We’ve all seen the advertisements telling us we can lose 10 pounds in ten days! Or a dress size overnight. In fact, according to WebMD, Americans spend $33 billion a year on on fad diets like these.
However, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, most physicians and dieticians will recommend a target weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs per week. Why?
Rapid weight loss (usually defined as anything greater than 2 lbs per week) isn’t just unhealthy – it’s not sustainable. Dieters who lose weight fast are more likely to gain it back.
When it comes to health, rapid weight loss has been linked to any number of ailments and conditions including hair loss, dry skin, loose skin, muscle loss, dizziness, fatigue, malnutrition and even heart attacks.
Beyond the health concerns, rapid weight loss isn’t sustainable. Often, extreme dieters experience quick and sudden weight loss through starvation or starvation-related fad diets. But starvation also slows down the body’s metabolism. Because of this slow down in metabolism, consumed food is stored as body fat. All the weight that was lost will be gained back – and then some.
Safe and healthy weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs is best achieved through a combination of exercise, nutrition and spirit. From a scientific perspective, effective exercise and proper nutrition will result in weight loss. But almost any dieter will tell you that weight loss is also a spiritual issue, and that a more fulfilling relationship with one’s body and self is fundamental.
The bottom line: While it may be tempting to opt for fad diets or rapid weight loss, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Target slow and sustainable weight loss for real, lasting results.