How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?


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Whether you need to lose weight for an important day or simply improve your health, weight loss is a standard objective.

To set sensible expectations, it’s your decision to know what a healthy weight loss fee is.

This article explains the elements that have an effect on how lengthy it might take you to lose weight.

How weight loss happens

Weight loss happens while you persistently devour fewer calories than you burn every day.

Conversely, weight gain occurs while you persistently eat extra calories than you burn.

Any meals or beverage you devour that has calories counts towards your total calorie intake.

That stated, the quantity of calories you burn every day, which is named energy or calorie expenditure, is a little more sophisticated.

Calorie expenditure consists of the next three main parts (1Trusted Source):

  • Resting metabolic fee (RMR). This is the quantity of calories your body wants to preserve regular bodily features, resembling breathing and pumping blood.
  • Thermic impact of meals (TEF). This refers to the calories used to digest, take up, and metabolize meals.
  • Thermic impact of exercise (TEA). These are the calories you employ throughout exercise. TEA may include non-exercise exercise thermogenesis (NEAT), which accounts for the calories used for actions like yard work and fidgeting.

If the quantity of calories you devour equals the quantity of calories you burn, you preserve your body weight.

If you need to lose weight, you could create a negative calorie stability by consuming fewer calories than you burn or burning extra calories through increased exercise.


Weight loss happens while you persistently devour fewer calories than you burn every day.

Factors affecting weight loss

Several elements have an effect on the speed at which you lose weight. Many of them are out of your management.


Your fat-to-muscle ratio enormously impacts your potential to lose weight.

Because girls usually have a better fat-to-muscle ratio than males, they’ve a 5–10% decrease RMR than males of the identical top (2Trusted Source).

This signifies that girls usually burn 5–10% fewer calories than males at relaxation. Thus, males have a tendency to lose weight faster than women following a diet equal in calories.

For instance, an 8-week research together with over 2,000 individuals on an 800-calorie diet discovered that males misplaced 16% extra weight than girls, with relative weight loss of 11.8% in males and 10.3% in girls (3Trusted Source).

Yet, whereas males tended to lose weight faster than girls, the research didn’t analyze gender-based variations in the flexibility to preserve weight loss.


One of the various bodily adjustments that happen with ageing is alterations in body composition — fats mass will increase and muscle mass decreases.

This change, together with different elements just like the declining calorie wants of your main organs, contributes to a decrease RMR (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

In reality, adults over age 70 can have RMRs which are 20–25% decrease than these of youthful adults (2Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

This lower in RMR could make weight loss more and more difficult with age.

Starting level

Your preliminary body mass and composition might also have an effect on how rapidly you’ll be able to anticipate to lose weight.

It’s necessary to perceive that completely different absolute weight losses (in pounds) can correspond to the identical relative (%) weight loss in completely different people. Ultimately, weight loss is a posh course of.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Body Weight Planner is a helpful information to how much you’ll be able to lose primarily based in your preliminary weight, age, intercourse, and what number of calories you are taking in and expend (7Trusted Source).

Although a heavier individual could lose double the amount of weight, an individual with much less weight could lose an equal percentage of their body weight (10/250 = 4% versus 5/125 = 4%).

For instance, an individual weighing 300 pounds (136 kg) could lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) after reducing their daily intake by 1,000 calories and growing physical exercise for two weeks.

Calorie deficit

You should create a negative calorie stability to lose weight. The extent of this calorie deficit impacts how rapidly you lose weight.

For instance, consuming 500 fewer calories per day for 8 weeks will seemingly end result in better weight loss than eating 200 fewer calories per day.

However, make certain not to make your calorie deficit too large.

Doing so wouldn’t solely be unsustainable but additionally put you in danger for nutrient deficiencies. What’s extra, it would make you extra seemingly to lose weight in the shape of muscle mass fairly than fats mass.


Sleep tends to be an missed but essential part of weight loss.

Chronic sleep loss can considerably hinder weight loss and the velocity at which you shed pounds.

Just one evening of sleep deprivation has been proven to increase your want for high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods, resembling cookies, cakes, sugary drinks, and chips (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

One 2-week research randomized individuals on a calorie-restricted diet to sleep both 5.5 or 8.5 hours every evening.

Those who slept 5.5 hours misplaced 55% much less body fats and 60% extra lean body mass than those that slept 8.5 hours per evening (10Trusted Source).

Consequently, power sleep deprivation is strongly linked to sort 2 diabetes, weight problems, heart disease, and sure cancers (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

Other elements

Several different elements can have an effect on your weight loss fee, together with:

  • Medications. Many medicines, resembling antidepressants and different antipsychotics, can promote weight acquire or hinder weight loss (14Trusted Source).
  • Medical situations. Illnesses, together with despair and hypothyroidism, a situation in which your thyroid gland produces too few metabolism-regulating hormones, can sluggish weight loss and encourage weight acquire (7Trusted Source15Trusted Source).
  • Family historical past and genes. There is a well-established genetic part related to people who’ve overweight or weight problems, and it might have an effect on weight loss (16Trusted Source17Trusted Source).
  • Yo-yo weight-reduction plan. This sample of losing and regaining weight could make weight loss more and more troublesome with every try, due to a lower in RMR (18Trusted Source).


Age, gender, and sleep are just some of the various elements that have an effect on weight loss. Others include some medical situations, your genetics, and the use of sure medicines.

Best diet for weight loss

With innumerable weight loss diets accessible — all promising spectacular and fast outcomes — it may be complicated to know which one is finest.

Yet, although creators and proponents deem their packages superior to the remainder, there’s no single finest weight loss diet (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

For instance, low-carb diets like keto could assist you to lose extra weight initially, but research discover no vital variations in weight loss in the long run (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source23Trusted Source).

What issues most is your potential to stick to a healthy, reduced-calorie eating sample (24Trusted Source25Trusted Source).

However, following a really low calorie diet for lengthy intervals is troublesome for a lot of people and the rationale why most diets fail (26Trusted Source).

To increase your possibilities of success, solely reasonably reduce your calorie intake, individualize your diet in accordance to your preferences and health or work with a registered dietitian.

Combine diet with exercise, together with each cardio and resistance coaching, to maximize fats loss and forestall or decrease muscle loss (27Trusted Source).

By eliminating extremely processed foods and incorporating extra healthy, entire foods, resembling vegetables, fruits, entire grains, healthy fat, and proteins, you’ll be able to additional promote weight loss and your total health.


Adhering to a weight loss diet is troublesome for many people. Regardless of your targets, select a dietary sample primarily based in your particular person preferences and health standing.

Safe charges of weight loss

While most people hope for quick, fast weight loss, it’s necessary that you simply don’t lose too much weight too rapidly.

Rapid weight loss can increase your danger of gallstones, dehydration, and malnutrition (28Trusted Source).

Other side results of fast weight loss include (29Trusted Source30Trusted Source):

  • complications
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle loss

Though weight loss could happen quicker at the beginning of a program, consultants recommend a weight loss of 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week, or about 1% of your body weight (31Trusted Source).

Also, hold in thoughts that weight loss isn’t a linear course of. Some weeks you could lose extra, whereas different weeks you could lose much less or none in any respect (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

So don’t be discouraged in case your weight loss slows or plateaus for just a few days.

Using a meals diary, in addition to weighing yourself regularly, could assist you to keep on monitor.

Research exhibits that people who make use of self-monitoring strategies, resembling recording your dietary intake and weight, are extra profitable at losing weight and preserving it off than those that don’t (34Trusted Source).


Losing weight too rapidly can lead to issues like gallstones, muscle loss, and excessive fatigue. Experts recommend a reasonable weight loss of 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week, or about 1% of your body weight.

The bottom line

Weight loss happens while you eat fewer calories than you burn.

Many elements have an effect on your weight loss fee, together with your gender, age, beginning weight, sleep, and the extent of your calorie deficit.

Aiming to lose 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week is a secure and sustainable approach to reach your goals.

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