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Weight Loss Timeline: How Long Does It Take?

weight loss timeline

Did you know that nearly half of American adults have tried to lose weight in the past year? 

Many people expect to see results right away. Sadly, this just isn’t the case. It will take time to shed the extra pounds you’re looking to drop.

You’ve found the perfect place for information. We’ll tell you what to expect from an average weight loss timeline.

In addition, we’ll tell you common weight loss myths to avoid. We’ll tell you how to lose weight, tips to help you on your way, and advice for staying motivated.

All you need to do is keep reading.

Weight Loss Myths

If you’re trying to lose weight, odds are you’ve come across plenty of weight loss myths. It’s important that you watch out for these. Your health matters, and many of these myths do more harm than help.

The biggest thing you need to know is that weight loss is not the linear process many think it is. Some days and weeks you will lose a little weight, and other days and weeks you will gain a bit. 

This is nothing to be concerned about. It’s normal for body weight to fluctuate by a few pounds. This happens because your body retains water weight or takes longer to digest certain foods.

As long as the trend is still going downwards, your weight loss journey will be a success in the long run.

Another thing you need to know is that breakfast will help you lose weight. The people who choose to skip breakfast have the wrong idea when thinking it will assist them.

In reality, skipping breakfast has no benefits. Eating breakfast also doesn’t particularly affect weight loss. However, people who eat breakfast happen to form healthier habits than those who skip the meal.

How to Lose Weight

Losing weight isn’t as complicated as it seems. By following a few steps, you can lose weight at a pace that is comfortable for you. 

The first step is to make sure you are ready. Losing weight is a long-term commitment that you need to be able to put time and effort into. If you don’t have the time or energy for it, you may need to wait.

Next, you need to know what motivates you to lose weight. Only you can make yourself want to lose weight and have the motivation to follow through. 

Finally, make sure to enjoy healthier foods and to become active and stay active. 

You don’t need to give up taste or satisfaction to eat healthily. Experiment with recipes until you find ones you enjoy.

In the process, you’ll find there are plenty of tasty and healthy recipes for you to fall back on when you need them. You might even discover that you have a love of cooking when you get to try new things.

Exercise helps burn whatever excess calories you simply can’t cut down on. In addition, it has benefits for your heart and lungs – these will both be strengthened with continuous exercise.

Exercise can also help your mental health by giving you dopamine. This means you’ll gain a fun hobby and help your body out at the same time. In addition, positive mental health has a positive effect on the body’s ability to lose weight.

Weight Loss Process

In the process of losing weight, there are two main stages: rapid weight loss and slow weight loss.

Rapid weight loss is the first stage of weight loss. As the name implies, it is a phase where your body sheds weight very quickly. 

Very little of the weight lost in this stage is caused by losing body fat. Most of what a person loses in this stage is actually carb stores, protein, and water weight.

Rapid weight loss generally lasts four to six weeks. You tend to lose the most weight here. You’ll also notice changes in your appearance and how your clothing fits easier.

The second stage of losing weight is slow weight loss. This part of the process starts at six weeks and continues until you stop losing weight.

Weight loss in this stage occurs at a much slower rate than rapid weight loss. However, all of the weight lost in this stage tends to be body fat rather than anything else.

At times during this process, you may experience a weight loss plateau. This is where you lose little to no weight. It is normal, but if it continues for more than a week or two, it can be a sign your diet is unsustainable for you.

Weight Loss Timeline

To figure out how long it will take you to lose weight, there are many factors you need to take into consideration. The biggest of these factors is how quickly you want to lose weight. Almost everybody wants to lose weight as quickly as possible, but this shouldn’t be the case.

Rapid weight loss increases your risk of malnutrition, gallstones, and dehydration. It can also cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches, fatigue, muscle loss, or hair loss.

Weight loss will typically occur faster when first beginning an attempt to lose weight, but this should slow to a more sustainable amount as you continue.

Experts suggest that a person should lose between one to three pounds a week, or one percent of your body weight. Anything more is unsustainable and puts your health at risk.

Once you have determined what the maximum amount of weight you’d like to safely lose per week is, you can pin down the factors that can affect your weight loss. These are things such as medication, your typical diet, and the amount of exercise you happen to get in a week. 

Doing both of these will help you figure out a general timeline. Depending on how much weight you’d like to use, it may take months or it may take years. This is perfectly okay; weight loss is a marathon to get to your goals, not a sprint.

Weight Loss Tips

Although we’ve already taught you the basics of how to lose weight, there are additional weight loss tips you can follow to make your journey easier on you.

One tip not many people know is that getting enough sleep will aid your weight loss journey. In fact, it is a key factor in successful weight loss.

Getting seven or more hours of sleep at night helps your body to reset. Without it, you are actually susceptible to weight gain. Make sure to create a sleep routine to help you get to sleep and end up rested in the morning.

Another tip not many people know is that you should avoid stress, as it can make you gain weight. Taking moments to reflect, meditate, or simply enjoy the quiet and wind down at the end of a long day will reduce your stress levels in a healthy way.

Reducing stress isn’t just good for your hormone levels. It also will reduce the amount of stress eating you do, which makes it easier to lose weight by cutting down on calories.

Finally, you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol has no health benefits, meaning it is considered empty calories. In addition, too much drinking can make you gain weight in your stomach.

Some people need to cut out alcohol entirely in order to lose weight – and that’s okay! You can always opt for water or another low-calorie drink instead.

Staying Motivated

While you are the only one capable of motivating yourself enough to begin your weight loss journey, staying motivated and continuing to work on losing weight can be a difficult thing to do. You may start to get discouraged and wonder if losing the weight is even worth it.

When this happens, you need to find various reasons that will keep you motivated and eager to continue your weight loss journey.

One easy way to keep working on your weight loss goals is to get a weight loss buddy. They can help motivate you through several different means.

The first way a weight loss buddy can help you is by giving you encouragement. When at the gym or struggling with a part of your diet, a weight loss buddy can be your greatest cheerleader. Simple motivational phrases such as “don’t give up!” can help you reach limits you didn’t think were possible.

In addition, it motivates you by making it so you have to hold yourself accountable. If you’re working on weight loss alone, it’s easy to decide there’s no reason not to indulge in that dessert or to skip going to the gym.

However, with a weight loss buddy, you have to hold yourself accountable because they are working with you. You’re responsible for helping the both of you.

Lastly, a weight loss buddy is a chance for friendly competition. Sometimes the easiest way to become motivated to lose weight is to be encountered with a challenge from someone else.

Reaching Your Goals

The trick to reaching your goals is to make sure that all the goals you set are realistic goals. You should be thinking of process goals, outcome goals, and stretch goals all at once.

A process goal is a goal that you set to help you reach the outcome and stretch goals. When it comes to losing weight this could be something such as “walk for twenty minutes a day.” If you need to start small, then do it.

An outcome goal is a goal that you reach in part because of reaching your process goal. In weight loss, this could be a goal such as “lose fifteen pounds.” 

A stretch goal is a goal that’s deliberately ambitious or challenging. This should be your end goal, so to speak. In weight loss, this generally means reaching your desired weight.

If you are looking for a realistic goal, a good place to start may be by losing five percent of your body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, this is nine pounds. If you choose to continue your weight loss after that, set another goal to help you.

It’s important to make sure the goals you set are realistic, attainable goals. This will keep you from becoming discouraged and giving up on your weight loss journey.

After Weight Loss

After you have reached your weight loss goals, you will reach the next step – maintaining your weight loss. This is something you need to be very aware of in order to succeed. Many people who lose weight will eventually gain it back otherwise.

The biggest thing that you can do to maintain your weight loss is to continue to weigh yourself regularly. Try to weigh yourself about once a week, at the same time every day. This will help you to keep track of your current weight and make sure you aren’t slipping back into bad habits.

Next, you should continue to measure your food and track your food intake. Many people tend to underestimate how bad a certain food is for you or how many calories it contains. By continuing to track your foods and calories, you won’t fall into the trap of assuming something is less than it is.

Finally, be consistent. Don’t go off a diet just because you’ve met your weight loss goals. Consistency in your new lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure you will stay healthy and within your ideal weight range.

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Now that you’ve heard about weight loss and the general weight loss timeline, you’re ready to get started. If you’d like more tips, advice on nutrition, or access to great gyms, you should try a free trial with us!

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