You may have heard that it is better to lose weight slowly than quickly. But is it true? This article looks at the evidence.
It is normal to want to lose weight as quickly as possible. But you’ve probably heard that it’s better to lose weight at a slow and steady rate.
This is because most studies show that people who lose weight slowly are more likely to maintain their weight in the long term. Losing weight slowly also has far fewer health risks.
However, several recent studies have found that fast weight loss can be just as effective and safe as slow weight loss.
So, is it bad to lose weight quickly? This article digs into research to uncover the truth.
Losing more than that is considered too fast and can put you at risk for many health problems, including muscle loss, gallstones, nutritional deficiencies and poor metabolism.
The most common way people try to lose weight fast is to do a lot of exercise and follow an ultra-low calorie diet, or rapid diet, of less than 800 calories a day.
People often prefer the option of eating a very low-calorie diet because it is easier to lose weight through diet than exercise.
However, if you are just starting a diet or exercise plan, you can lose more than 0.9 kg (2 pounds) in the first week.
Rapid weight loss during this initial period is perfectly normal. The weight you lose during this time is commonly referred to as underwater weight.
When you eat fewer calories than your body burns, your body begins to drain into stores of energy called glycogen. Your body’s glycogen is bound to water, so when you burn glycogen for fuel, your body also releases that water.
This is why you lose a lot of weight during the first week. When the body uses up the stored glycogen, the weight loss should stabilize at 0.45 to 0.9 kg per week.
Summary: According to experts, losing 1-2 pounds (0.45-0.9 kg) per week is a healthy and safe rate, but losing more than this is considered too fast. But in the first weeks of your workout or diet plan, you can lose more than that.
Can you maintain fast weight loss?
Losing weight is only half the battle. The real challenge is to keep it forever.
Most dieters recover half of the weight they lost in a year. To make matters worse, almost everyone who goes on a diet recovers all the weight they lost in three to five years.
That’s why experts often suggest losing weight at a slow but steady rate. Most studies show that people who lose weight at a slow but steady rate are more likely to maintain the weight loss in the long run.
Also, a plan that encourages slow weight loss will help you form healthy eating habits, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking less sugary drinks in general. These actions can help you lose weight in the long run.
However, several studies have shown that fast weight loss can be just as effective as slow weight loss, even in the long run.
In one study, 103 people followed a fast weight loss diet for 12 weeks, while 97 people followed a slow but steady weight loss diet for 36 weeks.
After nearly three years, about 70% of both groups had recovered all their weight loss. This means that both diets are equally effective in the end.
Although these studies have found that fast weight loss is overall as effective as slow but steady weight loss, it is unlikely that anyone at home will achieve similar results.
People in the rapid weight loss group were supported by doctors and nutritionists during the weight loss and weight maintenance phases. Research shows that getting the support of a health professional can increase your chances of long-term weight loss success.
Doctors and nutritionists also try to minimize the health risks associated with consuming very few calories. These risks include muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, and gallstones.
In short, you are more likely to lose weight and maintain weight by losing weight slowly. This approach will help you form healthy eating habits to maintain your weight and is safer than fast weight loss, especially if you don’t have the support of a health professional.
Summary: Most studies show that gradual weight loss is easier to maintain in the long run. It helps form healthy eating habits and poses fewer health risks than fast weight loss.
The dangers of losing weight too quickly
You want to try to lose weight quickly, but this is generally not recommended.
Diets that promote rapid weight loss are often very low in calories and nutrients. This can put you at risk for many health problems, especially if you follow a rapid weight loss diet for several weeks.
Some dangers of losing weight too quickly include:
While a very low-calorie diet can help you lose weight quickly, most weight loss can come from muscle and water.
In one study, researchers fed 25 people on a very low-calorie diet of 500 calories per day for 5 weeks. They also fed 22 people on a low-calorie diet of 1,250 calories per day for 12 weeks.
After the study, the researchers found that both groups lost a similar amount of weight. However, those on the ultra-low-calorie diet lost six times as much muscle as those on the low-calorie diet.
Your metabolism determines how many calories you burn per day. If your metabolism slows down, you can burn fewer calories per day.
Several studies have shown that you can burn up to 23% fewer calories per day if you lose weight quickly by eating fewer calories.
Two reasons for a poor metabolism on a very low calorie diet are muscle loss and a decrease in hormones that control metabolism, such as thyroid hormones.
This is because it is difficult to get enough of important nutrients such as iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 on a low-calorie diet.
Hair loss: Eating too few calories can cause hair loss as your body doesn’t get enough nutrients to support hair growth.
Extreme fatigue: You may not get enough iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid on a very low-calorie diet that puts you at risk of extreme fatigue and anemia.
Impaired immune function: Not getting enough calories and nutrients can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of infection.
Weak and brittle bones: May be caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus in the diet.
Fortunately, nutrient deficiencies can be avoided by eating a diet rich in unprocessed whole foods. These foods contain fewer calories. It is very filling per gram, which can help with weight loss.
Gallstones are hard pieces of material that form inside the gallbladder. It can be a painful side effect of losing weight too quickly.
Normally, the gallbladder releases digestive juices to break down fatty foods so they can be digested. If you don’t eat a lot, your gallbladder doesn’t need to secrete digestive juices.
Gallstones can form when substances in the digestive juices have time to sit down for a while to bind.
Gallstones can stick to the entrance to the gallbladder and cause a gallstone attack. This can cause severe pain and indigestion.
Losing weight quickly on a rapid diet or very low calorie diet has been associated with a number of other side effects, including:
Losing weight too quickly carries many health risks. These include muscle loss, decreased metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, gallstones and other side effects.
Tips to help you lose weight at a healthy rate
Slow weight loss may not sound attractive, but there are many things you can do to safely speed up the process.