The Scary Truth About Weight Loss

You’ve started your new diet, and it’s going great! So far, you’ve lost almost 10 pounds, and you feel fantastic! You’re thrilled that the diet works so well, and you can’t wait to reach your goal weight by next week! But then something happens: your progress slows down dramatically. What gives? If you were expecting an answer that it was all water weight anyway, you might be shocked to learn that what happened is nothing. You lost weight because…

When it comes to losing weight, water matters

You may think that weight loss is simply cutting back on what you eat and increasing your physical activity. But how much water you drink can also play a significant role in shedding pounds, according to research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Water is involved in every metabolism-related process, says Ali Shilpa, MD, an endocrinologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Water helps regulate body temperature, transports nutrients around your body, and acts as a lubricant for joints—and it’s needed for digestion and absorption of food. Here are some simple ways to get more H2O into your system:

A recent study found that drinking two cups of water before each meal helped dieters lose 65 percent more weight than those who didn’t pre-hydrate before meals.

What happens when you lose a lot of weight quickly

When you lose a lot of weight in a short period, your body does something called water rebalancing. Your cells are mainly composed of water. As they shed pounds, that water needs to go somewhere. It gets excreted out as pee and sweat (primarily sweat). But it doesn’t just happen right away; it can take weeks or months for all that excess water to be eliminated by your body through these processes. So if you jump on the scale after one week of dieting and see that five pounds have disappeared, don’t get too excited—that might not be fat loss. Instead, what may have happened is that your body released some water from its cells to help make up for some of those lost calories. So while it may seem like you lost five pounds overnight, those results aren’t sustainable—and neither is that level of extreme calorie restriction required to achieve them.

Detoxifying your body

It’s common for people to experience dramatic weight loss in starting a detox diet in the first week. However, it is essential to note that you aren’t losing water weight—and that your body doesn’t look like that after one week. Such rapid weight loss is that toxins are released into your system as soon as you start eating differently. And when I say different, I mean a lot fewer carbs and sugar and processed foods and more veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Do you know what happens when you eat all those things? You lose weight! Don’t believe me?

How many calories are we talking about here?

The amount of calories you need on any given day depends on your gender, age, size, and activity level. Use a BMR calculator to determine how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. To determine how many calories you need to lose or gain weight, divide your desired weight loss by 2 (if you want to lose 1 pound per week) or 3 (if you want to lose 2 pounds per week). Then multiply that number by 500 for an easy calorie-goal target for each day.

This is what can happen if it doesn’t slow down

rapid weight loss makes you lose sight of how much weight you’re losing. In other words, one person’s excellent weight loss could be another person’s worst nightmare. Rapid weight loss has nothing to do with what is happening with your body and everything to do with what is happening in your mind. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about a significant drop on the scale—make sure it doesn’t come at too high a cost. If your diet is causing severe health problems or making you miserable, take a step back from it and reassess. A few pounds lost quickly isn’t worth sacrificing long-term health for short-term satisfaction.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Don’t just read them and walk away; read through them and take notes! It can be done in a few hours overtime if you find time to do so. The entire point of these trips is to help get you in the habit of researching/writing good information on whatever topic is assigned. These lessons are here as reference guides for those who need them. The assignments I give my students are often taken from professional news articles that have been written about these topics. I encourage my students to use their imagination and make up their questions or scenarios. However, we must stay within our field of expertise when doing so. If you decide to create your assignment ideas or topics, please share them with me so I can put them on here for others to learn from as well!

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