“I exercise for 90 minutes and live on salads and porridges, yet I don’t lose even a single kilogram”-This is an often-quotes statement by many individuals who try to follow a weight loss strategy and get rid of the excess kilograms. Anyone would love to lose weight fast, even instantly. But the fact remains that this weight did not pile up overnight and cannot be got rid of instantly too!
Losing even .25 kilograms a week is good and when someone loses 3-4 kilograms in a month by following a healthy diet plan along with exercises, it is amazing! Instant weight loss can never be a healthy weight loss. Even when people pursue bariatric surgeries to lose weight, they do so only under the strict supervision of a physician. If you wish to lose at least 0.5 kilograms every week, multiple factors other than what you eat and exercise contribute towards your overall weight loss:
Present weight: How much you weight now forms the base for setting your metabolic rate and how many calories you can burn daily. The basic principle for any weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn. Heavier you weigh, greater is your metabolic rate.
Past weight: People who have lost weight in the past face greater difficultly losing again as they have reduced metabolic rates and burn almost 25-30% fewer calories every day than in the past.
Lifestyle: When you lead an unhealthy lifestyle binge-eating whenever and whatever you feel like having and follow an inactive routine, the chances of losing weight is greater once you start working towards your weight loss goal. But, if you have been pursuing a healthy lifestyle sticking to clean eating and working out, the weight loss is going to be a lot tougher as your body is accustomed to eating clean and other factors such as stress and sleep can affect your goal. Eating only salads or exercising for four hours daily is not the desired lifestyle. Balance all the macronutrients, include all the food groups in limited quantities and exercise for a limited time regularly to progress to a better lifestyle. Meet an RDN at www.firsteatright.com to help you plan an ideal eating routine according to your body type and weight.
Where do you stand? Having embarked on a weight-loss program, how far have you reached? Initial few weeks of your weight loss journey would have been extremely fruitful and you would have lost around .5-1 kilogram every week as most of the lost kilograms are due to water weight lost than fat lost. As the days progress, the journey becomes difficult as metabolic rate decreases making further weight loss a difficult affair.
Hormones make a difference: Hormones in our body instruct our cells on what they should and should not do. For instance, improper thyroid or cortisol hormone functioning can lead to excess weight loss or gain. Women with PCOS suffer from increased weight loss while postmenopausal women gain more weight around their midsection when they don’t make the needful alterations in diet and lifestyle by then.
Workout followed: Some say walking is best for losing weight, some others prefer aerobics while certain others suggest taking up some sport. Aerobic exercises help lose weight, but one must ensure to not lose muscle mass in this weight-loss course and focus on building some muscle too! That’s because, muscle mass determines metabolic rate which in turn determines weight loss.
Genes: All said and done, genes do play a role in influencing your weight. There are 20 major genes and around 200 or so minor genes that impact fat storage and weight maintenance. Many weight loss companies now advise individuals to take up genetic testing to discover their gene type. The simple way to understand few factors is to speak with people in our family and do some research on our own.
Sleep routine: How much you sleep can determine how much weight you lose. When a person sleeps for less than seven hours a day, his/her metabolism decreases, and food craving increases.
Age: As an individual’s age increases, the weight loss journey becomes more difficult and less fruitful. Sarcopenia (muscle mass loss) is the main reason for this along with hormonal changes that take place as a person ages. Muscle determines metabolic rate and loss in muscle mass automatically slows down metabolism. With proper exercise and diet, a person can still lose the desired weight.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.