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February 13, 2011

Quick Weight Loss: Not So Fast

Weight loss and weighing scaleAvoid Quick Weight Loss

Quick weight loss is not recommended for a couple of reasons.  Quick weight loss is usually associated with loss of water and muscle (protein) neither of which is advisable nor safe.  In addition, regaining the weight is more likely if weight is lost quickly.  Long-term weight loss depends on making lifestyle changes and these changes many times are overlooked by quick weight loss methods.

Long-term and safe weight loss requires making changes in eating habits, engaging in regular physical activity or exercise, and in many cases requires optimization of hormone levels, which decline as we age; a key factor in why weight loss becomes progressively more difficult as we age.

Nutrition

The best nutrition plan to lose weight is to consume a low glycemic diet while getting ample protein and limiting saturated fats.  Low glycemic foods are carbohydrates that do not cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike quickly in response to a meal.  Stay away from pre-packaged foods and soft drinks, including diet soft drinks.  Even though diet drinks may not contain sugar, in some individuals the sweet taste of the artificial sweetener can still provoke an insulin spike.  High insulin levels promote the conversion of excess calories into fat and prevent the burning of calories from fat.

Eat more frequent, but smaller meals.  This actually boosts metabolism (see “Natural Metabolism Boosters”).  Eating more frequent meals prevents the body from thinking it is being starved in which case it will slow down metabolism.  Get enough protein.  Protein also boosts metabolism and is needed for muscle development.

Exercise

Regular exercise not only burns additional calories, but the incorporation of strength training and high-intensity interval training can stimulate the production of testosterone and growth hormone.  These hormones promote muscle development and muscle burn more calories than fat facilitating the loss of weight in the form of fat (see “Exercises to Lose Weight”).

Hormones

Hormones enable the body to function more optimally.  Hormones decline with age contributing to a decline in metabolism.  The thyroid is the main hormone that regulates metabolism.   An underactive thyroid is more common than recognized, particularly in women.  Other hormones affect how calories are utilized.  DHEA, growth hormone and testosterone all help build muscle and make losing fat easier.  This is true for men and women.

Quick weight loss is seldom successful long-term. Eat better, get regular exercise, and make sure your hormones are at optimal levels.

See related articles, “How to Lose Weight”, “Best Way to Lose Weight”,  “Weight Loss Tips”, and “Weight Loss Programs”.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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