Rapid Weight Loss vs. Moderate Weight Loss

Fast Weight Loss or Moderate Weight Loss

In recent years, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy stating that obesity is a medical disease which requires medical attention [1].  Recent estimates on obesity suggest that approximately 78.6 million Americans are obese, costing the United States $147 billion in 2008 alone [2].  This burden on the healthcare system and on many individuals’ pockets has a dramatic effect and it is expected to continue with such trends in the upcoming years.

In light of the harsh realities of life, some individuals are obese and some are overweight.  This places a burden on health, increasing one’s potential risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and metabolic dysfunction.  In an effort to reduce such harsh statistics and potential health consequences, Americans have flourished to diet and exercise in an attempt to prevent and even reverse some of the trends which has affected at least 78 million Americans.  While diet plays an important part in the losing of body weight, there is some technique and safety which must be followed in order to be successful with weight loss.

You may have a friend or friends who began losing weight, did very well in the first two weeks, only to see them fail after the third week.  If you have these observations, do not fear these individuals had a set-back in their weight loss journey.  In case you were wondering, there is a way about which you should lose weight.  Which is better though: losing it in a hurry to be healthier quicker or losing it moderately?  The following sections compare and contrast fast weight loss to moderate weight loss and offers insight on to what is better in the long term.

Rapid Weight Loss vs. Moderate Weight Loss: Which is Better?

Fast Weight Loss

Weight loss greater than two pounds per week is typically defined as fast weight loss.  Some individuals may report five pounds within a week, but the following week has them gaining four.  What gives on this?  The fact is fast weight loss may be a “fast” method to lose weight initially, but one pitfall is that weight gain can occur soon after weight loss, causing the body to compensate and even add more weight from when you started.  When this happens, weight cycling (AKA yo-yoing) can lead to cardiac impairments and a great propensity towards heart disease [3].  While you may have temporarily avoided one disease by losing some weight, you place yourself at risk for acquiring another disease, one potentially more fatal if not treated.  In other words, would you consider yourself healthier if you quit smoking cigarettes and traded it for chew tobacco?

Moderate Weight Loss

Moderate weight loss is a gradual, average weight loss of up to two pounds per week, no more.  This means that over a month you should expect to lose four to eight pounds of body weight in this time.  Seems slow doesn’t it?  It is and if you want to lose over 100 pounds, you should realistically take your time (100 divided by 2 is 50 weeks, which is almost a full year).  If weight loss is something you are seeking in your personal goals, current recommendations suggest changing behaviors to make the weight loss gradual and moderate.  In addition to behavior changes, one should expect to commit to changes which last a lifetime including regular life-long physical activity, balanced diet, and good behaviors [4].  Some exercises which can assist with moderate weight loss include every day walking, weight lifting every other day, and increasing leisure time physical activity (including gardening, walking the dog, playing with the kids).  As long as your body avoids prolonged sitting and resting, you know you place yourself in a good position to be successful.

Challenge your Behaviors

If you are seeking to lose weight, give yourself time.  Hide the scale and begin making small changes in your diet.  In addition, avoid sitting at any time for 30 or more minutes.  If you are at work and sit behind a desk, get up every 30 minutes and do ten air squats or stretch while standing.  The little break in sitting can have a dramatic impact on your body’s metabolism without you even noticing you have done anything at all.



[1] http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2013/2013-06-18-new-ama-policies-annual-meeting.page

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697407/

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7741844

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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