As much as people desire to lose weight fast, statistics show that the body responds better to a slow and gradual loss, having a much higher success rate of keeping the weight off than those who lose weight too fast. I would say there is a strong link between this and the set point the body seems to have (to learn more about the set point, refer to my previous blog ‘The Norm’). If our body fights to maintain the weight it is used to, it makes sense that it would fight less when the weight loss is not causing alarm bells to go off.
I’ve seen some that have a loss at the start of their lifestyle change (I prefer this term over diet) but get then discouraged as the weight becomes harder to lose, even just a few weeks into the change. The main reason for this is because a planned “lifestyle change” normally consists of at a set intake of Kilojoules (KJ)/Calories (Cal) from the beginning based on starting weight. When weight is lost and the consumption of KJ/Cal remain the same, clearly the loss will be less dramatic. Often the number of KJ/Cal will need to be reassessed to continue seeing results, depending on your starting weight, health and end goal.
Here are a few tips in those considering weight loss:
- Get advice first. Talk to a nutritionist, doctor, health coach etc.
- Rapid loss in weight may not always mean loss in fat stores; quick losses also include water and lean tissue.
- For every 30,000 KJ (7170cal) consumed beyond your body’s needs, a kilogram of fat is stored.
- A loss of 10% of your starting weight over six months is considered reasonable for those who are overweight.
- Make it a lifestyle change, not just a diet.
- Get some accountability, someone to encourage you and keep you strong!
And as they say, slow and steady wins the race!
Short and sweet as always,