How much weight is safe to lose in one week?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Different doctors have different opinions on this topic, which is why I always recommend talking to your physician before starting any weight-loss program. He or she can monitor your weight loss and assess how safe it is for you and your health. In general, however, I say try not to lose more than three pounds in a week.
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Think longer term. A safe rate of weight loss is to set your sights on losing 10% of your body weight over 6 months. For some folks, depending upon their starting weight, they can expect to lose about 1/2 to 1 pound a week, initially. However, if you only have about 10 pounds to lose, it will be at a slower rate. Slow but steady is the name of the weight loss game.

Most nutritionists suggest a one- to two-pound weight loss per week. When your body loses weight slowly, it adapts easier to the new weight, and you are more likely to maintain that weight instead of gaining it all back.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
You should aim to lose about 2 pounds per week. That is a safe goal, and research shows that if you lose 2 pounds per week that you will keep it off longer than if you try to lose more per week.
Weight loss rates vary depending on body size, however an average weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is recommended. This represents a daily caloric deficit of approximately 500 to 1,000 kcal -- which can result from decreasing daily caloric intake, increasing physical activity, or a combination of the two. Trying to lose weight at a faster rate can lead to dehydration and a loss of lean body mass.
If you lose weight too fast, there is a good chance that a percentage of the weight loss will be from your fat free mass.  This is essential weight that you don’t want to be losing.  In order to avoid this, it is recommended to only lose ½ to 2 pounds a week.

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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.