How to Keep Your Clients Safe While Maximizing Weight Loss
Throughout my rowing career in college at on the national team we were constantly gauged on our power to weight ratio on the Concept 2 rowing machine and the effect it had while rowing on the water. Athletes and individuals alike must be aware of the negative consequences when dieting.
Muscle Weighs More Than Fat
I always try and tell people not to worry about weight but to go off of how you feel, look, and how you fit in your clothes. Weight is trivial because muscle weighs more than fat so if you take a very strong healthy individual and someone else that does not work out or eat well they might weigh the same but are also completely different from the inside out.
In a culture that seeks instant gratification, personal trainers must often cater to clients who desire to lose weight and lose it now. Clients requesting assistance in rapid weight loss must be educated on how the body functions as well as its adaptation responses. Clients must also be made aware of the processes behind physiological changes and the increasing potential for negative physical and psychological side-effects once the safe threshold of 1-2 lbs lost per week is surpassed. Remember, losing just one pound in a week requires a negative caloric balance of around at least 500 kcals per day.
Know What to Look For
The negative impact of extreme weight loss is clear. Nonetheless, personal trainers should be familiar with safe and effective techniques for addressing both sides of the energy equation to expedite the greatest weight loss possible for zealous clients – without endangering health and performance.
A goal of about 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week is reasonable and can be attained by most healthy individuals. This method ensures that weight loss will chiefly be in the form of fat rather than metabolic tissues, water and glycogen stores. When you lose weight gradually the body is much more receptive and can adapt more comfortably.
Trainers should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with extreme weight loss techniques, such as dehydration, and educate their clients on healthy alternatives for superior long-term effects. Trainers should monitor rapid fluctuations in weight from session to session or week to week, and document any unusual behaviors that may indicate extreme weight-loss techniques are being employed outside of the gym.
Trainers must recognize that clients have access to a plethora of poor advice on the internet; and furthermore, extreme behaviors may indicate dangerous psychological issues such as eating disorders. Being cognizant of these issues can assist trainers in making proper decisions regarding appropriate intervention strategies or even referrals to a mental health profession or registered dietitian as needed.
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