by Zara Mohammed, Health Columnist
Published in Health on 24th June, 2019
It's totally possible to lose a significant amount of weight in as short a space of time as a single month - but that doesn't mean that you should! Let's explore the facts about safe and sustainable weight loss, and figure out how much weight you can lose in a month with a healthy diet.
You may want to lose weight because you have an important event, like a wedding, or a holiday coming up, and you want to look and feel good in your new clothes, which is why most people start thinking about dieting.
While it may be possible to shed those excess pounds in time for your big day or for your beach holiday, it's not necessarily a healthy way to lose weight, and you are unlikely to be able to keep it off in the long term.
However, losing weight quickly is a definite incentive to get started on a more long-term weight loss goal, because fast, visible results make us feel good, and help us to believe that we can actually achieve what we want to achieve with our bodies.
This article is not about attempting to lose all of the weight you want in one go in a single month, but instead it is about being realistic and setting yourself up for long term success.
After all, there is no point in working hard to drop the pounds in a month if you are only going to put on twice as much weight in the following month because your diet wasn't sustainable.
According to health nutritionists across the web, you should be aiming to lose between 4 and 8 pounds per month, or 1-2 pounds per week.
The amount you lose will depend on your body though, as the larger you are, the more quickly you will lose your weight, especially at the beginning of your diet. Don't forget that a lot of this initial weight loss will be from water retention, and is not truly fat loss.
You may think that you can lose weight more quickly than this though, and you would be correct, but unfortunately your approach to dieting would not be a healthy one and in fact by aiming to lose more than one or two pounds a week you could end up sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
This is because losing weight too quickly interferes with your body's natural metabolism.
Crash diets are notorious for causing long term damage to your metabolism, which can make it all the more difficult for you to lose weigh in the future. This is why so many people who spend their twenties and thirties crash dieting end up carrying more weight when they are older.
When you don't provide your body with enough food for energy it needs to find it's energy source from elsewhere in your body.
This can lead to your body breaking down muscle for energy, and this is what affects your metabolism, because the more muscle you lose, the fewer calories you are able to burn as muscle loss affects your body's strength and athletic performance.
Many people who crash diet regularly may also find themselves alternating between not eating enough food and then eating too much food. This is call binge eating, and it happens because your body is smart and it knows that you are not consuming enough food so it gives you cravings to encourage you to eat more and avoid starvation.
Remember, crash diets always lead to weight gain, and you will be more than likely to gain more weight than you originally lost, so it's damaging not only to your body, but also to your mind.
The best way to reduce your weight and stay slim and healthy is to change your eating habits gradually, and to also focus on improving your lifestyle. Follow these healthy dieting tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals.