I may be human, but when it comes to weight loss – I’ve learned a thing or two from a turtle! Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? The moral was “slow and steady wins the race.” That is also true for crossing the finish line of your ultimate weight loss goal.
When you are trying to lose weight, even if it’s 10 or 20 pounds to look good for your high school reunion, getting started is the hardest thing. But, for those who are truly obese, with hundreds of pounds to lose before getting to a healthy or ideal weight, the prospects of years of lifestyle changes could seem particularly daunting. Facing that kind of challenge, many decide to call it quits before they even get out of the starting gate!
The key is not to get overwhelmed, don’t look at the big picture, don’t think it has to be a sprint to the finish line, just get started. Like the turtle in the story, just know that if you stay on track, each little step will take you closer to your goal.
What’s the Skinny on Quick Weight Loss?
For those who only need to drop like 20 pounds or so, a 30-day quick weight loss plan may not be a problem. This is especially true of those that are overweight, but otherwise strong and in reasonably good shape, and can combine significantly reduced calories, with rigorous high-intensity interval training, or strength training exercises.
But for the morbidly obese, who have 75 or more pounds to lose; quick weight loss can often be unhealthy, even dangerous. Rapid weight loss can lead to the weakening of your bones, muscles, even your heart. Not to mention that most quick weight loss programs lead to rebound – and what came off quickly, goes right back on just as fast.
For significant and long-term weight loss, a healthy weight loss program should be one that helps you to lose 10 % of your baseline weight in about six months. That might mean an average of only 2-3 pound a week, but that is not only slow, steady, and healthy weight loss, it is an achievable and measurable goal for just about anyone. Just remember you didn’t pack on all those extra pounds in a day, you are not going to take them off in a day either.
There are other benefits to progressive weight loss as well. There have been published studies that show, slow and steady weight loss of even 5-10% of your current body weight can improve health and lower blood glucose and blood pressure levels.
No matter what type of diet you choose, for people who are obese, for healthy weight loss doctors recommend a 1,000- to 1,200-calorie diet for women and a 1,200- to 1,600-calorie per day diet for men.
Of course, it is not just the amount of calories but the type of foods. You are not going to lose much weight on a 1200 calorie a day diet if it is made up of donuts and pizza. Any diet for weight loss should include cholesterol-lowering foods such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and should avoid processed foods and foods with high-calorie ingredients like saturated fats. Any diet must also include water, and lots of it -as many as eight glasses a day.
And of course, you need to get up off the couch and get moving! You need to exercise at least 30 to 45 minutes a day three to five times a week, but that does not mean you need to become a gym rat. Wash your car, clean the house, take a walk, start using the stairs instead of riding the elevator at work – these all are small changes, and count as exercise.
The bottom line is, slow weight loss is healthy weight loss. You can achieve your weight loss goals, but to do so requires real change and not a “quick-fix,” and any kind of real change takes time!