How much weight can you lose in a month? Well, some people can lose as much as 10 pounds! But don’t get carried away just yet. Because as you’ve probably gathered, weight loss is comprised of many other components than just fat. And it’s fat reductions we’re aiming for because they’re what really improve our look and health.
How much Weight can you Lose in a Month and what are the Obstacles?
There are multiple factors at play when considering the question ‘how much weight can you lose in a month’. And below are some reasons as to why scale readings can be very unstable and confusing! Furthermore, you can realistically only drop at most, three pounds of fat per week. Here’s why!
For every gram of carbohydrate (stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver) consumed we hold 3 grams of water (carbohydrate). And when dieting we eat less food which naturally reduces carbs and water weight. Humans can hold up to 600+ grams of carbohydrate stores which mean an accompanying 1,800 grams of water (600 x 3 = 1,800 + 600 = 2,400). Moreover, there are 453 grams in one pound. So, 2,400 divided by 453 equals 5 pounds!
Basically, the hormone cortisol is made in the adrenal glands and is known as the ‘stress hormone’. It’s your bodies danger alarm and can be affected when we enter highly stressed states that can result in water retention. Although, cortisol is much more than just a ‘stress hormone (controls wake/sleep cycles etc) as you can read here. However, water retention can occur when we; diet too aggressively, get too little sleep, over train, become unwell or over do it at work.
Consuming food on the go is something many of us have to do. And foods that come from packages aren’t necessarily bad but do usually contain high amounts of salt (sodium). The result is more water retention and false scale readings which can wrongly derail many people from their weight loss endeavors.
By eating less we’ve less food coming through the digestive tract. Which can result in an initial drop in scale weight that we may assume is body fat.
A huge mistake many make is not incorporating weight training or protein whilst blasting cardio. And this results in muscle loss and worsened body composition. Especially when paired with chronic, aggressive dieting. Unfortunately, many companies tell you that ANY loss is a win. But this only sets you up for failure where a poor relationship with food and the scales is inevitable.
Finally, the good stuff! Now this is what we do want to see reduce over time! But it’s important to know that all of the above points can create a lot of scale noise. And this can make your weigh ins sporadic to say the least. So, it’s important to know that most can only lose 1-2 pounds of body fat per week! And it’s easier if you have higher amounts of body fat. Any other scale loss is irrelevant.
Scientifically How much Weight can you Lose in a Month?
1 Pound Per Week Fat Loss
One pound of fat surmounts to a weekly 3,500 calories and a daily -500 calorie deficit below maintenance calories. But in week 1 this may show as -4-5 pounds off the scale or zero pounds lost. And this depends on your bodies response to all the other factors mentioned above. Yet, irrelevant of the scale noise you will have burned your one pound of fat around the 7 day mark (if you’ve hit your targets). That is to assume you have a good estimation of what your maintenance calories actually are.
2 Pounds Per Week Fat Loss
Two pounds of fat surmounts to a weekly 7,000 calories and a daily -1,000 calorie deficit below maintenance calories. But in week 1 this may show as -8-10 pounds off the scale due to water, glycogen and sodium losses etcetera. On the contrary, you may lose body fat but gain some muscle. As well as eat a salty meal and have a stressful week at work which shows minimal scale loss due to water retention! And this just drives the point home that fat loss should never be judged on a weekly basis but more like every 4-8 weeks.
3 Pounds Per Week Fat Loss
Three pounds of fat surmounts to a weekly 10,500 calories and a daily -1,500 calorie deficit below maintenance calories. Although this rate of loss is possible for some, it’s usually only for those with very high body fat levels. Because for most people this aggressive approach would lead to an array of side effects and potential binge behavior.
For example, let’s say your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is 2,800. With statistics of; 5 feet 6 and 130 kg which is at the far end of clinically obese on BMI charts. So, 2,800 calories with a 1,500 calorie deficit totals 1,300 calories and a rate of 3 pounds per week loss. And although this might sound great on paper, maintaining it for months on end won’t be.
Besides, the most successful transformations come from sustainable calorie deficits, not from feeling overly restricted. Also, a severe drop to 1,300 that quickly (progressive drops are better) can have huge negative effects on you physiologically and psychologically. To summarize, a rate of fat loss of three pounds per week is pretty much the fastest rate. Even for those in the clinically obese category. But is a rate of loss that for many would lead to binges, YO-YO approaches and malnutrition. To clarify, nobody ever loses 10 pounds of fat in a week, unfortunately!
Is How much Weight can you Lose in a Month the right Question?
Firstly how about, how much weight can you lose in a year? Because even if we go at the slowest pace of one pound per week you’ll mount up 52 pounds (near 4 stone)!!! Lastly, just remember the importance of body composition and the key point below for the next time you feel low regarding scale sorcery.
Person A weighs 200 pounds, 174 cm at 50% body fat and goes unnoticed.
Person B weighs 200 pounds, 174 cm at 18% body fat and turns admiring heads!
Body composition matters!
The Question of How much Weight can you Lose in a Month is Irrelevant.
So, high weight loss weeks aren’t an accurate representation of body fat and that’s what matters. Plus, when you walk into a room, people see shapes not numbers. And if they did ever ask your weight, they’d soon be copying your methods irrelevant of your answer due to how you amazing you look!
Did this help to clear up the misinformation of scales?
On our home page we talk a little more on the fundamentals required for a successful fat loss journey.