Help! I’m Not Losing Weight Fast Enough!

I get e-mails all the time from people who are looking for a faster way to lose weight. Whether you want to slim down for your wedding or fit into that skinny black dress for your upcoming high school reunion, there is a certain urgency to losing weight.

I mean, you want to be thinner and lighter now – yesterday. Not in six weeks, and definitely not in six months!

I know how frustrating it is to only lose 1-2 pounds per week. Stepping up your workout regimen, or severely cutting calories to dangerously low levels, or starving yourself is not the answer. Neither are short-term crash diets. None of these things will lead to long term weight loss.

Focus On Long Term Weight Loss Rather Than Temporary Crash Diets

The only way that you can successfully lose weight and keep it off for good is to develop a new relationship to food. A six-week rapid fat loss diet might help you lose a dress size or two, but you’ll likely put the weight back on and then some once you go off the diet.

A slow, steady lifestyle change that incorporates green smoothies, whole foods and daily fitness is the only answer to long term weight loss, but it doesn’t always blast fat off as fast as you’d like.

How Fast Should You Lose Weight?

There is some confusion about how fast you should lose weight. If you watch shows like NBC’s The Biggest Loser, you might think that it is normal to lose anywhere from 6-15 pounds per week, every single week.

Unfortunately, that’s not realistic weight loss. The contestants on this show are playing a game and their lives revolve around exercise (six hours or more per day). They are on a medically-supervised diet. They have a professional team of experts monitoring their health by the hour. And a former contestant has claimed the weigh-ins on the show are taped several weeks apart, not weekly.

Your life is not a TV show so your results will reflect “real world” weight loss numbers. According to most professionals, 1-2 pounds per week is the healthiest rate at which to shed pounds.

You might lose a lot of weight in the beginning. On the first week of your new weight loss plan, you typically reduce sodium and cut starches. You’ll lose a lot of water weight. You might lose more weight the first week than you do the second, third or fourth. That is completely normal (and healthy), it doesn’t mean that your diet needs to be tweaked to speed things up.

Many weight loss experts recommend creating a deficit of 500 calories per day through a combination of eating fewer calories and increasing physical activity. Over the course of an average week, this should yield a loss of about 1-2 pounds of fat.

Losing weight should be a long term goal. You didn’t gain the weight in only six weeks so you shouldn’t expect to lose it as fast. If you want to keep it off for good, you need to learn actual weight loss strategies for the long term. Crash diets are only going to cause you to put the weight back on later.

Can You Lose Weight Quickly With A Green Smoothie Diet or “Fast”?

You might be tempted to do a green smoothie only diet in order to speed up weight loss. On the surface, it sounds good and healthy. You would think that drinking nothing but green smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner would surely blast the fat away in no time while supplying ample nutrients, right?

Not quite. It’s really not a good idea to do a smoothie only diet (or green smoothie “fast”) to lose weight. The biggest problem that you would face is a severe calorie deficit. Sure, you want to reduce calories in order to lose weight, but you do not want to starve yourself or else you will sabotage weight loss, and set yourself up for caving into cravings or binge eating due to constant hunger.

Instead of a green smoothie only diet, I recommend that you add green smoothies to a plant-based, whole foods diet as a way to lose weight. If you are new to green smoothies, you’ll probably have a hard time consuming them in sufficient size and calories to make a meal and meet your daily calorie needs.

If you were to drink three, 16-20 ounce green smoothies in a day, you’d be lucky to get 800 calories for the day, which is a starvation diet. Starving yourself is not an effective way to lose weight because your body will hold onto fat and lower metabolism to keep you alive. Drinking 16-ounce green smoothies in place of meals could set you up for a serious calorie deficit and nutritional deficiencies over time.

Unless you are willing and able to drink a 60+ ounce green smoothie three to four times per day AND pack each smoothie full of sweet fruit, then you will not get enough calories and nutrients to stick to this diet and maintain your health. You will also miss out on some of the “hard to get” nutrients like zinc, selenium, sodium, certain amino acids and essential fats that are more readily available in foods that you don’t add to a green smoothie. Unfortunately, a green smoothie diet or “fast” is just another crash diet.

I ate about 1500 – 1600 calories each day to lose weight. Now that I’ve lost the weight, I eat just over 1900 calories each day to maintain it (and my active lifestyle).

A Better Way To Lose Weight

I know that losing weight can be frustrating. I’ve been there. I’ve done almost every diet you can think of and none of them ever gave me long term results. Instead of focusing on a temporary weight loss diet, you need to change the way you think about food and make long term lifestyle changes.

That’s why I created my RESET 28 program. It contains everything did to lose 40 pounds and keep it off (since 2008). I love to eat and I don’t have to restrict my calories now that I know how to eat properly. My program includes a 28-day meal plan complete with healthy (non-fattening) desserts, convenient grocery shopping lists, and a private support community to motivate you and keep you on track.

Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.