- Got a new health routine? This is how long it will take to see results
- Bob Harper’s 3 secrets to help you avoid holiday weight gain
- ‘Biggest Loser’ host Bob Harper reveals 5 small things to kick-start healthy habits
- Brisk walking may be better for weight loss than other cardio
- How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?
- Five Months
- One Year, Plus Three Months to Lose What I Regained
- Two-and-a-Half Years
- Three Months After My First Pregnancy, Four Months After My Second
- 5 Years Total
- Two Years
- Five Years Total
- Six Years
- 10 Years
- How Long Does It Take To Start Noticing Your Weight Loss?
- There’s an adage that says “you’ll notice weight loss after 4 weeks, close friends and family will notice after 8, and strangers will notice after 12”.
- When Will You Start To Notice Weight Loss?
- How Will You Notice Your Weight Loss?
- When Will Others Notice Your Weight Loss?
- Top Tips
- How Can You Speed Up Your Weight Loss Journey?
- In conclusion…
- Related posts:
Got a new health routine? This is how long it will take to see results
“It doesn’t really matter how you do it, whether it’s because you reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your protein consumption , or you stop drinking alcohol, as long as there’s a deficit, you will see short-term weight loss,” Sharp says.
However, the key here is that the results will be short-lived. A UCLA study found that while dieters can expect to lose five to 10 per cent of their starting weight in the first six months of their diet plan, one-third to two-thirds of those dieters will regain more weight than they lost within four to five years.
READ MORE: Reality check: Is pizza a healthier breakfast choice than cereal?
“If you look at people who lose a lot of weight through diet alone and compare them to those who do it through diet and exercise, the latter group has better gains,” Sharp says. “That’s because exercise increases lean tissue mass, preserves your metabolism, increases energy, reduces stress and decreases cortisol, which we know is key to weight loss.”
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With exercise alone, you’ll see results in…
This is hard to answer definitively, Sharp says, because it depends on so many factors. It is possible to lose weight by exercising and not changing your diet, although it won’t be much.
“You would see an increase in muscle tone and you might see a small reduction in weight, but you can’t exercise past a bad diet.”
Dick Thijssen, a professor of cardiovascular physiology and exercise at Liverpool John Moores University, estimates that three to four months of exercising without altering your diet would only result in an approximately two-pound weight loss.
Then there’s the issue that many people overestimate how much they exercise and underestimate how many calories they’re consuming. Combine that with the fact that exercise, especially cardio, tends to increase appetite, and the results could be the opposite of what you hoped for.
However, you may find that even if you’re just exercising and not making any changes to your diet, what lands on your dinner plate may start to change.
“When someone exercises, their stress levels go down, they sleep better and have better self-esteem. They feel like an athlete and as a result want to eat like one, too,” Sharp says.
With diet, and a combination of cardio and resistance training, you’ll see results in…
Much like the diet-only scenario, this combination will produce an immediate loss of one to three pounds in the first week, but that will escalate considerably by week four.
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READ MORE: What’s a better workout: Walking or running?
“At the four- to six-week mark, theoretically you could see anywhere from four to 18 pounds of fat loss,” Sharp says. “Resistance training and cardio combined will start to promote lean tissue building. You won’t see huge changes in your body composition , but you will lose fat.”
By following this routine, she says you can expect to see an entire percentage of body fat lost per month. Significant weight loss and muscle gains will take approximately eight weeks to see, however, even though you’re not seeing muscle definition, the benefits going on in your body and mind are considerable.
“Your clothes will fit better, your posture will be better and you’ll walk taller,” Sharp says.
Which is better — diet and cardio or diet and resistance training?
In the realm of exercise, trainers will always err on the side of resistance training, because that’s what will create the most change in your body through building lean muscle tissue.
“If you were only to do cardio and diet, you’d lose weight, but your metabolism would be compromised. Resistance training has a protein-sparing effect in that it doesn’t like for protein to be metabolized for energy. Cardio doesn’t make the same distinction — if you’re running and you’ve burned up all your carbohydrate stores, your body will start leeching from your fat and protein stores,” Sharp explains.
That’s not to say cardio isn’t beneficial; it’s great for your heart and lungs, but don’t rely on it to give you a lean, defined physique.
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“Cardio is about overall health, but a combination of diet and resistance training is what will make the most morphological change.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
When it comes to slimming down, your focus may be your belly, derriere or thighs, but one of the first places a weight change shows up is on your face.
Now, researchers have pinpointed the least amount of weight you need to lose for people to notice a difference in your looks, plus the weight loss at which they find you more attractive. Yes, those are two different concepts.
The face, it turns out, can broadcast all sorts of information about what’s going on with your body.
“It says a lot of things about our health, actually,” study co-author Daniel Re, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, told TODAY.
Bob Harper’s 3 secrets to help you avoid holiday weight gain
Oct. 17, 201602:37
RELATED: Is diet or exercise best for weight loss? 4 reasons your workout doesn’t work
Besides offering cues about your immune system, cardiovascular health and stress levels, the face can also be a good indicator of your weight and body mass index (BMI), he noted.
If you’re overweight, the fatty areas in your cheeks, called buccal fat pads, will give you a heavier appearance. If you’re too skinny, the lack of fat on your face will leave you looking gaunt.
Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.
Healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9, and most people like to gaze at faces that correspond to a BMI in the lower end of that range, the study notes. You can calculate your BMI here.
“The healthy weight is what tends to be the most preferable weight to look at,” Re said.
‘Biggest Loser’ host Bob Harper reveals 5 small things to kick-start healthy habits
Sept. 14, 201602:53
- For a weight change to show up on your face, you’d need to change your BMI by 1.33 points, the study found. That means a woman and man of average height would need to gain or lose eight pounds and nine pounds, respectively. For this study, the average woman was 5 feet 4 inches tall; the average man 5 feet 10 inches.
RELATED: 6 smart snack choices to fuel your day
But just because other people notice a weight change doesn’t mean they will find you more attractive. So for part two of his study, Re set out to measure how much you’d need to lose to boost your looks.
- To make your face look more attractive, you’d need to lower your BMI by about 2.5 points. That means a woman and man of average height would need to lose about 14 pounds and 18 pounds, respectively, the study found.
For technical reasons, Re focused on weight loss, even though gaunt faces are just as likely to be judged as unattractive as overweight ones, he said.
- The most attractive faces corresponded to a BMI of about 19 for women and 24 for men. For a woman and man of average height, that translates to body weights of 111 pounds and 165 pounds, respectively.
RELATED: Should you cut fat or carbs? Study offers new answers in the diet debate
The speed of weight loss may affect when others notice it, Re added.
“A rapid weight loss would be much more noticeable to those around you, whereas a slower one — people adapt to the way you look with time,” he said.
Brisk walking may be better for weight loss than other cardio
Nov. 4, 201500:57
For the study, researchers used a collection of photos of men and women that they digitally altered to show gradually increasing “facial adiposity,” or the perception of weight in the face. The results are based on responses from participants who noticed the changes and judged their attractiveness.
Re cautioned the study is not intended to pressure anyone to slim down. Rather, it’s meant to be helpful for people who are already looking to lose weight and could use specific guidance as an incentive.
“We don’t do these studies to tell people that they should be more attractive,” Re said.
“We know from other research that people are more motivated to look attractive than they are to be healthy, and a concrete goal with an actual number attached is more motivating than just an abstract goal.”
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If you’re working on losing a few extra pounds these days or just being healthier in general, you’re likely aware that, in addition to the exercise endorphins, new fondness of fresh, good-for-you foods, and general HBIC vibes you draw from taking care of yourself, there’s a totally superficial fringe benefit: Duh, you’ll look even hotter. Recently, University of Toronto researchers took on a question we never thought to ask: Exactly how much weight does one have to lose to look quote-unquote better? You’re obviously gorge already, but their results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science put some science behind when people will actually* notic*e all those trips to the gym.
The scientists started with photos of the faces of men and women ages 20 to 40 and digitally altered them to put on a few pounds. (Apparently “facial adiposity” is a great proxy for overall body mass index, or BMI—who knew?) Then, by having study participants draw headshot pairs and note which face looked heavier to them, the researchers calculated the magic number when weight loss becomes visible in the face: It’s when your BMI drops by 2.93. (That’s 2.93 lbs./m2, the units for BMI; you can calculate your own BMI here.)
Next, researchers sussed out the threshold at which a change in facial adiposity cued a change in their perceived attractiveness. Turns out women’s BMI had to shift by 5.24, and men’s had to shift by 5.7, for anyone to rate their beauty differently. To put that in human terms, this translates to about 13.9 pounds for the average woman and 18.1 pounds for the average man.
To put it bluntly: “Women and men of average height need to gain or lose about about 8 and 9 pounds, respectively, for anyone to see it in their face, but they need to lose about twice as much for anyone to find them more attractive,” lead author Nicholas Rule told Medical News Today.
The upshot? One, men have to lose more weight than women to get the attractiveness boost, so there’s that. Two, you probably don’t have to hit your goal weight to start noticing a difference. And three, you likely can gain 10+ pounds and not look one iota less hot. This study is fun and interesting, but let’s be real: None of us really need to care about what strangers in a Canadian research lab think about our looks. So drop the mike…and pass the Christmas cookies.
More from Glamour:
The question: I’ve cleaned up my eating habits and exercise regularly, but my weight hasn’t changed. When will I start to see the number on the scale change?
The expert: Mitzi Dulan, R.D., author of The Pinterest Diet
The answer: Assuming that you’ve cut calories and you’re sticking to a workout routine, you can notice weight-loss results within a week, says Dulan.
However, keep in mind that weight-loss results aren’t just measured by the number on the scale—in fact, the scale can be deceiving, says Dulan. See, your new diet and exercise regimen burn fat—but you’re also building muscle, which weighs more than fat and can prevent the scale from shifting. And that’s not a bad thing because building muscle mass fires up your metabolism to torch more calories even when you’re not working out.
To prove to yourself that you are making progress—even when your weight stays the same—Dulan recommends doing a jeans test. Find a pair you’re aiming to squeeze into, and see how your body feels in them. As you clean up your diet and clock more sweat sessions, you’ll likely notice a gap between your belly and jeans because your body is becoming leaner—even if that isn’t immediately obvious when you step on the scale.
More from Women’s Health:
“How Can I Break Through My Weight-Loss Plateaus?”
The Sneaky Weight-Loss Saboteur
The Secret Ingredient for Weight Loss
Kenny Thapoung Social Media Editor When I’m not stalking future-but-never-going-to-happen husbands on Facebook, you can catch me eating at one of NYC’s B-rated or below dining establishments—A-rated restaurants are for basics.
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to see results when you are trying to lose weight? We’ve broken it down for you.
These results are based on 3-5 workouts a week, including higher intensity intervals (not just slow and steady physical activity) cardio plus resistance exercises, as well as following a diet plan which results in 0.5-1kg weight loss a week, however you choose to do this.
Individual results will vary, and programs with more exercise or lower energy intakes may produce higher rates of weight loss.
Hunger, but you can manage this feeling as you are excited and feeling positive! Your first workout (especially if you haven’t exercised in a while) may leave you puffing and panting, finding you run out of steam earlier than you thought, and feeling a little wobbly and unfit. You find you are quite hungry after your workout.
After 2-3 days:
You are experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS, as your muscles recover from the exercise you did on day one. Exercise is hard, you really need to warm up and stretch, and you are forcing yourself to get through your workout.
You may be starting to feel the effects of your reduced calories- fatigue, cravings, hunger, sugar withdrawal symptoms like headache, mood swings, aches and pains or flu-like symptoms. These feelings may get you questioning whether you can do this!
On the plus size, you’ll notice a shift in your weight- you’re losing a lot of fluid as your carbohydrate stores get depleted, but you probably haven’t started to lose too much body fat just yet.
After 1 week:
You’ll see some weight loss, you can lose a couple of kilo’s in water weight initially, and a portion of your weight loss will be body fat. Your biggest weight loss will be in this first week and after this it will steady out to your 0.5-1kg.
Cardio doesn’t feel quite so hard this week, your flexibility starts to improve. Most of the symptoms have started to ease off as your body adjusts to your new diet.
After 2 weeks:
You will be able to feel changes in muscle definition/tone, even if nobody else notices yet. Your muscles start to feel stronger and your resistance exercises seem a little easier.
The excitement of starting your diet plan may be starting to wear off a little, and you might be tempted to start sneaking in a little treat here or there, or not follow your diet plan so strictly.
Your tastebuds change so that sweet foods now seem too sweet, fatty foods seem too rich, and salty foods lose some of their appeal. In fact, fruit and vegetables start to go from bland to delicious as you start to notice subtle flavours you never noticed before.
Exercise feels easier, your cardiovascular fitness is much better. DOMS after workouts isn’t nearly as bad. You’ve now dropped around a dress size (or two), and can see reductions in body centimetres- though your genetics mostly determines where on your body this happens.
You are seeing more noticeable improvements in energy levels and no longer need that sugary hit to get you through your afternoon slump.
You start to notice real change in body shape, as your muscles are really starting to tone up and get strong. They have in fact become so strong, that at this point you may hit plateau and need to change things up. Increasing resistance, or intensity of workouts might be needed now.
You will have dropped 2-4 dress sizes, have much improved muscle definition and tone, much improved energy levels and mood. People will be noticing that you have lost weight and commenting on it. You’ll be noticing that some weeks you don’t lose weight at all, but overall your weight is still coming down.
Reaching your goal weight:
If you are nearing your goal weight, you may want to consider a maintenance plan- slightly increase the amount of healthy foods you eat in a week and check your weight until you get the right balance where you can now maintain your weight. Resist the temptation to jump back into the old eating habits that got you in trouble in the first place. Exercise is especially important for weight maintenance now.
Give yourself a big pat on the back! You worked hard and made healthy changes and look and feel amazing! Keep up the good work, being healthy is a lifestyle change for good, not a short term diet!
If you want to kickstart your weight loss:
Studies have shown that following a program where you lose weight faster initially, results in greater weight loss in the long term as compared to slower more gradual weight loss from the start.This may be why guests who attend our retreats in Sydney Central Coast and Torquay, VIC have had such great results.
Why not spend a week or two with us? A proven program, 5 star resort setting, and like minded people just like you who are serious about taking back control of their life. All ages, sizes, and fitness levels, and expert staff. Find out why our pasts guests rave that OnTrack Retreats changed their life.
Or for free weekly recipes, diet and exercise tips, and inspiration, follow us on social media!
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?
Several factors affect the rate at which you lose weight. Many of them are out of your control.
Your fat-to-muscle ratio greatly affects your ability to lose weight.
Because women typically have a greater fat-to-muscle ratio than men, they have a 5–10% lower resting metabolic rate than that of men of the same height (2).
This means that women generally burn 5–10% fewer calories than men at rest. Thus, men tend to lose weight quicker than women following a diet equal in calories.
For example, an 8-week study including over 2,000 participants on an 800-calorie diet found that men lost 16% more weight than women (3).
Yet, while men tended to lose weight quicker than women, the study did not analyze gender-based differences in the ability to maintain weight loss.
One of the many bodily changes that occur with aging is alterations in body composition — fat mass increases and muscle mass decreases.
This change, along with other factors like the declining calorie needs of your major organs, contributes to a lower RMR (4, 5).
In fact, adults over 70 years old can have RMRs that are 20–25% lower than those of younger adults (2, 6).
This decrease in RMR can make weight loss increasingly difficult with age.
Your initial body weight also affects how quickly you can expect to lose weight.
The amount of weight you lose, especially within the first few weeks, tends to be proportional to your body weight.
People who are heavier will lose more pounds than people who are lighter. However, the rate of weight loss tends to be similar percentage wise (7).
For example, a person weighing 300 pounds (136 kg) may lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) after reducing their daily intake by 500 calories for 2 weeks.
Conversely, someone of the same age and gender weighing 150 pounds (68 kg), may lose only 5 pounds (2.3 kg) following the same method.
Although a heavier person may lose double the amount of weight, a less obese individual may lose an equal percentage of their body weight (10/300 = 9.7% versus 5/150 = 9.7%).
You must create a negative calorie balance to lose weight. The extent of this calorie deficit affects how quickly you lose weight.
For example, consuming 500 fewer calories per day for 8 weeks will likely result in greater weight loss than eating 200 fewer calories per day.
However, be sure not to make your calorie deficit too large. Doing so would not only be unsustainable but also put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies. What’s more, it might make you more likely to lose weight in the form of muscle mass rather than fat mass.
Sleep tends to be an overlooked yet crucial component of weight loss.
Chronic sleep loss can significantly hinder weight loss and the speed at which you shed pounds.
Just one night of sleep deprivation has been shown to increase your desire for high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods, such as cookies, cakes, sugary beverages, and chips (8, 9).
One 2-week study randomized participants on a calorie-restricted diet to sleep either 5.5 or 8.5 hours each night.
Those who slept 5.5 hours lost 55% less body fat and 60% more lean body mass than those who slept 8.5 hours per night (10).
Consequently, chronic sleep deprivation is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers (11, 12, 13).
Several other factors can affect your weight loss rate, including:
- Medications. Many medications, such as antidepressants and other antipsychotics, can promote weight gain or hinder weight loss (14).
- Medical conditions. Illnesses, including depression and hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too few metabolism-regulating hormones, can slow weight loss and encourage weight gain (7, 15).
- Family history and genes. There is a well-established genetic component associated with people who are overweight or obese, and it may affect weight loss (16. 17).
- Yo-yo dieting. This pattern of losing and regaining weight can make weight loss increasingly difficult with each attempt, due to a decrease in RMR (18).
Summary Age, gender, and sleep are just a few of the many factors that affect weight loss. Others include some medical conditions, your genetics, and the use of certain medications.
Ever feel like it’s taking for-freakin’-ever for you to drop the weight you’re trying to lose? You’re not alone.
While healthy weight-loss guidelines say you should aim to lose one or two pounds per week (whether you have five or 50 pounds to lose), there could be weeks, or even months, when the scale doesn’t budge, says dietitian nutritionist Tori Holthaus, R.D.N., founder of YES! Nutrition, LLC.
“How long it takes to lose a given amount of weight depends on so many factors, like whether you’ve lost weight before, health conditions, how much weight you actually need to lose, and your sleep and stress levels,” she says.
RELATED: The Exact Steps I Took to Lose 40 Pounds in 4 Months
Here, women who lost 20 pounds or more share how long it actually took them to shed the pounds—and what helped them finally reach their goal weights.
“I lost 25 pounds over the course of five months. When I graduated from college I came home heavier than I had ever been in my life. I knew I needed to do something about it. I stepped on the scale and weighed 172 pounds. I was shocked. Now I weigh 150 pounds, finally at a healthy weight for being 5’8″. For me, accountability was key to reaching a healthy weight. I found a virtual coach who motivated me every day by sending messages of encouragement, checking in to make sure I worked out, and answering any questions that I had. I also told my mom and friends about my goals, and I didn’t want to let them down.” — Taylor Jensen, 24, lost 25 pounds
One Year, Plus Three Months to Lose What I Regained
“I’ve lost 86 pounds—and it happened in stages. It took me about a year to lose the first 76 pounds, and then I ended up gaining 12 back. About three months ago, I decided that I wanted to hit my original goal and lost 22 more pounds. It took me a little over three months to reach that point. During my second go at losing weight, I cut out excess carbs from bread and pasta and cut back on sugar. I am also a big supporter of high-intensity interval training and bodyweight circuits. Even though I had bad days, weeks, or even months, I picked myself up, pushed through it, and started again.”—Chelsi Evans, 30, lost 86 pounds
RELATED: 7 Signs You’re Making Weight Loss Harder Than It Needs to Be
Lindsey M. Adams
“Over the course of two and a half years, I lost more than 140 pounds. I had an accountability partner that created an organized plan in an Excel spreadsheet, which we followed every month. In the beginning, seeing the months ahead made me feel like losing the weight was an impossible accomplishment. But after breaking it down month by month, losing five pounds in four weeks was doable. I was able to stay consistent the entire way through. In hindsight, I’m glad I had over two years to create a new mindset and consistent routine. After hitting my goal, I found that challenges still arise, but I always know how to get back on track after laying a solid foundation” —Lindsey M. Adams, 30, 140 pounds lost
Three Months After My First Pregnancy, Four Months After My Second
“I’ve always weighed between 120 and 130 pounds, until I had kids. When my son was about 10 months old, I started working out pretty intensely with weight training in the evenings and cardio in the mornings, five or six days a week. I ended up losing 40 pounds in about three months. I went from 163 pounds down to 123 pounds, and was shocked at how quickly my body reacted to the changes I made. But then I hit a plateau, and I got pregnant again! After that pregnancy, I weighed 182 pounds. After giving birth, I worked out very hard with a little less cardio and more weight training. While exercising helped me tremendously, I wouldn’t have seen results if I kept eating the way I had before. I completely changed my diet by eating lots of lean protein, tons of veggies, small amounts of carbs in the form of oats or grains, eliminating processed sugars, and drinking tons of water. And of course, I have cheat meals. It’s all about finding balance that works for my lifestyle. It took me about four months to get to 152 pounds with 17 percent body fat, and I’m pretty happy where I’m at.” —Candace Perkins, 30, 30 pounds lost
You don’t need a lot of equipment—or any at all—to get fit. Check out this no-equipment workout:
5 Years Total
“Like most people who have struggled with weight, I’ve lost a lot and then gained it back multiple times. Over the past five years, I’ve weighed 200 pounds, 180 pounds, and then 216 pounds. After getting busy with work, a move, and a baby, I saw my weight creep back up. That’s how I realized that I had to make healthy changes that I could stick with over the long-term. In the past five months, I’ve lost another 20 pounds to get to my current weight of 173 pounds. I’ve done it slowly, making small, sustainable changes in my eating habits, like replacing fries for a side salad and eating brown rice instead of white. I’ve also made brisk walking my main form of exercise because I hate running.” —Chantelle Rivera, 28, 43 pounds lost
“Two years after weighing 276 pounds, I now weigh 209. I lost 50 pounds in the first six months by focusing on eating right to lose weight. Then, I fell in love with lifting weights and decided to start building muscle. I stopped weighing myself for a while and watched my body change drastically. What helped me through the process the most was staying consistent. Even if I messed up on my diet, I was in the gym six days a week.” — April Wise, 27, 67 pounds lost
Five Years Total
“At my heaviest, I weighed 283 pounds. My current weight is 148 pounds. Over the course of three years, I lost more than 50 pounds with some exercise and counting calories. Throughout that period, my weight constantly yo-yo’d. In October 2014, I knew it was time to do something more to stabilize my weight. I started working with a strength, conditioning, and nutrition coach. He taught me how to properly fuel my body, the best way to work out, and held me accountable. In the first few months of working with my coach, I smashed my goals week after week. But eventually the number on the scale wasn’t dropping as drastically. It was frustrating, but I learned that stress, not enough sleep, and slipping up on my diet were affecting my progress. After two years of working with him, I lost nearly 80 pounds and 13 percent of my body fat.” —Kristyn Dorney, 36, 135 pounds lost
RELATED: These Common Weight-Loss Rules Are Probably Sabotaging Your Progress
“It took me six years to lose 53 pounds. The first 10 were very easy to lose. I just stopped eating cookies, candy, and chips. But continuing to lose weight was more difficult and, at times, I even gained some back. When I have time, I exercise for about two hours, four times per week. About half of my time working out is spent doing cardio. It’s not easy, but when I saw the changes in myself, I felt motivated to keep setting and achieving new goals. I just wish I’d started exercising sooner.” —Andy Martinez, 23, 53 pounds lost
“Over the course of the past 10 years, I lost 80 pounds. It has been quite a journey. At my heaviest, I was around 250. I worked on my nutrition for a few years and slowly integrated fitness. In the past year, I got really serious about losing weight and began working out daily. Since then, I’ve lost 30 pounds and currently weigh 170 pounds. Some might say that my weight-loss timeline is really long, but I haven’t put the weight back on, which shows me that these changes will stick. I used to get frustrated when I reached a plateau. I changed up my workouts or re-evaluated what I was eating. But now I look at it as a kind of accomplishment. My body has a new baseline for functioning.” —Megan Gilmore, 29, 80 pounds lost
How Long Does It Take To Start Noticing Your Weight Loss?
There’s an adage that says “you’ll notice weight loss after 4 weeks, close friends and family will notice after 8, and strangers will notice after 12”.
How much truth is there to this, though?
This article answers all your questions.
When Will You Start To Notice Weight Loss?
Depending on your lifestyle and dietary intake, it could be as little as a week before you notice weight loss.
It’s likely to be a bit longer than that for most people, though.
The amount of time required to notice weight loss depends on various things, explored below.
How Will You Notice Your Weight Loss?
Your starting weight is one factor. Weight loss isn’t noticeable after a certain amount of pounds are lost: It’s noticeable after a certain proportion of body mass is lost.
It’s like this…
If you lose 5lbs from a weight of 180 lbs, for example, it will be harder to see than a loss of 5lbs from 140lbs.
It’s also important to know whether you are losing water weight, or fat weight.
While World Health Organization calls carbohydrates “the single most important source of food energy in the world,” (1) many diets advocate reduction in carbs for quick weight loss.
But here’s the kicker:
Research has found that “when you start a low-carbohydrate diet, you deplete the stored glycogen in your muscles” (2). This depletion then leads “to excretion of bound water” (3) from the body.
Meaning your body is getting rid of water instead of fat.
And if your goal is fat burning… Weight loss through water probably isn’t what you had in mind!
This also means that contrary to popular belief, the best way to monitor weight loss is not necessarily a set of scales; but rather with a measuring tape.
This will allow you to assess fat reduction, whereas scales don’t always allow for differences in water weight.
Another factor determining when you will notice weight loss is how you perceive your own weight, and this can vary quite a lot between people.
If you find it harder to see or acknowledge that you have lost weight, it may take you longer to lose an amount that feels significant.
It is important to be honest with yourself here. One study found that accurate weight perception was related positively to overall weight-loss efforts (4).
As a rough guide, you will probably start to notice weight loss in these areas and in this order:
- On the scale
- On the tape measure, and in clothes sizes at the same time
- Through visible changes to your body
When Will Others Notice Your Weight Loss?
“After how many pounds is weight loss noticeable”, you may be asking.
One study has the answer. Researchers in Canada found (5) that weight loss of 8 or 9 lbs was required for other people to reliably notice a difference in your appearance.
If you’re still wondering when people will notice your weight loss…
Remember that it will probably take a bit longer from the outside as the results will have to be more significant.
This shouldn’t dishearten you, though.
We mentioned ratio of body mass earlier, and this is especially the case for people noticing your weight loss.
It’s about ratio of body mass lost, rather than weight. So 5lb weight loss from 140lbs will be noticed more quickly than from 180.
A loss of 8 or 9 lbs will probably be required before people start to notice a change in your appearance. A BMI checker can help you to set healthy weight-loss goals with this target in mind.
How Can You Speed Up Your Weight Loss Journey?
Weight loss is determined by a simple equation: The number of calories going in must be lower than the number of calories your body burns.
To achieve a safe and sustainable calorie deficit, you have three options.
- You can lower your calorific intake by eating foods with fewer calories.
- You can increase your body’s consumption by doing more exercise.
- You can do both.
Or, as the Harvard School of Public Health so eloquently put it, “move more, eat less!” (6)
Here are some things to do to achieve quick weight loss:
Stop with the snacking!
Snacks are usually high in fat, sugar, or both. When your brain is craving these things it can be hard to resist, but your body will thank you. If you really can’t resist, go for healthy snacks like fruit, plain popcorn, nuts, or similar.
Prioritise foods with fewer calories
You’ll still feel full up if you eat foods with lower calories, and this feeling of fullness can be helpful in preventing you from snacking, or eating too much. Aim to eat a balanced diet of lower-calorie foods.
Use dietary supplements
Using the correct dietary supplements can give a helping hand to your weight loss efforts. Supplements work in different ways: Some help you to feel more full after eating, others give your metabolism a boost, and others give you a bit more energy to help you be more active.
Turn off the TV
If you have some spare time and you’re looking to speed up your weight loss, try to prioritise physical activity over sedentary activities like watching TV. People will notice your weight loss a lot quicker if you exercise regularly.
Do some aerobic exercise
You can do this type of exercise for prolonged periods, and it’s great for burning fat. Things like cycling, swimming, jogging, or even brisk walking count as aerobic exercise.
Do some strength training
According to the NHS, “muscle burns more calories than fat” (7). This means muscle-strengthening activities can give a boost to your weight loss.
Increase your general activity
Going to the shops? Cycle instead of driving. Usually get the bus to work? Get off a few stops earlier and brisk walk the rest of the way.
Peppering exercise throughout your daily routine is a great way to speed up your weight loss, while instilling good habits.
Following these tips will help you to notice your weight loss in no time.
It’s really important to not prioritise speed over safety. Effective weight loss should be safe, healthy, and sustainable. Dropping too much weight too quickly can be damaging, and can lead to rebounds.
Remember it can take up to 12 weeks for new habits to set in (8), so don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to avoid snacks, or to exercise as much as you want.
Hopefully this blog post answered all of the questions you had about when you can expect to notice weight loss.
By setting realistic goals, and maintaining a healthy caloric deficit, you could begin to notice weight loss anywhere from a week into your new routine.
You have plenty of options to you for achieving this deficit: A new diet, an updated exercise regime, a healthy new supplement, or even some combination of the three.
Remember to look at the scales first, and then at the tape measure to check that the weight you’re losing is from fat.
Then look at your clothes size, your body, and finally the surprised faces of other people!
And while it’s nice for other people to notice your weight loss, always remember that you’re doing this for you. A fit and healthy body feels great, and you will know when you start to notice your weight loss by how you feel.