(Natural News) Many weight-loss diets claim to reduce weight at least two pounds each week, and they generally deliver on their promise to the letter. But Spanish researchers warn that body fat didn’t comprise much of those lost pounds – instead, a person mostly lost water.
They advise dieters to take a consistent and patient approach to burning fat. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to losing weight.
In their recent study, the University Camilo José Cela (UCJC) researchers evaluated the amount of body fat that got burned during a physical exercise session. Dr. Juan del Coso Garrigos published his team’s findings in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Del Coso Garrigos explained that highly trained athletes burn up to 0.75 g of body fat during every minute of a moderately intensive workout session. However, the athletes only achieve the maximum rate in perfect conditions.
In comparison, the average Joe burns a maximum of 0.5 g per minute at best. So an hour’s worth of moderate exercise would only get rid of 30 g of body fat. (Related: Eat these 5 fat-burning foods to slim down without going hungry.)
Most people can only manage burning one or two pounds of body fat each month
Going by the optimistic rate of 0.5 g per minute, an ordinary person must devote 15 hours of his time to moderately intense physical exercise to shed a single pound of body fat. If he works out for one hour daily, he may expect to lose up to two pounds (one kilogram) of fat each month.
The more time a person devotes to working out every day, the more body fat he loses monthly.
At the same time, a dieter may also reduce the amount of food he eats every day. Doing so forces the body to dig into some of its fat reserves for energy.
Despite the possibility of losing more than two pounds of fat each month, del Coso Garrigos warned that pulling it off is difficult and rare.
Furthermore, the faster a person sheds weight, the smaller the amount of body fat found in that lost mass. Only 25 percent of the eight to 10 pounds of monthly weight loss promised by many diets turn out to be fat.
The rest is muscle tissue and water, the last thing anyone wants to lose. Understandably, it gets hard to keep losing so much weight so quickly.
Take the slow and steady route to weight loss
Therefore, experts recommend the slower but surer weight loss plan with a monthly goal of burning one to two pounds at most. This approach protects muscle tissue and maintains the person’s metabolic rate.
By taking weight loss slow and steady, a person will also come up with good behaviors and habits that will benefit him in the future. Finally, he avoids the negative effects of the dieting cycle, such as the yo-yo cycle that hampers the person’s health and self-confidence.
Fortunately, getting rid of one or two pounds every month is within reach for most people. Start by doing one or two of the following tips that seem easy, as well as one challenging option.
Do not eat in front of the computer or television. Switch to smaller plates that hold less food.
Reduce or eliminate unhealthy food like starchy foods. Instead, add more vegetables, prebiotic foods, and probiotic foods to the diet.
Settle on what will be the next meal early on. Then determine how much to cook or order.
Finally, after losing several pounds, wait a bit before resuming the weight loss program. Time is on your side.