Back during the winter time, you probably made lots of resolutions to lose weight before bikini season arrived. Well, summer’s here, and if you’re like the rest of us, you probably didn’t lose all the pounds you planned on losing.
Is it too late to slim down? And is it healthy for you to lose weight fast? Read on to find out.
Weight Loss is About Your Entire Body
When you’re focused on shedding your love handles, you only concentrate on that area of your body.
It makes sense to have focused weight loss plans – there are workouts designed for specific body parts. On YouTube alone, you can find videos to help you trim your waist, tone your thighs and glutes, shape your arms, and the list goes on.
When we target one specific area of the body, it’s easy to forget that losing weight doesn’t just affect that one area.
Losing weight impacts your entire body. That’s why it’s important to be kind and patient with yourself when you’re trying to get rid of some pounds: your entire body is affected.
What Does Fast Weight Loss Do to Your Body?
When you remember that your body is one, whole system, you realize that everything you do, from diet to exercise, impacts your whole body.
So, when you’re trying to shed pounds quickly, you’re not just watching a number on the scale drop. There are other things going down. Here’s what’s happening when you lose weight fast:
Your Leptin Levels Decrease
If you start losing your fat stores too quickly, your leptin levels will decrease, too.
Why is this a bad thing? Leptin is a hormone that has to do with your appetite, metabolism and fat burning. Your hypothalamus keeps track of your leptin levels. And if you start to lose your fat stores quickly, your leptin levels drop significantly, too, sending your body into starvation mode.
So, when your leptin levels plummet, your metabolism slows down, and you hold onto excess fat stores because your body thinks that there’s a lack of food. Your body may also try to regain the fat you lost. Clearly, this is the opposite result you’re going for!
Your Cortisol Levels Increase
You might want to lose that fat, but your body might want to hold onto it a little bit longer. The truth is, losing weight is stressful on your body, both physically and hormonally.
When you’re trying to lose weight too quickly, you can actually increase your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your stress hormone, and when you have high levels of cortisol, your metabolism can slow down, making it harder to lose weight.
To offset this natural increase in cortisol, try to take part in activities that reduce stress like walking, yoga, and baths. Aromatherapy along with a balanced diet, that includes protein, green veggies, and good fats can help you feel calm even when you’re working hard to burn lots of calories.
You Try Unsustainable Methods
It is possible to lose weight quickly, but it’s not necessarily healthy. It’s all a matter of how much you eat and how much you move. Let’s go a little further.
Each pound of body fat has 3,500 calories. So, to lose one pound in one week, you need to cut out 250 calories your diet and burn 250 calories each day. That’s why losing one to two pounds each week is reasonable and healthy. With the right exercise routine and dietary adjustments, it’s doable to burn off 1,000 calories per day.
Will you have to work at it? Of course, but you won’t feel deprived or miserable.
But what if you want to lose five to ten pounds in a week. You’ll have to seriously restrict your diet and exercise like crazy. Is it worth the discomfort?
Probably not! Besides, extreme diet and fitness routines increase your cortisol and decrease your leptin levels. Together these two hormones can make it difficult to achieve healthy weight loss.
Furthermore, you might be able to sustain this sort of lifestyle for several weeks, but after a while, it’s just too hard to continue. You’ll want a break from all that hunger and exercise. That’s because deprivation makes you want exactly what you’re depriving yourself of. This is where yo-yo dieting comes from.
You Don’t Have Enough Energy
Without adequate nutrition, you can lose your energy and have a difficult time completing and recovering from your exercise resolutions.
You still need to eat so you have enough fuel for your physical activities, and running on empty will have an opposite effect on all your weight loss efforts.
Weight Loss Is Different for Everyone
Fitness expert, Jillian Michaels, disagrees with the common recommendation to lose only one to two pounds per week.
Why? According to Jillian, as long as you exercise more and eat a reasonable amount of calories with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, your body will lose weight at the speed that’s both safe and perfect for your own, individual health.
What’s more, she claims that losing weight quickly at the onset motivates and encourages you to continue working toward your weight loss goal.
Weight Loss Should Be Kind
People become overweight for a many different reasons. Perhaps, you never lost your baby weight. Maybe you’ve been chronically stressed. Perhaps you prefer foods that increase your fat stores and need to adjust your diet. Maybe you just hate exercising.
Whatever the reason, there is no reason to shame yourself or your body. Hating your body, or your fat stores might lead you to deprive and starve yourself and put yourself through extreme physical workouts.
Instead, look at your body as the physical home that you need to love and take care of. If you see your body and your health in this way, your weight loss efforts will be kind and compassionate.
Losing weight can be something you look forward to and a commitment you’re proud of, instead of something you dread and feel ashamed of.