How Much Weight Can You Safely Lose Per Week?

Lets face it. We live in a world where instant gratification is shoved in our faces day in, and day out. We see pics of celebrities dropping 20 pounds or more in a month to shape up for beach season. We turn on the tv and are bombarded with shows like The Biggest Loser where contestants see double digit weight loss in a single week.

If others can lose this much weight in a week, why can’t we? And why is it that doctors recommend a paltry 1 – 2 pounds of weight loss per week? 1 – 2  pounds seems like nothing, right?

Well, lets not lose touch with reality and keep a couple things in mind. First, the stories you hear about celebrities and tv show contestants are extreme conditions. They’ve got the best fitness instructors and dietitians in the world at their side guiding their every move; something that’s simply not realistic for all of us to have. Second, the majority of the time this type of extreme weight loss isn’t sustainable. We fail to see how they look 6 months later after their fitness blitz is over and it’s back to everyday life. Oftentimes crash diets and fitness binges that look so appealing in the media simply isn’t a sustainable lifestyle for anyone, including the celebrities you’re gawking over.

Besides making your life a living hell, crash diets can actually have quite a few downsides to them. Nutritional deficiencies, muscle loss, and extra skin from loosing weight too quickly are just a few problems that come from these types of routines says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., author of Why Diets Fail, and How To Make Yours Work.

So how do we develop a diet, and fitness routine to lose the weight, and keep it off?

Well, it’s done through a series of lifestyle changes that over time begins to shape our bodies into much healthier versions of us. To help you develop your fitness plan, here are a few tips:

1. Stay Away From Temptations

First order of business is cleaning out all your guilty pleasures from the kitchen pantry. It’s impossible to indulge on sweets if they’re not to be found anywhere in the house. Junk food, and unhealthy snacks are a huge contributor to obesity. It’s important to stay away from fatty temptations as much as possible. After cleaning out all the junk, it’s time to…

2. Find Healthier Snacks

Now that we’ve made some extra room in your pantry, it’s time to fill it back up, but this time with healthier snacks that you enjoy eating. They key is to find snacking food that’s filling, healthy, and that you still enjoy eating. You shouldn’t look to snack on foods that are healthy, but you despise eating. If you do, we can promise your diet won’t last long at all.

3. Don’t Skip Meals

A lot of people think that skipping meals is a healthy way to lose weight, but it’s simply not true. Have you ever heard of a diet that instructs you to eat only 2 meals a day? No! Because skipping meals isn’t healthy. In fact, most diets will have you eating 5 -6 meals daily with smaller portions for each. More, but smaller meals ensures that your body always has the fuel it needs to power you through the day, and your fitness routine. You don’t have to go hungry to lose weight.

4. Develop a Sustainable Fitness Routine

Another tendency lots of people have when trying to lose weight is to head to the gym for extremely long and intense workouts. While this can be great for getting in shape, it’s not sustainable long term. After only a few sessions you’re much more likely to call it quits than if you were to schedule moderate intensity workouts. You should also try to find an exercise that you enjoy doing (or at least one that you can tolerate), and do it 4-6 days a week. The goal is to exercise at moderate intensity; enough to elevate your heart rate, burn a few hundred calories, and raise your metabolism. It shouldn’t be so hard that you dread doing it every day.

With enough discipline, it is possible for anyone to shed extra pounds, and keep it off.  Shifting your mindset from trying to lose a specific amount of weight, to living a healthy lifestyle that includes both good eating habits and regular exercise will help you not only lose weight, but keep it off for good!

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