Every day, from coast to coast, Americans struggle with losing weight. Bombarded with TV, radio, and even internet ads that promise “quick weight loss,” many people entrust their health to extreme diets in order to shed as many pounds of fat as possible. However, quick weight loss does not necessarily equal a healthy lifestyle.
The problem with many extreme diets that promise staggering weight loss quickly is that losing weight and getting healthy aren’t always the same thing. There are times where it is actually unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast, especially when the weight loss program isn’t being tailored to your body’s actual physical needs or being monitored by a physician.
What are the Problems with Losing Weight too fast?
Shedding pounds quickly sounds like a good idea, and it may even be recommended for cases where a patient is extremely obese to the point where it is causing health complications (under careful supervision by a doctor, of course). Despite this, there are many problems with trying to lose too much weight too fast.
First and foremost, shedding weight very quickly requires an extreme effort from the person on the diet. How much effort, you ask? Well, because one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, you would need to burn at least 500 more calories per day than you took in to lose one pound of fat per week. That sounds simple enough, right? But, when your goal is to lose 5 pounds in a week, then meeting that goal becomes much more difficult (2,500 more calories burned over intake each day). Trying to keep up with unrealistic goals can quickly become discouraging, making it more difficult to stay motivated.
The second problem with this is that when your body is trying to burn fuel for nutrition, fat isn’t the easiest material for it to break down into fuel. The result? Instead of burning fat on your extreme diet, you actually end up “burning” water weight and what would have been healthy lean muscle mass, while the fat remains. Once the extreme diet is over and you start eating the bare minimum amount of food necessary to support lean muscle mass, you start recovering that muscle mass, which shows up as weight gained.
Worse yet, some extreme diets deny your body the bare minimum amount of nutrition that it needs to function properly, which can lead to severe side effects on your health such as muscle weakness and fatigue.
Slow and Steady Really Does Win this Race
Instead of risking your health on an extreme weight loss program, consult with your doctor and explore reliable healthy lifestyle changes and medical weight loss programs that provide safer, more reliable results. After a consultation, your doctor can identify your specific metabolism, nutritional needs, and health factors that may affect your ability to lose weight.
Using this information that is specific to you and only you, your doctor can create a personalized plan for your weight loss to help keep you on track to shed pounds at a steady, but safe, pace. From making changes to your diet to creating an exercise regimen that will improve your cardiovascular health while burning fat, your doctor can make a superior weight loss program that accounts for your unique needs.
Under a medical weight loss program such as the OPTIFAST plan, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of a trained medical doctor, one who understands that weight loss is about more than just being able to squeeze into a tighter pants, it’s about being healthier (although being able to fit into skinny jeans and look great is nice too).
The benefits of losing weight by making healthy lifestyle changes as a part of a medical weight loss program such as OPTIFAST are numerous:
1: It’s Easier to Keep Weight off
Unlike an extreme rapid weight loss program, where much of the weight you lose may not even be fat, a doctor-supervised program burns fat while preventing the loss of lean muscle mass. This prevents the sudden ballooning of weight after the end of the diet from the recovery of said muscle, because the weight you’re losing is fat, not muscle.
On top of that, becoming accustomed to healthy lifestyle changes over the course of a longer, less stressful diet program makes it easier for you to keep up a healthy lifestyle after the fact. Many people, after weeks of self-denial and hunger when on an extreme diet, relapse into their old, pre-diet habits once they’ve met their weight loss goals. After a period of hardship, it’s tempting to want to get “back to normal.” On a slower, steadier weight loss program based on making healthy lifestyle changes, the diet habits become “normal” for the dieter, lessening the temptation to go back to old habits.
2: It’s Safer
We cannot stress enough how important it is that a weight loss program has the appropriate doctor supervision. Under a program without supervision by a trained physician, it is far too easy for someone with a severe medical condition to suffer a complication related to their condition. With doctor supervision, a weight loss program can be crafted around the physical limitations imposed by a medical condition.
3: Goals are More Realistic and Achievable
Under a medical weight loss program, your weight loss goals are set based on a professional’s assessment of your condition and how much weight you can safely lose in a given period of time. These goals, even when set to an aggressive pace, are achievable for you when they’re set. This makes meeting goals easier and more realistic.
When goals are achievable, it’s easier to stay motivated as you continue to meet them.
4: These Programs are More Flexible
As your weight loss program progresses, your needs may change. With a premade extreme diet, there is no one there to watch for these changes in your metabolic rate or health, so you end up following the same, inflexible program from day one to the end. With a doctor supervised weight loss program, your doctor can monitor changes in your condition as you lose weight, and make revisions to your weight loss regimen as needed, including changing your nutrition intake, prescribing appetite suppressants, or altering your exercise regimen.
Start a Doctor-Supervised Medical Weight Loss Program Today!
Overall, a doctor supervised weight loss program that helps you lose weight safely over time is more effective than extreme diets. Here at Step Ahead Wellness Center, we're dedicated to helping you lose weight at the pace that's right for you.
Learn more about medical weight loss programs today and see if a personalized weight loss program is right for you at the link below.