I discussed last week that a weight loss of 1 -2 pounds a week is the typical recommendation for weight loss; this may seem like a slow pace but by losing weight this slowly you are more likely to keep the weight off long term.
Why slow weight loss is easier to maintain
Every woman needs to take in 1900 calories a day and every man needs to intake 2450 calories. By restricting your calorie intake too quickly, your metabolism slows down and as a result, weight loss will become slower and due to restricting calories you may feel hungry.
When your weight loss is slower your metabolism is kept constant and you lose weight steadily. You are not restricting calories or food; the food you eat will be more balanced and healthy. You will see better weight loss results down the line. Not only are you shedding the pounds but you are educating yourself on healthy eating habits that are easier to maintain. Your energy levels are increased, unhealthy food cravings are reduced and you are not obsessing over food.
Losing weight slowly is safer
By losing weight at a slower pace you are less likely to experience nutritional deficiencies or dehydration and it gives your body time to adjust to the new changes in lifestyle and diet. By following a quick fix diet you may be eating fewer calories and your weight loss can become slower. This can lead to anxiety and your body will crave food, causing you to binge eat. You may feel like you have failed in your attempt to lose weight and after a time of binge eating or unhealthy eating you will try a quick fix diet again. This is what’s called yoyo dieting and is extremely damaging to the body long term. When losing weight slowly you tend to keep the weight off long term.
Reduces muscle loss
Another advantage to slower weight loss is the reduction in muscle loss. It’s a known fact that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, for this reason it’s vital to maintain our muscle stores. When you are on a calorie restricted diet the body will try and obtain energy from your muscle cells as it is not getting sufficient energy from your food. This can result in muscle loss and a reduction in muscle tone. By losing the weight at a slower rate you are giving your body sufficient energy from your food so muscle loss will not occur.
By losing weight slowly your body does not feel deprived of food as you are following the eating little and often analogy. You are receiving a steady flow of energy from your food and you can lead an active lifestyle. When you restrict calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) your body is not receiving adequate energy and this can leave you tired and fatigued when you go about your day.
Whelehans Nutrition Service
Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.
Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment. Aisling’s Nutriton Clinic costs only €10 per week.