Most of us have heard that losing weight quickly can be dangerous to our health. Rapid weight loss is continually promoted by many diets, claiming to help you lose up to 10 pounds a week. These diets use your desire to quickly reach your goal weight before your reunion, wedding or other important event to lure you in and purchase them. However, most doctors recommend against such drastic measures, and say that slow and steady weight loss is the most effective — and healthy — way to reach your goal weight.

You may be left wondering exactly how much you can lose in a week and still keep your body in optimal shape. While this can vary from person to person, depending on your starting weight, your lifestyle, or activity level — and average safe rate of loss is one to two pounds per week. If you are starting at a higher weight, one that would be considered obese or morbidly obese, it may be safer to lose at even double that rate. At least for the first few weeks, or until your body starts to naturally slow down the rate of loss.

The reason for this is because most overweight individuals carry excess water weight. When most people start a diet plan, they will notice a higher weight loss the first week than all the others. This is the extra water weight being eliminated from the body. If you are severely overweight, or morbidly obese, it may take a few weeks of weight loss for your body to flush out all the toxins from your liver and kidneys. Taking in lot of extra water will help aid in this process. And because those who have more weight to lose have more fat mass, they run a lower risk of burning off muscle fibers when losing weight.

Smaller individuals who lose weight too fast don’t give their body the proper time it needs to adjust to operating at a different metabolism. This can mess with your energy levels, hormone production, and more. Rapid weight loss at more than an average of two pounds per weeks is not recommended for most individuals. Visit with your physician for a better idea of what a safe rate of loss is for you.

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