Advertisement

How quickly should I lose weight?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

When it comes to losing weight, steady and slow is the way to go. Depending on how much you weigh now, experts recommend losing an average of 1/2 to 2 pounds a week. At the beginning of a weight-loss program, you may find that you lose weight faster. That's fine. Over time, you'll lose weight at a steady, slower pace that's healthy and sustainable.

Losing weight should be a slow and steady process to help prevent complications from occurring. Maintaining the weight loss you achieve is more likely if the weight loss occurs gradually. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week or a month depends upon an individual’s height and weight. Making an appointment with a healthcare provider or nutritionist when starting a weight loss program can be beneficial.

Not everyone loses weight at the same pace and in the same areas of the body. And, not every diet is a guaranteed recipe for success. For healthy, long-term weight loss, the body needs time to adjust.

A reasonable goal is to lose 10 percent of your body weight over six months. You might lose weight quickly at first. This may be the result of eating less, or it could be that you need to drink more fluids.

Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week, or 8 to 10 pounds a month is ideal. Some patients lose more, but some lose nothing at all. If you lose 12 pounds in the first month, and another 12 pounds in month two, it is not reasonable to expect this pace to continue.

Continue Learning about Weight Loss

Walking Off Fat—Fast!
Walking Off Fat—Fast!
Saying you're too heavy to exercise is like saying you're too skinny to eat. Your body needs exercise just as your body needs food. And walking may be...
Read More
How can losing weight help my obstructive sleep apnea symptoms?
Craig B. Primack, MDCraig B. Primack, MD
Sleep apnea usually occurs during stages of sleep where the tongue and throat muscle relax. During t...
More Answers
7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes—and How to Fix Them
7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes—and How to Fix Them7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes—and How to Fix Them7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes—and How to Fix Them7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes—and How to Fix Them
Deborah Wilburn
Start Slideshow
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Really a Healthy Way to Take Off Pounds?
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Really a Healthy Way to Take Off Pounds?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.