Today we’re going to focus on an aspect of wellness that is covered almost too often in media: weight. If you’ve picked up a magazine in the past year, you’ve probably read a ton of articles on “how to lose 20 lbs in 3 days.” This is impossible to do unless you completely dehydrate yourself.
For every 1g of carbohydrate you consume, your body stores 3g of water. If you dehydrate yourself, you’ll lose a lot of weight, but you won’t lose ANY fat at all, and you’ll put a lot of stress on your body. Your body is your home, and you should work hard to help it rather than hurting it.
I’m going to tell you again: there is no healthy way to lose 20 lbs in 3 days. Ideally, you’re going to aim to lose 1 lb per week, and you want that to be a reduction in body fat, not just body weight. The main point here is that the number on the scale does not dictate your health. Actually, a measurement of the circumference at your waist is a much better predictor of how healthy you are. That’s because any fat you store in your middle can lead to heart disease. The fat that’s on your arms and legs isn’t around your organs, and doesn’t pose any health problem. Rather, it benefits you by providing your body with insulation that is helpful in temperature regulation.
If you’ve tried any of the fad diets to lose weight fast, you will very likely gain your weight back and more over time. That’s because your body will always try to preserve the weight you started at. Your weight is determined three different times in your life: during infancy, as a toddler, and as an adolescent. Whatever your weight was as a teen is likely to affect your weight throughout your life. When you lose fat too quickly, your body tries to “fix” your mistake, and stores a lot more fat to make up for the fat you lost. Similarly, if you restrict the calories you consume to a very low number for you, your body is going to store everything you do consume as fat, because it doesn’t know when the next meal is coming. When you store everything as fat, you’re not only fatter, but you’re nutrient deficient too!
It’s important to eat enough for your body, and to restrict calories little by little, or just substitute unhealthy parts of your diet with healthier parts! Please don’t just go from your regular diet to 1200 calories just because that’s what your diet app says is the minimum! Everybody has different bodies with different needs, and some people need more calories than others naturally. We’ll calculate this later when we talk about your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is how we know what minimum calories YOUR body needs.
The best way to change your body fat is gradually, so that your body can adapt to the changes without trying to correct what it sees as a problem. Be careful that you’re living a healthier lifestyle, not just a skinnier one!