Losing Weight Safely And At A Steady Pace
While there are plenty of ways to drop some extra weight, some of thefad diets or exercise routines out there today won’t teach you to maintain your weight loss. Even worse, some of these crash diets orrapid weight-loss methods are potentially harmful to your health. The best way to lose weight safely (and stay at your goal weight) is to develop good nutrition habits and maintain a regular workout routine. We’ve gathered up some of the best tips for losing weight in a way that’s good for your health.
How To Lose Weight Safely
When done correctly, your weight loss should take place at a slow and steady pace and lead to long-lasting lifestyle changes. Use the following tips to lose weight in a way that isn’t harmful to your health:
- Figure Out a Healthy Weight: Maybe you’ve had this idea that 120 lbs. is the perfect weight for you. But where did you come up with that number? Aiming for a weight that’s too low could put your health at risk. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian about what weight would be healthy based on your height, build and any special health concerns.
- Determine Your BMI: One of the best ways to find a healthy weight for you is to learn your body mass index, or BMI. This formula uses your height and weight to determine an optimal weight for you. To find your BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by your height in inches twice. A BMI of 25 is considered to be overweight; 30 or above is obese; and 40 or above is morbidly obese.
- Count Calories: While calories are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to diet, it does help to figure out how many you should be consuming per day. The more active you are throughout the day, the more calories you need. The Cleveland Clinic has a helpful chart that can help you determine how many calories to consume each day.
- Don’t Use Fad or Crash Diets: It’s often unhealthy to try many of the fad diets out there today, especially the ones that encourage fasting or diet pills as a way to lose weight. These diets are focused on dropping a significant amount of weight quickly. Not only is this potentially harmful to your health, it often isn’t successful in the long term and many people end up putting the weight back on.
- Learn to Eat Healthy: When you’re trying to lose weight safely, your priority should be to create a healthy diet that you can sustain for years, not just for a few weeks while you diet. Drink plenty of water and add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and other healthy foods to your diet. Meanwhile, cut back on sugars, salt, saturated fats and trans fats.
- Track Your Progress: Keeping tabs on what you’re eating and when you’re exercising is a great way to reach your weight-loss goals and create new habits that will help you keep the weight off in the long term.
Dangers Of Rapid Weight Loss
In addition to being nearly impossible to sustain over time, rapid weight loss techniques like crash diets and the use of diet pills may also be harmful to your health. The main problem with these weight-loss methods is that they may deprive your body of much-needed nutrients, especially if they require you to cut certain types of food from your diet. One example of this is that losing weight too quickly can cause changes in the balance of salts and cholesterol in the gallbladder, which could lead to the formation of gallstones.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that individuals aim to lose no more than 1 to 2 lbs. per week. Though this means that it will take longer to lose the weight, it also helps to ensure that you will be better able to keep that weight off over time.
Dangers Of Being Overweight
Keep in mind that the reason for losing weight should be for more than just your appearance. In reality, being overweight could potentially cause you to develop several other, potentially life-threatening healthy conditions, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Some types of cancer
- Metabolic syndrome
- Fatty liver disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Pregnancy complications
Losing weight may seem like a huge undertaking at first, but keep this fact in mind: losing just 5 percent of your body weight could significantly lower your risk for several disease and health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Start with an attainable number like this and focus on making permanent, lasting changes to your lifestyle that will help you keep the weight off for many years to come.