It's no stretch to say that many millions of people are jumping on the rapid weight loss bandwagon. In a world where society values appearance so highly, and in which weight-related health issues are skyrocketing, this is quite natural. More and more, it seems that people want not only to lose weight, but to lose it fast.
However, the field of weight loss, and rapid weight loss in particular, is fraught with peril. A weight loss system is bad enough if it's ineffective or just plain doesn't work at all. But it's much worse if it has harmful effects, and many of them do. For example, if someone takes weight loss pills that result in high blood pressure or heart attack, or if someone becomes anorexic by following a particular eating system.
First of all, it's important to decide on the target weight you want to achieve. When deciding on your target weight, you want to pick something that's realistic. Keep in mind that you'll have to permanently adjust your habits to hold steady at this weight, so you don't want to pick something so low that you'll be miserable for the rest of your life. Don't pick a number just because it's the weight of your favorite celebrity, or for some other frivolous reason. People vary in height, body type, etc., and your ideal target weight should be based on no one but you.
Also, you'll want to decide on the time period in which you want to achieve your target weight. It's hard to predict exactly how fast you can lose weight, so this is just a ballpark figure. You don't want to go crazy trying to lose weight according to an exact timetable, but you want to have a basic plan in mind to keep you motivated and see that you're making steady progress. Pretty much everyone agrees that it's reasonable to lose one or two pounds a week, so if we're talking about rapid weight loss, then I certainly wouldn't shoot for any lower than this. At the same time, I wouldn't specifically plan on doing much better. I'd rather set a reasonable goal and surpass it, than set an ambitious goal and fall short.
When choosing a diet and/or exercise system to follow, you want to pick something that appeals to you both logically and emotionally. Logically, you want to have at least a basic understanding of the science behind the system, so you can believe that it really works. It's hard to stay motivated to follow a system when deep down, you're not really convinced it will work.
But seeing as how the system you choose will significantly affect your life, you want to pick a system you feel good about. It doesn't really matter how well something works, if you find it making your life so uncomfortable that you'd rather keep the weight and just go back to what you were doing before. Pay attention to the human side as well, and decide whether you can realistically stick with the plan.
Finally, once you reach your target weight, stay there! Don't think the goal is to lose as much weight as possible. You chose your ideal target weight for a reason, and you don't want to become so obsessed that you put effort into becoming too thin. The goal of rapid weight loss is to live a happy and healthy life, so just lose the weight and enjoy life!