The most common question I see popping up amongst the weight loss and nutrition community is “how can I lose weight fast?” or “do fast weight loss methods exist and do they really work?” The questions themselves are innocent enough, however they are incomplete. Fast weight loss is not the only factor that needs to be taken into consideration when delving into becoming fit. The more appropriate question would be “how can I healthily lose weight fast?” or “do fast weight loss methods really exist and are they healthy?”
There are a few things one must understand when it comes to fast weight loss. The first is that the term “fast” is very relative, and more often than not equates to an unrealistic weight loss rate. Losing thirty pounds in one month is fast, albeit destructive. In long term a loss of thirty pounds in one month translates to the gain of weight lost plus weight that used to be absent and thus sets a person back in their journey to health and fitness. The fastest, and most beneficial, rate of weight loss is roughly 1 to 3 pounds per week. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose it may seem as if it is taking way too long to shed, but trust me when I say you will not regret the decision to take things slowly and healthfully. The longer it takes you to lose weight, the higher your chances of keeping the weight off are.
The second thing you must understand is that weight loss isn’t necessarily the focus of becoming truly fit – it’s fat loss that should be the focus. Rather than losing x amount of weight per week, one should aim to lose x percent of fat per week. The ultimate goal in becoming healthy is to have your body fat percentage at a clinically healthy range. There are a few scales that show body fat percentage thanks to modern technology; however most scales do not show what factors into your weight. It isn’t just fat that shows up in your weight; it’s also muscle, fluids, and organs. More often than not when a person loses more than one to four pounds per week they are losing body muscle, not fat.
The one exception to this rule is when an extremely overweight person begins to lose weight. An overweight person will start off losing large amounts of weight (up to six or seven pounds), mostly in body fat. If you have the chance to speak with a nutritionist, or even have some spare time, try finding out your body fat percentage and calculating just how much weight you really need to lose before your pesky fat is gone.
The shortest answers to the most commonly asked question are:
A) Fast weight loss is definitely possibly, however it is not advised due to the health risk and possible development of eating disorders B) Any weight loss method that claims to cause losses of more than one to four pounds per week, especially without exercise, does not work. It will do more harm to the body than eating unhealthily does!
C) You can adequately lose weight “fast” by eating a healthy diet and exercising at least three times a week, thirty to sixty minutes per day. Weight loss pills and starving oneself will in no way accelerate your loss.