The strong desire to lose weight is something most of us experience at some point in our lives. With modern technology making life easier and simpler than ever, the need for human beings to exert their bodies and move around is negligible. Want to get from one place to another? Just take a car. Live on the top floor of a building? The elevator saves time and energy. With so many gadgets, devices and machines doing our work for us, it isn’t surprising at all that a large part of the population (42.4% of American adults, to be precise) is out of shape.
The human body is designed for movement and motion. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we barely move much at all! A couple of months is all it takes to pile on the pounds. To complicate matters, for a large number of people, losing weight becomes more difficult with age while gaining weight seems to happen much more quickly. Obviously this doesn’t hold true for everyone as it depends on the metabolism rate of each individual and there are people who find it much more difficult to gain weight as opposed to losing it.
Ultimately, there are different ways to achieve weight loss, however, not all of them are necessarily healthy. The lack of time and the urge to undergo fast and easy transformation can make people resort to incorrect practices than can do more harm than good.
What Is Unhealthy Weight Loss?
It is essential to remember that good health, wellness and fitness is not about losing as much weight as possible, as quickly as possible. There are multiple factors that one must take into consideration such as physical attributes like height & muscle mass as well as the way in which the weight is shed.
Examples of unhealthy weight loss practices include –
- Extreme dieting – Probably the biggest misconception about weight loss is that simply reducing the amount of food you consume is enough to lose weight. By drastically cutting down food intake you’re only putting your own immunity and functioning at risk. While you may lose some weight short-term, stopping the diet will result in an even quicker increase in weight. Starving yourself is not the way to go.
- Excess exercise and overexertion – Similarly, spending three hours on the treadmill and lifting more weights than you can handle is a recipe for an injury and hurting yourself. Moderate exercise on a consistent basis is way more effective than drastic short-term work outs.
- Fat burners and chemicals – Losing weight through medication and fat burners is a risk business and can have serious long-term repercussions because of the hormonal changes these substances result in as well as the fact that they interfere with metabolism, digestion and other basic body functions.
Pointing out a common theme amongst all the above listed practices, you might have noticed that each of them aims to achieve weight loss in an extremely short time and accelerate the process. However, this does not mean that quicker weight loss in a natural way is impossible.
The Side Effects and Risks of Unhealthy Weight Loss Practices Include –
- Excess yet temporary weight loss which can leave you underweight and weak.
- Fatigue, increased stress and reduced body performance.
- Long-term damage to metabolism, digestion and absorption of nutrients and minerals.
- Muscle, tendon, ligament and bone damage & injuries due to overexertion.
How To Lose Weight Naturally?
The very first step towards losing weight naturally is to understand that healthy weight loss requires a balance between
1) A healthy, balanced diet and
2) Regular physical exercise. To lose weight naturally you cannot hope to compromise on either. Rather than practicing one of these two techniques in abundance, you will get much better results if you practice both in moderation.
Here are tips to lose weight naturally, quickly and in a healthy way –
- Don’t drastically reduce the amount of food you consume. Instead, change the kind of food you consume. Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. However, a slice of cake will have fewer calories than a humongous bowl of vegetables. That does not mean that the cake is a healthier option; the body will break it down into fats and sugar as opposed to nutrients, minerals and fiber from vegetables. Therefore, do not pay obsessive attention to statistics and numbers either.
- Make sure you exercise daily. Putting in half an hour of effort on an everyday basis is significantly more beneficial than working out for three hours on one day of the week.
- Work smarter not harder. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Working out and following a diet for a week and giving up is only going to set you back further. Instead, work towards your goal in a regulated manner and keep persisting over the course of time. Even if you do not see results within the first week, keep striving and progress will happen.
Fortunately, there are tools, techniques and modern devices that can aid you on your weight loss journey. However, at the end of the day, you are the one who can help yourself the most. Remember, there are no shortcuts when it comes to physical fitness!