Everyone wants to get rid of excess weight as fast as possible. Normally we are used to getting everything instantly. But what is maximum rate at which can lose weight? How fast can you lose weight and still be healthy? Health is the ultimate goal with any diet, weight loss program or anything that you do in your day to day fitness life. In this article we will answer these questions – how fast can you lose weight the healthy way.
If you’re our customer or a reader of our site – know that we recommend the range of weight loss per week to be from 0.5 to 1 kg(1 to 2 pounds per week).
But why? Where does this rule come from? Can I lose weight faster. The other common questions are can I lose weight faster? Will it be unhealthy or it will be simply impossible to lose weight faster?
Our point of view is that:
The question of how healthy is to reduce your weight with more than 1 kg (2 pounds) per
week is debatable. If you train hard, follow a diet and manage to lose even more per week is not wrong. The point is that losing anything more than 1 kg (2 pounds) per week are considered extreme outcomes that require extreme measures. Not every one is capable of doing extreme dieting or getting extreme trainings, so we will keep to the general results.
Extreme diets are considered any dieting plans, methods or schemesthat are pushing the limits of your body well beyond its capabilities. based on our experience, all diets normally begin the same way. A person notices that he or she has gained some weight. At the end, it gets to be so much, that this person decides to lose some weight (kilograms or punds) by going on a diet. There is a healthy ways to diet and an unhealthy ways also. One of the unhealthy way of dieting is extreme dieting, which can also be called crash dieting or, in really extreme cases, all-out fasting. Extreme dieting is not something to try, as it has numerous risks, unwanted side effects and dangers associated with it.
Everyone has heard, and many have experienced the effects of “Miracle” fast diets, which melt kilograms (pounds) like a snowman during summer.
Let us explain why it is difficult to lose more than 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of fat per
week (note the keyword “fat” and not body weight in kilograms(pounds).
In fact, it is not difficult or impossible to lose a few kilograms within days or even hours. Every bodybuilder or fitness athlete has done this before competition. The goal is to enter a weight category. Normally bodybuilders do little sauna, little hunger and thirst, a lot of training and they are ready. You can lose up to 4-5 kilograms (8-10 pounds).
But only a very small portion of this weight that is being lost is fat.
Why is that, I am losing weight, but not losing fats? How is that possible? What have I lost then?
The answer to this question is – Water. Human body is approximately 60%
water. Your simply cannot lose 4-5 kilograms (8-10 pounds) of fat for such a short period of time- not even for a week it is just physiologically impossible.
1 gram of fat has 9 calories (kilocalories). Therefore, in order to lose one kilogram of fat your body needs to feel energy deficit of 9000 calories so it can fuel itself from stored fat. There is a strict law of calorie balance that we will discuss in other articles.
1 gram X 9 calories X 1 kilogram of fat = 9000 calories less
Excess fat is actually stored in the body as an energy depot, a kind of “bank account” with which to survive if your body does not get enough calories per day. These “fats for rainy days” are necessary to maintaining life and movement functions if you take in fewer calories than you expend.
The only way to decrease body fat is:
Your body must experience deficit of calories and start to burn fat for energy.
This is it. There is no other way to lose weight. Forget about the “magic” pills, herbs and all other widely known but inefficient tools that presumably melt body fat like magic.
The speed with which you can lose fat is somewhat proportional to the caloric deficit. For example, if you want to lose 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of fat a week you need to take 1285 calories less than you expend per day (9000:7 = 1285). Pure Mathematics.
For example a man who does not play sports nor fitness and has a normal lifestyle.
He needs approximately 2,000 calories to maintain his weight. To lose 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of fat a week he needs to take only 715 calories a day (2000-1285). This is what mathematics say. The amount of food that generate 715 caloeris is just too little. This man will be always hungry, unhappy and in the long run there will be unhealthy side effects to his body. Some of the risks for his health will be loss of lean muscle tissue, slowing of the metabolism, entering the so called “sleep mode” to burn less calories, hormonal disorders and many others.
At least half of the lost weight will be from muscle mass, which is additional crash of the metabolism and his appearance. Eventually after such a diet the weight will quickly be restored plus little “bonus” of more weight. His body will try to gain additional weight to survive such periods of hunder if they occur in the future. After several such “hungry diets” this man will most probaly have a faulty metabolism as well as his initial weight.
This is what happens with all diets that are extreme and promise fast weight loss results!
All extreme diets rely on drastic reduction of calories. Because of little food, muscles quickly lose glycogen and along with it they lose a lot of water. This gives an initial drop of a few kilos, but this is water, not fats. Every time when the arrow on the scales fall rapidly down, do not hurry to rejoice – it is not possible to lose fat so fast.
In the above example it would not be appropriate to lose more than 400 grams of fat per week. If we choose to lose 400 grams the calories you take daily will have to be reduced by 500 per day or 25% compared to the caloric balance. This is the absolute limit for
relatively long-term reduction of calories without any of the above listed health risks to occur.
But how you know whether the purpose is fulfilled and you are burning fat. Many people who have read weight loss articles ask themselves this question: How do I know I am burning fat not muscle?
It is normal to ask yourself if the total weight loss is due to water loss? Or in other words – how to monitor how much weight is decreased from fat, how much from water and how much from muscle mass.
The answer is simple: You can use Body Mass Index calculators (BMI) to easily calculate and track the changes in percent of body fat
The only correct and healthy way to safely lose more fat for a shorter period of time is to increase your body calorie consumption.
In one sentence the right strategy for successful and healthy weight loss and fat loss would be:
“Eat enough of the right foods and train more”
Training will create a large energy expense and will speed up your metabolism. (mostly do weight trainings). This will help you burn more fat without the need to reduce calories.
Another related article we wrote is How many calories do I burn a day?
It will shed some light on how many caloeries do you bur with your daily activities!
Again for the above example, if the man starts playing sports (fitness or anything that burns more calories) he can increase his daily energy expense from 2000 to 2500-2700-3000 or more calories depending on the frequency and intensity of traininga. If he trains fairly frequently and intense and increases his need for calories to 3,000 a day, in order to burn 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of fat a week, he will now be able to receive 1715 calories (3000 – 1285) which is a lot more food.
Our advice is to find balance between calories reduction and increasing energy consumption
(Workouts), and not to hurry. Even loosing 0.5 kilogram (1 pound) fat a week if your results are permanent, your diet and training are not a burden for you, you do not feel hungry and tired, sooner or later your desired weight and appearance will be reached.
If you calculate correctly,
you can lose approximately 2 kilograms ( 4 pounds) of fat per month
you can burn approximately 24 kilograms (52 pounds) of fat per year.
However, if the case is “urgent” (as always, you will go to the beach soon, for example), the most appropriate solution is to add more low-intensity cardio workouts from which your body recovers quickly and you can even practice them twice a day. And not to spend
hours of cardio equipment – just think early on and plan and monitor your progress.
Now, we hope you understand why everything over the loss of 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of fat
weekly is called extreme results. To achieve such results you need to follow very frequent and intense workouts and diets, and this can be afforded only people with enough experience and training to secure the right recovery for their bodies. Now you know the wrong way of fast weight loss and fat loss and it is called – extremely little food or fasting.
Here is what most of our customers say:
Enough with the crazy diets!
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