‘How much weight can I lose in a week or in a month’, is often the prime most concern for people planning to lose weight. But setting unrealistic goals not only sets you up for disappointment but also can harm your health!
Going for crash diets for a while and then back to your usual ways will result in cycles of weight loss and gain. and gain back all the extra weight. This ‘Yo-Yo dieting’ can create havoc with both your body and your psyche
Therefore it is important to set a healthy weight loss goal and choose healthy and sustainable weight loss means
Although ideal weight is defined as a BMI in the range of 18-23 for Indians, aiming for ideal weight is not always desirable due to adverse effects
Studies have shown that a weight loss of 5-10% of your weight will help you control all your disease risk factors significantly. Even a weight loss of 3-5% of current weight results in better blood sugar and triglyceride levels
Therefore, we suggest the following weight loss goal for you:
Once you become comfortable with these goals, the strategy for this weight loss also becomes more aligned with your lifestyle and therefore more sustainable
Go for a calorie restriction of 500 calories/day and chose a diet pattern which is more in line with what you normally eat. Take this survey by BBC, to find out which type of eater you are and what your strategy should be?
No diet plan (low fat or low carb, 4-5 meals a day or more or less frequent meals etc.) has been proven to be superior to others for weight loss and health gains , provided your total calorie intake is the same
Except for people who are severely overweight (BMI>27.5), a calorie restriction of 1000 calories/day is seldom warranted.
Do not aim for a diet of less than 1000 calories per day, because such a diet will not give you enough of the healthy nutrients
Your diet plan should also follow the diet restrictions for health, which include reduced intake of bad fats and bad carbs. This way, you will not only lose weight, but also your health parameters such as BP, cholesterol and blood sugar levels will improve
you should target getting to a level of exercise recommended for all adults, which is 150 minutes/week of moderate aerobic exercise and 2-3 sessions of resistance training (click here to know more).
To lose weight only with exercise, much more exercise than these levels is needed, but combining excessive calorie restriction , does not help much. Find out more Exercise for weight loss: how much and what type?
If you set your goals right and follow these lifestyle changes, you are much more likely to lose weight AND keep it off, and say bye-bye to Yo-YO dieting!
CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on weight management