When people start a fat loss journey, they often want to know how the process is going to progress.
Makes sense, right?
If you’re driving across the country you want to know about how long it’s going to take.
You need to set your expectations correctly and plan for what’s about to happen.
Like a cross-country journey, you need to expect some bumps and detours along the way.
The trip isn’t going to be the same for everyone.
You may experience traffic, severe weather conditions, or just get tired and need to stay at a hotel for a night or two.
Fat loss can be just as unpredictable a journey.
Still, most of us fitness and nutrition specialists tend to go with the 1-2 pound per week weight loss guideline.
This is not necessarily fat, but at the beginning it gives you a good estimate.
If you drop your carbs significantly, you’re likely to lose some water, which will affect your weight.
But 1-2 pounds per week of fat loss is certainly possible.
That gets you to about 4-8 pounds of fat loss per month.
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it may happen faster than that (or it may not).
Other factors impact your fat loss as well.
The closer you get to your ideal weight, the harder it is to lose more fat.
Your body will try to hold on to a certain amount of “essential” fat and the closer you get to that level the harder getting further fat loss will be.
Because they have much higher amounts of testosterone, a muscle-building and fat burning hormone, men tend to lose fat faster than women.
And being older (let’s say over 35) can sometimes impact your fat loss.
Much of that difference in us over-35s is because of the loss of muscle mass through decreased activity and hormonal changes.
If you push yourself to build muscle with weight training and adequate protein/calories, you’re less likely to experience age-related fat gain.
Most of all, if you’re willing to make more drastic changes then you’ll see faster results.
The more effort you put it, the more fat loss you’re likely to see.
What’s also important is not just how fast you can lose it, but whether you’re able to maintain it at the one-month mark.
If you’ve made huge, unsustainable changes then your progress will stall when you’re not able to follow the plan.
That’s why ongoing fat loss is about using an approach that you can live with for a long period of time.
That’s not to say that they’re aren’t reasons to follow a strict plan for short periods (weddings, physique competitions, reunions), but that you need to transition yourself into a realistic plan that works for you.
Because DIETARY ADHERENCE is crucial for your success.
If you can’t stick to your plan, you won’t continue to get results.
If you can follow a sensible routine with both your nutrition and your workouts, you can expect a few pounds a month.
You may also put on muscle (yay!), which weighs more but makes you look awesome…so don’t worry if the numbers aren’t exactly on target.
Rough guidelines can be useful, but I don’t want to discourage you if things aren’t happening as fast as you would like.
Be consistent and keep things moving in the right direction.
The results will come.