Given that so many people may benefit from losing some weight, it’s understandable why finding out how to shed pounds quickly has become a hot topic.
While there are endless diets out there promoting super-fast weight loss, many nutritionists and fitness experts agree that slow and steady wins this race. “Losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is a healthy, steady rate depending on how much weight you’re trying to lose. Losing more than this in one week is usually dangerous,” says Jessica Brown, a New York City-area certified fitness trainer and founder of The Glute Recruit, a personal training service.
Losing weight too quickly can cause you to lose muscle and lower your metabolism. It can also set you up for nutrient deficiencies and other health issues, including dehydration and constipation.
Some people can lose weight at a faster rate healthily, but it depends on the individual, says Dr. Adrienne Youdim. She serves as associate clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and is a board-certified internist specializing in medical weight loss and nutrition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Specifically, this rate depends on how much weight you have to lose and how you’re going about losing it.
The real key to weight loss is consistency, says Sparta, New Jersey-based registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of “2 Day Diabetes Diet.” “The best approach is to adopt lifestyle habits that you can stick with long term. Small changes over time lead to the biggest results.”