So, you’re on a diet and strict workout regime, and the rigors of both leave you with no choice but to wonder if there’s a quicker way to lose weight? And if there’s isn’t, how long is it actually going to take to lose weight this way? You don’t have forever after all! Quick results are the only thing that can keep you going on this hard path of self-control and numerous body aches every now and then.
Which brings us back to the question – how long does it really take to lose weight?
Well, we attempted to answer that question for you and we found out something truly surprising!
The Time It Takes To Lose Weight
Losing weight is an arduous task, no doubt, but it’s one with high payoffs. Nothing can compare to looking stunning in a pair of skinny jeans! However, fitting into that pair of jeans can take some time.
According to the famous dietician, Robbie Clark, when it comes to physiology, the only way to lose weight is to burn a higher number of calories than you consume (1). He goes on to mention that certain basic functions of your body such as breathing, circulation of blood, etc., use roughly 50 to 70% of the energy your body produces.
The rate at which the body utilizes this energy for its basic functioning when resting is known as BMR or basal metabolic rate (2). Quite a few factors affect your BMR, which include your gender, your genes, your body composition, and your age. This means that the total energy you’ll use for basic body functions is already fixed.
But this predetermined amount of energy you burn can change if you exercise, further depending on the type of exercise you indulge in, including its intensity and duration.
Now that you know how calories are burned by your body, let’s move on to the central question of this article.
How long does it take to lose weight? According to Clark, the time it takes is a variable and is dependent on certain factors such as your body composition and weight loss, which means that there’s no fixed calculation that works for everybody. Everyone is different and different bodies react differently to exercise.
So, for example, if you are obese and have to lose a ton of weight as compared to someone who only wants to shed 5kgs, you are more likely to lose weight quickly as compared to the latter. That said, your weight loss will be comprised of both fat and fluid loss.
This means that if you start with exercising thrice a week and eating healthy, you can expect to lose about a kilo in 1 ½ to 2 weeks. However, again, this will be dependent on the duration, intensity, and type of exercise you do.
Trainer, Daine McDonald, completely agrees with that, stating that a person’s ‘training age’ also influences the amount of weight they can lose (3).
He explains that the rate at which you lose weight is largely dependent on the type of physique you have when you start. Referring to it as ‘training age,’ he defines it as the total number of years one has been training for.
McDonald illustrates his point with a simple example. Take, for instance, you are someone who hasn’t exercised for quite a few years and have now piled on around 20 kilos, with the weight concentrated in your abdominal region. You start exercising now for around 4 times each week and adopt the 80/20 nutrition rule, which means 80% healthy food and 20% unhealthy items (4). At this rate, you will witness a significant amount of weight loss by the end of 2 weeks from your first day of exercise.
On the flipside though, if you are someone who follows a regular exercise regime from beforehand, exercising up to 3 times each week and then increasing it to 5 to 6 times per week (as well as improving your diet) won’t show a very noticeable result in the amount of weight you’ve lost.
With that being said, you shouldn’t expect a magical formula that can accurately predict how long you will take to lose weight. It’s all relative, says McDonald. He further says that if you are new to exercising and carry out 3 to 4 exercise sessions each week as well as follow a nutritious diet, you can lose up to 0.5 to 1 kilo in a week, with that being dependent on how much you intend to lose.
What you should keep in mind, according to McDonald, is that if you are determined, have 4 exercise sessions each week and follow the 80/20 nutrition plan as then you will obviously see results (5).
However, you should also remember that certain factors can influence the rate at which you lose weight such as stress, your lifestyle choices, underlying health problems, and your age and diet (6), (7). So, try formulating an exercise and diet routine on the basis of these all as well as keeping your expectations real in order to achieve weight loss.
Best of luck!
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