Losing a lot of weight at the start of your diet might seem like a good idea. After all, you have a goal to hit, so why not get there as quickly as possible? However losing too much weight, too fast, can be bad news for your body and for your long term slimming.
What happens to your metabolism?
As you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop in line with your new body weight. A lighter body needs fewer calories to function. If you drop your calories too low, too soon, your metabolic rate will respond. As a result, your body will actually burn fewer calories. Your biggest weapon in the weight loss battle is your own metabolism so keep it on side!
Common side-effects of harsh, strict diets are food cravings and energy slumps. If you go on a low calorie diet, you risk unnecessary hunger. When the cravings get too bad, you might just fall of the wagon. One overeating episode could wipe out all your good work so it’s far better to diet more slowly and avoid the ups and downs.
Your energy levels
When you diet too hard, your body will protect you by lowering your energy output. You’ll have less energy for exercise and might even avoid everyday activities. Your calorie burn will plummet, making weight loss even harder. You can’t outsmart your body in the long term.
Why is a large calorie deficit bad for your body?
To lose weight, you do need to create a calorie deficit so your body taps into stored energy- but more is not better. If you eat too little or exercise too much, you risk putting your body in a state of extreme stress. Your system could fight back by shutting down, getting ill, and feeling exhausted. In some cases, it could cling onto body fat and make weight loss more difficult.
A better approach
Aim to lose a small but steady amount of weight every week. Remember that you might initially lose a pleasing amount of weight, but this might be water weight as well as body fat. Don’t be discouraged if your rate of weight loss slows to a steady 1-2lbs per week. Keep going with an eating and exercise plan you can stick to. That’s how you keep weight off in the long term.
You need to keep some tricks up your sleeve for further along in your weight loss journey. If you use everything all at once (low calories, lots of exercise), what will you do when your weight loss slows? Lose weight slowly and steadily, and leave yourself somewhere to go.
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