Almost all of us want to lose weight at some point in our lives, but the weight loss process can be intimidating. Over half of Americans currently want to lose weight, but most have trouble sticking to their routines.
Fortunately, we know more about the weight loss process than ever before, which can make it easier for anybody with weight loss goals. Let's talk about the ideal weight loss timeline and how you can get there yourself!
How to Lose Weight
It's essential to understand that there is only one way to lose weight. To lose weight, you must maintain a calorie deficit, meaning you are consuming fewer calories than you burn. There are no supplements, foods, or exercises that can replace this.
To find your maintenance calories, you can use a TDEE calculator. Then, you will know your upper limit, and you can track your calories and try to maintain a calorie deficit.
Ideal Weight Loss Timeline
Equally important to a calorie deficit, remember that one pound of fat is 3500 calories. That means that if you consume 500 calories below your maintenance level every day, you will burn one pound of fat per week. If you notice a larger increase than this, it is almost certainly water weight.
For this reason, we don't recommend paying attention to the scale every day, as your weight can fluctuate dramatically just by fluctuations in water retention and what's in your digestive system. Instead, pay attention to weekly averages to get a good sense.
Generally, most healthy adults should aim for a 500-calorie deficit, as this is the safest and easiest to maintain for most people. One pound a week may not sound like much at first, but it can add up to 26 pounds after 6 months, which is a huge loss!
If you have a lot of weight to lose, you may want to extend it to 1000 calories per day, but don't go higher than that without a doctor's supervision and permission.
Overall, the ideal weight loss timeline is 1 to 2 pounds per week for the average healthy adult. For anybody with a BMI over 30, it may be higher.
How to Lose Weight Safely
Again, don't carry on too high of a deficit without medical supervision, but also prioritize eating quality foods. Your body can only withstand a calorie deficit if it continues getting the nutrients that it needs every day.
While it is true that you need to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight, that doesn't mean supplements and foods can't help along the way. For example, taking a fat-burning supplement can help your body prioritize maintaining lean mass while getting rid of excess body fat.
However, if you discover that you aren't losing weight in that ideal range after a few weeks, don't give up. We promise there is light at the end of the tunnel, so just make a few adjustments to your routine and keep going!
Also, to avoid losing muscle, you may want to take some protein supplements and prioritize eating more protein throughout the day. We generally recommend continuing strength training while losing weight!
Final Weight Loss Tips
Weight loss doesn't have to include too many sacrifices. You don't want to set yourself up for failure. Rather, find what works for you and that keeps you motivated to keep going.
Remember that a calorie deficit doesn't even mean you have to eat less! By increasing the number of calories you burn or choosing the right foods, you can stay full all day and still maintain a calorie deficit!
Walking 10,000 steps each day is a great way to burn roughly 500 calories. Try tracking your steps on your phone or using a pedometer or smartwatch and try to walk more throughout the day. This way, you can continue eating at your maintenance calories and still lose weight!
On top of walking, any cardio you do will help you lose weight. Strength training won't burn too many calories, but it will improve your metabolism, helping you burn more calories later on. Overall, anything that gets your heart rate up will help, so choose an activity you enjoy!
You've heard the phrase "abs are made in the kitchen," right? Choose to eat foods that have more volume and fewer calories. Vegetables are the obvious go-to, but you can even make some of your favorite recipes!
For example, you can make a healthier pizza with a cauliflower or different crust with light cheese and plenty of vegetables. This could be the size of a large pizza but only have the calories of 2 slices, along with plenty more nutritional value. Overall, try to find healthier versions of foods that you like and stick to what helps you feel full.
Finally, remember your health and nutrition! Don't let those lag. Always eat a wide variety of whole foods, which should cover the vast majority of your calories, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and leaner animal products.
Start Your Weight Loss Journey
Now that you know the ideal weight loss timeline and how to start burning fat, why wait? The sooner you start, the sooner you can see the results that you want. It will take some time and commitment, but with the right help, you'll be amazed at the results you can see!
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