measuring tape on yellow background

We are all familiar with the basic elements of weight loss:

Move more and eat less.

While oversimplified, the above formula works because following it results in the necessary calorie deficit for weight loss. The longer you sustain this approach, the more weight you lose and the leaner you get.

Of course, all of that sounds good, but there is one fundamental issue here:

Doing that is easier said than done, especially in obese individuals who want to lose weight.

Let’s discuss what it all means. 

Essential Considerations For Safe And Effective Weight Loss
As briefly mentioned in the introduction, creating and sustaining a calorie deficit is the fundamental thing you need to lose weight. By consuming fewer calories than you burn, your body has no choice but to start breaking down fat and lean tissue for the remaining energy it needs.


The calorie deficit should be moderate, allowing you to lose no more than 0.5 to 1 per cent of your body weight per week. Anything quicker than that increases the risk of muscle loss, fatigue, hormonal issues, and extreme hunger. In other words, fast weight loss might bring quicker results, but the risk of quitting and returning to square one increases.

Aside from a deficit, you should also consume enough protein to support your muscle tissue. According to research, consuming 1.6 to 2 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight seems optimal.

The following vital consideration relates to sleep. Specifically, you should sleep for at least seven hours per night. Doing so allows you to feel better, retain more muscle mass, and keep your appetite under control. Research finds that sleep deprivation alone can hinder your fat loss efforts significantly.

Doing some resistance training is also a fantastic way to make weight loss easier. For one, lifting weights burns calories, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit. Second, weight training helps you maintain more muscle mass and instead lose fat.

How Does the Process Differ For Significantly Overweight And Obese Individuals?
The fundamental weight loss elements never change, regardless of a person’s situation. You still need the calorie deficit, adequate protein intake, sleep, and physical activity. Focusing on these will help you shed mostly fat and retain your muscle.


With that said, extremely overweight and obese individuals might need extra support on their journey because they might find it more challenging to stick with a weight loss plan. Often, an accountability partner or coach would bring great benefits.

Aside from that, obese folks should break up their weight loss journey into manageable chunks of 8 to 12 weeks, dispersed with week-long diet breaks. During these weeks, you should raise your calorie intake to maintenance. Doing so will give your body a break from dieting and allow your hormones to go back up. Plus, having occasional breaks is excellent for making the journey feel less daunting. Instead of thinking, “Oh, great. I have another year of dieting.” you can think, “I have to diet for ten weeks before I get a full week off.”

Obese individuals should also be more careful with their physical activity and avoid high-impact options, such as running. Instead, such folks would be better off with less impactful activities like weight training, riding a bike, and swimming to prevent excessive stress on their joints.

March 18, 2022 — Daniel Felstein

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