2007 - Pride and Accomplishment

Friday, November 30, 2007

How much weight should I be losing?

I was asked this question in the Ideal Bodies Online Forum today. It's important for people to understand that such answers are not cut and dried, and the reasons why this is so. I thought it would be worth sharing (and also because I have been told by my web guru, Brendon Sinclair, that I need to post more often :) )

Q: Is it correct that you should be looking to lose between 500grams and 1.5kg a week, any more than this and it is just water/fluids loss ? The trainer at the gym I go to, said this, so I was just confirming, as when I look at the scales and have only lost 600g - 700g I become despondent.

A: This is so individual - there are no cut and dried answers to 'how much weight should I lose each week'. Personally when I diet for a competition, I can go weeks with the scale bouncing up and down but no real change and then suddenly I will lose a few lbs (this is a lot for me because I am small) in a few days. So, this is why I preach consistency, and patience. It all depends too on how much you have to lose. Someone who is very overweight and has been very inactive will find it relatively easy to lose weight when starting a diet and exercise program. Others who are already active and have been eating quite well, and don't have a lot to lose - will find it more difficult. It depends on your size too - if someone told me I could lose 1.5kg a week I'd laugh in their face. That would mean I could be competition ready in 5 weeks, and that's just not gonna happen. Additionally, if you are losing a lot of weight quickly (ie say more than approximately 2kg per week) then you are likely to be losing MUSCLE as well as fat, and water. Losing muscle is not good. Muscle keeps your metabolism high and keeps you burning fat. Lose muscle and your metabolism slows down making it difficult/impossible to lose fat. This is why diets such as Cohen's (and others), you may lose a lot of weight quickly, but it won't all be fat, and eventually, it will slow your metabolism down so much that when you start to eat 'normally' (and you will, because you are starving), you will put all that weight back on and MORE. We all know someone that has attempted these fad diets, lost weight, and is now fatter than ever. I say if you are losing, which you are (and at a good rate) you are doing great. Keep it up. Remember, some weeks you may not lose, and other weeks you may lose twice as much.

Now, as for me and what I've been up to - I went for a run last night - well, when I say 'run', it's a walk/jog/run/stairs, and man, it was tough! I couldn't even take 2 stairs at a time, my legs were that sore. They have eased off a bit today. I did my cardio earlier this morning, this time on tready, watching Sex & The City reruns. I'm doing 45 min sessions at the moment. So, I think I will train tomorrow and Sunday, then have Monday off whilst in Melbourne. My diet has been clean and good. I have reintroduced some whey protein since I have been off dairy for 3 weeks now - going to see if that has any effect. I really do like to have protein powders after training. I am still feeling very cleared minded which is fantastic, and thankfully I am now sleeping a little better also.

Have a great weekend everyone, train hard, eat well and enjoy!


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