How fast can you lose weight?
Let’s focus on the word ‘Fast’.
This is a big deal for most people.
They want results and they want them yesterday.
No one wants to put in a long period of effort. They just want a magic solution that will get an instant result with little change on their part.
The problem is there is no such thing as magic and you cannot defy physics. Your body is composed the way it is and can only be changed at its pre-determined, optimal rate.
You may have heard the guideline of targeting 2 pounds of fat loss per week.
There is a reason that is such a commonly quoted guide.
For most people, that is the optimal rate. If you lose more than that you are likely sacrificing muscle tissue and in return you are jeopardising your long term success.
In very basic terms, the more muscle tissue you have (lean muscle mass) the higher your metabolism.
That is a very crude way of looking at it, but the principle still stands.
The higher your metabolism, the more you can eat and still lose weight.
The more you can eat, the higher your metabolism (thermic effect). Plus, the more you can eat the more fuel there is for you to function.
This allows you to train harder; giving you a higher calorie burn; which allows you to eat more and add more lean muscle mass.
It’s an ever-increasing cycle that ensures as you lose the pounds.
Fat is the thing that gets burned and leaves you looking toned or ‘ripped’.
What happens if you lose weight fast?
If you go the other route and ‘lose weight fast’ then you will drop muscle tissue.
This then lowers your metabolic rate (again over simplification to avoid the technicalities) meaning you have to eat less to be in a calorie deficit.
The result is a lower thermic effect (further reduction in metabolism).
Plus, you have less energy for exercise and daily activities. This lowers your calorie output.
You, therefore, have to eat even less to continue losing weight. And the cycle continues.
The problem with this route is, it is in no way infinite.
Eventually you would run out of calories to eat.
In other words, the more measured approach would be optimal for burning fat, improved body composition and keeping the fat of long term.
Then there is the issue of loose skin.
Your skin is amazingly elastic. But it can only cope with change at a fairly slow rate.
If you put on weight too quickly, your skin can’t keep up and you tears (stretch marks).
Similarly, then, if you lose the pounds too quickly, your skin won’t keep up and you end up with loose skin. Which was not in the initial vision of when that lose weight fast goal was set.
Just remind yourself how long it took you to put those pounds on in the first place and realise that it will take a good chunk of that same time to take it off. That is assuming you want it to stay off and to ensure it is fat you are losing, leaving you looking trim and toned, rather than ‘skinny fat’.
Is it really weight you want to lose?
Let’s look at that second word – ‘weight’