Healthy Rate of Weight Loss

By Boyce Henry

What is a healthy rate of weight loss? Well, first, we know what is not healthy or even achievable, which is the claim by some of a pound per day. The average overweight 180 pound woman, for instance, would need to completely fast and burn up an additional 1500 calories every day to accomplish this.

What is a healthy and feasible rate of weight loss is about 1% of your body weight per week. Much of this depends on the type of foods you are eating, when you are eating them and the amount and type of exercise you are doing. If you are like me at this point and trying to ween yourself off of great southern food, you may need to be more forgiving of your goals. The foods I love are calorie dense, which makes them desirable, but very unfriendly when trying to diet. Higher concentrations of fruits and vegetables, which are less dense, will allow you to achieve your weight goals sooner. If you combine these with fairly intense exercise four or more times a week, you may accomplish some fairly rapid weight loss.

However, it has been my experience that trying to take one giant leap, rather than several medium size steps, is like rappelling off a cliff without a rope. Every time I have tried to go “all in” at once, I wind up losing, whether in Vegas or trying to stay away from my neighbors BBQ. I am one of those that must look at this whole weight loss thing in terms of gradual, lifelong changes. If I go into it to lose 20 pounds in 60 days, I lose every time because there are too many changes I have to make at one time. I get grouchy.

So, with the changes I have made so far, such as limiting bread and dairy and increasing my exercise, and allowing myself to eat Bill’s BBQ every three weeks, I am getting there without sacrificing my sanity. I have even learned to enjoy asparagus and broccoli and carrots. Hey, that’s a big deal for me.

Bottom line is this; shoot for about 1% of your body weight per week for a healthy rate of weight loss. This is healthy and achievable for most people who are not me. I’m at more like 1/2% per week. But, hey, I’ll catch up. At least for me, setting my goals a little farther out keeps family and friends from ostracizing me. Otherwise, I would be thinned from the herd because of my irritability. Be happy!

Boyce Henry has over 15 years researching and managing weight loss and weight loss products. To get a free report on the top diet scams, please go to

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