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Old 09-18-2006, 12:36 AM   #1  
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Question How fast can you lose weight?

I was wondering if anyone knows what a healthy pace to lose weight is. I think I heard 2.5 lbs a weeks somewhere, but I'm not sure, it seems maybe a little high.

I just started a diet/exersize regimen, but I'm not couting calories. I want to lose 60lbs. I want to know what kind of monthly goals I should be setting for myself.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:48 AM   #2  
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Well, Weight Watchers says 2 pounds a week on a normal diet, at least after the first couple weeks where a lot of water is lost.

I would routinely lose 3 pounds on a mostly-liquid 800 calorie diet, but that is not something I would push for the majority! 2 seems healthy to me on a "normal" diet...

But I seem to remember reading also, perhaps in my Weight Watchers literature, that a healthy rate of loss is 1% of your current body weight a week... So if one is over 200 pounds, this percentage could exceed the standard 2 pounds.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:54 AM   #3  
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Hi! People usually say 1-2 lbs a week is the safe and sensible rate of weightloss to shoot for. I'm actually pleased you think 2.5 is a little high that means you're willing to take the time to do it right. So many people want to lose 5lbs or more a week.

So in theory you could lose up to 8 lbs a month. But as far as goals go, instead of having just a weight goal, have an eating goal or exercise goal (like eating 5 fruits and veggies a day, exercising 3 times a week, walking x-number of miles each week). Because sometimes even when you do everything right your weight will plateau and that can discourage you. You have more control over things like diet and exercise. And the behaviours you learn will be the most important factor in maintaining your weightloss.

You sound like you have a good attitude! Have a great journey!
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:57 AM   #4  
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The numbers will depend on how much you have to lose, but seem to vary from 1/2 pound to 2 pounds/week. But I do think a lot of people who have a lot to lose do lose it quicker. Weight loss tends to slow as people near their goals too...

As an aside, I find focusing too much on the scale to be problematic. Weights fluctuate for a whole host of reasons and if we worry overly much about plateaus or increases despite not overeating we'd go crazy quickly. I try to focus on the things I CAN control (my eating and exercise) and focus on working toward a more healthy lifestyle. There are lots of rewards in addition to the scale...
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:58 AM   #5  
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linki and I must have been reading each others minds!!
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:54 AM   #6  
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Lynellie-poo - where abouts in BC do you live?
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:10 AM   #7  
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It really depends on how much the person has to lose. With about 30 pounds overweight, I know that at first I lose about 1.5-2 lbs a week, but as soon as I start nearing the 140ish, it slows down to a booooring pace. In general, though, I think that 2-3 lbs/week is a good average loss - healthy enough, and also fast enough to avoid being too soon discouraged.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:10 PM   #8  
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I can't remember where I have read, this, but I have read it countless times: If you lose more than 2lbs a week you are just losing water and muscle. So..2lbs is the most you can go and lose what you want.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:42 PM   #9  
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Originally Posted by Kery View Post
It really depends on how much the person has to lose.
This is exactly right. Being nearly 300 pounds, for example, it would be healthier for me to be losing an average of 3 pounds per week than someone who only weighs, say, 150. The general rule is anything from .5-2 pounds per week on average is a healthy weight loss. However, as mentioned, if you are extremely obese (I hate the word "morbidly" ), you can safely lose at a quicker rate.

The danger in losing too quickly is not only that you could be losing muscle (even at a healthy rate, you are going to lose some muscle), but also that those who lose weight too quickly are MUCH more likely to gain it back rather than maintain the loss.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:51 PM   #10  
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Actually, I would really like to know if anyone has seen any definitive research on a healthy weight loss per week.
I hear the numbers thrown around, just like the amount of water one should consume is thrown around - yet there is no research to substaniate the claim of drinking 8 8oz glasses of water in a day.. I want to know if the mentality of don't lose more than 1 or 2lbs per week is just that - someone's idea/mentality that somehow kept getting passed along as accurate without any research to back it. Does this make sense? Also, just because an expert "says" doesn't mean that it is evidence based.

I lose at a rate of 5.5lbs per week, but I'm extremely fat and its medically supervised. I do think that the higher the amount of weight loss that one wants to achieve per week the more likely the need for medical supervision. But I'm all about doing what is healthy for yourself - if you lose at a high rate and are going about it in a healthy manner, then you should ignore the 1 or 2lbs per week mentality.
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:09 PM   #11  
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From what I read, the 1 to 2 lb guide is not meant for morbidly obese people but it gives us a clue. The reason is that your body won't let go of more than 1 to 2 lbs of fat in a week for someone who is overweight/obese. The rest of the weight will come from muscle which is what will lower your metabolism and is usually what is blamed when it comes to yo-yo dieting. Ie you lose fat, you lose muscle, you go back to eating "normal", your metabolism is lower than before so you gain all the fat back plus more.

Now for someone who is morbidly obese, fat loss can come faster because there is just more fat to lose. The key though is to try to minimize muscle loss as well. I don't know if there is a true formula based on fat percentage for ideal amount of fat loss per week, but if there was that'd be a good way to figure it out. During my initial weight loss, I steadily lost 65 lbs over a 3 month period which is about an average of 5 lbs/week. I was weight training, increasing strength and eating around 2000 calories/day. From my body fat percentages taken before my weight loss and afterwards, it seems like I didn't lose much muscle at all in that time. Now that I don't exercise as much but I still do a mix of weight training and cardio and still eat around 1800 calories/day, my average loss is about 2 lbs/week.

I figure my weight loss has slowed down because I have less fat to lose and I'm not as gung ho on the constant exercising as I once was. I'll happily take 2 lbs/week or even 1 lb/week
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:40 PM   #12  
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I've heard the 1 to 2 pound rule as well, but I can say by experience that the more overweight you are, the more you can lose and do so at a healthy pace. I was exercising normally. Started out walking (running intervals) about 1 mile per day. I worked up to 3. But even when I first started, just ONE MILE, coupled with eating healthy meals with NO calorie counting, I STILL lost approximately 5 pounds per week for the first few weeks. Well...the first week, no, as I was building muscle, but when I did start dropping, I was losing about 5 a week. Then it petered off to around 3 for awhile, then dropped to 1 or 2 a week when I got somewhere under 190.

I wasn't starving myself or exercising too much. I was taking no diet pills, not drinking any supplements...just regular eating of lean meats, fruits and veggies and whole grains.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:21 AM   #13  
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Thanks for all the info. I think I'll aim for 4lb/2 weeks, but I don't keep a scale in the house so I can't compolsively weigh myself.

And in reply to your question, sotypical, I live on Vancouver Island.
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:03 AM   #14  
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I started out losing 2 to 3 pounds a week when I was around 200 pounds. It was so easy then. Now that I have reached 152 it has taken me a month to drop 2 pounds!! I know that this is because my body has reached was it has always considered a comfortable weight. I still think I'm 20 pounds too heavy but I can now wear a size 8 jeans comfortably so maybe I should just be happy with where I am.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:15 AM   #15  
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I was told by my personal trainer 1% of your total weight is what I should be losing per week. Someone 300 lbs. can safely lose 3 lbs a week without losing to much muscle, so someone at 150 lbs should lose no more than 1.5 lbs a week.
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