How fast should I lose weight?
If you’re on a weight loss journey you probably want to see results fast, but have you ever wondered how fast it should really be or if it has any consequences to your long term health? You probably heard the common advice of losing around 1 pound of bodyweight per week, but for some people who have a lot of weight to lose that might not feel like fast enough.
Today we’ll look into what science says of the rate or speed of weight loss that is healthy and sustainable and if people who are heavier can or even should aim for a faster reduction.
“SAFE” WEIGHT LOSS
If you’re worried that losing weight too fast can be dangerous for your health you might be right, at least in part and depending on your specific situation
There are some negative effects to a very fast weight loss but those affect more to individuals who are not too overweight and closer to an optimal bodyweight, like metabolic or hormonal disorders, signs of malnutrition, weakness, chronic fatigue, GI symptoms and.
However, if you already have a big surplus of body fat you could probably aim for a weight loss rate higher than the recommended one pound per week. However it should not be taken to an extreme or you might suffer from low essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and other nutrient deficiencies.
So an unsafe weight loss rate or diet is one that restricts your food intake to the point you’re unable to consume enough essential nutrients to support your health and that will lead to stagnation in your weight loss efforts and only have you feeling miserable
How Fast Can People Safely Lose Fat?
There have been studies showing that the human body is capable of losing up to a pound per day on extreme diet and workout programs, however that was on highly obese individuals and was defiintely not sustainable nor safe, and would not be posible for someone who is not that overweight and closer to a healthy weight.
This shows that the more body fat you have to lose the faster you can start to lose it, but that rate will slow down eventually and you will have to go back to a more sustainable weight loss rate of 0,5-2 pounds per week, or up to 3,5 to 4 pounds per week if you have a lot of weight to lose, but that is only sustainable for a short period of time or it can lead again to severe nutrient deficiency.
What is really important to note here is that you not only want to lose weight but you want to lose fat and avoid losing muscle or lean mass.
HOW TO LOSE FAT FAST AND SAFE
The guidelines to losing fat as fast and safe without losing lean body mass or going into nutrient deficiencies are not too complicated but should be taken into consideration to be able to sustain the weight loss rate and more importantly maintain that weight off.
Make sure you’re on a caloric deficit, but not a crazy restrictive one. Aim for no more than 500 calories (or around 40%) of restriction from your baseline calorie needs.
Make sure you’re getting your protein in, a lot of it so you preserve as much muscle and bone mass as possible. And make sure you’re including a lot of nutritious foods to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. If you need help with this check our great services here.
Combine the high protein with some resistance weight training to make sure you maintain or even increase your muscle mass. Keep in mind that muscle mass burns more calories just to maintain it so if you have a bit more muscle you’ll burn fat even faster and keep it down easier. We’ve got you covered with this great routine to start with, or if you’re a lady you can check this one too.
You can add some cardio if you want or if you can, but you can also just try to move around a lot everyday: walk to places, use stairs more, stand up from your desk periodically, etc to further promote that weightloss. You can read all about these non exercise strategies to lose weight here.
Track your progress constantly to make adjustments if needed and make sure you're on the right track.
How Fast Should I Lose Weight Summary
There is definitely not a lot new we covered in this article. Weight Loss is a great goal and it can definitely be done fast but still to have but it needs to be done in a smart safe way to make sure you don’t harm yourself and that you keep that weight off. Here are our main takeaways from this article for you.
Fast weight loss can be possible but is not sustainable nor healthy. It is more possible for very overweight people but pretty soon will slow down.
Trying to lose weight too fast can lead to severe nutrient deficiencies and other health and metabolic problems that are not worth the risk and will only hinder your progress.
You can prevent these health problems by eating a highly varied diet of healthy whole meals high in protein and combine it with weight training to maintain muscle mass.
Find a plan that suits your current situation and is doable and sustainable. Better yet hire a professional or check our weight loss plans.
Keep a record of your progress and how you feel and make sure to adjust your diet and workout if you’re not getting your desired results.