Of course, slow and steady would be the smarter approach to weight loss or maintenance. But if you are reading this blog, you very likely have also struggled with your weight in the past. Childhood patterns, body type, genetics, emotional health and countless other issues play in to why we eat what we eat and how it affects our weight.
I grew up in a household where we had a sweet dessert virtually every night of my childhood. It was either ice cream, a candy bar, or a 1/4 pound of M&M's (my parents would buy the 1 pound bag and divide it among the four of us). In addition, I've never had any interest in athletics. By early adulthood, I steadily gained weight each year to the present.
I eat "like an American". Junk food is cheap, tasty and available everywhere. Fast food restaurants offer "combo meals" and most other restaurants in America provide huge portions. At home, packaged foods (cereal, chili, frozen foods) are pretty fattening. And I eat it all, just as advertised.
My curse? When I eat like an American, I gain weight.
It is that simple. I simply don't burn enough daily calories to burn off my intake when I eat what I want to eat.
But I know a magic trick! A trick that catches people by surprise.
My magic trick? When I watch what I eat, I drop weight VERY quickly!
How quick? How much weight can I lose in a week? It is all about calorie-deficits. If I eat less than I burn, then I lose.
I only burn about 3,000 calories per day just walking around, doing my job, etc. So, if I choose to eat lots of veggies, some protein and very limited carbs and keep my calories below 3,000, then I will lose weight.
2,000 calories per day means a loss of approx 2 pounds per week. 1,500 calories per day means a loss of approx 3 pounds per week.
You can eat a lot of veggies, egg whites, yogurt and still have room for dairy, meat and some fats and be at 1,500 cals per day. A foot long Subway sandwich (ham, no cheese, vinagrette dressing and veggies) is right around 500 calories and is very filling. Is that a healthy combination of food groups and adequate volume to simply eat something like that 3x per day? Definitely.
My doctor agrees. LiveStrong.com agrees. It is healthy as long as you are not also doing extensive exercise.
Exercise is important, but I MUST eat each day. So, it is more convenient to control what I eat than to instantly carve out a daily exercise regimen...that will come in time.
We all can do this same magic trick. When we choose our meals carefully, we will lose pounds. At my weight, I want to do it quickly because the greater health risk is not rapid-weight loss, it is obesity.