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Is there a magic number to lose weight and keep it off? What is healthy weight loss per month? How much is too much or unhealthy, and what is the ideal weight loss per month? If you’ve wondered about these questions, we will answer them all for you in this article.
Monthly sustainable weight loss goals
We live in a fast-paced and tech-savvy society where we’ve become used to getting things quickly. Demanding quick results is fine when you’re talking about next day delivery of a smartphone, but it’s not the best policy when it comes to weight loss. You did not gain the weight overnight so you should not expect to lose it overnight either.
Many fad diets promise to deliver drastic results quickly. Starve yourself for a few days and you’ll drop a lot of weight. It’s no surprise because you get these results by losing not only fat, but also water and muscle. And when you start eating, all of that weight comes back.
The reality is that the body can only burn a limited amount of fat at a time, so do not expect dramatic results very quickly.
For sustainable and real fat loss, slow and steady works best.
It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping the weight off.
When you think of weight loss, you assume that once you lose the excess weight you will also be healthy. That is not always the case. You will see many diets and programs being marketed to lose weight. But these programs do not always put your health first. Weight loss at any cost is often the goal and it has the opposite effect on your health – your health gets worse. We’ve seen this with low-carb, keto and other diets.
When looking at these programs remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Diets and programs that promise large amounts of weight loss quickly involve doing extreme things and as mentioned above, even then the weight you lose comes back soon after. With sudden and rapid weight loss, there may even be other unwanted side effects such as extreme hair loss, tiredness and low energy levels etc.
Just because it’s possible to lose a lot of weight quickly does not mean that it’s healthy or that the weight will stay off in the long term.
What can you expect in reality with a scientific and sustainable weight loss plan?
Here is the answer:
On average, you can expect to lose 500-750 grams a week.
Remember that this is an average and what this means for you will depend on your situation and how much excess weight you have to lose. Also, this is the average per week and does not mean you will lose this exact amount each week. You may lose 1-2kgs per week for the first couple of weeks of your plan. But then the next week you may lose no weight at all. The week after that, you may only lose 500 grams. Or maybe you even gain 500 grams. On average it usually works out to 500-750 grams per week of weight loss.
The reason for this is important – you want to lose weight by burningfat. Not by losing muscle. Your body can only burn fat at a certain rate and this cannot be fast-tracked with supplements or fat burners. This healthy rate of fat loss is what gives you 500-750 grams of weight loss a week. Anything much more than this can mean that you are only losing water weight, which will come back very soon. So focus on fat loss and not just weight loss.
500-750 grams a week may sound like very little weight loss to you as we always want results much faster than that. But if you look at it over a year, that’s 2 kgs per month.
This would mean that by the end of 12 months you would drop nearly 25 kgs. For most people, that’s more than what they need to lose. And in the grand scheme of things, a year is not very long at all.
It is worth repeating that if you check your weight every day, you may find that it moves in unexpected ways. This is normal as the human body is complex and reacts to a number of different factors like water intake, poor sleep, stress and many more other such related factors. So your weight can move up and down a little each day.
What this means is that weight loss usually looks like this when you check your weight each day:
Monthly graph of healthy weight loss
This is what weight loss looks like in real life, i.e. with lots of ups and downs. The most important thing is the blue trend line, which is moving in the right direction – down. And that is what you want to see, the right direction of change. Stay focused on this and don’t stress about day-to-day changes in weight.
Can you approach weight loss with more urgency? Yes. Most do. You can be caught up thinking that you’ll somehow lose a lot of weight very quickly and then somehow maintain that. But it’s never as simple as that. It’s also not how the body works.
Instead, set yourself on a sustainable path and stick to it.
In order to be truly successful, focus on creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Eating a healthy diet and exercising should not be seen as a short-term tactic, they should become regular habits. You will find that weight loss and maintaining that lower weight will be a natural result of following a healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to weight loss, the weighing scale is only a part of the story. You need to think of 3 other things also when looking at weight loss progress:
What you want to look at or compare is “percentage of body weight lost” and not total weight lost. A big person obviously has more weight to lose than a smaller person. So how much weight you have lost relative to your starting weight is the number that matters. How do you calculate this? Divide the total weight lost by your starting weight and multiply that by 100. That is:
(Weight now – starting weight) / Starting weight * 100.
Example: Mrs A started at 61kgs and after 4 weeks is at 59kg, her % BW lost is (61-59)/61 * 100 = 3.3%. She has lost 3.3% of her bodyweight which is a great result in such a short period of time. This will be a fair comparison for people in different bodyweight ranges. So when comparing progress with others, this is the number to look at.
When you are working on weight loss you should not just track your weight (kgs).
You should also track measurements across your body like your chest, waist & thigh (in centimeters).
These are important indicators of progress. In the Daily9 coaching programme, we track these measurements each week.
You will see that these measurements change over time and it is not always clear why. That is ok and it is likely there will be some errors as you may not measure at the same spot every time (or tug at the tape). Keep an eye on your measurements though as they are a good indicator that you are making progress and won’t always correlate with the weighing scale. Look at the total change in cms (waist + chest + thigh).
Keep an eye out for little changes and observations from those around you. You may not see changes that others can readily see in you. Other things to consider are how clothes fit, needing to use the next notch on the belt, trousers feeling looser. All these are subtle but important indicators of weight loss.
One way to track this is by taking photos at regular intervals.
We would suggest both a front-facing and a side-facing photo and would suggest you wear the same clothes each time. Do this each week, review them after a few weeks and spot the differences. You might be surprised at what you see.
As you can see, the answer to “What is healthy weight loss per month” is not just a simple number. The number is unique to you and what you can sustain while continuing to feel healthy.
If you are looking for a diet plan to help you with your weight loss, we have created 7-day diet plans that you can use.
The 7-day diet chart for men
The 7-day diet chart for women
If you are reading this, we know that weight loss is a high priority for you. We also know that there are many programs out there offering you quick weight loss. Sadly, in almost all those cases, the weight that you lose comes right back. This is disappointing and frustrating. We want to help you break this cycle.
At Daily9 our focus is helping you achieve weight loss in a way that lasts. Without doing anything extreme and by sticking to the Indian way of eating. You will see that in the 7 day diet plan for weight loss that we have linked above, we have provided a mix of Indian and multi-cuisine options, including possibilities of eating out occasionally. This is a more practical approach because many of us do eat out or order in. In our program we recognize this fact, and so aim to help you make better choices while also enjoying it. This makes Daily9 easy to follow in the long run and helps you with both weight loss and weight maintenance.
We’ve worked with thousands of Indian men and women and understand the unique challenges they face when trying to lose weight or find a weight loss diet plan. . TheDaily9 system is proven to work with weight loss and also many health conditions that Indian men and women face like digestive issues, diabetes, PCOS, thyroid, fatty liver and joint problems from excess weight.
Most importantly, the Daily9 weight loss diet plan is practical and suits an Indian family environment.
If you’re looking for a scientific and practical approach to weight loss, take a look at the Daily9 coaching program. It’s the only program that helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.
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