I read a very sad and unfortunate tale of an English bride-to-be's death after crash dieting. After eating only 530 calories a day for 11 weeks, the 34-year-old collapsed. Having weighed 244 pounds at the start of the controversial LighterLife diet, Samantha Clowe had lost 42 pounds when she collapsed and died of heart failure. Her family and fiancé are in my thoughts, and in light of this tragedy, I would like to review five rules for healthy and sustainable weight loss.
- To lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you are expending. Think of it like this: calories coming in need to be fewer than calories going out. It really is pretty simple.
- To lose one pound a week you need to be in a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. The best way to do this is to combine eating fewer calories and burning more calories — that means exercise! Cardio is great for burning calories. See these posts for ideas to freshen up your cardio routine.
Learn the other three tips when you continue reading.
- You should never eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day. Eating fewer than 1,200 calories slows down your metabolism, since your body thinks a famine is coming. It's not nice to tease your metabolism in this manner. Play nice and eat healthy well-balanced meals loaded with nutrient-rich veggies, fruits, and grains.
- The longer it takes for you to drop the pounds, the better chance you have of keeping them off. Remember: slow and steady wins the race. This is why you should really think of losing weight as making a lifestyle change rather than dieting. Once you lose the weight, you want to maintain all the healthy habits that helped you shed those pounds in the first place.
- Losing one to two pounds a week is considered healthy. Losing more than two pounds a week is a serious shock to your body. This also means you are not starving yourself or depriving yourself. Fad diets or diets that have you cut out an entire food group leave you feeling less satisfied, which leads you to cheat on your diet and then give up. Remember, you are working toward a lifestyle change and having a healthy relationship with all kinds of food.