In our diet books, weight is not a primary metric. We don’t put much emphasis on weight loss. This is because it’s a hard, highly psychological topic. That said, this has become a major metric in the nutrition field, even though we know it has little (if anything) to do with weight. However, it is a good indicator of overall health and quality of life in a person. And it is a good idea to gain weight as fast as necessary to achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Let’s take a look at an example (in order to provide some context). Imagine you are 23 years old and have a BMI of 26.3. If you want to lose 10 pounds, you can lose approximately 0.1 pounds a day. If you want to lose 10 pounds, you only need approximately 8.6 pounds a day to do so.
By the way, if your BMI is 30.5 or higher, it is highly recommended to stay within a healthy range of BMI. This is because you will likely lose a bit more weight over the course of an average life span due to the decreased amount of energy you expend on every day activities (and more weight lost if you use less energy), and also because you will find that your body mass index (BMI) will begin to increase, so it is advisable to remain within a healthy range.
A few other considerations:
If you lose less than a pound a day, you can probably continue to eat the same amount, maybe cut out a couple of meals a day. If you lose more than a pound a day, you need to add at least half of the amount to your calories.
Some people are naturally heavier than others, and some people with a higher metabolism or higher energy requirements, need to eat somewhat larger amounts of food.
I think the best way to think about it: You can lose weight if your goal is to stay in good health. The more you lose over a day, the less you gain.
Let’s say you want to lose 1 pound a day, but 1 pound is an easy 1,200 calories, so 0.5 pounds would be more than enough. Now let’s say 2 pounds are needed. If you’re in this range, you need 2.5 pounds per day to lose 1 pound a day. So you start at 2 pounds / day, and you’ll need to add 1 pound a week until you reach your target.
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