Everybody wants to look their best for an event or a special occasion, and usually a lot of that yearning involves losing weight. But very often people want to get rid of all the extra kilos as quickly as possible by going on fast weight loss diet plans. And though some of these diets promise losing up to 4-5 kg a week, they are not entirely honest with their claims.
Can I really kick the kilos fast?
It may be possible to lose up to 5 kilos in the first couple of weeks, but that quick weight loss won't last. Because the first delightful dip in your weight chart is not necessarily from your fat stores – it comes mostly from the loss of water, glycogen from muscles or even the breakdown of muscle protein.
And quite ironically, when you resume your normal eating after a week of intense dieting, your body will bounce back – replenishing all the vital substances it had lost in that one week, making it more likely for you to regain most of the weight you lost.
How can I actually lose weight by losing Fat?
It's simple math – you lose weight when you take in less energy than you utilize i.e. consume fewer calories in the form of food than you burn in the form of activity or exercise. So just by eating less and exercising more, you can tip the scale towards weight loss.
To lose half a kilo you’ll need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume. It may sound like a lot, but on average, you can reduce your calorie count by 500 – 1,000 a day, adding up to 3,500 – 7,000 calories by the end of the week, eventually resulting in ½ kg – 1 kg loss of fat after seven days.
Remember that the average daily requirement for women is 2,000 calories and for men it is 2,500 calories. To be on the safe side and to sustain basic life-sustaining body functions, women should refrain from consuming less than 1,200 calories and men, 1,500 calories.
Quite simply put, in order to lose fat, you should ideally not lose more than 1 kilo per week!
Is there a right way?
- Be realistic. Set weight loss goals that you know you will be able to stick to
- Eat healthy. Take the advice of a nutritionist to understand how to reduce calories, without ruling out the essential food groups
- Be patient. Stick to a slow and steady weight loss of ½ - 1 kg per week (weight loss may be faster at the start of a program)
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water daily – eight glasses a day will help you feel full too
- Be active. Perform a variety of physical activities on a regular basis
- Be ready for change. Learn to follow healthy habits and incorporate them into your normal lifestyle
- Keep it off permanently. Make a sound plan to maintain your target weight once you have achieved it.
- Go easy on yourself. Do not fret when the scale is a bit on the heavy side one night – it could be water, glycogen or simply the weight of your dinner!
Good to Remember:
When you are dieting, losing too much weight in a short period of time will make you lose muscle mass which is not recommended. Since muscle is a metabolically active tissue, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be and consequently the more calories your body will burn – even when you’re just sitting!
The best way to lose and maintain your healthy weight is to follow a healthy, balanced nutrition plan prepared by a dietician. Combine that with regular exercise and you've found the right way to lose weight and attain the best results – steady, maintainable weight loss. After all, it's a lifestyle change today that will lead to a healthy future tomorrow.