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The benefits to slow weight loss (Part 1)

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

 If you are trying to lose weight or have lost weight in the past then you will know how much of an adjustment it is. When you initially make the decision to lose weight you feel motivated, ambitious and you are intent on improving you eating habits. This feeling may increase when you see how quickly the weight is coming off (as it does in the early weeks). However weight loss eventually stabilises as your body becomes adjusted to the new ways of eating at this stage you may only be losing 1-2 pounds (lbs) a week. This is not unusual and it does not mean you are eating the wrong foods or hindering your weight loss in some way. A weight loss of 1 -2 pounds a week is the typical recommendation; this may seem like a slow pace but by losing weight this slowly you are more likely to keep the weight off long term.

Slow weight loss is best

1lbs of fat contains 3,500 calories. By losing that pound a week you need to burn 500 calories each day (500 x 7day = 3,500 calories). If you change to a healthier way of eating, the likely effect is that you will not take in as many calories daily and 1lbs per week weight loss can result from this.

 The major concern with rapid weight loss is that it is usually done in an unhealthy manner and can take extraordinary efforts, which are more than likely extreme and difficult to maintain long-term. This means you are more likely to give up as it’s very difficult to maintain unhealthy weight loss efforts. Additionally by losing weight quickly you are less likely to lose fat and more likely to lose water and lean tissue. This makes it even more difficult to burn calories.  If your doctor requests you to lose weight for health reasons then rapid weight loss can be safe as it’s done under the supervision of a medical professional.

 Don’t fall for a fad

It’s so attractive reading an article online or in the newspaper about a person who lost 2 stone in a month from the likes of fads such as the juice diet or the 80:10:10 diet; but you need to remember these articles are written for shock value. Following a fad diet is not recommended as the likelihood of anyone losing weight and keeping it off is slim to none (excuse the pun!). Many of us have all followed some sort of crazy diet at one stage where you were drinking some revolting juice or living off rabbit food for a month and yes you may have lost 3-4 pounds on this diet; but how often has the weight crept back on. The truth is a fad diet is not a balanced diet; the weight may come off fast at first and when you have had enough of calorie restriction you binge and say to yourself “I will try again on Monday”. By following a balanced diet you never have the food cravings and binges as you are not restricting your diet. You are eating healthier and more balanced thus getting in a range of food groups and enjoying your meals. A balanced diet is easy to follow and if you eat everything in moderation you will lose weight and keep it off. This is why I recommend a balanced diet to my clients and teach them about healthy eating and what meals and food groups they need to incorporate. 

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. Plans start from only €10 per week.

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


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