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Is losing a pound a day unhealthy? Watch

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    I'm 5"1 and around 58kg, partly because I used to lift a lot but partly just because I've gotten really out of shape recently. Anyway I'm looking to lose weight as I have free gym access over the Easter holidays at home, but I only have about a month to use this in and I can only spare about half an hour a day to exercise while at uni as I do medicine.

    Provided I eat healthily (loads of protein, fruit and vegetables, no carbs),is exercising a ton (I've calculated what I need to do to create enough of a calorie deficit) so as to lose a pound a day unhealthily? I've done it for about half a week before and was OK but never this long.
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    Thats losing a stone every 2 weeks. Its too much to fast. Its an unhealthy and unrealistic goal. Aim for a pound every week.
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    It's impossible to do that healthily and sustainably. To lose a pound of fat you need to create a calorie deficit of 3000 kcal. Your body needs around 2000 kcal per day to function properly. You would have to exercise for hours and barely eat to do that, and even if you managed for a few days, it would go back on as soon as you started eating properly. Try aiming for a pound a week.
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    How do you not know this when you study medicine...

    If you weighed 20 stone then several pounds a week is easy but at your weight it isn't healthy and neigh on impossible.
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    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I'm 5"1 and around 58kg, partly because I used to lift a lot but partly just because I've gotten really out of shape recently. Anyway I'm looking to lose weight as I have free gym access over the Easter holidays at home, but I only have about a month to use this in and I can only spare about half an hour a day to exercise while at uni as I do medicine.

    Provided I eat healthily (loads of protein, fruit and vegetables, no carbs),is exercising a ton (I've calculated what I need to do to create enough of a calorie deficit) so as to lose a pound a day unhealthily? I've done it for about half a week before and was OK but never this long.
    Firstly - 2 pounds a week weight loss at the very maximum (1000 Calories a day)

    Secondly - Crash Diets wont work because you'll put the weight back on again when you start to eat normally and exercise less

    Solution: Cardio (Jogging, swimming, cycling 3 times a week for 30-90 mins). Make small changes to your diet e.g. Swap white spaghetti to brown/soba/quinoa spaghetti, or have a higher vegetable to carb ratio on your plate. Swap fizzy drinks for water. Cut down fast food.
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    Also, should I cut out lifting weights? (Used to do it in the past but b/c I'm small it makes me "bulk up" a bit)
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    Haha, 365 lbs per year.
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    Perfectly doable. I had gastroenteritis a month or two back for 5 days. I lost 5 kilo (11 pounds) in 5 days!
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    It can be done but the moment you start eating normally it will all come flying back on, so all the hardship over not eating and exercising like a freak was wasted
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    It most certainly is. As a general rule, losing 1-2lbs of fat per week is optimal in order to hold on to as much muscle as possible. Use an online calculator to work out how many calories you should be eating in order to hit your goal. Generally, 500 calories below your maintenance amount is a good number to start at. Don't waste your time with extreme weight loss programs.
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    If you were much bigger it would be fine, but you dont weigh that much for your height. Might want to stick to 2lbs a week
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    Hmm ok
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    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I'm 5"1 and around 58kg, partly because I used to lift a lot but partly just because I've gotten really out of shape recently. Anyway I'm looking to lose weight as I have free gym access over the Easter holidays at home, but I only have about a month to use this in and I can only spare about half an hour a day to exercise while at uni as I do medicine.

    Provided I eat healthily (loads of protein, fruit and vegetables, no carbs),is exercising a ton (I've calculated what I need to do to create enough of a calorie deficit) so as to lose a pound a day unhealthily? I've done it for about half a week before and was OK but never this long.
    Yeah it is unhealthy. Even if you managed to drum up the willpower to starve yourself and burn enough energy each day consistently to sustain such a weight loss without getting ill, quite frankly, someone who as a student has the attitude to say that they only have 30 mins to spare each day for physical activity would never be able to maintain much of the loss.
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    (Original post by Mark85)
    Yeah it is unhealthy. Even if you managed to drum up the willpower to starve yourself and burn enough energy each day consistently to sustain such a weight loss without getting ill, quite frankly, someone who as a student has the attitude to say that they only have 30 mins to spare each day for physical activity would never be able to maintain much of the loss.
    Maintaining weight isn't a problem for me, I find it hard to eat 1200 calories (my BMR) when I'm eating normally. Regarding the half-hour thing, I'm a medic and also work part-time as my student loan doesn't even cover my accommodation - not all of us are lucky enough to have 5 spare hours a day and parents who can pay for everything. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    Maintaining weight isn't a problem for me, I find it hard to eat 1200 calories (my BMR) when I'm eating normally.
    So how did you get overweight if even maintaining your weight is such a struggle?

    In any case, after a period of starvation, it will be a lot easier for you to gain weight.

    Regarding the half-hour thing, I'm a medic and also work part-time as my student loan doesn't even cover my accommodation - not all of us are lucky enough to have 5 spare hours a day and parents who can pay for everything. :rolleyes:
    Big deal, I do a full time PhD and also have a job that for several months of last year and part of this year was pretty much full time hours yet I still managed to get to the gym for an hour and a half several times a week and go for runs etc. It is about prioritising your time and in any case, the point was really about the excuse making attitude.

    I love the way anyone doing a medical degree thinks they have so much responsibility and work so hard based primarily on the fact that the only thing they compare themselves to is other students. Not all of us are lucky enough to only compare our workload to people who don't really do that much. Get over yourself. Most people work whilst doing their degrees.

    Anyway, in answer to your original question, of course it is unhealthy to lose weight at that rate for any significant amount of time since you will most like suffer from a combination of dehydration, malnutrition and muscular atrophy.
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    (Original post by Mark85)
    So how did you get overweight if even maintaining your weight is such a struggle?
    .
    Shows how much you know about fitness. According to the stats I posted, I'm currently not overweight according to the standard medical definition (BMI). I'm losing weight purely because I want to, not for health reasons, although obviously I'd like to do so in a way that doesn't harm my health. I didn't say maintaining weight was a "struggle" - regarding how I gained weight, I made it pretty clear in both my original post and the following one that it's largely due to lifting (hence why I asked if I should cut back on that and mentioned how it made me "bulk up"). Furthermore - as I just said - even with all the extra muscle I'm still not overweight.

    Big deal, I do a full time PhD and also have a job that for several months of last year and part of this year was pretty much full time hours yet I still managed to get to the gym for an hour and a half several times a week and go for runs etc. It is about prioritising your time and in any case, the point was really about the excuse making attitude.

    I love the way anyone doing a medical degree thinks they have so much responsibility and work so hard based primarily on the fact that the only thing they compare themselves to is other students. Not all of us are lucky enough to only compare our workload to people who don't really do that much. Get over yourself. Most people work whilst doing their degrees.

    Anyway, in answer to your original question, of course it is unhealthy to lose weight at that rate for any significant amount of time since you will most like suffer from a combination of dehydration, malnutrition and muscular atrophy.
    With all due respect, I don't think I'm the one who needs to get over themself. I get under a hundred pounds a term in my student loan and absolutely no other support from either my parents or my university. In order to fund a reasonable lifestyle, I have no option but to work the hours I do (generally a shift in the morning and one in the evening after my lectures) and I'd have thought it's pretty obvious I can't afford a gym. Aside for going for a run alone at five in the morning or eleven at night (and that's not even taking into account all the studying I have to do outside of contact hours), I have no option but to exercise during lunch. Some people's main "priority" outside of their studies is to pay for rent and travel and put food on the table.

    I wrote this thread asking for advice, not to be patronised because you half-read my original post, had a knee-jerk reaction of "ooo overweight student can't be bothered to exercise more than half an hour per day," and thought you were entitled to criticise my work ethic. If you managed to balance a PhD, a full-time job, and still work out a certain amount of time each day, good for you. But that doesn't give you the right to insist everyone else who can't is some kind of lazy sod, and, quite frankly, I know damn well how hard I work and I'm not going to sit here and take crap about my "excuse making attitude" from some random stranger on the Internet. The very fact I was asking if losing a pound a day was possible makes it obvious I don't piss around when it comes to putting some effort into exercise.
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    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    Shows how much you know about fitness. According to the stats I posted, I'm currently not overweight according to the standard medical definition (BMI).
    You are over the weight you wish to be or are at least desirous of losing weight. Therefore you are overweight in the sense of carrying more weight than you want.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I didn't say maintaining weight was a "struggle"
    You said that you found it hard to eat 1200 calories, a figure which I am almost positive will be lower than amount needed to sustain your weight for any period of time. If you don't like me replacing "find it hard" with "struggle" then I suggest you take it up with your dictionary.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    - regarding how I gained weight, I made it pretty clear in both my original post and the following one that it's largely due to lifting (hence why I asked if I should cut back on that and mentioned how it made me "bulk up"). Furthermore - as I just said - even with all the extra muscle I'm still not overweight.
    So now you are saying that you aren't overweight yet want to lose all this extra muscle you have put on (:rolleyes:) at the rate of a stone every two weeks 'healthily'

    Gosh, I really hope you clear this one up before you become a doctor and actually advise people on this stuff.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    With all due respect, I don't think I'm the one who needs to get over themself. I get under a hundred pounds a term in my student loan and absolutely no other support from either my parents or my university. In order to fund a reasonable lifestyle, I have no option but to work the hours I do (generally a shift in the morning and one in the evening after my lectures) and I'd have thought it's pretty obvious I can't afford a gym. Aside for going for a run alone at five in the morning or eleven at night (and that's not even taking into account all the studying I have to do outside of contact hours), I have no option but to exercise during lunch. Some people's main "priority" outside of their studies is to pay for rent and travel and put food on the table.
    You don't seem to get it. Your exact circumstances (which really are very standard) aren't important. I was just making the judgement, from my own experience that anyone who says things like:

    "I want to hemorrhage a massive amount of weight very quickly. I can't do it in the normal slow manner because I am too busy too..."

    etc. might have the necessary attitude to 'rip off the plaster' as it were and deprive themselves of food and beat themselves up through excessive exercise in the short term of a week or two but generally in the long term, such people are going to fall back on excuses and pile the weight straight back on in short order.

    So I am not saying you are lazy and I am not saying that you don't have a lot on but what I am saying that the attitude of immediately making out that a short term drastic measure is the only way you can lose weight speaks volumes regardless of your actual circumstances. So I am saying you are impatient and also that you are obviously naive if you really think that you can sustain a rate of weight loss that you suggest for any period of time and consider it 'healthy'.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    The very fact I was asking if losing a pound a day was possible makes it obvious I don't piss around when it comes to putting some effort into exercise.
    This is where you miss my point. That fact makes it clear that you can put in a short burst of effort but suggests that you most likely lack the patience and discipline for a sustained moderate effort. In terms of weight loss, the first might be deemed admirable in some puritanical way but is ultimately doomed to failure either through exhaustion, illness or rebound weight gain. It is the second longer term type of thinking that leads to real change whilst allowing you to stay healthy.
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    (Original post by Mark85)
    You are over the weight you wish to be or are at least desirous of losing weight. Therefore you are overweight in the sense of carrying more weight than you want.
    Fair enough, but that's certainly not the standard dictionary definition of the word. It's like saying someone's stupid because they're not as clever as they want to be.

    You said that you found it hard to eat 1200 calories, a figure which I am almost positive will be lower than amount needed to sustain your weight for any period of time. If you don't like me replacing "find it hard" with "struggle" then I suggest you take it up with your dictionary.
    I said: "maintaining weight isn't a problem for me, I find it hard to eat 1200 calories even when I'm eating normally." Talking of dictionaries, "maintaining" generally means "keeping something the same" - though I could have phrased "find it hard" better, how on earth does this equate to "maintaining my weight is such a struggle?"

    Whether you're "almost positive" or not, 1200 is about the right BMR for a girl of my height (give or take a few hundred calories). Look it up if you don't believe me.

    So now you are saying that you aren't overweight yet want to lose all this extra muscle you have put on (:rolleyes:) at the rate of a stone every two weeks 'healthily'

    Gosh, I really hope you clear this one up before you become a doctor and actually advise people on this stuff.
    I'll ignore the sarcasm as you clearly seem to have a problem with the fact I'm doing a medical degree in particular, as evidenced by your previous post - "I love the way anyone doing a medical degree thinks they have so much responsibility and work so hard" - seriously?!

    Not wanting to assume I know everything about weight loss (:rolleyes:) despite apparently being an evil medic, I wrote this thread very clearly ASKING if it was healthy, not SAYING that it was. I have seen cases where obese people lost comparable amount of weight. I have also asked friends and they weren't sure of the topic.

    You don't seem to get it. Your exact circumstances (which really are very standard) aren't important. I was just making the judgement, from my own experience that anyone who says things like:

    "I want to hemorrhage a massive amount of weight very quickly. I can't do it in the normal slow manner because I am too busy too..."

    etc. might have the necessary attitude to 'rip off the plaster' as it were and deprive themselves of food and beat themselves up through excessive exercise in the short term of a week or two but generally in the long term, such people are going to fall back on excuses and pile the weight straight back on in short order.
    Where did I say I couldn't do it over a longer period of time? I'm obviously considering this as one of many options. Hence why I created the thread saying "Is it healthy to do X in this period of time? I only have a month, but I will only have half an hour daily to spend on this during term time hence why I am considering it" as opposed to "How do I do X in this period of time? I can't do it over a normal period of time". So, no, I still don't get your knee-jerk reaction.

    I said I can only spare half an hour a day to exercise during term time. I didn't say I wasn't going to continue exercising or anything of the kind. Your original post talked of "someone who as a student has the attitude to say they only have 30 mins to spare" - that isn't "falling back on excuses," that's cold hard reality. If someone works on average 7 hours a day at university (which is not "really very standard") then, yeah, their "exact circumstances" are important. Saying that they aren't and suggesting it's all down to their attitude is quite frankly ridiculous.

    So I am not saying you are lazy and I am not saying that you don't have a lot on but what I am saying that the attitude of immediately making out that a short term drastic measure is the only way you can lose weight speaks volumes regardless of your actual circumstances. So I am saying you are impatient and also that you are obviously naive if you really think that you can sustain a rate of weight loss that you suggest for any period of time and consider it 'healthy'.
    I'm getting tired of this. Like I said above - I'd be really, really interested to see where I made out either in my original post or any of the other ones that this was the "only way" I could lose weight. Stop trying to paste your own assumptions onto what I actually said.

    I don't know about being impatient and naive - doesn't seem very patient to me to read someone's post for about 5 seconds and then write some know-it-all reply criticising their attitude based on the fact they said they could only spare half an hour a day, which - as you're just seen - could be due to a number of reasons. Personally I'd rather be "naive".

    This is where you miss my point. That fact makes it clear that you can put in a short burst of effort but suggests that you most likely lack the patience and discipline for a sustained moderate effort.
    You really do love your assumptions. How on earth is asking if it's possible to lose weight at that rate healthily indicative that I "lack patience and discipline?" Is asking if you can finish a work project in a month and still do it properly indication that you lack the patience and discipline to do it in three, or is it merely a question as to whether it can be done faster but still correctly because maybe you'll be a lot busier in a month's time? As I've said about a hundred times already, I am currently *considering* it.

    In terms of weight loss, the first might be deemed admirable in some puritanical way but is ultimately doomed to failure either through exhaustion, illness or rebound weight gain. It is the second longer term type of thinking that leads to real change whilst allowing you to stay healthy.
    You're reading a hell of a lot into a short post. Quite frankly it's pretty obvious you were just trying to be patronising and sarcastic (as you still are) and made a failed attempt to pick on the wrong TSR user without actually bothering to read my thread properly.
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    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I said: "maintaining weight isn't a problem for me, I find it hard to eat 1200 calories even when I'm eating normally." Talking of dictionaries, "maintaining" generally means "keeping something the same" - though I could have phrased "find it hard" better, how on earth does this equate to "maintaining my weight is such a struggle?"

    Whether you're "almost positive" or not, 1200 is about the right BMR for a girl of my height (give or take a few hundred calories). Look it up if you don't believe me.
    I believe that 1200 is in the ballpark of your BMR however your actual total daily energy needs are going to be more than that. The fact is, if you find it hard to eat an amount which is less than the amount required to maintain your weight (your BMR is less than your total daily energy needs) then ipso facto you find it hard to maintain your weight because you find it hard to do the one thing (eat enough food) that is required to maintain body weight. It is a very simple restating of what you said.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I'll ignore the sarcasm as you clearly seem to have a problem with the fact I'm doing a medical degree in particular, as evidenced by your previous post - "I love the way anyone doing a medical degree thinks they have so much responsibility and work so hard" - seriously?!
    I wasn't being sarcastic. A general trend that I have noticed amongst medical students is that they believe that they work really hard and long hours because they tend to compare the amount they do to their friends who typically include students doing much less time intensive courses. In the grand scheme of real life of course, a medical degree isn't really more onerous than most full time jobs, especially if you don't have kids or other responsibilities.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    Not wanting to assume I know everything about weight loss (:rolleyes:) despite apparently being an evil medic, I wrote this thread very clearly ASKING if it was healthy, not SAYING that it was. I have seen cases where obese people lost comparable amount of weight. I have also asked friends and they weren't sure of the topic.
    Can't you use your knowledge of basic physiology, in particular metabolism to note that the amount of fat it is safe to lose healthily in a given time period is proportional to the total amount of fat you are carrying?

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    So, no, I still don't get your knee-jerk reaction.
    It is just that you said you sat down and worked out how much you would have to restrict food and exercise to lose fat at that rate. Therefore, you will be well aware how extreme your plan is.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I said I can only spare half an hour a day to exercise during term time. I didn't say I wasn't going to continue exercising or anything of the kind. Your original post talked of "someone who as a student has the attitude to say they only have 30 mins to spare" - that isn't "falling back on excuses," that's cold hard reality. If someone works on average 7 hours a day at university (which is not "really very standard") then, yeah, their "exact circumstances" are important. Saying that they aren't and suggesting it's all down to their attitude is quite frankly ridiculous.
    Again, you miss the point. The point isn't whether you do or don't have much time. The point is that you phrase your question in terms of what you can't do instead of focusing on what you can. Call it a glass half full/half empty semantic type distinction if you will but as I said, in my experience, people who phrase things like that are always going to be focussing more on what they can't do then what they can. That is just my opinion based on experience.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    I'm getting tired of this. Like I said above - I'd be really, really interested to see where I made out either in my original post or any of the other ones that this was the "only way" I could lose weight. Stop trying to paste your own assumptions onto what I actually said.
    Like I said, if you really figured it all out, you would know how extreme what you are talking about doing is. Therefore, I assumed someone would only consider such a desperate measure if it was their only choice.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    You really do love your assumptions. How on earth is asking if it's possible to lose weight at that rate healthily indicative that I "lack patience and discipline?" Is asking if you can finish a work project in a month and still do it properly indication that you lack the patience and discipline to do it in three, or is it merely a question as to whether it can be done faster but still correctly because maybe you'll be a lot busier in a month's time? As I've said about a hundred times already, I am currently *considering* it.
    Because most people are well aware of the healthy and safe way to lose weight and only consider drastic measures like yours because they lack patience. Again, this is based on observation and experience.

    (Original post by Ezekiella)
    You're reading a hell of a lot into a short post. Quite frankly it's pretty obvious you were just trying to be patronising and sarcastic (as you still are) and made a failed attempt to pick on the wrong TSR user without actually bothering to read my thread properly.
    No, I read and considered your post properly and gave an answer to your original question: no, it isn't healthy for someone who isn't very overweight to lose weight at the rate of 7lbs a week since it will likely cause one or more of the following symptoms: dehydration, rebound weight gain, loose skin, malnutrition, exhaustion, general malaise, depression and even possibly psychosis after a certain period of time.

    I am sure you were already well aware of that though.
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    I kinda agree with Mark85, it should be pretty obvious to anyone that losing that much weight at such a rate a) isn't even possible at a regular weight b) is unhealthy. I also find it pretty weird when girls attribute their weight gain to 'lifting' as if it's that easy to gain muscle in the first place and also forgetting that if they gained that much muscle mass (even a few lbs worth) they wouldn't be complaining about their bodies because they'd look noticeably leaner.

    If you comfortably eat 1,200 a day, then adding on a bit of exercise would mean you consistently lose weight but just at a slower pace which is fine (what's the rush after all?). If you haven't got that much time then increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts. One hour 3-4 days a week is not asking much though tbh...
 
 
 
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