What is safe weight loss?

What is safe weight loss?

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The rate of safe weight loss for each child depends on many factors. For children who are only mildly or moderately overweight and are still growing in height, simply maintaining their weight at the current level may allow them to "grow into their weight" and come down to a healthy BMI (body mass index). Remember that BMI is weight divided by height squared, so an increase in height of only a few inches, with weight remaining the same, will lower the BMI greatly. To calculate your BMI, use the BMI Calculator.

What is the Rate of Safe Weight Loss?

If an overweight child has stopped growing, or is still growing but is very overweight, some doctors and dietitians recommend losing 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) per week as a rate of safe weight loss. Others recommend losing only one pound (1/2 kg) per month.

Your doctor can access your need to lose weight and recommend a safe rate of weight loss for you. Please consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a weight loss program. And if you are undertaking weight loss, it is important to weigh yourself at least once a week, so that you do not lose more than the amount recommended by your doctor.

How to Design a Safe Weight Loss Strategy

Once you know the rate of safe weight loss for you, it’s time to choose the path you will take in order to get there.  It’s important to note that there is no single strategy that is perfect for everyone.  That said there are some great steps you can take to find the steps that will be best for you. 

Remember that your goal for a safe weight loss strategy isn’t just to drop the pounds.  It’s to achieve a healthy body mass and then to maintain it over time. Your strategy needs to be a long term one, or it will more than likely result in the return of the pounds.  In fact, it could potentially cause you to gain even more weight than your initial loss.

Talk to Your Doctor

Your first step in designing a healthy and safe weight loss program is to talk to your doctor. Your physician will take your medical history, healthy rate of weight loss, lifestyle, and expectations into account.  Together, you will be able to examine various parts of your life and alter them to realistically change them so that they will contribute to healthy weight management.

Calorie Restriction

Your food intake is the most important factor deciding your rate of safe weight loss.  That said, dieting safely doesn’t mean slashing as many calories as you possibly can.  Instead, you need to identify the best range to make sure you receive the nutrients you need without exceeding a number that would lead your body to burn stored body fat.  Your doctor can help you to decide what that range should be. 

Then, you can use a can use a nutrition tracker to help you to understand the foods you’re choosing and eat the right portion sizes throughout the day.

Regular Physical Activity

Being regularly active is a central part of what is a safe weight loss strategy.  It can help you to burn through calories you eat, but it also plays a more important long-term role.  While you’re losing weight, building a habit toward regular physical activity helps to set you up to maintain the pounds you lose.  Research shows that the right caloric intake is vital for losing weight but exercising regularly plays the largest role in keeping lost pounds from coming back (provided you don’t slip into old eating habits).