Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What is considered a good rate of weight loss?

This is a really important question that I hear from just about every client that I work with. Having reasonable and realistic expectations of your weight loss effort can be the difference between hitting your goal, and giving up prematurely because the program “Isn’t working fast enough!”

Ideal weight loss is ¾ of a pound per week for the ladies and 1 pound a week for the men. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to 3 pounds in a month, 18 pounds in 6 months, and 36 pounds in a year. This is the rate of weight loss for those that are successful at losing weight and keeping it off long term.

Why is this the case?
1) A pound of fat is 3500 calories. This means that there are 500 calories per day that you have to eliminate by either eating less or exercising more. Even this is not easy to do with consistency.

2) Resistance training will add small amounts of muscle to your body. This is pivotal to maintaining metabolic rate and ensuring that you’re losing body fat and not muscle mass. This additional muscle weight will show up on the scale and will slow down the overall rate of weight loss. Trust me when I say this is a very good trade-off. Maintaining muscle mass throughout the weight loss process is the only way to permanently change your body.

3) The human body has a number of defense mechanisms to weight loss that are recruited when body fat starts to drop. This will naturally slow down the rate of weight loss as time goes on.

4) It is far better to make smaller changes to your diet and exercise program that are sustainable long term, than major changes that you can only keep up for a short time.

Popular TV shows and fad diets will promise that you can lose 5, 10, or 15 pounds in a week. Don’t believe the hype. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss. Keep your eye on the goal long term and take it nice and slow!




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