How To Lose Weight Safely
- 6 Tips For Safe Weight Loss
When starting a weight loss program, many people aren't concerned enough about losing weight safely.
The main thing you need to do is work with your body and not against it. If you follow the advice on this page, you will be doing just that!
1. Avoid Diets
Eat a well balanced diet, but avoid the short term "lose weight fast" diets.
The term “eat a balanced diet” simply means eat healthier foods and eat enough calories on a daily basis. It's not really a diet in that sense but just a way of eating.
The diets you should avoid are the short term rapid weight loss schemes. Most of these diets diets are based on calorie deprivation, which may help you lose weight, but it's certainly not a safe way to go.
Eating too few calories triggers a number of negative physiological reactions that result in muscle loss. So a lot of the weight you lose from low calorie dieting is water, muscle, and some fat. :-( Boooooo, that bites!
You don't want to lose your muscles!
Loss of muscle is to be avoided at all costs. It causes your metabolism to slow down. That’s a major reason why dieters never keep the weight off – 95% of desperate dieters typically gain it all back. :-(
This leads us perfectly to the next tip on how to lose fat and weight safely…
2. Eat Balanced Meals
To lose weight safely and permanently, eat a mix of
- lean protein
- complex carbohydrates
- fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables)
- fresh fruit
- good fats
Many diets call for a drastic reduction or elimination of one of the above items. Yikes!
So much confusing info out there, huh? We don't always want or need to get severely restrict specific types of foods.
Low carb diets are an example. While short term reductions in carbohydrate intake can help some lose weight quickly, many diets have you eliminate carbs or drop them to extremely low levels.
Carbs do so many things for your body. They provide energy for brain function and help provide energy for activities like exercise.
Carbs play a huge role in muscle development and preservation. Maintaining or adding muscle is crucial for long term safe weight loss.
I had a friend who lost a lot of weight by cutting out carbs for a year. She reached a point where she stopped losing weight, and she also noticed her body felt really flabby.
I explained to her that she had lost muscle! In the absence of carbs, her body reached a point where it was breaking down muscle to use for energy. This ultimately slowed down her metabolism and left her feeling “soft” all over.
Talk about a double whammy. Her weight loss was a combination of fat, water, and lots of muscle. Basically she became a skinnier fat person. :-O
Do you want to be a skinny fat person? No? I didn't think so! Eep - You need to eat a balanced diet!
There's lots more on eating here ---> Eating For Weight Loss
3. Lift Weights
When I was a Personal Trainer, I met a lot of people who were told to first do cardio to lose weight, then lift weights to “tone” up.
You know how the saying goes – don’t believe everything you hear.
An effective and safe weight loss program is one that causes you to lose fat and build or maintain muscle. You do that with a balance of cardio and weight training.
If you’re concerned about your fat turning into muscle, don’t worry about it. They’re two different substances. It can’t happen.
Do your aerobics, but lift weights too! Ok? :-)
If I had to answer the question "how do I lose weight safely?" in one sentence, I would say "eat a balanced diet and resistance train at least three days a week."
4. Take Some Lessons
You need to know how to lift weights correctly, how to breathe, how to position your body, and how to stretch. If you’ve never had any exercise instruction through books, videos, or a good Trainer, you’re risking injury.
When I was working in gyms I spotted people all the time doing things that would eventually lead to an injury. It's heartbreaking.
You need to learn to use correct form and posture when you’re exercising. It will help you stay injury free and improve your results.
5. Don’t Overtrain
You do not have to work out for 2 hours a day to lose weight! It seems logical to think that the more you exercise the more weight you will lose. That’s not necessarily true.
Too much exercise can lead to overtraining.
Overtraining can lead to…
- nagging aches and pains
- fatigue and lack of energy
- decreased immune system function
- loss of muscle
It’s kind of hard to lose weight if you have aches and injuries that cause you to miss workouts. :-( So please be careful!
Keep your workouts between 30 – 60 minutes long.
Don’t give an all out intense effort every single time you exercise. I believe in training hard, but mix in some lower intensity days.
If you’re really new to exercise, start out with 4 to 5 days for 2 or 3 weeks to get used to the new activity.
Believe me, you can get the results you want with a 5 or 6 day-a-week exercise program and 30 – 60 minute long workouts as long as you:
- have a solid exercise program,
- work out with intensity,
- eat good, and
- keep yourself hydrated.
6. Talk To Your Doctor
Truly I should have listed this FIRST.
This is a tip on how to lose weight safely that should not be overlooked. If you’re in reasonably good health, there’s no reason you can’t participate in a regular exercise program.
If you have any conditions, please see your doctor before starting a program.
There you have it - 6 tips on how to lose weight safely.
Click here to see the 23 So-Called Healthy Foods That Are Truly Bad For You