Incorporate exercise into your schedule to lose weight the healthy way.
Although you may be motivated to lose weight as quickly as possible, you'll improve your chances of keeping the weight off if you make efforts to gradually lose weight over time. Losing weight too quickly can be dangerous. But, by making adjustments to your lifestyle so you lower your body fat over time, you'll be instilling healthy choices that you can maintain over the long haul.
Healthy Rate of Weight Loss
Dr. Donald Hensrud of MayoClinic.com recommends that the fastest rate at which you should lose weight is 1 to 2 pounds every week. To lose weight, you increase the number of calories you burn with exercise and decrease how many calories you take in by eating healthy. Every pound of fat loss requires a 3,500-calorie deficit. This means that to lose 1 to 2 pounds every week, you need to make adjustments to your workout schedule and eating habits to create a 3,500- to 7,000-calorie deficit every seven days.
Benefits of Gradual Weight Loss
Losing 1 to 2 pounds every week requires that you incorporate regular bouts of exercise into your regimen and make gradual changes to what you're eating. Instead of jumping into extreme workouts and making drastic dietary decisions, implement small changes that you're going to have a better chance of maintaining for the long term.
Dangers of Fast Weight Loss
Losing weight at a faster rate than 1 to 2 pounds per week suggests that you're losing something other than fat, notes Dr. Hensrud. The only way to lose fat is through the creation of a caloric deficit, which is challenging to do at a fast rate. Therefore, if you're losing a significant amount of weight quickly, it's most likely water or even your muscle mass that you're losing. In addition, trying to lose weight more quickly by taking diet pills or other over-the-counter drugs can have dangerous side effects. They often work as a diuretic or laxative and you end up losing necessary fluids.
Losing Weight the Right Way
To lose weight at a healthy rate, the American Council on Exercise recommends that you consistently incorporate physical activity into your day and make small changes to your eating plan. They note that 89 percent of the members of the National Weight Control Registry, which are people who have lost weight and kept it off for at least a year, did so by combining healthy eating and exercise. Start with short bouts of exercise and then gradually increase your workout duration every week until you're getting at least 30 minutes in nearly everyday. To reduce your calorie intake, instead of stressing about counting calories, cut your meal portion sizes by 10 to 15 percent.