Many experts consider rapid weight loss like that dangerous to health and generally suggest a slow weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. The key is to make changes that last the rest of your lifetime. Those experts tend to suggest it is better not to even focus on weight as the only measurement of success, but overall physical fitness and other measures such as blood chemistry and cardiovascular fitness.
The Weight — It Does Not Pile On As Fast as You Think it Does
Among 8,000 middle-aged women followed for 5 years, the average weight gain was just 1 pound per year, the result of a mere 10 additional daily calories [emphasis added]. That translates into 10 pounds per decade, the scientists say, and can push the average woman out of her healthy weight zone, through the overweight range, and into obesity in just 3 decades–say, from age 18 to 48. (American adults have an average of 1 1/2 pounds of weight gain per year, equivalent to 15 extra calories per day).
+10 calories per day is nearly ONE peanut M&M! I have yet to see a person leave work one day at a healthy weight and show up the next day 50 pounds overweight. Financial advisers tell us it is best to save a little amount of money on a regular basis over a long period of time, same with weight loss.
The Weight — Slow and Steady Wins the Race
In my experience, losing weight is not about avoiding overeating at the occasional party, but curtailing the bit extra we eat on a daily basis. It is the recurring theme of the 80/20 rule.
80% of the days control your dietary habits and 20% of the days eat without regard to calories. Many diet plans set this up and call the 20% cheat days. To do this though, you have to know your body, habits, and body’s rhythms.
The Weight — Tracking and Measuring the Key to KNOWING
Keep a calorie log, on paper or with a smart phone app. You do not have to have an accountant’s zeal for making everything accurate down to the last calorie but as long as you are honest your mistakes will balance out and if you are going to make an error do so on the conservative side (no, that 12″ pizza w/o nutrition information was not only 500 calories, and the 30 minutes of walking did not burn 2000 Kcalories).
Weigh yourself once per day or even more! It is frustrating at times, but you will get a better picture of your real weight. Remember, you are never as good as you are on your best day but you are not as bad as you are on your worst day and it is easy to hit one of those two extremes with occasional weigh ins. You will come to understand how your body weight normally fluctuates based on what you eat, drink, your activity, and other bodily rhythms. Again, record you weight and look at your weight over the time-span of weeks and months not days
Get the tape measure out and take your hip & waist measurements and perhaps other measurements that interest you.
The Weight — The Stall and the Whoosh
A lot of weight loss writing talks of plateaus. I do not like that word, I prefer the word stall as I think of plateaus as going into steady state when you are trying to increase something. Whatever the word used, know your weight loss will stall on a regular basis and you need to keep at it. At some point your body will stop fighting the weight loss and whoosh weight off in a period of about one week, and the cycle repeats itself. If you give up on your program during a stall the fat wins.