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How Much Weight Loss is Healthy

Lose up to 10lbs in 10 days! “I lost 25lbs in just 30 days!” Weight loss with a deadline, they are all over the place. The advertisements suggesting weight loss in a time frame are confusing regarding what can realistically be accomplished in a given time frame. For some, they give false hope, and they will have multiple attempts at losing weight. For others, they give up all together.

So what is a good goal to set for healthy weight loss? Well, let’s discuss what weight is and what exactly it is that you really want to lose. You can also talk to LIVE’s online trainers to discuss your personal situation.

Body Mass- the total amount of weight minus fat stores. So lean mass includes muscle, bones, organs and healthy tissue.

Body weight-the total amount of weight of a person. There are 3 main types of weight that you will lose or gain. Muscle, fat, and water.

Muscle weight Muscle weight is the amount of lean body mass that a person carries. It uses a lot of calories to maintain itself. If the calories are not there, the muscle weight will decrease. So the more muscle weight you have, the more calories you need to maintain it. This is why it is important to make resistance training and exercise part of your program to lose weight, and Live’s personal training and diet programs can give you the support and education you need to be successful. People who workout, regardless of wanting to build muscle or lose fat, need to eat more healthy calories than when they were sedentary!

Fat weight – This is the amount of adipose tissue, or fat, that a person carries. Body fat does not need calories to maintain itself. It is stored calories that a person has already ingested and is burned as energy as a result of exercise. We need a certain amount of fat to be healthy. These percentages will vary between men and women but healthy ranges for men will fall between 4% and 15% and for women 10%-20% of total body weight.

Water weight – Water weight accounts for the levels of hydration in our body. This weight can fluctuate 5lbs in a single day based on hydration levels. If you have ever been sick and lost weight very quickly, it was most likely water weight. The contestants on the Biggest Loser TV show, lost up to 20lbs in 1 week, and it was most likely some fat, but a lot of water weight too. The reason NFL football players weigh in and out of each summer practice is because the are being monitored for hydration levels as they can lose 3-5lbs in a single practice session. And finally, this is the weight you will lose and gain rapidly with low carb fad diets.

So how much weight can you lose safely and keep it off? 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories. That is about 2 days worth of food for most of us. To lose weight and keep it off, a calories deficit of about 500 a day is acceptable. This means if you eat 2000 calories a day, you should burn through 2500. So by the end of the week 1-2 lbs of fat loss is considered healthy, achievable and maintainable. Muscle is what we want to gain so we can burn more calories and raise our metabolism. We will all gain muscle differently based on a number of factors including genetics, training regimen and supplementation. A good number to target is about 1-2 lbs a month. The reason for this is because it is difficult to put on muscle and lose body fat at the same time. So you have to have a strict calorie balance so you can gain muscle weight without gaining fat weight too.

There is more than one type of weight you can lose or gain making this a vague topic to quantify. This is why they use the term “weight” on TV and in advertisements when referring to an abundant amount of weight loss quickly. Set realistic goals, and if you are consistently changing your body composition by losing fat and putting on some healthy muscle you will eventually look and feel the way you want to, you will have done it the right way, and will therefore be able to maintain the new you for life!

Copyright (c) 2007 Charles Carter