How Long Will it Take to Lose X Pounds?
It depends on your starting weight and your calorie deficit.
If you’re really overweight (100+ pounds), you can start losing weight and probably lose upwards of 10 pounds the first week. I personally lost six pounds the first week I started tracking my weight loss. I’ve heard varying figures for other folks, anywhere from just a pound or two to around ten pounds the first week.
These first week drastic losses aren’t just from a calorie deficit mind you, but other factors as well. Regardless, the smaller you weigh, the less you’ll lose at first.
Some people with “just” 25 or 50 pounds to lose will start losing weight and probably only lose a few pounds their first week. In the second week, maybe a couple. “What gives?” I’ll hear in frustration, and to that, I respond with this: calorie deficit.
Here comes the math.
If you’re 250 pounds and want to reach 150 pounds, you’re probably eating along the lines of 3,000 calories a day to weigh those 250 pounds. That’s just a wild guess of course, and varies from person to person. To lose a pound a week, you have to eat 3,500 fewer calories — which is 500 (3,500/7) less calories a day.
That means if you weigh 250 pounds and start eating 2,000 calories a day to lose weight, you’ll lose two pounds a week. That number can be influenced by anything when you step on the scale, including bowel movements, sodium intake, menstrual cycle, etc, which is why you always hear you should weigh yourself infrequently.
Don’t be obsessed over scale movements day to day, but only over time.
Just remember that weight loss and being healthy is a lifestyle, it’s not something that you race to achieve and then go back to living your old life. While it’s fine to be curious on how long it’ll take to reach your weight loss goals (who isn’t?), you’ll eventually reach your goals if you’re patient and trust the “system.”
And that system is counting calories. It’ll work for you. Just get started.