Concluding that you’d like to lose weight is confusing. You might begin a process of retracing your steps, all the while, feeling eager to take new ones. If you’re serious and strategic about your efforts, you might need a plan for achieving a weight loss goal. This tends to bring uncertainty about the best approach to follow.
Everyone wants to follow a plan that they feel will work for them. No one wants to allocate time and effort on something that won’t yield results. One question that tends to arise, is how much weight is ideal to lose at a time? Well, the trick is, it varies for everyone. However, there are ways to understand how to distribute your weight loss efforts.
Sustainable Weight Loss
True results are sustainable. They tend to take time to achieve. If you obtain results too quickly apart from having surgery or some treatment, they may falter just as quickly. Losing the results you put in the effort for and desire to achieve, can be disheartening. In the worst cases, the yo-yo cycle in weight loss can threaten self-image and body perception.
Choosing the kind of weight loss method that is right for you comes down to several factors. Then, your discipline and resilience to follow through, along with a proactive attitude, are the recipe for fulfilling weight loss results.
Understanding Factors in Weight Loss
Not all weight loss is created equal. Don’t get caught up in the harmful mindset of believing that “a pound is a pound.” If you want to experience healthy, balanced results, attention to body composition is key.
Monitoring body composition can provide the most insightful information needed to propel weight loss. Apart from diet and genetics, these components explain what is happening to the body as it changes.
Loss of Water Weight
Immediate and rapid weight loss tends to consist of water weight. Loss of weight that is water can be gained back easier than it is lost. Many approaches to weight loss increase water intake alongside cardiovascular activity, which are the water-weight blasting duo.
Any given person may hold up to 5 pounds of water. Water retention has its range of causes, but most often occurs as a result of high-sodium diets, hormonal changes, and lack of water intake.
Loss from a Caloric Deficit
Weight loss from a caloric deficit is the most sustainable avenue. It is the kind of weight loss to opt for if sustainability is the goal. A caloric deficit describes the relationship between how many calories you’re taking in, versus how many are being burnt. It’s constituted by the scenario that you’re burning more than you’re taking in.
However, it is important to consider that what is being consumed matters, as nutritional value is not obsolete in this sense. Weight loss from a caloric deficit will ensure that a proportionate amount of fat is lost to other contents of composition. Fat loss is an elementary goal of weight loss, but it’s not the only thing to be attentive to. A caloric deficit is only one part of losing weight effectively.
Loss and Muscle Mass
A caloric deficit may lead to a loss in muscle mass, as well. Muscle mass is important for maintaining adequate support to your bones, joints, and tendons. Additionally, the more muscle a body contains, the more calories are burnt at rest.
If drastic or significant weight loss occurs, you should expect to lose a certain amount of muscle. This is why strength training is an integral part of optimizing body composition during the weight loss process. Note that muscle mass does weigh more than fat or water, and so a higher muscle percentage will likely reflect on the scale.
Sleep, Stress, and Wellness
Another pillar of weight loss is ensuring the utmost overall wellness to support the changes you’re making. This means being conscious of quality of sleep, as the body cannot cleanse and renew itself otherwise.
This can affect things like muscle recovery after workouts, and even water retention. Mental health is important to maintain. Things like stress may completely hinder weight loss, facilitating chemicals and defenses in the body that work against it like cortisol.
Losing Weight in a Healthy Way
It is to one’s benefit to view weight loss as a health management practice, instead of an aesthetic motivation. If this feels far from your truth, consider the root of what motivates you, and perhaps shifting perspective. If you’re someone who tends to take extreme measures, remember that it could end up hurting more than helping.
Putting your body through a constant flux in weight manipulation can potentially cause metabolic damage.
The rule of thumb to remember is that weight loss speed will depend on what is being lost. In typical cases, the CDC advises that 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss. However, the above factors are critical to consider for variances in rate.