This article will answer the question, “What is a healthy weight loss per week?”
Often, when we are determined to lose weight to improve our health or to look better for a special occasion, we are impatient and want to drop our excess pounds quickly.
In this situation, it’s common for people to expect to lose several pounds in a week. When this doesn’t happen, it can be tempting to cut further calories and do extra workouts.
Some people may even resort to crash diets, but these can be detrimental, and they aren’t sustainable over time.
Keep reading to find out the maximum safe weight loss per week. By not overdoing it, you can lose weight, keep it off permanently, and transform your life for the better.
Healthy Weight Loss Per Week Overview
We’ve long been told that losing weight at a slow and steady pace is the best way to keep it off long term. Studies have shown that this approach is also healthier, however; there are some exceptions.
For instance, people who are morbidly obese may need to cut calories drastically to undergo life-saving surgery. This approach may also be necessary when excess pounds are endangering health to the extent that gradual weight loss is not an option.
According to most weight loss experts, for anyone else, the key to long-term safe weight loss is to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. This is considered to be an achievable and sustainable goal that will not endanger health.
Dropping weight at a faster rate could result in your metabolism slowing down. This occurs because your body goes into starvation mode to maintain its fat stores. Another reason that metabolic rate can slow on a crash diet is due to a fall in the hormones that regulate metabolism. With a slower metabolism, it will be easier to gain weight as soon as you start eating a little more.
Another reason to avoid losing weight too quickly is that people with more muscle have a higher metabolic rate, and extreme dieting results in muscle loss. The reason for this is that when calories are greatly restricted, our bodies are programmed to lose muscle before fat. True fat loss takes longer.
Something to keep in mind is that you may lose considerably more than 2 pounds in the first week. This is because when we take in fewer calories, we lose more water. During this process, your body will draw on stored energy known as glycogen. As glycogen is burned for fuel, your body will release water. Once your glycogen store is depleted, your weight loss will stabilize, and you should lose around 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Do fad diets ever work?
Fad diets and crash diets may work, but usually only temporarily. Eating this way is not sustainable long-term. Most people following such a diet regain at least half of the weight they lose within twelve months. And within three to five years, most regain all of the weight. People who successfully lose a small amount of weight on a crash diet will regain it far faster, often in just a few weeks.
Losing weight at a slow and steady rate is the better option as rather than a weight loss diet, you will be making lifestyle changes. For example, you may be eating more fruit and vegetables and cutting back on foods with high sugar content. In this situation, any weight you lose can usually be maintained without too much difficulty.
Again, some studies have shown that for some people, rapid weight loss is just as effective as slow weight loss. However, this is usually because the participants had the support and supervision of dieticians and health professionals.
In this situation, they were able to sustain the weight loss and keep it off. However, without expert support, the likelihood of losing weight quickly and maintaining weight loss is slim.
What are the health implications of rapid weight loss?
Over time, a highly restrictive diet will result in nutritional deficiencies. It can also put you at risk of developing specific health problems. These include malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, gall stones, constipation, extreme tiredness, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and irregular menstruation in women. Hair loss, impaired immune function, weak and brittle bones, feeling cold all the time, and muscle cramps can also occur.
What is the most effective way to lose weight?
According to nutritionists and dieticians, there is no quick fix or magic bullet for weight loss. Diet is 80% of what we eat and 20% exercise.
The most reliable and sustainable way to lose weight is to improve your diet and be more active. Center your diet around fresh, minimally processed foods, control your portion sizes, and get up of that couch and go for a brisk walk. This approach may take longer, but it really is that simple.
Eliminating entire food groups, over-training and undertaking detoxes can make it harder to lose weight.
Another mistake many people make is to take in fewer calories on the days that they train. These are the days when you can and should eat a little more, providing the foods are healthy, of course. If you restrict your calorie intake too much on days you train intensely; you will feel hungry and want to eat late at night or eat more the next day.
Something to be aware of is that muscle weighs more than fat, so if you have been eating well and exercising regularly and your clothes are becoming looser, but the number on the weight scale hasn’t budged, don’t despair. You are losing weight and gaining muscle, which is a good thing. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, don’t be discouraged. Research has shown that the more a person weighs, the more calories they burn during exercise. And, because heavier individuals have a higher BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), they even burn more calories when at rest. This being so if you are obese and you have been eating the wrong foods in too large portion sizes, even making a few minor changes to your diet can have a significant impact on weight loss.
If you only need to lose a few pounds, the weight will probably come off more slowly. The reason for this is that when you eat less, your metabolism may slow to keep some energy reserves in case they are needed.
This does not occur with people who carry more fat and hold more fluid than their body needs as there is already a big enough stockpile.
Healthy Weight Loss Per Week Recap
A healthy weight loss per week varies, depending on the individual’s circumstances. For those who are very overweight, losing weight quickly may be necessary for certain situations, including before surgery. For the majority of us, however, too-quick weight loss can result in a loss of water and muscle rather than fat.
This is because highly restricting calories can slow the metabolism, and this drop can continue long after your diet is over. Under these circumstances, there is a high chance that as soon as you resume your normal eating pattern, you will gain all of the weight you lost and possibly more. Nutritional deficiencies that lead to a range of medical conditions – as outlined above – can also result.
So instead of undertaking a fad diet, make positive changes that will enable you not just to lose your excess pounds but keep them off. Eat plenty of protein, healthy carbs, fiber, and good oils and cut back on bad fats, sugar, and starch. And don’t forget to cut back on sugar and starch. Add exercise into the mix, and you will not only lose weight but also improve your health.