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Oct 12

How Much Weight Is Safe to Lose in a Month? | Weight Loss …

Whether you want to slim down for a big event (hello, wedding) or to quickly fit into your old jeans, the desire forfast weight lossis understandable. Whilefad dietscan be tempting with wild promises (like, lose 20 pounds in one month!), they also tend to backfire and can wreak havoc on yourmetabolism. Most dieters who follow strict diets rebound andregain the weight.

Safe andsustainable weight loss, on the other hand, involves a lifestyle change and takes time: Most of the research supports losing weight at a slow-and-steady pace to maintain the weight loss in the long-term, confirms Ryan Maciel, RD, a certified strength and conditioning specialist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Still, if youre wonderingexactlyhow much weight you can safely lose in one month, heres your guide, according to weight-loss experts:

Weight loss depends on a myriad of factors, likeage,gender,physical activity leveland theeffects of certain medications, so everyone goes at their own pace. A good rule of thumb is to aim to lose 12 pounds per week or 48 pounds per month, says Dr. Elizabeth Lowden, a bariatric endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital in Chicago. In other words, thats about 510% of your body weight.

If you want to lose a pound a week,youll need a calorie deficit(aka less calories in comparison to those you need to maintain your current weight) of about 3,500 calories, or 500 calories per day, explains Lowden. Because it can be difficult to decrease your intake by that much,upping your physical activitycan help burn more calories.

Keep in mind, though, week 1 of yourweight-loss planmay be misleading. It wouldnt be uncommon to lose 5 pounds your first week, maybe even up to 10, but this isnt a rate you can expect to continue and you may even notice no weight loss the next couple of weeks, says Lowden. Thats because as you lower your caloric intake and beginmaking healthier eating choices, your glycogen stores (aka molecules made from thecarbsyou eat) drop, and since theyre attached to water molecules,you lose water weight with them, explains Lowden. So dont feel discouraged if you initially burn pounds fast thenfall into a weight-loss slow down this is normal.

Unless youre enrolled in a medically-supervised weight-loss program or youve just had bariatric surgery, its very uncommon to lose more than 10 pounds per month, says Lowden. Remember, if you lose weight too quickly, your body fights back. Your metabolism slows down, yourhormones shifttoincrease your cravingsand appetite, and you even burn less fat, according toa reviewin the International Journal of Obesity.These changes could lead todisordered eating habits, warns Lowden.

Whats more, no matter how quickly youre losing weight, you also lose a certain amount oflean muscle massin the process (especially if youre not working out to build muscle), and losing too much could deeply damage your metabolism. Thats whystrength training when trying to lose weightis important. Plus, a diettoo low in caloriescould result in nutritional deficiencies, and rapid weight loss could lead to gallstones from improper gallbladder functioning, adds Maciel.

In short, a speedy weight-loss regimen to drop a dress or pants size is generally not worth it. As frustrating as it may be, try to be patient so you are successful long-term.

Here, a few ways you can lose weight safely:

Its essential tohave realistic goalsand expectations before setting out on your weight-loss journey, says Maciel.Tracking your weight-loss goalswith an app likeMyFitnessPalcan be very helpful, he adds. Then, carve out time each week toplan your mealsandworkouts. After youve built up your confidence by reaching a few small goals, you can begin toaim higher with bigger challenges. For example, start by getting into aregular walking habitbeforetraining for your first 5K.

Of course,progress is anything but linear there will be times whenyoull hit a weight-loss plateauor evengain a few pounds back,despite your best efforts. But knowing and accepting this is part of the journey helps you stay on track, says Maciel. While thenumber on the scalemight take time to change, remember to acknowledge and celebrate how your clothes fit differently and how youre able to lift heavier weights or jog longer, suggests Lowden. These are all signs youre on the right track.

Dont give up on the fundamentals of weight loss in search of the magic bullet, says Maciel. Its important to keep in mind that eating morenutrient-dense whole foods, exercising regularly,getting quality sleepandmaking time for self-careare all essential parts of the weight-loss equation. If youre not losing weight on your current plan, take a hard look at youreating, exercise and lifestyle habitsand consider reaching out for help from a support group or nutritionist, he suggests.

When youre working oneating and lifestyle changes, theres a normal amount of hunger that comes with reducing your intake, but you should never feel obsessively hungry, says Lowden. Honor yourhunger cueswith healthier choices. To avoid overeating,mindful eating techniquescan also help.

While healthy weight loss requires a lot of perseverance and dedication, theslow-and-steady routeis your best bet. So many people stop what theyre doing because theyre not seeing immediate changes, butconsistency is key. You will note weight changes over time, but you have to stick with it, says Lowden.

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How Much Weight Is Safe to Lose in a Month? | Weight Loss ...

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