As a source of encouragement and motivation, it is important to establish weight loss goals at the time you commit to losing weight. Whether you want to lose 5 pounds or 50 pounds, setting realistic weight loss goals is crucial for your success. The key, though, is to set realistic and achievable weight loss goals that are easy to accomplish and track. You must remember that the weight did not come on overnight and it surely will not come off overnight. Avoid setting weight loss goals that are unhealthy or unattainable. Many people find it helpful to set both short term and long term goals for weight loss, but focus mainly on the short term goals because they are easier to achieve. How can you establish realistic weight loss goals without going overboard and creating unhealthy goals? How much weight loss is considered too much?
Safe Amount of Weight Loss per Week in Pounds
For the majority of otherwise healthy individuals, fitness instructors and medical professionals agree that losing one to three pounds per week is a safe amount to lose without compromising your health. Losing more than the recommended amount of weight per week could deplete your energy sources or result in the weight coming back at a later time. To determine what a safe amount of weight to lose for your specific body type would be, consult with your health care provider. Obese individuals who have a large amount of weight to lose can often safely lose more than one to three pounds per week.
Safe Amount of Weight Loss per Week in Body Fat
If you prefer to calculate your weight loss in terms of body fat loss, you're not alone. Many individuals losing weight rely strictly upon body fat and inches lost. It is generally safe to lose 1 percent of your body's total weight per week. However, you must remember to eat properly and exercise to lose body fat and keep from losing lean body mass. For example, a 300 pound person can safely lose 3 pounds per week, while a 150 pound person should only lose 1.5 pounds per week for healthy weight loss.
Effects of Losing Weight Too Quickly
Although there is a recommendation for safe weight loss per week, it is not uncommon for some people to try to lose weight faster. This is simply not a good idea, and most people do not understand why. The effects of losing weight too quickly are numerous and include:
- You will lose muscle instead of fat.
- Your metabolism will slow down.
- Your energy will drastically decrease.
- The weight that you have lose is more likely to come back faster.
- Hair loss from depleted vitamins and minerals.
- Loss of water, resulting in an increased risk for dehydration and dry skin.
- Increased possibility of skin becoming loose and saggy, as the elasticity is not given time to work.
- Digestive upsets are likely to occur as a result of unhealthy food choices.
- Women may notice menstrual disturbances as the hormones of the body are thrown out of sorts.