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How much weight can you lose in a week without compromising your health?

Everyone wants to lose weight as quickly as possible. However, research shows that losing weight in a calm and balanced way is the healthiest and best long-term option for the body. 

Most studies show that people who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep it off in the long run. Slow weight loss is also associated with much lower health risks. According to most experts, losing 0.5-1 kg per week is the most sensible option. 

Dangers of losing weight too fast 

If you start to lose weight above the indicated value, you should seriously consider your diet or exercise. Maybe they are too intense or you have limited your daily calorie intake too much?

Always remember that losing weight is a game with your body. Losing weight too fast can have serious consequences, such as loss of muscle mass, gallstones, vitamin deficiencies, weakened metabolism and immune system. 

Most people prefer the option of following a very low calorie diet because it seems to make it easier to lose weight than a regular diet combined with exercise. In both cases, however, you should be very careful. 

Muscle atrophy

Losing weight does not necessarily mean losing body fat. The low-carb diets that are so often used can indeed lead to a sudden reduction in the number popping up on the scale, however, there is a good chance that you are getting rid of not fat, but water as well as muscle.

Slowing down your metabolism

Your metabolism determines how many calories you will be able to burn each day. A slower metabolism will cause your efforts to be in vain despite a strictly followed diet. In extreme cases, you may burn as little as 23% of the calories you set for yourself. The reason is simple: as studies show, rapid weight loss through insufficient calorie intake reduces the volume of muscle tissue in the body and destabilizes metabolic regulation through a decrease in hormones, including thyroid hormones. This condition may persist even after the diet ends!

Loss of water from the body

However, if you are just starting a diet or have just introduced a new exercise plan, you may lose much more than the recommended kilogram in the first week. You shouldn’t panic – this is completely normal! Such rapid weight loss is due to the loss of excess water stored in the body. 

When you consume fewer calories than your body burns, your body begins to tap into its energy stores, known as glycogen. It is bound to water, so when you burn glycogen as fuel, water is also released.

Rapid or gradual weight loss?

Losing weight is only half the battle. The real challenge will be maintaining the effects permanently. The yo-yo effect is well known – most people return to their starting weight within a few years, and regain at least half of it after the first year. This is due to unlearning bad habits that could not be worked out with such a short diet!

This is why experts recommend losing weight at a slow but steady pace. Most studies show that people who lose weight at a slow but steady pace are more likely to maintain a lower weight in the long run.

main photo: Vaitkevich

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