Setting Yourself Realistic Weight Loss Goals
Why it's vital to set yourself sensible weight loss goals
It's a common mistake to set yourself an unrealistically rapid weight loss target. Most nutritionists recommend you lose no more than 2lb a week - this is a safe and achievable pace that will give you long-lasting results. It's very easy to let the urge to lose weight quickly overtake your rationale - but remember that weight gain has most likely crept up on us slowly, so we should therefore expect that weight loss will work the same way.
The body doesn't like to lose weight, it wants to be stable and comfortable. If you cut calories too drastically the body will sense quite a dramatic feeling of shock and is more likely to struggle and/or resist shedding weight.
If you crash diet your body will go into 'famine mode' and your metabolic rate will slow right down to avoid expending too many precious calories. When your crash diet finishes you'll immediately pile any weight back on, as your metabolism has become inefficient. Use sensible exercise and nutrition to ensure long-term weight loss. You should be aiming for absolutely NO LESS than 1,000 calories per day (after exercise), and ideally should be eating 1,200-1,400 calories daily.
If you don't eat sufficient calories and carry on with intensive exercise, you are taking your body past the point of happy functioning. Your body will warn you that it is struggling with the low level of calorie intake by exhibiting symptoms such as dizziness and shaking.
This shows you are entering a state known as hypoglycaemia.
Hypoglycaemia is where the body fails to have enough sugar in the blood stream (through insufficient calorie intake) for basic functioning and starts to struggle. The next stage after dizziness and shaking can be a hypoglycaemic coma, so if you experience any of these symptoms listen to the message your body is giving you and EAT MORE!
Stalled weight loss
You may think you're eating adequately to support your level of physical activity, but if you're training very hard and your weight loss has stalled, it's probably because you're not consuming enough for your needs! Those who play a lot of sport, or are training for a race may experience this problem.
It's vital to remember that the body shuts down when it experiences shock (i.e. insufficient fuel sources) and this directly affects the body's ability to burn fat! Try to provide your body with more protein sources, such as fish and pulses, and more sleep. This will promote recovery, allow your metabolic rate and fat-burning mechanisms to function normally, and take your body out of shock.