I want to lose a lot of weight - and I want to lose it right now!

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal

 | 1 minute to read
Fat Loss
How many of you can identify with this sentiment?

I’ve seen this happen so many times - someone has a large amount of weight to lose and they set themselves a deadline of a couple of months. Enter starvation diets, insane amounts of cardio, stepping on the weighing scale twice a day and a general feeling that life is hopeless. You start feeling weak and eventually, you just give up and go back to their old ways. “Nothing works! I’ll never lose weight”, you lament as your dream of a beautiful body vanishes faster than a bag of chips. Here’s the problem: you tried to do too much too soon. Is it bad to lose weight too fast? To answer this question, let's first understand the optimal rate of weight loss. In most circumstances, you can target and lose somewhere close to 0.5 to 1 percent of body weight per week. Try to lose weight any faster than this and you could run into any number of problems which could adversely affect your health and hamper your progress: #1. Risk of Muscle Loss: When your goal is fat loss and you create a caloric deficit, there is a chance that you will also lose some muscle. This can be prevented by eating enough protein and doing strength training. But if you try to lose more than 1 percent of your body weight per week, this increases the likelihood of muscle loss. It is especially true for those people who have comparatively more weight training experience. So, if you’re an advanced lifter, you need to be even more careful about muscle loss while losing fat. #2. A decrease in performance: If you are an athlete or even a recreational lifter, then you will find that losing weight at a faster pace hurts your performance. Continuing this rapid weight loss regime and fatigue will accumulate causing an even further decrease in performance. #3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies: To lose weight faster, you need to create a bigger calorie deficit, which inherently means lesser food. When you are consuming less food overall, the chances of developing vitamin and mineral deficiency increases. #4. Impact on the Immune system: Bigger and prolonged calorie deficit can shoot up stress hormones. When stress hormones increase, your immune system can considerably weaken. #5. Lower activity: If your body thinks that you’re starving, it reacts by reducing its baseline energy expenditure. Prolonged dieting with a bigger calorie deficit can unintentionally reduce your overall activity levels. #6. Increased Hunger: Hunger management plays a huge role in successful dieting. Eating very little food (a common mistake made by dieters) leaves you hungry for most of the day which inherently makes dieting harder and unsustainable. #7. Poor Sleep: Sleep is the elixir of life and essential for health, recovery from training, and fitness improvements. If you’re experiencing hunger pangs, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. The quality of your sleep will also be negatively impacted. Poor sleep equals poor recovery which also increases the chance of muscle loss, which inherently leads to poor body composition. #8. Poor Adherence: Eating very less food in order to lose weight at a faster rate creates hunger issues and makes dieting unsustainable and challenging. Your diet also becomes very restrictive since, at lower calories, it's difficult to include your favoured foods. In such a state, you will find it difficult to follow the diet. Weight loss should be well-planned and gradual. Remember - you didn’t gain all this weight in a jiffy, so don’t try to lose it all in a hurry. References- 1.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26257932/ 2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831987/ 3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015038/ 4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895000/ 5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636460/ 6.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17349207/ These are a few significant reasons you should not target fast weight loss, and I know its tempting to get results at a quicker pace but always remember, instant gratification never pays off in the long term. Cheers

Abha Mehta

I would be very happy if I have lost .5 kg weight every week however when you gain weight despite calorie deficit and strength training it makes me feel frustrated.

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