What’s a Reasonable Amount of Weight Loss Per Week?

person checking weight loss progress on scale

Beach season is arriving quickly in the south. And that means the number one thing on people’s minds is how to lose as much weight as possible before slipping into that bikini. Here at Foundation FIT, we’re ready to help you tackle your weight loss goals. But it’s important that we come at it from a place of setting realistic expectations.

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month?

You see, there are people out there asking questions like these.

And we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not possible to lose 20 pounds or more in a month healthily and sustainably. So let’s break down what you should expect when it comes to weight loss. It starts with a few factors, including:

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Dedication/motivation
  • Stress
  • Underlying conditions
  • Metabolic rate

How you’re doing in each area can heavily impact your ability to lose weight. When all of these areas are clicking, magic can happen. Read on for steps to encourage weight loss and find out what amount of weight loss per week is reasonable.

5 Steps to Encourage Weight Loss

Journal everything

Most of us could take an educated guess at how much sleep we get, how much water we drink, or what our daily food intake looks like. But actually writing it down could spell out a whole different story. Journaling is an incredibly powerful way to bring things to the surface that could be holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals.

As you track, start looking at trends. For example, do you eat out of boredom? Do you take in more or fewer calories than you thought? Is your sleep more like 6 hours a night than the 8 you thought you were getting? After a few weeks of journaling all the things, you should be able to identify key areas where you can make small changes that can greatly impact weight loss.

Remove processed food

Let’s be real for a minute. Unless you’re going out back and slaughtering your meat and pulling veggies from the garden, all food is processed in some way. When we say to cut out processed food, we mean highly processed food. The bright packages, the nutrition labels, the crunchy, dissolvable foods that melt in your mouth and require no chewing. Yes, those. You don’t need them, and they aren’t doing you any favors. Eliminating them is bound to improve health and can also aid in weight loss.

Take out liquid calories

Liquid calories are truly low-hanging fruit if you want to lose weight. Look at what you drink each day (you’ve been tracking it in your journal, right?). What goes into your coffee, your tea? Can you go without the lunchtime soda or drop back to one sugar in your coffee instead of three? Look for easy changes that can lower your overall calorie consumption and promote health.

Up your water intake

If you’re removing liquid calories, you probably need to replace them with something. Enter water, the superhero of beverages. Our bodies rely so much on water to perform basic functions. And dehydration can have an outsized impact on your ability to lose weight. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day, but start small! If you aren’t drinking any water right now, try and do one 8 oz glass per day and increase after a week or two. Slow and steady will always win the race of health.

Re-assess your sleep

Have you ever noticed that you feel hungrier and don’t feel as recovered on a day after you don’t sleep well? Impaired sleep can lead to all kinds of poor decision-making, including feelings of wanting to skip your workout and head straight to the couch with a bag of chips instead (we’ve definitely never done that).

If you have a sleep tracker, great! Start to review your trendlines, including how long you’re in bed and how much deep sleep you’re getting.

Not into sleep tracking devices? No problem. Journal what time you go to bed, when you wake up, and how rested you feel upon waking. When you couple sleep tracking with nutrition and exercise tracking, you can begin to make correlations between your sleep quality and other areas of your life.

How Much Weight Can You Lose Per Week?

1-2 pounds per week is a reasonable and sustainable amount of weight loss per week. Dramatic crash dieting, cutting calories, or overexercising are recipes for weight loss disaster. Sure, you might drop 10 pounds in a week, but we promise at least some of that weight will find its way back quickly after you cut out whatever unsustainable behavior got you there.

Keep in mind that during your journey, you may plateau and need to change things up. That’s okay! We all have ebbs and flows when it comes to weight loss. But obsessing over the number on the scale doesn’t serve you either. Instead, look to measurements, sleep quality, and how you feel as a way to gauge overall health.

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