don’t drop it like it’s hot

It seems like many of my friends are trying to lose weight and get in shape quickly. I get phone calls and emails all the time with stories of how there is a class reunion in six weeks and do I think she can go from a size 18 to an 8 in that amount of time? (The answer to that is “Heck no!”) Or, one who decided that she wanted to impress her mom with her weight loss. The only problem was that her mom was coming that weekend and she hadn’t started yet.

There are all kinds of “diets” out there that promise rapid weight loss. I totally understand that feeling of urgency because when you finally get to the realization that you’re living in a body that is unhealthy and you want to do something about it, it makes sense that you’d want to get it done and over with as fast as possible. Kind of like pulling off a band-aid, right?  Unfortunately, that thinking is skewed. Weight loss should be slow and here is why:

photo credit: http://www.photl.com
Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. Photo credit: http://www.photl.com

1.You don’t want to lose that muscle tone! If you are going on a strict diet to lose weight fast, your body will not be receiving sufficient amounts of calories. When your body is deprived of the calories it needs to run your body, it will try to obtain energy from other sources, such as muscle cells. You will start to lose your muscle tone. Basically, you will be “skinny fat.” Remember that having a higher percentage of muscle turns you into a fat burning machine. You want muscle tone. You want a lean, firm figure.

2.Fatigue stinks! Choosing rapid weight loss diets often means not only a cut in calories but also in protein. That does not provide sufficient energy for you to lead an active lifestyle. As such, you may experience fatigue and tiredness throughout the day. If you lose weight slowly, you will be able to perform your daily duties more efficiently and you will also have the energy to do the necessary exercises to lose weight and tone your body too.

3.Metabolism is important! Losing weight isn’t terribly difficult. You eat less and work out more and you lose, but maintaining a healthy weight can be a daunting task. If you try to lose weight fast, it is more likely that you will gain back the weight you lost. Rapid weight loss causes your metabolism to slow down, and this will in turn result in slower weight loss.

On the other hand, a slower weight loss program will ensure that your metabolism will remain efficient, and you will lose weight at a steadier rate and be able to keep it off too! So, even though it’s hard to do, remember to slow it down. The best “diet” out there is common sense: good eating combined with working out.

You can do this!

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