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Fast Weight Loss

A typical weight loss program aims for fat loss in the region of 1-2 pounds per week (1/2 to 1 kg). The reason for this is to prevent subsequent weight gain due to the body suffering a rapid lowering in metabolism and to prevent loss of muscle.

However, there is a place for faster weight loss in certain circumstances. Fast weight loss is only really appropriate for those who are very overweight. Any rapid weight loss regime is not appropriate for those only looking to lose 2-25 pounds.

Do Any Fast Weight Loss Plans Work?

There are a number of quick weight loss programs that attempt to provide a nutritional balance supplied by a limited number of calories.

One such program Medifast - this is a successful program used by a number of doctors for many years. Weight loss is in the region of 2-5 pounds per week.

There are a number of other diets that fall into the category of a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) - this is where daily calorie intake is 800 calories or less. These diets - such as the Cambridge Diet or OptiFast really do need to be medically supervised due to the possible side effects.

These diets typically consist of meal replacement products and can only be sustained in the short term.

What Are The Risks Of Quick Weight Loss?

Most diets that claim fast weight loss are very low in calories. Unless properly balanced and supervised, there can be nutritional deficiencies that can cause potential health problems.

Along with extremely restrictive calories often comes fatigue and irritability, and even other issues such as constipation due to a lack of fiber.

The other issue is a lowered metabolism that can begin a pattern of yoyo dieting. Depending on your goals, fast weight loss can also include loss of muscle mass (catabolism) as well as fat - this is not desirable.

Who Can Use a Fast Weight Loss Program?

Weight loss programs that offer rapid weight loss are generally only suitable for people who are obese (a BMI of 30 and above). A person who is only mildly overweight will only really cause themselves problems in the long run.

Some VLCD's need a doctors authorization, but other fast weight loss diets (such as the previously mentioned Medifast) may be done without this.

What About Claims By Popular Diets?

Many popular diets offer a 2 week "induction" phase during which weight loss is substantial. However this is only really due to a severe restriction of carbohydrates where most that is lost is typically fluid or water weight.

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