You’re devoted to eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet and going to the gym multiple times per week. You want to see and feel the consequences of your work as soon as possible.
When you reduce your calorie intake, your body begins to burn fat. How quickly you’ll notice weight loss depends on how much weight you need to drop and how quickly you’re losing it. A safe and sustained rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds each week.
Stages of Weight Loss
Weight loss occurs in two stages, according to a June 2014 report published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Although the first stage, which lasts several days or weeks, results in faster weight reduction, it is mostly water, protein, and a small pool of stored carbohydrate.
Because strength training can assist counteract muscle loss, persons who follow a fat-reduction programme that includes strength training activities may not see as rapid a weight change.
The body responds to increased activity and lower calorie consumption over time. These modifications are the result of hormonal and neurological regulating mechanisms that result in decreased energy consumption, protein breakdown, and other metabolic activities.
These metabolic activities deplete carbohydrate storage and decrease the body’s use of protein for energy, increasing the body’s reliance on fat oxidation.
This results in the second stage of weight loss. This stage, which can span months or years, is distinguished by a slower pace of weight loss but an accelerated rate of fat loss.
However, due to variations in positive energy balance as well as activity and non-activity thermogenesis, total energy output slows during this period (heat production).
Furthermore, as mentioned in a 2014 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics article, decreasing body weight means a reduction in energy expenditure while exercise given the lower energy cost of activity.
Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss
Although the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss” are frequently used interchangeably, they refer to different aspects of body composition. The combined weight of your muscles, bones, organs, water, and fat is your body weight.
Fat-free mass refers to everything in your body that is not fat. So when you talk about fat loss, you’re talking about a little percentage of your entire body weight.
When you gain weight, you could be gaining fat, muscular mass, or water weight. If you lose one of these components while gaining another, the scale number may not change at all.
If you begin an exercise routine that includes strength training, you may be growing muscle mass and shedding fat at similar rates, so you may not notice a significant change in your scale reading.
That is why it is not a good idea to rely solely on the scale to determine progress. A better approach is to consider how you appear and feel, as well as how your clothes fit. You can also take measures of your arms, thighs, and abdomen to see whether or not you’re losing fat.
If you want a more accurate assessment, have your body fat measured at the start of your workout programme and then on a regular basis after that.
Hydrostatic, or underwater weighing, is one of the most accurate methods of body fat assessment and is normally performed in a laboratory setting.
Skin-fold testing is more widely available, and you can frequently ask a personal trainer at the gym to perform it for you.
Calipers are used in a skin-fold test to assess the thickness of subcutaneous fat — the adipose tissue just beneath the skin’s surface.
This isn’t as accurate as other types of testing because it is dependent on the experience and accuracy of the person administering the test, as well as other factors like time of day, pre- or post-exercise, meals and beverages consumed, and so on.
Losing Weight: The Role of Various Factors
Weight loss is highly individual, hence the pace of weight loss can only be roughly calculated. Genetics, age, health issues, drugs, sleep deprivation, and stress are just a few examples of the many factors that influence weight loss.
Genetics play a role in fat accumulation and how easy you lose weight. Body type is also a product of heredity. People with certain body types find it difficult to shed fat, or to remove fat specifically from certain parts of their bodies. Because metabolism slows with age, exercising to reduce weight may take longer for an older person.
People who have polycystic ovarian syndrome or thyroid problems may find it more difficult to shed pounds. Even if you exercise a lot and watch your food, your rate of weight loss may be sluggish. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight are both possible side effects of several drugs.
Increased caloric intake and sluggish or non-existent results can be the result of sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality. Cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, is released in response to stress, and this hormone can stimulate fat storage in the body.
How Does Your Body Lose Weight?
When you eat fewer calories than your body requires, your body will burn fat to make up the difference, causing you to lose weight gradually. A pound of body fat equals around 3,500 calories.
So, a 500 to 1,000 calorie deficit per day for seven days results in a weekly weight loss of roughly 1 to 2 pounds.
When you decrease too many calories, your body perceives a possible famine and attempts to conserve your fat stores.
If you eat less than 1,200 calories per day as a woman, or less than 1,800 calories as a man, your body may break down your muscle tissue to use for energy.
The scale will reflect that you’ve dropped weight, but this is due in part to a loss of muscle mass, which changes your overall body composition — your fat-to-lean mass ratio — in an undesirable way.
Your nutritional objective is to cut your caloric intake enough so that your body burns fat, but not so much that you go below the recommended daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,800 calories.
Weight Loss and Its Effects on Health
It’s normal to want to see physical changes as soon as possible, but getting thinner hips and stomach takes time. Even if you don’t notice results right away, your fat-loss efforts are doing you a world of good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing as little as 5 to 10% of your total body weight can significantly improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
If you weigh 200 pounds, a loss of simply 10 pounds will not transform your appearance but will have a significant impact on your health.
Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, starting an exercise routine as part of your weight-loss programme will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Eating better and moving more aids in the reduction of visceral fat. Visceral fat is deep belly fat that surrounds your internal organs and raises your risk of health concerns such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
If you reduce your visceral fat by 10 to 20%, you may not see significant changes on the scale, but your efforts will benefit your health.
Physical Signs of Weight Loss
You might notice indicators of weight reduction before your friends, coworkers, or family do. Your belt is a bit looser, the scale indicates a pound or two lost, and when you glance in the mirror, your arms and thighs are slightly smaller.
These changes are only visible to others if you lose a large amount of weight, which is determined by your beginning weight. A 10-pound decrease on a 130-pound person, for example, is more obvious than a 10-pound loss on a 250-pound body.
If you’re overweight, any weight loss is beneficial. However, if you don’t see a loss in your “problem” areas, you may grow frustrated. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction; you lose and gain weight everywhere over your body.
Weight loss often happens last in the places where you initially noticed weight increase. For men, the belly is a popular fat storage site, whereas women frequently battle with heaviness in the hips and thighs.
Weight-Loss Strategies That Work
Although you desire to reduce weight rapidly, doing so is frequently harmful and counterproductive.
Fad diets or quick weight-loss plans may help you lose weight temporarily, but they frequently result in a rapid re-gain of all the weight you lost.
Focus on making comprehensive, long-term improvements to your diet and exercise routines so that you can maintain your weight loss over time.
Processed foods, quick foods, and frequent sugary snacks should be eliminated gradually.
Cook at home more often and utilise fresh ingredients such watery, fibrous veggies, lean proteins, fruit, low-fat dairy, and nutritious grains.
For healthy, portion-controlled eating, count calories or use your plate as a guide.
Fill one-fourth of your plate with grilled, roasted, or broiled protein; the second quarter with a quality carbohydrate such a starchy vegetable or whole grain; and the other two quarters with veggies.
Grilled chicken with a sweet potato and green salad, or a turkey breast sandwich with carrot and celery sticks, could be part of a supper. When it comes to snacks, avoid chips, candy, and soda.
Choose low-fat yoghurt, fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, or low-fat cheese instead.
Exercising to Aid Weight Loss
Exercise helps you burn calories and improves the health benefits of losing weight. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
Add strength training to your workouts to see faster results and a tighter physique. In the beginning, doing as little as two workouts per week that target every major muscle group with at least one set of eight to twelve repetitions would enough.
Progress to heavier weights, more sets, and more weekly exercises if you want to see better muscle-building and physique-changing outcomes. Consult a fitness professional if you are unsure how to begin an exercise regimen.
So How Soon Do You Start To Lose Weight
When it comes to the way you look, a professional personal trainer explains, “it normally takes four weeks for friends to see weight loss, and six–eight weeks for you to notice.” This is especially true for friends who don’t see you on a daily basis, as they are more likely to notice a shift in your behaviour.
Weeks one to three
Taub-Dix predicts you’ll have greater energy and have less bloating during the first several weeks. Expect to see some weight loss and loosening of your garments as a result of your calorie deficit.
“However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that everyone is unique in their own way. Your friend’s storey of feeling like their clothes were going to come off after losing 5 pounds may be very different from your own “she claims. And it’s perfectly OK.
Weeks Four and Up
Again, there’s no hard-and-fast rule, but after four weeks of weight loss, most of her customers begin to observe more apparent physical changes. The average weight loss for women is about 10 pounds, and the average weight loss for males is about 15 pounds.
However, this isn’t an exact science, as garment and clothing brand sizing varies. However, based on your individual calorie deficit and weight loss rate, you can generally anticipate when the majority of physical changes in your body will begin to occur.