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Archive for April, 2014

I stood before the yogurt case contemplating my grocery needs. A young woman rushed up. “I need to lose ten pound next week,” she said to no one in particular.

“Good luck,” I replied as she hurriedly looked into the refrigerated case and then scurried away.

I could only speculate. Did she have a class reunion the following week-end and suddenly realize she had gained ten pounds since that last momentous gathering? She wasn’t morbidly obese. Nor did she look overweight. But here was a sudden crisis for her. How did she think she would get that weight off so quickly?

Many like her want to do just that. I would like to lose a few pounds myself. I recognize multiple reasons, however, why ten pounds in one week is impossible unless I want to drop dead. From an energy standpoint, most know that 3,500 calories equals one pound. Theoretically, if you eat 3,500 more calories than your body uses, you gain a pound. Likewise, if you burn 3,500 more calories than needed, you lose that same amount. Our bodies need about 1,000 calories just to meet body-function needs even when still or sleeping.

How is it some people actually do lose a great amount in a brief time?That’s difficult to  answer. The very obese are more likely to lose large amounts at first than those closer to their recommended weight. Often the loss is in fluids. Abrupt diet changes may alter metabolism and thereby increase weight loss. Nutrition experts agree that many weight-loss diets are unhealthy, but initially people may lose weight regardless of the type of diet. Once your body adjusts to that diet, weight may plateau, and it becomes difficult to keep losing weight.

Is losing ten pounds a week possible for you? Probably not. To reach and keep a healthy weight, it’s better to decrease calories while increasing exercise or activity and to continue with that changed lifestyle. Before you become discouraged, consider other factors. Losing weight is complicated, and new research seems to pop up every day. Here are a few items that tend to impact weight loss in addition to food and exercise.

  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Do you drink adequate water?
  • Do you limit artificially sweetened beverages to less than one per day?
  • Do you have stress in your life?
  • Do you take any medications that may cause weight increase? (Ask your physician or pharmacist to see if similar drugs that don’t cause weight gain would be appropriate.)
  • Are you middle aged yet continue with the same eating pattern and exercise routine? (Metabolism slows with age and you need fewer calories and more exercise to keep the same weight.)
  • Have you had a recent health examination to rule out any conditions that may cause retention of fluids or weight gain?

This list is not conclusive. Many things affect weight, but attempting to lose ten pounds in a week isn’t a good idea. Good luck as you strive to reach and keep a healthy weight.

 

 

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