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People can put a lot of pressure on themselves to lose a certain amount of weight in a short space of time, and often these goals are unachievable, if not just completely impossible. If you feel that your weight loss is slow, then we have some facts that might make you feel better, plus some tips to speed up your losses and get the results you want.
Everyone is different, so they are many factors to consider when you try to set goals and envisage how much weight you will lose in a certain space of time. First and foremost, you should NOT compare yourself to anyone else; even two people with similar starting weights and the same amount of weight to lose will see varied results. This is due to both physical differences such as metabolism and ability to exercise, plus lifestyle differences such as how much time you can devote to exercise to how easy it is for you to plan meals ahead.
So, if you’re not comparing yourself to anyone else, why do you think your weight loss is slow? Perhaps you’ve lost weight in the past and had better results. But, there are two reasons why this might happen – firstly, your metabolism slows down with age. Click here for tips to fight this effect and boost your metabolism. Secondly, it could depend on how you lost weight in the past. If you didn’t build muscle with weight-bearing exercises then you may have lost lean muscle instead of just the fat you wanted to lose. Lean muscle helps our metabolism burn off calories constantly, so by losing muscle too your body becomes less efficient in the future, meaning weight loss gets harder and harder, leading to yo-yo dieting. To overcome this problem you should incorporate weight training three times a week for around 15 minutes a time, as well as cardio for around an hour a time for at least three days a week.
At first, it’s not uncommon for people to lose weight quite quickly, but this effect only lasts for a week or two. This is because at the start of your diet, it’s likely that you’ve dramatically reduced your calorie intake and if you didn’t drink much water and then suddenly start to get your eight glasses a day, you will drop a lot of water weight. This is because your body realizes that there is a steady supply of water coming in, so it no longer has to cling onto the water it has in store. And, if you aren’t drinking lots of water, then this should be a good incentive to start!
However, the human body is only able to lose around 2lbs of fat per week, so the higher rates you might have seen in the beginning won’t happen every week. This is particularly true if you are building muscle; if you’ve lost 2lbs of fat and gained a pound of muscle then this is great news for your body, but the scale will only show half the story, leaving you feeling disappointed to have only lost a pound. When, in actual fact, you’ve lost two pounds of lazy fat (which burns only about 3 calories each per day) and you’ve gained a pound of muscle, which needs about 50-100 calories per day to sustain itself. Altogether, this means you’ve lost a pound, AND you’ve improved your metabolism by up to 100 calories per day, meaning a more efficient body for the future!
So, once the initial big losses you may have experienced slow down, you should lose around 1-2lbs per week if you stick to a regime of healthy eating and exercise. If you lose at this steady weight, you could drop up to 50lbs in 6 months, which is a healthy rate that shows you’re really working hard. If you find it difficult to stick to your regime then we recommend Phen Caps, our weight loss supplement. Phen Caps help you by suppressing appetite and giving you added energy to make it easier for you to eat healthy and add more physical activity to your day. With this boost, you should be losing weight in no time!
You should remember that the figure of 1-2lbs per week is the average weekly loss, so for those who are losing more than this each week, there are also people losing less than a pound a week. But, if that describes you, then there are advantages to losing weight at a slower pace. Dr. Michele S. Olson of Auburn University says that, as your body has the chance to adjust to your new lower weight more gradually, it will be easier to maintain the weight loss once your reach your goal. Rapid weight loss can cause your metabolism to slow down, which may then result in weight loss plateaus, whereas a more steady weight loss will ensure your metabolism remains efficient in the longer term.
Scientific research into long-term weight loss also supports this. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that when monitoring weight loss participants for 24 months after they began losing weight, a loss of around 8% of body weight per year was an achievable goal for all participants. This might not seem much but most importantly, this amount of loss had an excellent potential to be sustainable, meaning a new body for life and not just for now.
In addition, it’s better to constantly see the scales going down, rather than that familiar yo-yo effect that many dieters see. While having a goal weight can keep you motivated and focused, there is the danger of focusing on unattainable goals and feeling like a failure if you do not achieve them. As psychologists Janet Polivy and Peter Herman have found throughout their research on setting and achieving personal objectives, dieting can be emotionally stressful even when the dieter is successful, so adding the disappointment of perceived failure can have negative psychological effects on the individual. In turn, this can lead to feelings of deprivation, slip ups and giving up altogether. More modest achievable goals maintain the focus of weight loss while also giving a greater chance of success and therefore, a more positive perspective of your weight loss achievements. It is important to maintain a positive attitude while you are losing weight, no matter how small you think your losses are, and even if you maintain from time to time, the overall picture shows that your weight loss journey is going in the right direction.
Furthermore, as we explained above, if you’re building extra muscle then the scale may not show the full story of how your body is improving. Muscle is denser than fat, so you may not be losing as much weight as you’d like, but weight bearing exercises will ensure that you’re getting toned and trimmer every week! For this reason you should always measure your body to see these changes numerically or take photographs to see the physical change. And, be sure to take the way your clothes fit into account - losing inches is more likely to mean that you’ll go down a dress size than losing a few pounds will!
So, the good news is: your ‘slow’ weight loss might not be so slow after all, and, even if you are doing everything right but not seeing much progress on the scale, then there are some advantages to losing weight at a slower pace.
Do you think your weight loss is slow? Let us know by commeting below!