How Much Time Does It Take to Lose Weight?

by asha
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight

Factors such as age, gender, and your initial point can impact the duration it takes for you to undergo weight loss. The timeframe is also influenced by the balance between the calories you consume and expend.

Weight loss, whether for a specific event or overall health enhancement, is a prevalent objective. Establishing realistic expectations involves understanding what constitutes a healthy rate of weight loss. This article delves into the factors influencing the duration it might take for you to achieve weight loss.

How weight loss happens

Losing weight occurs when you eat fewer calories every day than your body burns consistently.

On the flip side, gaining weight occurs when you consistently consume more calories than your body burns.

Every bit of food or drink you have that contains calories contributes to your total calorie intake.

However, the number of calories your body burns each day, known as energy or calorie expenditure, is a bit more complex.

Calorie expenditure consists of these three main parts :

  1. Resting metabolic rate (RMR): This is the calories your body needs for regular functions like breathing and pumping blood.
  2. Thermic effect of food (TEF): These are the calories used in digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing food.
  3. Thermic effect of activity (TEA): These are the calories burned during exercise. TEA may also cover non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which includes calories used for activities like yard work and fidgeting.

If the calories you eat match the calories you burn, your body weight stays the same.

To lose weight, you need to establish a negative calorie balance by either eating fewer calories than you burn or increasing your activity to burn more calories.

Factors influencing weight loss

Several factors impact the speed at which you lose weight, and many are beyond your control.


Your fat-to-muscle ratio plays a significant role in your weight loss capability. Since women typically have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio than men, their Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is 5–10% lower than men of the same height.

This means women generally burn 5–10% fewer calories than men while at rest. Consequently, men often experience faster weight loss than women on an equal-calorie diet.

For instance, an 8-week study with over 2,000 participants following an 800-calorie diet revealed that men lost 16% more weight than women. The relative weight loss was 11.8% in men and 10.3% in women.

However, although men tended to shed pounds more quickly than women in this study, it did not investigate gender-based differences in maintaining weight loss.


One of the various transformations that happen in the body as you age is a shift in body composition, characterized by an increase in fat mass and a decrease in muscle mass.

This alteration, combined with factors like the reduced calorie requirements of your vital organs, leads to a decreased Resting Metabolic Rate.

In reality, individuals over the age of 70 may experience RMRs that are 20–25% lower than those of younger adults .

This decline in RMR can pose challenges for weight loss as you get older.

Starting Point

The starting point of your weight loss journey is also a crucial factor in determining how quickly you may shed pounds.

It’s essential to recognize that different absolute weight losses (in pounds) can result in the same relative (%) weight loss for different individuals. Weight loss is ultimately a multifaceted process.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Body Weight Planner serves as a helpful tool to estimate how much weight you can potentially lose based on factors such as your initial weight, age, sex, and calorie intake and expenditure.

While a person with a higher weight might lose a greater amount of weight, an individual with less weight may achieve an equivalent percentage of their body weight loss (e.g., 10/250 = 4% versus 5/125 = 4%).

For instance, someone weighing 300 pounds (136 kg) could lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) by reducing their daily calorie intake by 1,000 calories and increasing physical activity over 2 weeks.

Calorie deficit

To lose weight, it’s crucial to establish a negative calorie balance. The size of this calorie deficit plays a key role in determining the pace of your weight loss.

For instance, maintaining a daily intake that is 500 calories less for 8 weeks will probably lead to more substantial weight loss compared to reducing your daily intake by 200 calories.

Doing so could be unsustainable and may increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, it might lead to a higher likelihood of losing muscle mass instead of fat mass.

However, it’s important not to create an excessively large calorie deficit.


Despite being often overlooked, sleep plays a crucial role in weight loss.

Consistent lack of sleep can significantly impede weight loss progress and the speed at which you shed pounds.

Just a single night of sleep deprivation can heighten your cravings for high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods like cookies, cakes, sugary beverages, and chips.

In a 2-week study, participants on a calorie-restricted diet were randomly assigned to sleep either 5.5 or 8.5 hours each night.

Those who slept 5.5 hours experienced a 55% reduction in body fat loss and a 60% increase in lean body mass compared to those who slept 8.5 hours per night.

Therefore, chronic sleep deprivation is closely associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Other factors

Several additional factors can impact the rate of your weight loss, including:

Medications: Many medications, like antidepressants and other antipsychotics, may contribute to weight gain or impede weight loss.

Medical conditions: Health issues, such as depression and hypothyroidism (a condition where your thyroid gland produces insufficient metabolism-regulating hormones), can slow down weight loss and encourage weight gain.

Family history and genes: A well-established genetic component is associated with individuals who have overweight or obesity, and it could influence weight loss ur.

Yo-yo dieting: This pattern of losing and regaining weight can make weight loss increasingly challenging with each attempt, mainly due to a decrease in resting metabolic rate.

Best Diet for Weight Loss

Amidst the multitude of weight loss diets available — all promising remarkable and swift results — determining the best one can be perplexing.

Despite claims by creators and advocates that their programs surpass others, there isn’t a singular best weight loss diet.

For instance, low-carb diets like keto may lead to initial weight loss, but studies show no significant differences in long-term weight loss.

The crucial factor is your ability to adhere to a healthy, reduced-calorie eating pattern.

Sustaining a very low-calorie diet over extended periods is challenging for many and a leading cause of diet failures.

To enhance success, moderately reduce calorie intake, tailor your diet to your preferences and health, or consult with a registered dietitian.

Combine your diet with exercise, encompassing both aerobic and resistance training, for optimal fat loss and to prevent or minimize muscle loss.

By eliminating highly processed foods and embracing more healthy, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins, you can further facilitate weight loss and overall health. Weight loss supplements claim to aid in shedding pounds by boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, or enhancing fat burning, but their effectiveness and safety can vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using them.

Safe rates of weight loss

Despite the desire for rapid weight loss, it’s crucial not to shed too much weight too quickly.

Swift weight loss can elevate the risk of gallstones, dehydration, and malnutrition.

Other side effects of rapid weight loss include :

  • headaches
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle loss

Experts recommend a weight loss of 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week, or about 1% of your body weight. Although weight loss may vary weekly, some faster, some slower, it’s essential to stay consistent.

Don’t be disheartened if your weight loss slows or plateaus for a few days. Utilizing a food diary and regular weigh-ins can assist in staying on track.

Research indicates that individuals using self-monitoring techniques, such as recording dietary intake and weight, are more successful in both losing weight and maintaining it compared to those who don’t .

Final Word

Weight loss is achieved by consuming fewer calories than you burn.

Various factors, such as gender, age, starting weight, sleep, and the size of your calorie deficit, impact the rate of weight loss.

Striving for a loss of 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week is a safe and sustainable approach to achieve your goals. Puralean is one of the best weight loss supplements designed to support healthy metabolism and aid individuals in achieving their weight loss goals through its natural and effective formula.

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