Losing Weight Slowly Works Better than Losing It Too Fast

Can a single bagel make you gain 5 pounds? Yes! In a way.

Just as “get skinny fast” diets help you lose water weight, they can make you gain it right back in a single day.

bagelOne pound of fat is equal to 3,500 cal­ories, so for every pound of fat you want to lose, you need to create a caloric deficit of at least 3,500. Based on what we know about calories in versus calories out, this deficit can’t be achieved in a day, or even a few days.

To put it into perspective, losing one pound of fat in a day would require a daily workout equiv­alent to running 35 miles. That’s a tough day! And, of course, all that slow, long-distance running could actually help you gain fat over time.

The truth is, there’s no fast, easy method to lose weight and keep it off. Sure, the scale might say that you’ve lost 5 pounds in 5 days when you follow a highly restrictive diet, but in fact most of that loss won’t be fat; it will be water pounds lost through dehydration.

Here’s an example: If you were to lose those 5 pounds in 5 days and then eat a bagel on day 6, you would magically gain back those 5 pounds you thought you just lost. How is this possible? For every gram of carbohy­drate you consume, the body stores 3 to 4 grams of water. That means for every 400 grams of carbohydrate you consume, your body will store 16 ounces (1 pound) of water. By simply cutting out 400 grams of carbs a day, you can “lose” 1 pound on the scale. But again, this is just a reduction in hydration, and staying well hydrated is a key factor in long-term weight loss. And long-term weight loss is all about losing fat, not dehydrating your body.

weighing scaleFad diets that promise rapid weight loss can be dangerous. Rapid weight loss usually means loss of muscle mass and water, not fat. Chronic fad diets can increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and liver disease. And some strict diets (often called elimination diets) can actually cause malnutrition because they cut out entire food groups.

My book Core Envy offers a much more sustainable and realistic approach is to create a daily caloric deficit of 500 calo­ries through a combination of consuming less and moving more. Over the course of a week, a daily caloric deficit of 500 calories would add up to 1 pound of weight loss. [See how to find your daily calorie goal here.] If you have more than 30 pounds to lose, you might find that you initially lose weight much faster than the 1 pound per week pace, but as you approach those last 5–10 pounds, the rate of loss will inevitably slow down.

Here’s the bottom line: You can expect to lose 8–16 pounds over the 8 weeks of the Core Envy program, and if you do it right, you will also gain muscle tone and feel great.

Losing 1 pound a week might sound painstakingly slow—you’ve probably fol­lowed diet plans before that promised much bigger results in a shorter amount of time. In fact, you may have enjoyed rapid weight loss on these types of plans, but I’m guessing that the weight came back, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. So try Core Envy! Core Envy is a well-balanced program because it combines high-intensity cardio, sculpting exercises, and a diet makeover. You can try it free for a week here.

This post is from Core Envy by Allison Westfahl.

Core Envy by Allison Westfahl Book CoverAllison Westfahl’s Core Envy will tone and sculpt your abs, back, stomach, and sides—and build a strong, sexy core you’ll love showing off. Core Envy solves the problems traditional abs programs ignore with HIIT cardio, functional core sculpting exercises, and a smart diet overhaul.

Core Envy is available now in Target stores, bookstores, and from these online retailers. Take a look!

Target.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers

 

Dietary Supplements Are Sketchy

Why can’t we just take a pill to lose weight?

According to a recent survey, one in three American dieters has used supple­ments to help aid weight loss.

The same study showed that most people had no idea that these supplements are unregulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that some have serious side effects, including depression, nausea, and cardiac events.

Herbal supplement capsules spilled from a bottle onto a table. Shallow depth to field.

The FDA has a long history of approving and then recalling prescription weight-loss medications. In 1947, methamphetamine was the first drug approved but was later severely restricted due to concerns about side effects. Over the decades, scores of pills have been temporarily approved, then later recalled once evidence of cardiac failure emerged. Of the weight-loss drugs that are now currently on the FDA’s list, studies clearly show that they are effective only when combined with diet and exercise. Furthermore, once usage of any pill is stopped, most of the weight returns within one year.

The bottom line is that eating less and moving more is still the safest, most effective method for losing weight and keeping it off.

This post is from Core Envy by Allison Westfahl.

Core Envy by Allison Westfahl Book CoverAllison Westfahl’s Core Envy will tone and sculpt your abs, back, stomach, and sides—and build a strong, sexy core you’ll love showing off. Core Envy solves the problems traditional abs programs ignore with HIIT cardio, functional core sculpting exercises, and a smart diet overhaul.

Core Envy is available now in Target stores, bookstores, and from these online retailers. Take a look!

Target.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers

How to Find Your Daily Calorie Target

The Mifflin Equation offers an accurate way to find your daily calorie needs.

MifflinEquationWe know that most Americans are eating too many calories and not moving enough to burn them off. But how do you find out the number of calories you personally need to consume for weight loss? You start by determining how many calories your body will burn on its own just to maintain its essential body functions. This base­line calorie expenditure is known as the resting metabolic rate (RMR, sometimes referred to as resting energy expenditure, or REE), and it is the number of calories the body would burn if it were at rest for 24 hours. In other words, your RMR is the amount of calories you need to con­sume on a daily basis in order to maintain your weight if you are currently leading a sedentary lifestyle. There are countless equations that calculate your RMR, but in the fitness industry the Mifflin equation remains the gold standard.

Once you have completed the Miff­lin equation, take the resulting number and multiply it by your level of activity in order to determine the true number of calories you burn on a daily basis. For the purposes of this program, your activ­ity factor should reflect the specific car­dio exercise program you plan to follow. For example, if you are not feeling very fit entering into the program, you might want to predominantly focus on the Level 1 cardio routines, so you would use an activity factor of 1.375. If you have a decent fitness base and want to take on a bigger challenge, the Level 2 or Level 3 program will be a better fit, so use the cor­responding activity factor.

If your routine will include additional bouts of exercise beyond the workouts in this book, you can err toward a higher activ­ity factor. However, it’s always safest to start with a lower activity factor and then add cal­ories back in if necessary. Most of us drasti­cally underestimate how many calories we are consuming, and we also tend to overesti­mate the number of calories we are burning.

Once you’ve multiplied your RMR by your activity factor, you will know exactly how many calories you would need to con­sume each day in order to maintain your cur­rent weight. To shed a few pounds (maybe more than a few) and firm up that midsec­tion, you must make sure your actual caloric consumption is lower than this number.

Calculate your RMR by using my online Mifflin Equation Calculator here: AllisonWestfahl.com/Core-Envy

This post is from Core Envy by Allison Westfahl.

Core Envy by Allison Westfahl Book CoverAllison Westfahl’s Core Envy will tone and sculpt your abs, back, stomach, and sides—and build a strong, sexy core you’ll love showing off. Core Envy solves the problems traditional abs programs ignore with HIIT cardio, functional core sculpting exercises, and a smart diet overhaul.

Core Envy is available now in Target stores, bookstores, and from these online retailers. Take a look!

Target.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers

 Core Envy by Allison Westfahl Book CoverAllison Westfahl’s Core Envy will tone and sculpt your abs, back, stomach, and sides—and build a strong, sexy core you’ll love showing off. Core Envy solves the problems traditional abs programs ignore with HIIT cardio, functional core sculpting exercises, and a smart diet overhaul.

Core Envy is available now in Target stores, bookstores, and from these online retailers. Take a look!

Target.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers