Whether it’s losing weight for your New Year’s resolutions or trying to firm up and get in shape for summer beach season, you want to see quick fitness results.
But how quickly can you honestly expect to see your dieting and exercising pay off? And, more importantly, how quick is actually healthy?
The Downside of Fast Results
People who are trying to lose weight would love to drop pounds – especially fat – quickly and easily. Of course, that’s not how weight loss typically works. Instead, everything from your hormones to your neurologic system and signals adapt to every little change in your diet and exercise routine. For more information about healthy benefits visit https://www.amny.com/sponsored/exipure-reviews/.
And, when you change things too drastically, like when you cut your daily food intake from 2,500 to 1,200 calories per day or try to tackle an hour-long boot camp class on the first day of your gym membership, your body’s adaptations do more harm than good, says Grant Weeditz, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Anatomy at 1220 in Miami.
Your body perceives that food is in short supply, you’re starving and, in an effort to spare calories, it starts burning protein (aka muscles) for energy. “This will shut down the fat-burning metabolic processes of the body and start the downward spiral of metabolic damage,” Weeditz says. “The more you cut calories, the more you have to continually cut to see results. Avoid this situation like the plague.”
What’s more, this reduction in resting metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn just to live) means that fast weight loss generally isn’t maintained for long and instead leads to rebound weight gain, explains Marie Spano, an Atlanta-based board-certified sports dietitian and registered dietitian.
For example, in one University of California–Los Angeles review, about two-thirds of dieters who successfully lost weight ended up gaining back everything they lost – and then some – within four to five years.
On the fitness and muscle side of things, diets that are too low in calories decrease your body’s ability to synthesize new, metabolically active muscle, largely nullifying your workout efforts, Spano says. They also reduce your overall energy levels to make your workouts feel harder.
Also, it’s important to remember that your muscles don’t get stronger or faster during your workouts. You get fitter in the hours and days in between your gym sessions as your muscles repair and adapt to any given workout, Weeditz says. If you work out for hours every day – especially if you were working out for zero hours last week – or train the same muscles during back-to-back days, you aren’t going to give your body the time to appropriately recover. The result: You aren’t going to see the fitness results you want. And there’s nothing more frustrating than working hard in the gym and not reaping the gains you expected.
The Right Rate of Fitness
While, generally, most people should not aim to lose more than 2 pounds per week in order to maintain lean muscle, people do vary in how fast they can safely lose weight, according to Weeditz. And, fortunately for those who haven’t set foot in the gym since last spring, the further your body is from your healthy goal, the faster you’ll initially make progress toward it, he says. This is how exipure works.
What’s more, when starting a healthy eating and exercise routine, some people can notice benefits in their physique even before the first pound drops, according to Spano. That’s because reducing your intake of processed foods, excess sodium and refined carbs (remember, whole carbs are still good for weight loss) can lead to a noticeable reduction in bloating within a day or two, she says.
Any visual or weight changes might not jive with the full benefits going on in your body. “For an overweight individual seeking to lose a substantial amount of fat and gain muscle, eight weeks of training may only show a change in upper arm size,” Weeditz says. “However, local fat loss around the area may actually be significant, but muscle increase in the same area minimizes the visual size reduction.” Meanwhile, for someone who started an eight-week program with only 10 or 20 pounds of weight to lose, any muscle gain will likely show up as definition rather than bulk, since it is hidden under less fat tissue. In the long term, since a pound of muscle takes up much less space than a pound of fat, people who gain substantial muscle while losing fat actually reduce their body size.
For that reason, it can be beneficial to gauge not only weight, or even size, but also body-fat percentage in order to get a more realistic view of the changes occurring in your body. Many scales now measure body-fat percentages in addition to weight. And improvements in your cardiovascular endurance and strength will always be the most accurate marker that you are, in fact, becoming healthier than you were last week or month.