How Quickly Can You Expect to Lose Weight?
Get our Leading Dietitian's Best Tips
Why Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Extreme diets with rapid weight loss can seem quite appealing. Especially when we want to fit into those old jeans now! But, unfortunately, weight loss and weight maintenance are not effortless. Both involve a daily effort to make positive and healthy choices. The effort is required now. The results will come later.
Although we want results now, if you are breastfeeding, you need to be patient to protect your milk supply. When you're breastfeeding, a healthy weight loss goal is 2 kilograms per month. If you are not breastfeeding you can aim for 4-6 kilograms per month. Any program that promises more weight loss than that is probably a fad diet of some kind.
Research shows that people who lose weight rapidly are more likely to gain it back. This is because that the methods used to lose weight rapidly are not sustainable. Sure eating only carrots for weeks would make you lose weight rapidly. But you would not have any energy and your milk supply would be impacted if you're breastfeeding. And, as soon as you returned to eating normally again the weight would also return. On top of that your metabolism could be slowed down long term, making weight management even more difficult.
Remember it is not just about the number on the scale!
Following a weight loss program is not just about the number on the scale, but improving health matters too. Especially if you need to maintain your energy to take care of a family. And, if you are breastfeeding, you need to be healthy to maintain your milk supply.
A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analysed the micro-nutrient composition of four popular diets (Atkins, Zone, LEARN, and Ornish) to determine their nutritional adequacy. Overweight participants were required to follow one of the assigned diets for 8 weeks. No vitamin or mineral supplement as required by the study.
After eight weeks of being on the diets, over 25% of women had nutrient levels lower than the daily requirement for thiamine, folic acid, vitamins C, A, and E, iron, and magnesium. Eliminating entire food groups, which many of these diets do, may result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which are never good for overall health or maintaining energy.
So what do you do if you want to lose weight?
You don't need to go on a diet to lose weight. Instead, aim to eat and drink healthy for 90% of the time and get regular exercise, e.g. a daily walk.
Aim to get balanced nutrition that includes lean protein, whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Each food group provides a specific nutrient your body needs to function properly, so make sure each meal is well-balanced.
Eating well balanced meals is not always possible for busy mums, which is why the In Shape Mummy Health Shake can be a big help as it contains all the nutrients of a healthy and balanced meal and is quick and easy to prepare. It is scientifically formulated to help Breastfeeding and Busy Mums get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and easy to digest protein they need to lose weight, along side a balanced diet.
Even though it may be tempting to try to speed up your weight loss, don’t eat less than 1200 calories per day. If you eat less than 1200 calories per day, it is too difficult to fit in all the nutrients your body needs (plus if you are breastfeeding, you may affect the quantity of your milk supply and the nutrition you are providing to your bub).
Remember, it took 9 months to gain the weight and create a beautiful baby, so the weight isn’t going to fall off overnight either. Just stick to a balanced eating program and your body will naturally achieve its own healthy weight.
Julie Masci, BHlthSc, APD, AN
Julie is one of In Shape Mummy’s dietitians and the founder and director of New Life Nutrition. Julie was key in the formulation of the In Shape Mummy Health Shake for Breastfeeding Mums. She is a Mum to 3 children under 5; 2 little boys and a blueberry-obsessed baby girl. Julie has appeared on television on Brisbane's Channel 9 News, Channel 7 News, Today Tonight and Brisbane Extra, as a diet and nutrition expert. Julie is also a regular guest on Brisbane's ABC radio. She has extensive experience as a public speaker on a variety of nutrition topics, such as obesity, diabetes, and digestive health. In her career, she has been a monthly contributor to Prevention Magazine as their Grocery Guru and Australian Weight Watchers Magazine.
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