quick weight loss is mostly water

One interesting thing about most weight loss methods is the fact that they produce a rapid loss of weight in the first few days and weeks of use. This often makes dieters feel confident that they are at last on the right track and that they will be finally able to stick to the program and lose all the unwanted body weight. Howbeit, may people fail to realize that losing weight is actually easy, but that losing body fat is not at all that easy.

After the initial phase of rapid weight loss is over, a lot of dieters simply start losing hope as their weight loss progress grinds to a slow pace. While it would have been great if all the early weight loss were actually body fat, the fact is that this is not the case as about 80% of the lost weight is mainly from body water.

Most diet promoters are pretty aware of this fact but intentionally fail to enlighten dieters about this natural weight loss phenomenon. It would be somehow safe to assume that if most dieters had the proper understanding and perspective about the pounds that they would be shedding during the early days and weeks of a diet program, their efforts and expectations would have been better aligned.

The fact is that a greater percentage of the body weight lost during the early phase of virtually any weight loss program is mostly due to water loss from body tissues because water is part of every single cell in the human body. In fact fat-free mass is 70-75% water, and body fat is about 10-40% water.

During the early periods of weight loss, due to the sudden reduction of calories from ingested foods, the body releases and starts to burn its stored glycogen (made up of 75% water and glucose) for extra energy provision. As the body burns its glycogen store, water is produced as a by-product that is removed from the body as urine.

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Therefore about 75% of the weight lost during this period is mostly from lean body mass (muscle and water) and 25% from unwanted body fat. Muscle tissue, like glycogen, is about 80% water. Basically, for every gram of glycogen that is burned, the body loses a total of 4 or 5 grams of weight. When body water is lost in this way, the drop in pounds is easily noticed on the scale.

Due to the fact that water is heavy, a lot of scale weight is lost. This however cannot be sustained because the body will eventually gain all the water back as it needs a certain amount of water for its proper functioning.

When the body’s glycogen stores become too depleted, it begins to burn fat for energy. However, each gram of fat has about twice the calorie content of 1 gram of glycogen and therefore it would require burning double the amount of calories needed to lose 1 gram of glycogen to lose 1 gram of fat.

As mentioned earlier, body fat contains only about 10-40% water and as a result fat tissues do not store much water. Consequently, when the body moves into the actual fat burning phase of the weight loss program, the bathroom scale tend to be much slower than when glycogen was being burnt at the beginning of the program.

Obviously and as can easily be seen, the course of natural weight loss is to first, experience a brief period of quick weight loss resulting from loss of water from body tissues. This is subsequently followed by a longer period of significant slowdown in weight loss as the body now turns to actually burning its fat stores to meet its energy requirements.

After the initial rapid weight loss phase of a sensible and healthy weight loss program, the rate of further weight loss should be somewhere around 1-2 pounds per week, or slightly more depending on your individual make-up.

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Unfortunately, some weight loss programs, in an attempt to show prompt results have incorporated the use of diuretics in their programs to give the illusion of weight loss. Diuretics, both drugs and diuretic herbs, promote body water loss through the kidneys. While these may lead to loss of body water and show as weight loss on a scale, the dieter risks getting dehydrated.

Whether you are using a conventional diet, a fad diet, an appetite suppressant, or a diet pill, the early rapid weight loss effect you are most likely to experience are virtually the same. However, diets that have severe caloric restrictions or that are high in protein can significantly increase this effect.

Whenever a diet plan claims to be able to help you lose as much as 10-30 pounds of body weight within a questionable period of time, say one week, you now have a better idea of what you are up against. You can’t burn fat that easily, instead you’d be losing your body water.

Once you understand the little intricacies involved in losing weight as have been highlighted above, you are far better poised to set achievable weight loss goals. This also allows you to make a plan that anticipates how you’ll handle situations that may test your resolve as well as cope with other inevitable minor setbacks without feeling unnecessarily discouraged.

A sensible, healthy, and long-term weight loss program should therefore target losing body fat instead of concentrating solely on scale weight. For successful and long-term weight loss, there is the need to make permanent changes in your lifestyle such as the incorporation of a calorie-controlled diet with regular exercise.