Let’s say that you are one of the millions of people seeking to lose weight this year. You may be wondering what the right way to lose weight safely is and what realistic goals you can hope to achieve. Being prudent in pursuing weight loss is a good choice, as many fad diets and unrealistic goals can result in unhealthy and counterproductive habits. We’ll be going over realistic goals and safe ways to lose weight.
What is Safe Weight Loss?
The importance of safe weight loss can be found in the potential dangers of unsafe weight loss, which can include anemia, scurvy, hypothyroidism, and nutrient deficiency. These can come from losing too much weight too fast or from excluding certain foods from your diet. For example, hypothyroidism can be caused by intaking too little iodine in your diet, and scurvy can be caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet.
Safe weight loss means losing weight at a sustainable rate and not causing any nutritional deficiencies in the process.
Unsafe Weight Loss
There are numerous purported weight loss solutions that are actually quite unsafe and unhealthy. These methods should be avoided at all costs when trying to lose weight. The way in which these methods are unhealthy ranges from simply promoting an unhealthy relationship with food to being explicitly dangerous due to nutritional deficiencies they can cause.
These are diets that propose to facilitate weight loss through the elimination of a particular food or category of food, up to all but a very specific food. An example is a diet in which you eat nothing but salads. These types of diets are not only far less effective than the methods listed previously in this article, but they are particularly unsafe. Eliminating all but a few foods from your diet can cause significant nutrient deficiencies at best and promote unhealthy eating psychology, relationship to food, or even promote eating disorders.
A cleanse is a type of weight loss methodology that claims to clean your body of toxins or something similar through the application of an extremely restrictive dietary structure. A common cleanse is one in which you eat nothing but water and cayenne for seven days. This is not only not effective as a long-term weight loss plan, but it is extremely unhealthy to severely limit your diet for an extended period of time. Not eating anything but a single low-nutrient food for several days can cause all sorts of short-term problems, such as dizziness and faintness, as well as long-term problems, such as nutrient deficiency.
This is a surgical procedure in which a chemical called deoxycholate or phosphatidylcholine, or a mixture of the two, is injected into the body under the skin (subcutaneously) in order to facilitate fat loss. These chemicals are what is called a lipolytic agent or an agent that causes fat cell disruption and death. This is meant to result in fat loss in the chosen area for treatment. This fat loss method can have some incredibly serious side effects, such as scarring, skin discoloration, and knots under the skin. Additionally, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has cautioned against performing this procedure.
Safe Weight Loss
There are a number of safe ways to lose body fat, specifically and weight in general.
Diet & Exercise
The most reliable fat-loss solution that exists is proper diet and exercise. In order to lose weight, you need to intake fewer calories (a calorie is a unit of energy) than you are expending daily. This creates a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit causes you to be in a negative energy balance, which is when you are intaking fewer calories than you are expending. If you are in a negative energy balance/caloric deficit, you will inevitably lose body fat. The best way to lose body fat with regard to diet and exercise is to track your daily caloric intake. You would typically use your height and weight to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), then multiply that by a constant representing activity level to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is how much energy in calories you spend each day, and if you eat fewer calories than this, you will lose body fat. There are plenty of online calculators that can calculate your BMR and TDEE for you, so all that remains for you to do is track your daily food intake to make sure it is below your TDEE. There are many apps and online resources that will track your daily food intake for you.
Occasionally weight gain and fat retention are the results of mental health issues. For example, binge eating disorder is a mental disorder that can lead to obesity. Even if a mental condition isn’t necessarily the cause, many people gain weight or are unable to maintain a healthy weight because they have an unhealthy psychological relationship with food. They oftentimes comfort themselves or reward themselves with food.
For these reasons, therapy is a viable option for weight loss for many people. A therapist will help you get to the root of the problem and address why you are overeating, and will consequently help you lose body fat. Therapy can be a very helpful tool in your weight loss journey.
These are a type of medications that can cause increased satiety and fullness when eating. GLP-1 agonist medications imitate a hormone called incretin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety, thereby increasing fullness and decreasing hunger. This results in weight loss through caloric restriction being far easier, as the person is not as hungry and feels significantly fuller from the same quantity of food.
Individuals will be less hungry and remain full for longer while on this medication, though they will still have to adjust their eating habits in order to lose body fat. However, unless the eating issue is purely psychological, this will be far easier to do, as the cravings for food and general hunger will be significantly diminished.
Cryolipolysis (Fat Freezing)
Fat freezing, also called cryolipolysis, is a medical procedure in which fat cells in your body are exposed to freezing temperatures in order to kill them and reduce overall body fat. This is done with the use of a cryolipolysis device, which freezes the fat cells in a specific part of your body but leaves the skin cells intact. Fat freezing is an FDA-approved medical technique, and it is typically administered in a doctor’s office or outpatient facility.
The purpose of fat freezing is to cause localized fat loss around particular areas of the body for aesthetic reasons. However, there is a known complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, in which the amount of fat in the area treated actually increases. For this reason, this treatment is riskier than other cosmetic interventions, such as laser lipolysis.
This cosmetic procedure involves the use of radio waves to heat fat deposits in the body until they are destroyed. The process is similar to other types of cosmetic procedures in that the patient is prepared, and the area to be treated is marked off. Then with the application of a device one centimeter from the body, radio waves are fired into the fat deposit. The radio waves pass through the skin harmlessly and then heat up the fat inside the body, eventually killing the fat cells in the treated area.
This is a permanent fat loss solution, as the fat cells are dead and gone afterward. Typically, a cooling device is utilized at the same time to keep the skin at a comfortable temperature during the procedure. This procedure is relatively side effect free, with the most common side effects being redness and heating in the affected area, as well as some tissue tenderness.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure by which adipose tissue (body fat) is physically sucked out of the body and removed. This procedure is performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia, depending on a variety of factors. The majority of liposuctions are to improve the aesthetic appeal of a person’s body, and it is this type of liposuction that we will focus on in this article. In liposuction, the fat is sucked out of the body by negative pressure and thereby permanently removed. This is used by many individuals as an easy way to lose body fat and improve appearance.
There are several different ways to perform the procedure, but, in general, a cannula is introduced to a fat deposit in the body, and that cannula is attached to an aspirator that applies negative pressure through the cannula. This is moved around the fat deposit, and the fat is sucked through the cannula and into the aspirator by the use of negative pressure, permanently removing the fat from the body.
Liposuction is considered a very safe surgery, and thousands of procedures are performed each year in the United States alone. There are certain complications that can occur with liposuction, just like with any surgical procedure. However, liposuction is generally considered very safe by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
This procedure, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser to the fat areas you wish to lose.
How Laser Lipo Works
Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. With laser lipo, the technician will target the cell with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, reaches the targeted fat cells, and bores a tiny pore into the cellular membrane. In addition to creating the small hole, the laser emulsifies (melts) the lipids inside the cell, which allows them to seep through the pore.
The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body.
Benefits of Laser Lipo
Additionally, Emerald Laser is:
- Painless. Most patients don’t feel anything at all.
- FDA Approved
- Most people see some results in as little as two weeks, with full results in twelve.
Realistic Goals and Expectations
What is realistic to expect when losing weight? According to the Mayo Clinic, it is reasonable to expect to lose one to two pounds per week through diet and exercise. Obviously, the expectations for various medical protocols and procedures are variable, and we will not attempt to summarize them here. However, it is reasonable to expect yourself to lose up to two pounds a week, which translates to 104 pounds per year of continuous weight loss. This is quite a good rate of weight loss, and it is healthy and sustainable.
Try out the latest in laser lipolysis technology from Emerald Laser at a licensed provider near you!