As a Bariatric doctor, many people tell me they want lose weight fast. First of all, you should not lose more than 2 to 3 pounds a week. After the first week, if you are, you’re losing muscle or getting dehydrated. You are not losing fat. Limiting salt and starches may also mean losing more weight at first—but, again, that’s mostly fluids and you’re not losing fat.
In regards to exercise during your weight loss phase; working out has shown to actually work against most people as they generally eat more after they work out. For example, they go to the gym and burn 500 calories, but get hungry and go home and eat 700 calories. Now, don’t get me wrong…working out and regular exercise are key for long term weight maintenance.
So what is a healthy weight loss speed? At SmartforLife® our experience shows, based on thousands of fat, muscle, and water measurements on our clients, that to maintain muscle mass and good hydration, average monthly loss for women was about 12 pounds and for men about 15. At these rates muscle loss was negligible and fat loss was maximized.
We also found that people who go too slowly, losing only a pound a week, lose their motivation and generally give up.
Fast Weight Loss Tips
Here are some helpful tips to keep you on track to success:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get unhealthy, tempting foods out of your home.
- Stay busy – you don’t want to eat just because you’re bored.
- Eat small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day.
- Eat vegetables to help you feel full.
- Be sure to get enough protein. See table for requirements.
So the take away message is to go as fast as is safe, about 12 pounds per month for women and 15 per month for men. This is for the first month. As you lose more weight, the rate of fast weight loss will decrease until you reach a plateau.
Fast Weight Loss Minimal Protein Requirements
This chart presents the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of protein for men and women at various ages.
11-14 years 50 grams/day
15-18 years 59 grams/day
19-24 years 68 grams/day
25+ years 70 grams/day
11-14 years 46 grams/day
15-18 years 50 grams/day
19-24 years 52 grams/day
25+ years 55 grams/day
This chart does not take into account your size—and larger people tend to have greater protein requirements. The following calculation is a more popular method for calculating daily protein amongst most health professionals:
Your weight in pounds multiplied by .36 for women or .50 for men = Daily protein requirement (in grams). Avid exercisers and athletes require even more. Fast weight loss is achievable and you can do it while eating and being healthy at the same time.
To Your Best Health,