This is a very important question.
Knowing the time to your ideal weight allows you to set realistic goals, and then follow through.
A Safe Rate of Weight Loss
On average, one can safely loose 1-2 pounds per week, which amounts to 4-8 pounds per
month. (This refers to loss of solid body tissue, not water. Water losses can be considerably
greater and more variable over shorter periods of time. During a weight loss program,
however, the goal is to loose solid body tissue such as fat.)
(no email address required)
This RSS feed keeps you up-to-date with all new content added to the Med-Solver.com website.
Click below to subscribe.
What's an RSS Feed?
So, knowing the total amount of
pounds that you want to shed, you can calculate the approximate time it will take you to reach
For example: If a person is 80 pounds overweight, it should take anywhere between 40 and 80 weeks (10 to
20 months) to loose this weight and reach ideal weight (considering an effective weight loss program).
However: You must know that in reality, the rate of weight loss will probably not be uniform over time.
Here is a glimpse into the dynamics of weight loss:
At first, a person might apply all the right weight loss measures (appropriate diet, exercise, etc), and yet not notice any change in body weight. It would seem that the body is stubbornly
clinging to its excessive weight, and this can be quite exasperating. In scientific terms, this
phenomenon is called hysteresis, which means nothing else than a delayed response from the
part of your body to the new conditions it is subjected to. This is a perfectly natural
phenomenon, and quite frequently encountered. It is important not to consider this a failure,
and not to give up during this period.
This initial lack of responsiveness can last anywhere
from 4 to 8 weeks. It is most common in weight loss programs that are based on diet alone,
without any notable physical exercise. The lack of responsiveness to diet is due to the fact
our body automatically decreases its metabolic rate to accommodate the reduced calorie
intake. This is sometimes referred to as "starvation mode". In other words, the body
interprets the reduced calorie intake as a starvation threat, therefore attempts to "conserve"
calories and maintain its current equilibrium.
If diet is continued however beyond the first 4-8 weeks, and especially if physical exercise is
added, the body will eventually snap out of this initial unresponsiveness. Then, progressive
weight loss will commence and continue over the next months.
Weight loss is usually not linear, and the road to one's ideal weight has its ups and downs. Generally, the more you approach your ideal weight, the slower the weight loss becomes. Oftentimes, stubborn weight plateaus occur,
which take time and effort to overcome. This should be regarded as an attempt of your body
to adapt to the new equilibrium you created. And it is reasonable to grant your body some
time to adapt and stabilize at the new lower weight level. Especially in weight loss programs that
involve loosing a large number of pounds (more than 20-30), the body should be given time to
stabilize for 2-3 weeks after each 20-30 pounds lost.
(By the way, the best way to break a
weight plateau is to change your workout routine to include more challenging muscle toning
During the times of active weight loss, a fair weight loss curve would be to loose about 5% of
your total body weight per month.
Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss:
Pushing yourself to loose weight more rapidly can sometimes lead to ill effects, which should not be trifled with. Find out more here.
Return from "Time to Ideal Weight" to "Self Evaluation"