Weigh yourself weekly to check progress.
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Losing weight is a common goal and is one that requires dedication, commitment and a structured plan. Losing weight in a healthy way is vital, as crash dieting and losing weight too quickly can create an unhealthy relationship with food, slow your metabolism and weaken your immune system. To make sure you lose weight at a healthy rate, take note of your average loss.
It is healthy to lose around 1 to 2 pounds each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals who lose weight at this rate tend to keep it off permanently and make healthy eating a lifestyle rather than a short-term habit. This may not seem like much, but even a modest loss of five to 10 percent of your total body weight can improve your levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Weight Loss by Body Weight
A more realistic target is a loss of around 1.5 percent of total body weight each week, according to Dr. Craig Horswill, Ph.D., of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. If you weigh 120 pounds, this equates to a loss of around 1.8 pounds per week, but if you weigh 220 pounds, you could safely lose 3.3 pounds per week.
Faster Weight Loss
Faster weight loss can be safe and effective under certain circumstances, notes Dr. Donald Hensrud of MayoClinic.com. This is the case if you're overweight or obese, or if you jump into the induction phase of certain diets, for example, the Mayo Clinic Diet. Two pounds per week is a good average amount of weight to lose each week, adds trainer Tom Venuto. Losing more, however, might not necessarily be practical or sustainable for some people.
It is possible to lose fat and gain muscle mass simultaneously, especially if you've just started weight training. If you've added a little lean muscle and lost some fat, you could look more toned, defined and muscular. However, this positive development may not necessarily lead to a smaller number on the scale, because muscle mass is denser than fat mass. Likewise, changes in food and water intake could affect your weight on the scales, so don't take the scale reading as gospel. Also, keep in mind that heavier individuals might lose weight more quickly than lighter people.