If you’re about to dive into a cut, there are many advantages of losing weight slowly. During any type of weight loss journey, it’s natural to feel eager to lose weight fast – especially since we’re all a little impatient to visibly see results.
Time and time again, many people search article after article looking for ways to lose weight quickly. We seek quick fixes that give us instant gratification, no matter how hard they are to sustain.
However, the many benefits of losing weight slowly need to be addressed. Not only is slow weight loss far healthier, but it is also far safer.
Let’s get stuck in.
Why is slow weight loss better than rapid weight loss?
When we decide to lose weight, cutting fat can feel like hard work. And no matter what these yo-yo dieters tell us, losing weight quickly isn’t the best route to take. But why?
Although slow weight loss may feel like you’re waiting for the magic to kick in, there are actually many benefits of losing weight slowly.
Unlike quick-fix diets, slow weight loss helps to improve your lifestyle on an ongoing basis. It isn’t about eating the bare minimum for two weeks preparing for a holiday, only to pack on the pounds a few weeks later.
Losing weight slowly is not only about improving your lifestyle, but your relationship (and often understanding) of food.
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So, what are the advantages of losing weight slowly?
While losing weight slowly requires a little patience, you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
Here are just eight benefits of slow weight loss. Believe me, there are plenty more.
1. Slow weight loss helps to maintain a healthy weight
Sure, quick-fix diets will get you shedding the pounds in an initial couple of weeks, but this simply isn’t sustainable long term.
While you may notice that your pants fit better right at the start, you’re likely to pack the weight back on (and then some) as soon as you get bored of such a restrictive diet. Losing fat quickly can also slow down your metabolism, resulting in a quick halt to your weight loss plan.
Also Read: How to measure your body fat percentage
Whereas if you opt for losing weight slowly, your metabolism remains efficient, allowing your body to lose weight at a steadier rate.
2. Slow weight loss is safer
When we go to extreme lengths to lose weight, there can often be complications such as:
- Nutrient deficiency
- Heart attacks
Not only are you pushing your body through something extreme, but a rapid change to your diet in order to lose weight quickly won’t be beneficial long term.
If you try to practice an incredibly strict or drastic diet long term, you could be denying your body of crucial nutrients.
3. Losing weight slowly helps prevent muscle loss
By now, we all know how our bodies work in relation to burning calories during our workouts. If you opt for a strict diet strategy, your body could quickly turn to muscle cells for energy if it is receiving insufficient calories, losing you those gains you’ve worked so hard for.
Instead, taking the route of slow weight loss via a diet that reduces processed foods and encourages high-protein and healthy fats can help you to achieve a leaner figure and maintain muscle mass.
4. Why lose weight slowly? Avoid excess skin!
When we lose weight too fast, our skin doesn’t have enough time to adjust, resulting in loose skin. Although your skin is an elastic organ, it needs some time to adjust to body mass loss.
Losing weight slowly will allow your body to adjust to these changes, including your skin, helping you to avoid those saggy, loose flaps!
5. Healthier hair
Many of us don’t realise that rapid weight loss can actually result in hair loss, too. When we follow a diet that’s too restrictive, our bodies are deprived of crucial vitamins, minerals and fatty acids – which are needed for keeping our hair healthy.
Also Read: How to build muscle
Looking to keep those luscious locks? Lose weight slowly.
6. Reduces fatigue
I’m sorry to keep banging on about it, but a restrictive diet will be depriving your body of the nutrients it needs, leading to fatigue.
When your body is running on empty, there’s little chance you’ll be able to perform in the gym or follow any sort of active lifestyle. If you want to keep those energy levels up, slow weight loss is the way to go.
7. You set the pace
As we touched upon briefly earlier, rapid weight loss can affect your metabolism.
When you opt for losing weight slowly instead, you keep the pace of your metabolism intact, by keeping to a slow and steady approach.
Following a super restrictive diet can lead your body to believe it is starving, which can actually cause it to hold onto fats even more.
8. Mental health
Many of us don’t consider the mental health side effects that rapid weight loss can bring. Sure, we have our eyes set on our skinny-selves at the end of a diet, but we quickly forget how much we are pushing ourselves to get there.
Slow weight loss encourages building a positive relationship with food and your body, helping to prevent mental health side effects that can come with extreme dieting.
How to slowly lose weight
Good nutrition has a huge part to play in losing weight slowly. While we’d always recommend pairing your cut with some strength training, following a healthy diet is key.
But how do you lose weight slowly? Here’s how.
Get into a calorie deficit
No, I’m not talking about those crazy fad diets.
Weight gain happens when we’re eating more calories than the number we’re burning. So in order to lose weight, we need to be cutting our food energy intake by anything between 500 to 1000 calories daily.
Slow and steady really does with the race – and keep you lean long term. Making this type of calorie cut will amount to 3500 to 7000 fewer calories per week.
Get more protein
When you get plenty of protein in your diet, it keeps you feeling full for longer. When we consume protein, it influences hunger and satiety hormones, meaning we can still cut our calorie intake and feel full.
Plus, when we digest protein, their higher thermic effect of food makes the body use more calories to digest them. So not only can protein help you stay on track with your calorie intake, but it can also help burn more and boost your metabolism.
Cut out booze and soda
Without realising, many of us drink our calories. Whether it’s hidden empty calories and high sugar in soda, energy drinks or alcohol, these liquids can be playing havoc with your weight loss.
Cutting out alcohol and sugary drinks can help support slow weight loss. Instead, opt for unsweetened tea and coffee and replace soda or alcohol with water where possible.
Switch simple carbs for complex ones
Frequently referred to as ‘refined carbs’, when we talk about simple carbs we’re talking about baked goods, white bread, cakes, sodas, juices and pasta.
There are several issues here. Not only are these foods incredibly processed, but they also don’t leave us feeling full for very long. We quickly indulge in sugary treats, but find ourselves feeling hungry a short time after.
Also Read: How to calculate your BMR and TDEE
One of the many benefits of losing weight slowly is building a relationship with complex carbs. Not only are they packed with important nutrients, but they are also good for your general health, fiber intake and for keeping us full. These type of foods include:
- Wholegrains, such as anything made from whole-wheat flour
- Brown and wild rice
- Starchy veggies
- Fruit, such as bananas, berries and apples
Get plenty of veg in your diet
Unlike rapid (unsafe and unhealthy) weight loss, one of the advantages of losing weight slowly is simply being able to enjoy healthy foods.
Drastic diets often feel like starvations, which can quickly make us feel demotivated, fatigued and pretty damn fed up. Losing weight slowly means we can enjoy large amounts of vegetables without impacting our cutting phase calorie intake.
Ready to lose weight slowly and safely?
If you follow the advice above, you’ll be on the right track for losing weight slowly, healthily and safely.
During a cut, it’s important to pay attention to your calorie intake while building a healthy, positive relationship with food. Opt for wholegrains, complex carbs and plenty of water to support your cutting goals.
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