How much weight should someone attempt to lose in a week? There are so many diet books out there saying different things that I don’t know what to believe!
My doctor says that I need to lose 20 pounds because my blood pressure is beginning to rise with my weight. I don’t know what a realistic weekly weight loss goal is.
You have good reasons to be dizzy and overwhelmed with all the diet books littering the bookshelves! The real irony is that while we are bombarded with diet books over 60 percent of US adults — an all time high — are either overweight or obese. (I think we may be spending too much time perched on the couch exercising our eyes reading diet books rather than exercising our bodies and restraining our eating.)
According to the USDA a realistic weight loss would be about 10 percent of your current weight over about 6 months. If you are 180 pounds, that would translate into about 18 pounds over a 6-month period, or about 3 pounds a month. Losing weight at this slower rate will allow you to enjoy enough healthy foods to feel satisfied and adequately nourish your body. Check my Dieting Guidelines for the important components needed in a healthy weight loss program.
The bonus of eating a well-balanced diet producing a slower, steady weight loss is that the foods you are eating when you’re losing weight are the same healthy foods you’ll need to eat to maintain your weight loss. Also, spreading your weight loss over a 6-month period, gives you the time to make the necessary changes in your habits, such as learning to minimize non-hunger eating and exercising regularly. Taken together, eating only when hungry, and exercising will help you get the weight off but also keep it off — for the long haul. In essence, you’re mastering maintenance while you’re losing weight.
Losing weight can also help lower your blood pressure. In fact, a weight loss of as little as 10 pounds has been shown to lower high blood pressure in many overweight individuals. Learn how you can fight high blood pressure with a knife and fork.