How Much Weight Can I Lose In 1 Month? Understanding Realistic Weight Loss
I recently read the results of a 12-month, highly structured weight-loss challenge in which the participants received tons of coaching, practical tips, support, and even a very significant cash incentive for doing well.
Understanding Realistic Weight Loss
Here's how the number shook out:
The twenty challenge participants who made the most significant changes, lost an average of 31lbs over the 12 months. That is about 0.6lbs per week, or 2.4lbs per month.
Some didn't have much to lose in the first place. One woman lost 7lbs... transforming her body from a little soft around the edges to pretty ripped. The greatest amount of pure weight loss recorded was 60lbs.
Now remember, these twenty people were the top performers, the ones with the best results.
How Much Weight Can I Lose In A Month... Realistically?
In my experience, this is a realistic look at what real progress is over the long-term. Yes, it's possible to drop a few extra pounds in the first few weeks, but over a year... 0.6lbs per week, or 2.4lbs per month... are the kind of numbers you should be expecting.
In fact, if you get anywhere close to these numbers, you should be thrilled!
Yet, we're bombarded we rapid weight loss schemes that set unrealistic expectations. They lead us to think "the woman in the add lost 30lbs in two months, but I only lost 8lbs. Either my program must not be working or I'm just not doing something right."
Guess what. If you lost 8lbs in two months, you are doing something right. This should be a moment of pride, not of feeling less than.
Tips For Setting Realistic Weight Loss Expectations
I'm not trying to crap on a program that works, but too often programs trumpet the success two groups of people:
- High Responders - Those who experienced well above average results. If 1000 people do a diet plan, there will always be a few people who see incredible results. If you cherry pick a couple of these high responders as the poster-boys for your program, it's going to seem like a miricle cure.
- Short-Term Success Stories - Someone may have lost 20lbs in the first month - which is undoubtedly incredible - but where were they in 6-months, a year and five years? Most of us are interested in the long-term trajectory of our progress so we can enjoy the fruits of our labour. We want to feel better, be able to do more fun stuff in our lives, and look more attractive. Being in that zone for a month before regressing to our starting point doesn't help.
So the next time you see an ad that says something like "Lose 10lbs in 10-days" or a claim like this (this is from Cosmopolitan Magazine) "These slenderizing effects may not be permanent, but they'll help you look hotter in your skinniest jeans on very short notice", ask yourself these questions:
- Is this doable long-term?
- Does this sound like marketing hype that is promising over 30lbs of weight loss in a year?
- Does it seem to easy? If it does, chances are it won't work.