There’s a reason slow weight loss is best for long term success – it’s sustainable! Quick results lead to weight gain and feeling like a failure. Slow results can lead to long term success. So how do you make slow weight loss work for you?

First, let’s look at why rapid weight loss doesn’t last.

If you you lose weight quickly, your body responds by releasing water and glycogen. This drops your body weight quickly, but it’s mostly water weight and you’ll gain it all back – and more – when you resume normal eating habits.

Furthermore, quick weight loss is tough on your body and can lead to fatigue, mood swings, problems with concentration and a lot of increased hunger.

Rapid weight loss is usually a loss of muscle mass which slows down the metabolism. Another factor why when you return to eating “normally,” you will quickly regain the weight.

Why is slow weight loss better than rapid weight loss?

When you lose weight slowly, your body doesn’t react as drastically. You lose mainly body fat, and because slow weight loss is more sustainable, you’re less likely to regain the weight.

Losing weight slowly gives your body time to adjust to the new calorie intake. When you cut too many calories too quickly, your body goes into starvation mode. Rapid weight loss may be a struggle due to your metabolism slowing and making it difficult to shed pounds.

In addition, rapid weight loss can result in malnutrition and lead to yo-yo dieting that spins you on and off the hamster wheel of success and failure with your weight loss.

How slow should you go?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, slow weight loss is one to two pounds per week. This will result in a steady weight loss that’s more likely to stay off.

Remember, if you lose weight fast, you’re more likely to regain it. If you want long term success, slow and steady wins the race!

slow weight loss Is slower weight loss more sustainable?

Losing weight too quickly is often not sustainable and can lead to a host of issues, both mental and physical. Slow weight loss, on the other hand, gives your body and mind time to adjust.

Often, weight loss that is too fast can trigger emotional issues. This is a huge reason why the weight loss journey is so challenging.

It’s more than just your eating habits and your workout routine. It’s your relationship with food and your body. If you lose weight too fast, it can trigger very unhealthy habits such as anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, anxiety, depression, and perfection.

Losing weight too fast can also lead to physical problems such as amenorrhea, low energy, headaches, light headedness, and constipation.

Is losing weight slowly a good thing?

Yes! Slow weight loss is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. It’s more sustainable, avoids rebound weight gain, and it’s healthier for your mind and body.

What is good steady weight loss?

It’s important to set realistic goals and be patient while on your weight loss journey. Slow weight loss takes time, but it will be well worth it when you are able to enjoy the process and not feel deprived from a calorie deficit in any way.

It does not have to look like fewer calories, low calorie diets, avoiding certain food groups, keto diet, or tracking your food intake.

It’s about developing healthy habits so that you can find your healthy weight and have a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

So how do you make slow and steady weight loss work for you?

  1. Stop dieting.

Calorie counting, food tracking, and eliminating entire food groups will only make you feel deprived and increase your chances of falling off the wagon.

Instead of dieting, focus on developing healthy habits that you can stick with for life.

This means eating whole foods, cutting out processed foods, and allow gradual weight loss vs losing weight quickly.

2. Set realistic goals.

Aiming to lose too much, too fast is setting yourself up for failure. Shoot for the recommended 1-2 lbs per week. If it’s less than that, it’s OK. As long as your approach is gradual weight loss, you can reach your goals while having a healthy relationship with food and your body.

3. Find what works for you and stick to it.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. What might work for your best friend or coworker might not work for you. Find an approach that includes healthy eating habits and a workout routine that you enjoy and can stick to.

Don’t compare yourself to your neighbors’ weight loss efforts. Have faith that your method is appropriate for you and your body composition.

4. Make time for yourself.

This journey is not going to be easy. There will be days (or maybe even weeks) where you feel like you’re not making any progress.

It’s important to take some time for yourself – whether that means taking a yoga class, getting a massage, reading your favorite book, or taking a long walk outside.

5. Seek support.

Losing weight is hard enough, but it’s even harder to do it alone. Seek out support from family and friends, a coach, or join a support group. It’s important to have people to talk to who understand what you’re going through.

Professional help can really make a difference on your weight loss journey. If you are struggling with emotional eating, binge eating, or body image issues, seek out the help of a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.

6. Be patient.

This is probably the most important tip of all. Weight loss takes time, so it’s important to be patient and not get discouraged if you don’t see quick results. Diets have taught you the goal is fast weight loss. But there are many benefits to slow weight loss.

For example, take stock of how you sleep, how your energy levels are, and your general mood right now. There are several advantages to reducing weight gradually rather than being irritable, hungry, and depressed when attempting to slim down while restricting calories.

What are some healthy habits for slow weight loss to create long term success?

  1. Reduce your stress. One of the best ways to reduce your stress is through exercise. It’s a great way to release any tension you may be feeling and can also help improve your mood.
  2. Eat mindfully. Eat slowly and savor every bite. This will allow you to better understand when you’re full and help avoid overeating. Avoid a calorie deficit as this only sets you up to overeat later. In addition, eat without any judgement of the food. Food is neither good nor bad. It’s just food.
  3. Eat more fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer and can also help with digestive issues. You may have heard of soluble and insoluble fiber. There is another fiber recently being talked about called prebiotic soluble fiber (inulin). It has many benefits, some of which are improved digestion, weight loss, and relieves constipation.
  4. Get enough sleep. Sleep is crucial for weight loss (and overall health). It’s when your body heals and repairs itself, so make sure you’re getting enough rest. When you’re excessively weary, you’re more likely to want sweet things to boost your energy and mood. You won’t require a 4 p.m. sugar rush if you get enough sleep.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of water not only helps with weight loss, but helps you feel satiated, is good for your skin, flushes out toxins in your system, and will help you start losing weight sooner than later.

Is losing weight slowly the healthiest way? sustainable weight loss

Indeed. Now that you know slow weight loss is the best way to lose weight, what are you waiting for? No more crash diet. There will be no more worries about overdoing carbohydrates. There will be no more self-inflicted martyrdom through physical activity.

You can shed extra pounds by setting reasonable weight loss goals, lowering your health risks, and enjoy the process of losing fat that your body no longer needs.

Start making gradual changes to your diet and exercise routine today and see the results for yourself!

Lesley Goth, PsyD Lesley Goth Coaching is the only program in the world that teaches women how to lose weight without dieting, counting calories, or spending hours at the gym. Lesley’s philosophy is simple: if you take care of your emotional needs and learn to eat mindfully, then your body will naturally find its own healthy weight. If you’d like more information on how you can work with Lesley, you can contact her here.