People searching for weight loss programs and diets today seem to be searching more for rapid weight loss than permanent, healthy weight loss. Unfortunately, it is a fact that quick diet weight loss programs are seldom without their dangers, and their results usually range from erratic to nonexistent.
I would advise anyone seeking to lose weight to substitute the term ‘healthy weight loss program’ for ‘rapid weight loss program’. I hope, the following short discussion will explain my position to some extent.
You, like so many others in today’s society, are concerned about losing weight. Like so many others, you are looking for some sort of rapid weight loss program or plan. Rapid weight loss, also often referred to as quick weight loss or fast weight loss, involves, as its name implies, losing weight in a short period of time. Claims of such programs often cite fantastic results in anywhere from two to seven days.
In the United States, approximately two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese, and hundreds of thousands of these Americans are understandably interested in rapidly losing that unwanted weight. Many simply wish to lose weight before an important event, like an upcoming vacation or a wedding, while others are willing to accept the fact that permanent, healthy weight loss is a lifetime commitment.
While it is certainly simple to understand how you can want to lose weight as fast as possible, to tell the truth, you really need to proceed with caution. Although it is possible to lose weight, or at least a small part of it, in a relatively short period of time, you should realize that there are dangers and problems associated with doing so.
One of the many dangers of rapid weight loss is simply that which is inherent in some of the many measures that some people take. For instance, it is common to hear of individuals who have decided to fast, i.e. not to eat, while trying to achieve a rapid weight loss goal. Going without food, for even a short period of time, can be dangerous to your health. It deprives you of many nutrients necessary to health and will shortly cause your metabolism to slow down. At that point, initial weight loss will cease if it hasn’t already. At some future time, when you return to your normal consumption of calories, as most dieters do, your body will burn fewer of the calories you take in, and the excess will be stored as fat…more fat that would have been accumulated before the rapid weight loss program.
This leads to a situation in which the person, now weighs more than before the diet or weight loss program. They attempt to lose the weight by going back on the same diet or a similar program. This time, the weight loss is harder to accomplish, the basic metabolic rate may diminish more, and the person will eventually go off the diet and gain more weight! This is a cycle often referred to as yo-yo dieting, and, as you can see, it is a self-defeating situation.
During an extreme diet, one in which as little as two to three pounds a week are lost, the dieter can experience the loss of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is the ‘incinerator’ which burns excess calories, and its loss can only make healthy weight loss even more difficult. Additionally, with less lean muscle, the person is less likely to feel like engaging in activity which could help burn fat.
While an actual rapid weight loss ‘danger’ is relatively small though quite genuine, the results, or lack of same, when combined with the loss of needed nutrients do not really seem worth the effort or risk. However, be aware that in the presence of some clinical conditions or while attempting to achieve rapid weight loss through extreme measures, the danger to health, and even life itself, can be quite real.
A WEIGHT LOSS SOLUTION
A better alternative to simply ‘going on a diet’ is to cut back on the food that you do eat, particularly empty foods such as those sweetened with sugar, or heavily processed foods, or to just make sure that it is healthy foods which you are eating. By limiting your calories, you should be able to achieve at least some small weight loss in the time that you were looking to. However, it is very important that you do stick to a healthy eating and living plan.
EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING AND LIVING
Along with healthy eating and living practices, another important component of weight loss should always be exercised. Unfortunately, many individuals do not realize that it can take up to one week or more to notice any signs of results from exercise, and very obvious results will possibly take weeks or even months. However, in the long run, exercise, combined with sensible diet, proper hydration (plenty of water), and rest will result in a more permanent and more healthy weight loss experience.
Note, by the way, that those beginning an exercise program, particularly one which includes a strength training component…as it should…might actually notice a small weight gain at first. This is perfectly normal and is merely the result of adding lean muscle mass, which is healthier for the body, and this will help burn fat and calories. The scary part for the individual is that lean muscle mass often increases faster than they are losing fat, hence the temporary weight gain.
With all that having been said, the good news is that the more weight you need to lose, the sooner it is that you may actually start seeing results from a combined program of regular exercise and healthy eating and living.
While exercise should certainly be a major part of any plan for losing weight in a healthy and permanent manner, it is very important that you not overdo it. This is especially important if you haven’t previously had a regular exercise plan. Running on the treadmill for two hours, instead of twenty minutes, may burn fat faster, but, at the same time, it may also land you in the hospital. It is much better to begin at an extremely safe level and gradually work your way up to more difficult workouts than to start at some higher point just because you can and either give up because maintaining that pace is just too difficult or because of some exercise injury.
DIET PLANS AND WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS
Another problem that should be considered when discussing rapid weight loss, is the taking of medications or weight loss products…particularly those sold off the supermarket shelf or through some magazine ad or an Internet website. The good news is that while some of these products do work a little, and some are even safe, you may not be able to tell what you are getting for your money or what it will do to your health in the long run. These products, such as the Alli diet pill, work best, if at all when used in combination with a regular program of exercise and proper nutritional practices anyway. If you are doing that already, you are probably losing a safe amount of weight at a safe speed without having to shell out big bucks for a ‘helper’ which ceases to have any effect as soon as you stop taking it and produces no permanent health benefit.
If you think you are interested in using a weight loss product, like a diet pill or a cleanse, to help you lose weight, it is important that you do the research first. This should at the least involve checking product reviews, to see if the product is effective, and speaking with a healthcare professional such as your personal physician.
It is extremely important that you proceed with the utmost caution if trying to achieve rapid weight loss still appeals to you. Although unexpected events or appearances will occur without much notice, most individuals have at least a month’s worth of time before attending a large event such as a wedding or even going on a vacation to someplace where they wear bikinis all day. As soon as you become aware of your upcoming event, you are advised to start trying to lose weight then in a healthy and sensible manner, if you are interested in doing so.
An even better tactic might simply to be to adopt a healthy lifestyle of proper nutrition combined with exercise. Then you won’t ever have to worry about such events, and you won’t have to ‘diet’ or try some other means of achieving rapid weight loss.