An easy, gradual weight loss that is the result of a healthier lifestyle is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. There are several reasons a slower weight loss process is healthier and more effective than dieting or rapid weight loss.
First, lasting behavior changes take time. Any behavior you change quickly can change back just as quickly. Rapid behavior change does not equal sustained behavior change, which is our goal. Have you ever gained more weight back after losing it quickly? You know how unsatisfying that experience is.
Second, there is frequently fear surrounding weight loss. This fear often shows up in what is termed the "When/Then Myth". The "When/Then Myth" goes like this: "When I lose weight, then I will have the perfect career, have the perfect relationship, have the perfect children, have the perfect car." You get the picture. This can be devastating to your weight loss goals because of subconscious motivations, especially fear. You may not even be aware of these unconscious motivations.
For example, you might tell yourself, "When I lose weight, then I will have the perfect relationship." But if, on a subconscious level, you're afraid of relationships (which, by the way, is the number one emotional reason women in America overeat), then the payoff to remain overweight is stronger than the payoff to lose weight. So often you will either fail at your diet or very quickly regain any weight you've lost and more.
The "When/Then Myth" also works in reverse. If you lose weight and find out that all the problems in your life are really not a result of the size of your body, then you may have to look at the real root of your problems, which could be scary. So the subconscious mind says, "Oh, no, I couldn't bear that--better to just stay fat and let my weight take the blame for all the disappointments in my life."
You are encouraged to look at all aspects of your life and to create a life that honors you. Over a period of time, the weight will just have fewer and fewer reasons to exist. You simply won't need it anymore. Go slowly and take the time you need to get used to the changes and to acknowledge and alleviate your fears. It is recommended that if you have difficulty doing this yourself, you find a program or therapist skilled in the emotional aspects of weight loss to help you. Hypnosis is also a great tool to help you heal your emotional ties to food.
The third reason your weight loss needs to be slow is because when you lose weight too quickly the body goes into starvation mode and turns into a fat-storing machine. That is, it stores your fat more efficiently so that you can survive this sudden decrease of food.
According to the American Medical Association, you should lose weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. The medical community has determined that a more rapid weight loss may result in loss of vital organ tissue.
Finally, losing weight slowly is important because your metabolism needs food to continue functioning properly. One reason for the diet "yo-yo" is that your metabolism becomes less and less efficient each time you go on and off a diet. You can diet, lose all the weight you want and then return to normal eating. But because you are not metabolizing the normal amount of food as efficiently, you will regain the weight you lost, and more, each time you diet.
When you take a more relaxed, sensible approach to your weight loss, not only will the weight stay off, you will heal those "holes in your soul" that you have been trying to fill with pizza!