Safe Weight Loss
by Patrick Austin
If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be sure to do it the right way. Safe weight loss is very important and many people tend to lose weight in the wrong fashion. They starve themselves, exercise too strenuously, or pop some pill. These methods all come with terrible health risks that can hurt you rather than help you.
Medical authorities recommend losing no more than two pounds per week. When this is done through increased exercise and decreased calorie intake, weight loss will be due to fat loss. This would considered safe weight loss.
It may be possible for some people to lose a maximum of four pounds in a week without dehydration, but muscle tissue could potentially be lost along with the fat. It is not possible to lose weight faster than this without dehydration occurring.
Losing more than 2% of your body weight (3 pounds for a 150 pound individual) in less than 24-48 hours will result in a decrease in aerobic performance and endurance. Losing more than 5% of your body weight (7 ½ pounds in a 150 pound individual) in less than three-four days (72-96 hours) will negatively affect power, muscle endurance, aerobic performance, muscle strength especially in the large muscle groups of the legs, and mental concentration. You need to be vigilant while on your diet and exercise routine to ensure you having safe weight loss rather than a potentially harmful weight loss.
Quick weight loss methods used to lose weight at a rate greater than 2% in 24-48 hours or 5% in less than 72-96 hours generally include excessive exercise, excessive food restriction, fasting, and dehydration. These methods primarily reduce the body's water and energy supplies, and cause more muscle loss than fat loss. This is the exact opposite of safe weight loss. It’s unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
A safe weight loss program should encompass these methods:
- Reduce calories, but do not reduce the amount of food you eat. All you have to do is change the types of foods you eat. That way, you’ll actually be able to eat more.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day to ensure your body receives a constant flow of nutrients.
- You should perform an aerobic exercise routine three times a week for at least half an hour.
- Drink plenty of water. At least eight glasses and more if you are exercising rigorously.
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Mr. Austin is a freelance journalist for Pulse MEDIA International. He also covers sports and health for a number of web sites including RealGM.com, Hoopsworld.com, and Fanstop.com, and entertainment and sports for Vainquer magazine.