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Losing Weight Slowly and Steadily: Is It Really Better?
Weight Loss

Losing Weight Slowly and Steadily: Is It Really Better?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 13
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7 min

At this point you’ve probably heard a thing or two about a steady weight loss. Why it’s so important?

losing weight slowly

Most people want to see their goals for weight loss attained quickly, but is that really the healthiest method? 

Losing weight slowly might sound frustrating, yet taking it slow and steady is the best way to achieve your goals and sustain your weight for long-term success.

For more information on how to lose weight healthily and slowly, keep on reading!

How to Lose Weight Healthily?

So, how do you lose weight healthily? It’s one of the most important aspects of trying to lose weight, as slow weight loss through healthy eating, exercise habits, and fewer calories are some of the most sustainable options.

Furthermore, going slow and steady keeps your body from regaining as much weight as your diet or exercise habits may alter over time, and it also prevents crash diets.

Slow and stable weight loss

This is truly the best way to lose weight and keep your initial weight loss going.

While losing weight quickly is tempting, you can achieve your weight loss goals with a healthy lifestyle for long-term success. After all, slow and steady wins the race!

Initially, unhealthy yo-yo dieting might produce rapid weight loss but then brings rebound weight gain because such diets are not sustainable for losing fat or creating healthy habits. Therefore, slower weight loss is healthier for your fitness goals.

As defined by the CDC, slow and steady weight loss equals about 1 or 2 pounds per week. This consistent ability to lose weight slowly can be achieved by a low-calorie diet, staying away from unhealthy foods, targeting body fat loss, and physical activity.

Weight loss plateau: What is it, and how to get over it?

People often reach a plateau or leveling-off period in their weight loss. And after an initial rapid weight loss pattern, this can seem discouraging or confusing. However, experiencing a weight loss plateau is part of the process.

Plateaus occur because as you lose weight, some muscle mass is lost along with body fat, and your metabolism has less glycogen to release as water weight after the first few weeks. 

So, that rate of significant weight loss seen at the beginning has petered out, and your body is not burning as effectively as it could.

So, how do you change that? It’s important to battle weight loss plateaus with more exercise and a calorie deficit to compensate, instead of giving up and returning to processed foods or mindless eating patterns. 

By always burning more than you ingest, you can cut calories and get back into healthy weight loss.

5 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight

But even if you are doing everything right, including low-calorie diets, getting active, and eschewing bad habits, you might still see your weight loss slow or stop. 

There are some reasons for that and ways to beat this bump in your weight loss journey, so read on for more information.

After all, you can reinvigorate your body, metabolism, and diet and achieve that target weight!

#1 Poor sleep quality

Not only does too little or bad sleep affect your mood all day long, but it also affects your weight loss.

Among other possible health problems, including lack of mental clarity and an increased risk of heart disease, a lack of sleep also negatively impact your hormone levels and metabolic function.

For example, when you don’t get enough or poor quality sleep, secretion levels of the stress hormone cortisol are heightened – leading to your body retaining fat instead of burning it for fuel.

Naturally, this prevents weight loss, even if you are exercising and having enough calories for a deficit, so good sleep is very important!

#2 Too much alcohol

While drinking too much in any context can be a bad idea, it’s also something to avoid during your weight loss journey. 

Not only is alcohol high in empty calories, which can slow weight loss or even make you put on more weight, it is also known to interfere with fat-burning processes.

The calorie count of alcohol can be very surprising, particularly for something that doesn’t give you more energy or benefit your body composition.

For instance, 12 ounces of a typical beer contain 150 calories; a glass of wine (118ml serving) generally has between 90 and 100 calories, depending on the type, with some even up to 300!

So, while drinking in moderation is allowed on many diets, it’s still something to consider before you pour a glass – too much alcohol means even gradual weight loss is slowed.

#3 Your body and mind are tired of diets

If you are someone who has participated in your fair share of fads or crash diets in the past, constantly yo-yo-ing between rapid weight loss and weight regain, then your body and mind might be worn out.

Dieting is supposed to be sustainable and still allow you to live a happy and healthy lifestyle while still experiencing steady weight loss. 

But some diet plans promise fast weight loss in a short period, and to do so pushes your metabolic system to the limit – causing burnout.

However, if you embark on the right kind of eating plan and exercise routine, paired with a natural calorie deficit, your current weight should gradually lower at a healthier and slower rate.

#4 Poor eating habits

Though you might not be eating more food than before, if your weight loss is stalling, it might be caused by a poor diet.

Make sure you stay away from carbohydrate-heavy foods and meals that won’t give you sufficient energy. Instead, embrace protein, fiber, healthy fats, and plenty of water for hydration.

#5 You are not exercising

Getting active is key to losing weight and better health, so make sure you incorporate daily exercise into your routine. 

To take advantage of a caloric deficit in your diet, you should be doing more than 3 hours of exercise per week (about 200 minutes), with enough intensity to make you sweat.

If you are a beginner, it’s okay to take your time and work up to it, but getting active is absolutely essential – your diet choices might help shed some pounds, but the fat burning comes in when you exercise!

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off?

And while the process of gradual weight loss might seem like the end goal, it’s also important to prevent weight gain after you achieve your target. 

So, how can you make sure you lose weight and keep it off? It’s all about changing your life to be healthier and embracing achievable goals.

Lifestyle changes to lose weight

To successfully lose weight, you must often change your lifestyle for the better. Whether it’s healthy habits like staying hydrated or cooking with more nutritious food groups, your diet and lifestyle are directly intertwined.

And if you think some guidance would be helpful, try out the Beyond Body personalized meal plan. By simply taking a quiz, you get access to personalized recipes, meal preferences, food allergies, and even grocery lists on an assistant smartphone app.

By targeting your body mass with the right foods and exercises, you can get long-term success with losing more weight. And it’s easier than ever to make those lifestyle changes with a personalized plan for your day-to-day life!

You can also check out DoFasting for an extensive blog library and mobile app with advice, recipes, and intermittent fasting guidelines to help you achieve your health and weight loss goals faster than ever.

Realistic Goals: How to Set Them?

And while change is essential to weight loss at any level, it’s also important to know how to balance your goals and be realistic about your expectations.

Assess your weight loss wants or needs, and be specific – don’t be afraid to set a measurable goal weight in numbers or measurements.

Figure out if you have the time and resources to dedicate enough per day to achieve those wants. If not, what can you change to make it happen?

And finally, give yourself a realistic timeline based on the slow weight loss principle of 1 to 2 pounds per week. It’s important not to push yourself too far, or else you will experience burnout. 

And make sure to celebrate the milestones along the way to success in a healthy way!

Food to Cut Out to Lose Weight

Eating the right kinds of food – including proteins, complex carbs like brown rice, fruits, and vegetables – is key to preventing nutrient deficiencies and overeating.

But there are certain foods to stay away from if you want to lose weight, as they make it harder for your metabolism to process them fully and get in the way of fat-burning. These foods include:

  • Carb-heavy baked goods, like white bread and muffins
  • Fatty red meat
  • Food and drinks that are high in sugar, like candy or soda
  • Highly processed food
  • Pretzels and potato chips
  • Processed deli meats

A Word From Our RD

Weight loss is a difficult task for anyone, whether it’s your first diet or you are trained as a registered dietitian.

However, slow weight loss is definitely the key to a healthy journey to your goal weight, instead of crash diets that might make you lose weight fast but are ultimately unsustainable.

It’s important to step back and assess your weight loss journey, eating habits, and exercise routines if you want to lose weight. By burning calories, being active, and getting enough sleep, you make the first steps toward slow and steady weight loss.

So, in general, slow weight loss is a good sign that your body is adapting to a new and healthier way of life!

Conclusion

Slow and steady weight loss is not only something you can be proud of, but it’s also essential for your health to shed pounds in a safe manner. 

From eating right to getting enough sleep, staying active to avoiding fad diets, a slow weight loss method is manageable, sustainable, and recommended for those trying to lose weight.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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