Should I lose more than 2lbs per week?
Most of us have heard of the general safe rule of losing 1-2lbs per week. However, we are hurried folk who just want to lose all the weight, all the time for much quicker results. This is how we lead ourselves to eating only 500 calories a day and wonder why were still not burning fat. So in this blog I plan to give an explanation of what our body goes through when we enter something called “starvation mode”.
A diet is usually defined by the restriction of calories (at least for those wanting to lose weight/fat). A pound of fat bears about 3,500 calories. Therefore, to burn a single pound of fat a week, our bodies need to have a 3,500 calorie deficit for that week – which equates to a 500 calorie deficit per day. If you do the math, a deficit of 7,000 calories will get you to lose 2lbs per week. Problem there is that you must burn (through exercise and/or dieting) up to 1,000 calories each day which can be unsafe. Anymore than that and your body enters starvation mode.
Starvation mode is when your body enters a panic after consuming less calories than your body needs at a significant level. This causes your metabolism (metabolic rate) to lower which leads to a minimal requirement of calories for your body to function properly. The lower your metabolism is, the slower it burns calories which causes you to burn fat or lose weight at a much slower pace or ultimately not at all.
In addition to limiting your ability to burn fat through a low calorie diet, you may experience a loss of muscle mass. When your body enters starvation mode, it begins to use muscle proteins as energy since there are no carbohydrates or fats readily available. Muscle proteins are amino acids that are found in our muscles, so using them as fuel for daily bodily function strips them from the muscles that need them the most – hence muscle loss. Additionally, losing muscle mass causes our metabolism to slow down even more preventing efficient weight loss and causing our bodies to store fat for future energy expenditure.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to lose weight safely and efficiently, aim for a steady 1-2 pound loss per week. To attain this kind of weight loss, remain at a standard 500-1000 calorie deficit per day. In addition, incorporate CrossFit into your life – that way you don’t have to lower your food consumption too much. A steady exercise and diet plan will keep your metabolism in check and help you shed fat rather than overall weight or muscle.
For more information concerning diet and exercise, come visit CrossFit Equality to speak with our staff and check out our facility. Click HERE to schedule a Free No Sweat Intro! If you’re just looking for nutrition help, click HERE to check out our Nutrition Programs. For any more questions, send us a message on our FB Page, we’ll be glad to answer!