A quick Google search of "lose weight fast and keep it off" will return thousands of results all promising to help you accomplish your urgent weight loss goal.
I get it. There are hundreds of reasons you want to lose weight fast. You wake up one day to realize your favorite jeans no longer fit. You have a family vacation to Hawaii coming up in two months. Maybe you want to look amazing on your wedding day.
The problem is, you didn't gain the weight overnight. Except for illness and medication, chances are good it took you months, maybe even years to get to the weight you are currently seeing on the scale.
I guess I will start by saying that these ads and articles aren't necessarily lying. If you want to lose weight fast, that is an option. Why? When you look at your weight, you can divide it into two parts body fat and lean body mass (commonly seen as LBM). Lean body mass is anything that isn't fat (water, blood, bones, and organs). So while you shouldn't expect to lose 4-10lbs of fat in a week, you could easily lose that much water weight by making a few modifications to your diet. If you're honest with yourself though, the water weight while annoying isn't what bothers you. What you want to lose is the fat that's filling up your fat cells. You don't want quick water loss, you want fat loss, and that takes time. If you want it to last, it can take more time than your willing to give it.
So I'll ask you, how bad do you want to lose the fat? Do you truly want to live a healthier life? Do you want to protect your organs and avoid metabolic diseases caused by obesity? Then stop trying weight loss sprints and set your goal on a fat loss marathon. This is the only way you will see significant changes that you can maintain.
Cutting out all carbs to lose water weight won't last. Eating 900 calories a day will make you feel like you're going crazy.
Don't punish your body. Take your time and enjoy every pound and inch of progress you make.
Fat loss takes time. It took time to gain the weight; it takes time to burn it off. Every healthy eating day, every sweat-inducing workout get you closer to your goal.
Let's say you lose five pounds of fat before your trip to Hawaii, but you still have twenty pounds to go, what do you do? When you get to Hawaii do you just forget the past two months of work and eat everything in sight?
You change your habits. Sure you have a sweet treat or two but you still workout (it is Hawaii after all) and you eat deliciously healthy foods. That way next year you will have less weight to lose (or no weight at all).
How much weight can you expect to lose in a year?
If you take the slow and steady approach to weight loss you can expect to lose 52-100 pounds in a year (maybe more). Can you imagine right now losing 50-100lbs? That would change your life, wouldn't it? It is possible, but it's all hinges on your perspective.
You have to change your mindset first. You have to a) work with your body and care for your body while you lose the weight b) believe that it is possible to see these kinds of changes in yourself c) set goals and keep yourself on track by assessing your habits.
When I work with clients I give them the option to lose 1/2 a pound to 1 pound per week because I want them to choose a calorie option that is sustainable. I wouldn't expect (or want) any of my clients to live on 900 calories a week for a year. It's not sustainable and they will be miserable.
Stop looking for the next new diet that promises more weight loss than you've ever experienced.
Stop taking diet supplements that promise miracle weight loss.
Stop searching for ways to lose as much weight as possible as quickly as possible. Fat is stored to keep you alive. You know what isn't? Water and muscle. Those are the two things to go first. Your heart is a muscle. Think about that.
Work towards losing weight because you love yourself and your body. You don't need to punish or "trick" your body. Your body is smarter than you are, you can't trick it!
Set an attainable weight loss goal and figure out how to get there. Have a plan! - We will discuss this in depth in my next post.