Is your end-game weight loss? Yes? Then pace yourself; don't try to lose it all at once.

You may have heard that losing weight too quickly tends to cause relapse; a person normally cannot withstand the demands of harsh "dieting", and he or she goes back to his or her ways after a few weeks or months. Or maybe you've been taught that heightened calorie restriction is unhealthy; hormonal levels and bodily chemistry go whack, and your body basically goes into survival mode... There are a ton of other dieting truths out there, but the purpose of this post takes a slightly different angle: muscle preservation.

Losing weight too quickly decreases muscle mass. Yep! When you lose weight, you do so by stripping fat or by stripping lean body mass; there is nowhere else to decrease poundage. When you strip too much weight too quickly, the ratio tips more so to the side of lean body tissue. Why is this less than ideal? Well, if you're stripping away muscle, you're essentially affecting your physique, functionality, and unfortunately, metabolism. Weight loss needs to be a marathon, a fat-losing muscle-preserving marathon!

What's the best weight-loss range? 1-2 pounds per week; 2 actually being on the higher end, in our opinion. Pace yourself; #dowork and eat healthy. If you create a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day, you would run a 3,500 caloric deficit during a week; 3,500 calories equals 1 pound. (Just as with everything, there are nuances to this rule, and some people have different responses, but the calculation holds.) Find a fit that best works for you, and stay diligent! No, it won't be easy, and yes, it may be frustrating — but stay the course. You got this!

Fight fat! Embrace muscle!

"If you lose weight too fast, you lose more muscle than when you shed excess pounds more slowly, a small study says." (WebMD)

"After all, when you lose weight too fast, you risk losing weight not just from fat, but also from lean tissue such as muscle." (USNews)

Jason Harle