Today weight loss programs can be separated into two categories. Those that promise fast results through supplementation and calorie restriction and those that focus on improving overall health resulting in slower but more permanent results. Now I understand that the majority of weight loss programs promote fast results with their sexy and appealing advertising with reports of people losing 20-30 pounds in a month, however, do you never hear about that same person who eventually quit the program and ended up gaining all of the weight back? Ha! Why would a company want to do that? Well the fact of the matter is the majority of these fast results programs fail for long term results, but because of their appeal and numerous options available we find ourselves jumping from one program to the next.
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This brings me to the next question, what is healthy weight loss? I would describe healthy weight loss as a “side effect” of making lifestyle choices that promotes health. As someone becomes healthier, they will lose weight! It may not be as rapid, but there is a better chance that it will be permanent. As a general rule, losing 1-3 pounds per week is considered healthy. In the first couple of weeks this amount may be elevated due to loss of excess water.
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Another simple way to determine if weight loss is healthy is by measuring your waist to hip ratio. Using a measuring tape, take two measurements: one around your belt line and another around your naval. Next divide the measurement taken at your waist (naval) and your hip (belt line). This ratio should decrease as you begin to lose weight! Seeing a decrease in this ratio show that you are losing inches of belly fat, which is a better indication of healthy weight loss than weight alone.
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