At Timeless Wellness Clinic in Pleasanton, CA, we understand how confusing and frustrating your weight loss journey can be. We also understand how important it is to your health and quality of life to maintain a healthy weight. That’s why we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about losing weight, including how much weight you can lose safely per month.
Healthy Weight Loss: How Much Weight Should You Aim To Shed Per Month?
According to the CDC, it is healthy for most people to lose four to eight pounds per month. This information is extrapolated from their findings that it is safe to lose a pound or two per week for most individuals. To lose one pound per week, you need to consume 500 fewer calories than your body currently needs for weight maintenance. Extrapolating this, you need to create a 1,000-calorie deficit every day for a week to lose two pounds of fat.
How Many Calories Do I Need To Maintain My Weight?
To know how many calories your body burns every day, you need a metabolism evaluation performed by a medical expert. One helpful number you need to know to achieve successful weight loss is your resting metabolic rate. This painless test takes only around 20 minutes to complete and uses indirect calorimetry to calculate how many calories you burn at rest based on oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide expulsion while motionless.
To prepare for this test, you will need to fast and refrain from exercising for roughly three to four hours. Knowing your basic metabolic rate is also necessary for a safe, effective weight loss journey. Finding your basic metabolic rate requires a calculation that includes a number of variables, including your activity level, age, sex, weight, and height. This number advises you on the minimum number of calories you need per day to maintain your current weight.
Can Walking Help Me Lose Weight?
Yes! Walking absolutely has the potential to help you lose weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you can expect to burn roughly 100 calories for every mile you walk. If you want to burn 500 calories per day through exercise, all you need to do is find enough time each day to walk five miles.
For example, you may want to walk to the bus stop and back home. Alternatively, you can go for a walk on your lunch break and stroll through your neighborhood after work. You don’t have to walk five miles at once.
Do I Need to Subscribe to a Diet Program?
No, you don’t need to join a diet program to lose weight. You don’t need to go to meetings and step on a scale in front of strangers. You don’t need to eschew real food in favor of meal replacement shakes and bars. You can lose weight at home by eating sensible portions of real food. You can even eat pizza, burgers, cake, and other processed foods and lose weight. You just have to make sure these foods fit into your calorie budget for the day.
As a general rule of thumb, half of your plates should be made up of fibrous, low-carb vegetables. Roughly one-quarter of your plates should comprise lean protein. Low-carb veggies and lean protein are nutritionally dense, filling, and low in calories. Planning your meals around vegetables and lean protein will help you feel full and meet your nutritional needs without weighing you down with carbs and unhealthy fats.
Are Meal Replacement Bars Healthy?
No, meal replacement bars are not generally considered healthy. Similarly, protein shakes or meal replacement shakes are not generally considered healthy. They may have a lot of vitamins and minerals added to them, but they are also often high in sugar or unhealthy artificial sweetener. Furthermore, meal replacement bars and shakes are often high in unhealthy fats. If you struggle to get your RDA of micronutrients, a dietician can help.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Losing Weight?
One of the most compelling benefits of losing weight is chronic pain relief. Belly fat releases chemicals that irritate tissues throughout your body, often resulting in inflammation. For example, if you are overweight or obese, you may have inflammation in your ankles, knees, hips, or pelvis resulting in painful arthritis.
Losing 5% of your body weight may reduce abdominal fat enough to stop this inflammation and ease your pain significantly. It is important to note that inflammation doesn’t just cause painful joints. It can also lead to the development of such serious health concerns as a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, reducing inflammation by reducing belly fat will mitigate your risk of serious health problems in the future.
Improved Insulin Resistance
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, losing just five to 7.5% of your body weight may be enough to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, losing approximately 5% of your body weight may be enough to significantly reduce the amount of insulin you need to take every day.
The reason obesity often leads to diabetes is that fat cells, especially fat cells in the abdominal region, release chemicals that reduce the efficacy of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that is responsible for transporting carbohydrates from your bloodstream to storage in your muscle cells for future use as fuel. Even though your pancreas will ramp up insulin production, it is possible for blood glucose levels to get too high.
Improved Cholesterol Levels
At all times, you have two types of cholesterol circulating throughout your bloodstream. One type of cholesterol always present in your body is LDL, a type of cholesterol that is bad for your health. The more LDL cholesterol you have, the greater your risk of a heart attack or another serious medical consequence becomes.
The other type of cholesterol always present in your body is HDL. This type of cholesterol is good for you because its job is to clean the HDL out of your blood. Often, the simplest way to reduce LDL levels is to take medication, like Lipitor. It is also possible to reduce bad cholesterol levels by eating healthier foods. However, the only effective way to raise HDL levels is to reduce your body fat percentage significantly.
Triglycerides are special fat cells that circulate throughout your bloodstream. They are responsible for transporting energy to other fat cells in your body for storage so the energy can be used in the event of a caloric deficit. For optimal health, your triglyceride levels should be approximately 150 mg per deciliter of blood.
That said, people who suffer from obesity or are overweight often have triglyceride levels greater than 200 mg per deciliter of blood. This increases the risk of several serious medical conditions, including a cardiac event or stroke.
Improved Mental Health
Losing weight can also improve your mental health significantly. Many people who suffer from obesity suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a result of their obesity. OSA is known to cause insomnia, a condition that poses a number of risks, including an elevated risk of anxiety and depression. If you suffer from insomnia caused by OSA, losing enough weight to treat your OSA can also make a huge difference in any mental health problems you have.
Blood Pressure Reduction
Another compelling benefit of losing weight is a significant reduction in blood pressure. Specifically, if you lose 5% of your body weight, you can expect your blood pressure to reduce by an astonishing five points. This may be enough that you no longer have to take medication every day to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. It also means that you may be able to increase your intake of caffeine, sodium, and other chemicals safely.
Schedule Your Metabolism Evaluation Today
It is generally considered safe to lose four to eight pounds of fat per month. If you’re struggling to lose that much, your caloric intake may be too high because your daily calorie burn may be lower than you think it is. To find out how many calories you need to consume each day to achieve your goals, you need a metabolism evaluation. Contact us today at Timeless Wellness Clinic in Pleasanton, CA to schedule an appointment, and we’ll illuminate your path for you.