We live in a world where there are many companies selling different methods for people to get in shape. One of the most popular is rapid weight loss programmes, which focus on achieving scale weight targets as quickly as possible.
Unsurprisingly, given the impatient nature of modern society, this is a popular method that people go for. However, over time, those same people often find it incredibly difficult to achieve long-term results and end up bouncing back to square one as a result.
So, why is this? Why are rapid weight loss programmes not the solution for someone trying to get in shape?
Rapid weight loss is like a ticking time bomb – you restrict, restrict, restrict before finally having a huge blowout that stalls your progress. Furthermore, people end up bouncing up and down with their weight because they have not learned the habits and disciplines to maintain their shape, once they reach it. Consuming such few calories to lose weight quickly is something that may deliver results in the short term, but is not something that you will be able to stick to in the long term, due to the extreme demands on your body and mind.
Due to the restrictive nature of rapid weight loss diets, your health is also something that becomes negatively impacted. Consuming such few calories limits the number of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you are putting into your body, which affects a number of areas, such as cellular health, blood flow, brain function and muscle recovery. So, it is vital for your own internal health that you consume a balanced diet that is controlled but not over-restrictive. Your body needs calories to survive, let alone perform properly on a daily basis.
Great results do not come without consistency, but consistency does not come if you are not enjoying the process. Rapid weight loss not only lowers your strength, energy, and performance, but also affects your mood, meaning that the process becomes less and less enjoyable. Of course, getting in shape requires hard work, sacrifice, and discipline as well as consistency but you are far less likely to succeed with a rapid weight loss programme that is not in any way enjoyable to undertake. Building sustainable habits that you can stick to is going to make life a lot more bearable, both physically and mentally.
Eating too few calories is ineffective and dangerous because it will drastically slow down your metabolism (the range of biochemical processes that occur within your body to break down food into energy) and soon put a halt to the fat-burning process. Therefore, all your hard work in the gym and supposed ‘discipline’ with your nutrition will be for nothing.
So, while it is essential to be in a calorie deficit, that deficit has to be moderate and not extreme, which is usually 400-600 calories below your maintenance level (the calories you need to consume to stay the same weight and look the same, based on your height, weight, amount of muscle tissue and activity levels). By doing this, you will enable your metabolism to function properly and lose body fat more consistently, as well as keep your energy levels to a relatively high level.
Poor Body Shape
Another area that rapid weight loss can affect is your body shape. Not only will it stall muscle growth, but it has also been shown to cause muscle loss, especially if there is very limited protein in the diet. Many people lose a lot of weight on extreme diets but end up unhappy with their body shape, simply because part of that weight loss is muscle tissue.
So, to add muscle and improve your body shape, you must eat more, especially when it comes to protein and carbohydrates. To combine this with fat loss, your calorie deficit must be moderate, meaning that eating not enough calories will have an adverse effect on what you are trying to achieve.
So, if you are looking to get in shape, you may be tempted by a rapid weight loss programme. However, it is not going to be effective for your goals because it is unsustainable, unhealthy, not enjoyable, slows down your metabolism, and results in a poor body shape. Therefore, you are much better off avoiding this method so that you can build habits that will not only get you in the shape of your life, but help you stay there for as long as possible.
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