Weight Loss - How Long Does It Take?
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Weight Loss - How Long Does It Take?

5 May ‘22 By AnikNutrition
  • Weight Loss - How Long Does It Take?
    We all want to lose weight, regardless of whether we are trying to improve our health or lose weight for a special occasion.

Setting realistic expectations for weight loss is easier when you know a healthy weight loss rate.

The factors affecting weight loss rate are discussed in this article.

How weight loss takes place

The average person loses weight when they consume fewer calories than they burn.

On the other hand, a person gains weight when they consume more calories than they burn..

Hence, lowering your calorie intake or increasing your activity level can result in a negative energy balance that will help you lose weight.

Factors affecting weight loss

Fat-to-muscle ratio has an enormous impact on weight loss.

Fat-to-muscle ratios are higher in women than in men, leading to a slower resting metabolic rate than in men of equal height.

Women burn 5–10% fewer calories while resting than men. Consequently, men tend to lose weight more quickly than women following a similar calorie diet.

Starting point

How quickly you can expect to lose weight will also depend on your initial body mass and composition.

Individuals can achieve different absolute weight losses (in pounds) while achieving similar relative (%) weight losses. Overall, weight loss is a complex process.

You can determine how much weight you can lose using the Body Weight Planner on the National Institutes of Health website based on your starting weight, age, gender, and calories you take in and expend each day.

Calorie deficit

Losing weight requires you to create a negative calorie balance. How much of a deficit you make determines how fast you lose weight.

A decrease in calorie intake of 500 per day for eight weeks will probably result in more weight loss than a reduction of 200 per day.

Make sure you don't go too low on calories.

The problem with this is that it would be unsustainable, but you would also be vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies. It may even increase your chances of losing weight in the form of muscle mass rather than fat.


When you age, you may experience changes in your body composition, such as increased fat mass and a decreasing muscle mass.

RMR decreases due to these changes and other factors such as the declining calorie needs of your major organs.

Weight loss becomes increasingly difficult with age because of the decrease in RMR.


We tend to overlook sleep as a crucial factor in weight loss.

The speed at which you shed pounds can be hindered significantly by chronic sleep loss.

Sleep deprivation researchers have found that even just one night of lack of sleep can make you crave high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. For example, cookies, cakes, sugary drinks, and chips may sound appealing when tired.

Therefore, people who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or even cancer.

Various other factors

Several other factors can affect your weight loss rate, including:

  • Medicines. You can gain weight or have trouble losing weight when taking certain medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics.
  • Diseases. Many diseases can negatively affect weight loss and encourage weight gain, including depression and hypothyroidism.
  • Genetics and family history. Those who are overweight or obese may have a genetic component that may affect their ability to lose weight.
  • Yo-yo dieting. Losing and regaining weight frequently can result in weight loss becoming more complex as RMR decreases with each attempt.
    Safe rates of weight loss
    Although most people hope for rapid weight loss, you should avoid losing too much weight too fast.

Quick weight-loss puts you at greater risk for gallstones, dehydration, and malnutrition.

Rapid weight loss may also cause the following side effects:

  • headaches
  • Excessive irritation
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle loss During the first week of your program, you may lose a lot of weight faster, but experts recommend losing 1 to 3 pounds per week, or about 1% of your body weight.

It is also important to remember that weight loss is not a linear process. It is possible to lose more or less weight in some weeks, while you may lose none in other weeks.

You shouldn't give up if your weight loss slows down or plateaus for a few days.

Staying on track may be easier if you keep a food diary and weigh yourself regularly.

Researchers have shown that those who record their dietary intake, weight, and activity levels are more successful at losing weight and maintaining it than those who do not.


The body loses weight when fewer calories are consumed than are burned.

Your weight loss rate is affected by different factors, such as your gender, age, weight when you start, sleep, and the number of calories you burn each day.

To reach your goals safely and sustainably, you should aim to lose 1 to 3 pounds (0.45 to 1.36 kg) per week.

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