Realistic Rates of Fat Loss: What to Expect Weekly

How much weight is it safe to lose in a week

I want my clients to have fun and feel like they are winning during their weight loss journey. Part of this means setting realistic weekly goals.

Sometimes clients come to me with unrealistic expectations of how much weight they will be able to lose on a weekly basis. I know that may sound harsh, and it is certainly not meant that way, but if some fad diet promises you will drop 10lbs in a week though, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

These things take time and, the bottom line is this, the faster you lose the weight the more likely you are to put it back on or to binge. Also, if you set unrealistic goals, you are just setting yourself up to fail and will starting beating yourself up (goals should stretch you but be achievable, not impossible!).

Here is what to expect on your weight loss journey.

The Initial Drop

When you first start a new eating plan or diet, you might notice a significant drop in weight during the first week. This can be exciting, but this initial weight loss is often due to a decrease in water weight and perhaps some muscle mass, rather than all pure fat.

As your body adjusts to your new way of eating, this rate will naturally slow down. That is completely normal though and is nothing to worry about.

The Steady Journey

For most of us, a sustainable and healthy rate of fat loss is around 0.5 to 1 kg (1 to 2 pounds) per week.

With most clients, I aim for 1lb per week, but it does vary widely based on their starting weight and goals. Heavier individuals can lose more per week

That might not sound like a lot, especially when compared to some of the wilder claims out there, but it adds up over time. Think about it: in a month, you could lose between 2 to 4 kg (4 to 8 pounds) – and that’s not something to sniff at!

Factors That Play a Role

The rate at which you lose fat can be influenced by several factors, including:

  1. Your starting weight: Those who have a significant amount of weight to lose might find they drop kilos more quickly at the beginning. The heavier you are, the more you can lose each week in percentage terms.
  2. Age: As we grow older, our metabolism tends to slow down (although there is some debate around this). So, a 20-year-old might shed weight a bit faster than a 60-year-old, all else being equal.
  3. Gender: Men often have a higher metabolic rate than women because they typically have more muscle mass. This means that, in some cases, men might experience slightly faster weight loss.
  4. Activity Level: The more active you are, the more calories you burn. So, someone who’s regularly working out and exercising will likely see faster results than someone who’s more sedentary.

The Slow and Steady Wins

You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” The same applies to weight loss. Quick fixes might give you immediate gratification, but they often lead to quick rebounds too. Losing weight slowly and steadily, while perhaps not as glamorous, is more likely to result in long-term success.

In Conclusion

It’s always tempting to chase after the promise of lightning-fast results. However, understanding and accepting realistic expectations can help you stay motivated, even when the scale isn’t showing dramatic drops. Remember, every bit counts, and it’s the overall journey that matters. And, as always, before starting any diet or fitness regime, it’s wise to chat with a healthcare, fitness or nutrition professional to ensure you’re on the right track.

I can help you…

I am a Weight Loss Coach, successfully helping people just like you to lose weight and keep it off: