 kilogram a week is healthy. You may lose a tad faster initially as that first few kilos is mostly excess fluid loss, but as your body stabilizes, this would be the rate of loss you should be aiming for.
Guidelines to lose weight responsibly
Set realistic goals – It’s already almost mid-November, so you have left it pretty late if you have a lot of weight to lose in time for the December holidays. So be gentle with yourself and rather lose the weight gradually. Don’t set unrealistic goals.
Get regular exercise – If you’re looking to make a dent in that weight loss number you’re aiming for, exercise will help you. Try to get to the gym at least 3-4 times a week to see real results.
Cut the crap – This means you’ll have to avoid all the processed, sugar laden foods for a while. These are empty calories that’ll just sabotage your whole mission.
Drink water – Up your water intake, this will keep you fuller, therefore resulting in you eating less at mealtimes and also assist in speeding up you metabolism and keeping your digestive system working well.
Eat mindfully – Listen to your body, only eat when you are hungry and until you’re satiated. Eat slowly and try not to do other things while you eat so you eat mindfully and are able to stop once you are satiated.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
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Photography: Hemisha Bhana