100 lb. Club - losing more than 2 pounds per week.... I thought this wasn't healthy?

02-12-2012, 09:38 AM
I see posts here all the time showing people losing 100 pounds in less than a year, or in general, losing weight at a greater than 2 pound per week rate. Heck, I've lost 7.1 pounds in 9 days (but i did just start my journey feb 1).

Conventional wisdom always says that more than 2 pounds a week isn't healthy and isn't done, so how is it that many people are doing it? Not complaining at all, but, just don't want to mess myself up along the way. I would never eat too few calories or exercise too much in an effort to lose more than 2 pounds per week, but, if I do lose more, I'm not gonna complain!!

(ps-0.7 pounds away from 199.9!!!)

02-12-2012, 09:47 AM
Who says losing more than 2 pounds a week isn't healthy and isn't done ? I have actually never heard this. Many people lose more than 2 pounds a week and are perfectly healthy. It is not at all unusual to lose more than 2 pounds a week, especially at the beginning of a diet.People who have a great deal of weight to lose will generally lose more than 2 pounds a week as well as men who lose at a faster pace than women.

02-12-2012, 09:52 AM
For me, when I am on plan I can easily lose more than two (or even five) pounds per week. I'm just very very overweight. It slows down as you get closer to your goal weight.

Weight loss happens when you create a calorie deficit (burn more than you eat). Let's say, for example (made up numbers for the sake of simplicity) it takes 2870 calories per day to maintain my current weight and it takes 2000 calories per day to maintain yours. We each need to cut out 3600 calories to lose a pound. If we both follow 1500 calories a day, my 1370 uneaten calories will add to 3600 up faster than your 500. Does that make sense?

The bigger you are, the more calories you need to maintain your weight, so the more there are to cut so you can start losing.

And then there are things like activity level and kinds of calories you eat (although in my experience, as long as I stick to around 1500 calories, I will lose weight no matter what those calories come from), age, male or female (my husband can just THINK the words, "I am on a diet" and suddenly he's losing weight).

02-12-2012, 09:56 AM
Who says losing more than 2 pounds a week isn't healthy and isn't done ? I have actually never heard this. Many people lose more than 2 pounds a week and are perfectly healthy. It is not at all unusual to lose more than 2 pounds a week, especially at the beginning of a diet.People who have a great deal of weight to lose will generally lose more than 2 pounds a week as well as men who lose at a faster pace than women.

The two pounds a week thing is pretty common conventional wisdom. WW says it, every calorie calculator has the disclaimer that losing more than two pounds per week is unhealthy, all the diet books caution you to aim for or be happy with two pounds per wee. I think this is the kind of thinking that hasn't caught up with the reality that MOST people are no longer twenty pounds overweight, we're more like sixty, one hundred, or more.

02-12-2012, 09:57 AM
Yes, I have heard this. When you lose slowly, your body will form a habit of healthy eating and living, so in that regard slow and steady wins the race.(How many times have I read that on here? A TON!) If your body does not form a habit of a healthy lifestyle, chances are high you will regain quickly.

Thy being said, if you have a substantial amount to loose and are heavier, the weight tends to fall off faster after adopting to healthy changes.

02-12-2012, 10:03 AM
my weight tracker app, spark people, etc say that losing more than 2 pounds a week isn't good. thats where i was getting the idea. I realize that as I get closer to goal (gosh, its so hard to imagine that happening) it will slow down, but the initial more rapid drop is motivating.....

02-12-2012, 10:35 AM
When you have a lot to lose it's pretty common to lose more than 2lbs per week, but it usually averages out to 2lbs when you're all said and done. 100lbs in a year is a little less than 2lbs per week anyway.

I lost at a rate of 1.8 pounds per week, but if I break my weight loss into chunks, I lost at a rate of more than 2lbs per week in the beginning, and less than 2lbs per week at the end. I'm not actively trying to lose, but I do seem to be losing about a pound or two a month now.

If you're just overweight (or even normal according to your BMI) and not obese, then you probably shouldn't lose more than 2lbs per week. If you are obese then just from changing your habits you're probably going to lose a lot more each week. Just remember that say, 5lbs for someone who is 250 pounds is much different than 5lbs for someone who is 150 pounds. the 5lbs of the 150 pound person make up a greater percentage of their body weight and thus it will probably be harder for them to take the 5lbs off. The 250 pound person might lose 5lbs in one week.

02-12-2012, 10:40 AM
It's HOW you lose the weight that is the important question. If you go on a crash diet and drastically reduce calories you will lose more than two pounds a week. That is not healthy and I agree with that, but if you go on a sensible diet eating three meals a day of healthy , nutritious food and at a sensible amount of calories and lose more than 2 pounds a week, that is not unhealthy and is not uncommon.

02-12-2012, 12:28 PM
I have to think that some of the recommendations do not take factor in how many people are 100+ pounds overweight and are making a generalization for people who have less than 100 pounds to lose. People with more than that are probably advised to seek medical advice before starting on a "diet." I don't think any of the "experts" would say that 1% a week is unhealthy. For a person who weighs 300 pounds, that's 3 pounds.

I also agree that larger numbers at the beginning are easier to attain, so the average might seem higher than 2 pounds a week, but in reality, the larger amount of weight was probably lost at 2 pounds or less per week.

Personally, I lost 90 pounds in 38 weeks. It averaged about 2.4 pounds per week, with the highest week's loss being about 5 pounds and the lowest being 0. I know what I did was healthy. I ate almost no junk, lots of veggies and fruit, lean meat and other protein, and exercised almost every day. I'm doing the same to maintain, but have the occasional splurge on something I may have avoided while I was trying to lose.

I think a steady loss of 1% per week is reasonable and can be very healthy. I also agree that crash and fad diets that promise huge losses can be dangerous. We have to use common sense.


02-12-2012, 01:07 PM
It's really common to lose a lot in the beginning... I think part of the logic behind this conventional wisdom is to prevent people from going on crash or drastic diets. Everyone's body is different. I lost 50 lbs From Aug 23 to Dec 22... now it's petering down to about 8 lbs a month as I've adjusted my calorie intake to around 1600 (I'm working with a nutritionist now). And sometimes I lose nothing and then I'll drop 3 or 4 lbs in a week.... Just be safe and smart and let your body do it's job!

02-12-2012, 01:26 PM
If you continued to lose 7 lbs a week for your entire journey it may be reason for concern. Right off the bat, it's common to lose quite a bit more than 2 lbs a week, though. It slows down when you get closer to goal. As long as you're getting all the nutrients you need, and feel good, I don't think there's any danger in losing a bit more than an average of 2lbs a week.

02-13-2012, 12:18 AM
I always get a bit bummed when I hear about people loosing a lot at first. I have a substantial amount to loose and have averaged 1.4 pounds a week since I started. no big woosh at all.

02-13-2012, 12:54 AM
A lot of the "conventional wisdom" is aimed at the average person, not the person who has 100 lbs to lose.

And if you think about it, how could there be a one-size-fits all amount that is unhealthy or healthy for everyone? Can "more than two pounds" really be unsafe for both the person who weighs 110 lbs (and wants to weigh 102) and for the person who weighs 600 lbs?

That doesn't mean that everyone who has a lot to lose will, should, or can lose it quickly. Sometimes you can do "everything right" and still lose slowly.

02-13-2012, 02:33 AM
When I started I was losing about 4 or more a week then 3 and at the very end about 2/5 pounds a week. It was perfectly healthy. I agree with everyone who said the fact that many people are more than 100 pounds is not taken into the calculation.

02-13-2012, 06:38 AM
I'd say the 2lbs/week rule works better the closer you are towards a healthy weight. If you have 5lbs to lose then 2lbs/week is probably too much to expect. ;) However, if you have more like 100lbs to lose (and you're right at the beginning of your journey) there's a very high chance you'll lose even more than that. When DH started he was definitely losing more than 2lbs/week. It's slowed down a lot since then but he's still losing at a nice clip.

I'm nowhere near that and if I lose 1lb/week that's really, really fast for me! :lol: I've had some months of losing nothing and others at about 2lbs/month. Really, it depends on your body, how much effort you're willing to put in, how old you are, what type of exercise you're doing etc. I've always preferred to have a smaller calorie deficit, lose slower, and workout more because of my philosophy behind weight loss/maintenance. It works for me but that's not necessarily a universal truth.