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How Quickly Can You Lose Weight

If you're looking to lose weight quickly, it's important to understand the difference between losing weight and burning fat. Losing weight can be a temporary measure where hydration, carbohydrate storage, salt intake, sweating, bowel movements and menstrual cycle can all lead to large swings in weight, however this is not a true measure of fat loss. This is why it's important to understand realistic long term weight loss targets to help with your weight loss goals.

What's wrong with losing weight quickly?

Although rapid weight loss can be a strong motivation, a large kcal deficit can lead to a more significant reduction in muscle mass and performance compared to slower rates of weight loss (1). Even if your goal is just weight loss, the likelihood of sticking to an extreme diet is also very small and such severe measures can lead to physical and psychological problems such as low self-esteem, poor body image, illness and injury.

Being able to stick to an eating pattern for the foreseeable future is key for long-term success. Therefore, you should focus on a smaller and more manageable drop in kcals, which will make dieting feel a lot less like dieting. This will help you stay with your plan for longer.

How quickly should you expect results?

Your rate of weight loss will depend on your current body fat percentage and exercise activity. A higher body fat percentage will result in a quicker loss of weight whereas a lower initial body fat percentage will result in slower weight loss. As a guide, you should hope to expect a loss of between 0.5-1% of your bodyweight per week.

This is the reason why with metabolism testing, we are able to set more realistic weight loss targets based on your on your current metabolism and body composition.

So what should you aim for?

Example - 90kg A target rate of weight loss will be 5-10% of 90 = (90/100 x.5) (90/100 x 1) =

0.45- 0.9kg per week.

Diet length – A Phased Approach

We recommend a period of 12 weeks to notice changes in dietary habits and body composition. This will, of course, vary from person to person but this time frame gives you room to cement good dietary practice.

Dieting for lengthy periods can lead to muscle loss, a performance decrement, poor sleep, increased hunger and fatigue. For this reason, we recommend staying in a calorie deficit for no more than 12-16 weeks.

A phased approach is a method of breaking your diet into periods of eating in a kcal deficit (dieting phase) and eating in a kcal surplus (maintenance phase).

A maintenance phase is practical way to give you a psychological but also a physical break from dieting. These maintenance phases of increased kcals enable hormones to reset to normal levels that can reduce hunger, cravings, increase energy levels, metabolic rates and improve training. This can result in more favourable long-term changes in body composition and performance. From a psychological perspective, it also gives you a break from tracking and simply dieting. It’s not always fun eating in a kcal deficit!

After 12-16 weeks of dieting, we recommend you then follow a maintenance phase that lasts around 6-12 weeks. The longer you diet for, the longer your maintenance phase should be. This will give your body plenty of time to recover before you choose to diet again.

Example Fat loss plan

Are you struggling to lose weight?

If you're struggling to lose weight and feel that you've tried everything, then check out Ignite, our weight loss programme that uses metabolic testing to build a diet programme around your unique metabolism. Click below to find out more.


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