Something weird happens when we finally start a new diet plan or weight loss program. For some reason our expectations are that, simply by starting to work on losing weight, we will lose ten pounds overnight.
It’s such a funny psychology, but a common experience I hear from my clients in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains, and others I speak with! Unfortunately, this distorted expectation leads to rapid disappointment, rather than rapid weight loss.
We see diet claims where people have had significant weight loss in a short period of time, leading us to expect the same results as well.
However, everyone’s weight loss experience is unique. Beyond that, weight loss does not happen in a bubble; it happens in the context of our big, busy lives.
As a Registered Dietitian, I have always approached weight loss for my clients by focusing on whole-health. In my practice, healthy weight loss translates into losing one to two pounds per week, which helps to preserve lean body mass and prevent nutritional deficiencies. Weight loss is not just about fitting into our favourite jeans, it is about improving our health so that we can enjoy more life! If we try to lose weight at any cost, we can compromise our health…
…and our ability to keep the weight off over the long-term.
Very low-calorie diets (under 1200 calories per day) are more likely to result in the loss of lean body mass (muscle tissue), along with fat tissue loss. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat, so maintaining as much as possible will allow our bodies to burn more calories overall. Muscle tissue also gives us strength and tone, which supports our bones and gives our body the shape we desire.
We have also seen that the greater loss of fat-free mass (i.e., muscle mass) during weight loss is associated with a greater chance of weight regain over the long-term. No one wants to go through the effort of losing weight only to struggle with regaining it so easily.
Studies have also shown that, when compared to rapid weight loss, gradual weight loss helped to preserve our resting metabolic rate. This means that losing weight too quickly can result in adaptive change in our body that lowers how many calories we burn daily. I like to eat, so personally, I would like to keep burning as many calories as I can.
Instead, we need to set ourselves up for long-term success!
In my practice, I use healthy, well-balanced approaches to losing weight. Even though the rate of weight loss varies from person to person, the women I see who lose closer to two pounds in a week, all do the same things…
Here are my top five tips to maximize healthy weight loss:
Make time for Consistency