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How much weight can I safely lose per week?

Asked on November 17, 2014
Created October 26, 2012 at 4:04 AM

My goal is to lose 3 lbs per week but all the weight loss calculators reccommend that 2 lbs is the Maximum that should be lost. Is this true or can I safely lose 3 lbs per week... and if so, how low should my calories be? I would even go for 2 lbs a week if 3 lbs was unreasonable, but I'm wondering how many calories would truly be needed because online it said I had to eat 800 calories a day in order to lose 2 POUNDS a week... and that just can't be right 0_o. My diet consists of no fruit or anything with sugar/fructose even natural (found that no matter what I do I can't LOSE weight with it in my diet), around 60 carbs daily (from white potatoes), leafy veggies, some fats, and typically grass fed meats.

133 lbs, 5'1, lightly active

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I'm not familiar with the terms somatotypes and Endomorph.. (looking them up right now haha) but since I have SUCH a problem with fruit carbs, even just 1 a day, you are most likely right about me being carb sensitive. And I like your idea about the grease the groove. And your right about walking before breakfast, that's what I did everyday when I originally lost the 15 lbs, I always feel better the entire day, when I do that. thanks Cricket! I'm going to drop the potatoes and see if I truly am carb sensitive.

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Try and walk BEFORE breakfast, you'll get a sense of mental clarity and it will really get you going for the day. Also... in regards to the re-introducing carbs cause scoffing down almond butter (its addictive with that stuff!) is most likely there are nowhere near enough healthy fats in your diet. Try throwing some avocado in. If you can't stomach them on their own, throw it into a smoothie... avos have a tendency to take on a different texture when thoroughly blended.

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Greasing the Groove is basically this - working out on your own time on your own terms. No target reps or sets, but its always good to have a minimum aim. For example, if you wake up at 6 and go to bed at say 9/10pm, then you have approximately 15 hours to grease the groove of your muscles. So, every hour make it hard for yourself to do the following: 5 Pushups, 5 Squats, 5 Bodyweight Rows/Pullups. Now this may seem odd, but over 15 hours, you'll do roughly 75 reps each exercise. Throw this in each day alongside your walking, and it will definitely help... bit more below...

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:30 PM

Definitely drop the potatoes. I know people don't believe in somatotypes, but you're most likely an Endomorph like myself, therefore, rather carb sensitive... but then again maybe not. If you really want to go off a number than how you feel, so be it. But the mirror and your energy will ALWAYS be your best guide. Looks like you take the move slowly idea well. Another suggestion is to build some lean muscle. How?? By greasing the groove. I believe you can do sporadic training in order to achieve the same effect as a consolidated session. Refer below...

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on October 26, 2012
at 10:36 AM

I'm not a doctor, and I'm sure anything is safe for a period of time. I don't count calories though, I just eat until I'm happy. Try it out, I'm just going to say even that is probably a little low though. You probably feel more comfortable at 115 because you've seen it on your scale. Ask yourself if you'd still feel 115 would the best if you somehow made it to 110 or would 110 end up the new best standard? But go for it! If you can lose 2lbs a week and that's what you really want good luck!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:51 AM

yep, worth a read (all of his stuff is). on the calorie subject, don't worry so much over daily totals, average your calories over a week, some days will be higher than others, esp if you are doing fasting. & weight loss usually goes in "spurts" & plateues. if you do try fasting, i would limit any fasts to 16 hrs (with 8 hour eating window) so as not to stress the body too much (23 hrs max, ie. always eat at least once per day). & no need to fast every day. even fasting only once per week helps. good luck

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Huh, I will look into this. Thank you! But I'll never lose 2 lbs a week on 1300 calories a day... I'd have to burn 700 calories everyday...!! And I don't think I could do that :/ *sigh* 1 lb a week is so little.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Thanks Derek, your probably right, it's just a number. It's just hard to accept sometimes and when i went strict paleo I got down to 115, and then after my goal date gained it all back from emotional eating, stress, i'm not sure... so i am just trying to get back down to that weight. I just FEEL more comfortable with myself at 115. But I like the recommendation of eating 1000 calories a day and burning 400... do you think that's safe? Losing 2 lbs a week doesn't seem like to steep of a goal... the low calories needed for it are shocking to me.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:02 AM

Do you mean steady state cardio though? Or more like HIIT?

4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 26, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I mentioned running 4 miles because that would burn 400 calories for a person your size. If you walk 4 miles you will burn around 275 calories instead of 400.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:45 AM

The reason I stay away from most veggies except for the leafy ones is because I find I always get really bad digestive discomfort after having "fiberous" veggies. Same for sweet potatoes sadly. I always feel strangely bloated after wards, usually up to 24 hours. I don't get this with white potatoes, I don't know why.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:44 AM

The reason I stay away from most veggies except for the leafy ones is because I find I always get really bad digestive discomfort after having any more "fiberous" veggies. Same for sweet potatoes sadly. I always feel strangely bloated after wards and usually for up to 24 hours. I don't get this with white potatoes, I don't know why.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Huh thanks! Maybe I just have to get my butt moving haha! Currently I do intermittent fast, typically from 8pm-12:30pm the next day and I am happy with it so far, and have found SO much more enjoyment in my food with the little fasts. Would walking 4 miles a day still be good haha or should I run? Or better yet sprint, walk, etc? 1,000 doesn't sound to shabby, but then I'd definitely have to take out the potatoes I think :/ Since I like at least a T of butter on each one ahah the cals add up quick. - continued on next comment

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Since the potatoes, I rarely even want nuts so I thought potatoes would be the better option since they're lower in cals... but maybe I should drop them short term? until I lose the 15 lbs? I've just been reading more and more evidence that a lower carb (than what I am already) diet isn't necessarily needed when trying to lose weight? but I'm not sure... maybe taking them out would be better for now?

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:36 AM

Well "lightly active" for me just means daily activities, I move around a lot, and some days I go on multiple walks, probably equating to 20-30 minutes a day. I'm looking to lose at least 15 pounds by December (I used to weigh 115, so just trying to get back there) and the reason I had the carbs in my diet was b/c when I was low carb I got somewhat depressed for some reason and found myself SCARFING down nuts/almond butter. - continued on next comment

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8 Answers

7
4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:15 AM

It's a number. Who cares? Just eat healthy, pick up and put down a few things now and again, run to the car or out to the trash to throw away your scale and remember it's just a number. How do you look and feel? Do your pants fit better? Those are the real questions to ask yourself.

As far as calories go. Dear goodness, 800? I'd almost guarantee you'll gain weight. Your body will be fearing for it's life in starvation mode. Cricket's got some good insight there and I don't wanna repeat. But please don't do that to yourself. You'll feel like hell and more than likely backfire on your goals.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on October 26, 2012
at 10:36 AM

I'm not a doctor, and I'm sure anything is safe for a period of time. I don't count calories though, I just eat until I'm happy. Try it out, I'm just going to say even that is probably a little low though. You probably feel more comfortable at 115 because you've seen it on your scale. Ask yourself if you'd still feel 115 would the best if you somehow made it to 110 or would 110 end up the new best standard? But go for it! If you can lose 2lbs a week and that's what you really want good luck!

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Thanks Derek, your probably right, it's just a number. It's just hard to accept sometimes and when i went strict paleo I got down to 115, and then after my goal date gained it all back from emotional eating, stress, i'm not sure... so i am just trying to get back down to that weight. I just FEEL more comfortable with myself at 115. But I like the recommendation of eating 1000 calories a day and burning 400... do you think that's safe? Losing 2 lbs a week doesn't seem like to steep of a goal... the low calories needed for it are shocking to me.

4
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:16 AM

may be worth taking a look at this article by Paul Jaminet; Perfect Health Diet: Weight Loss Version.

In the article he mentions that in his opinion, going below 1200 calories a day may well equal malnourishment.

& in a more recent comment here, he writes;
"....I don???t think people can be healthy (well-nourished) on less than about 1300 calories a day."

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Huh, I will look into this. Thank you! But I'll never lose 2 lbs a week on 1300 calories a day... I'd have to burn 700 calories everyday...!! And I don't think I could do that :/ *sigh* 1 lb a week is so little.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:51 AM

yep, worth a read (all of his stuff is). on the calorie subject, don't worry so much over daily totals, average your calories over a week, some days will be higher than others, esp if you are doing fasting. & weight loss usually goes in "spurts" & plateues. if you do try fasting, i would limit any fasts to 16 hrs (with 8 hour eating window) so as not to stress the body too much (23 hrs max, ie. always eat at least once per day). & no need to fast every day. even fasting only once per week helps. good luck

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:35 PM

It really depends on each person. Men can usually lose more weight, safely, than women can. If you are eating healthy, and focused on keeping your nutrition together, you are doing what you can. The weight will come off, sometimes people think they NEED to lose more than they actually do. Sometimes its more about body recomposition rather than weight loss. 130 @ 35% BF is very different than 130 @20% BF.

1
125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Actually.. that sounds quite dangerous... 800 calories. DAYUM! You shouldn't drop your calories to under 1200 a day MAXIUMUM. This really can trigger a starvation response within your body. When you say "lightly active" how often would that be? If you go by a BMI indicator, you're in a "desirable" weight class, though if you wish to be lighter so be it.

How long have you been low carb? The major problem could very well be in the white potatoes triggering an big insulin response. As a suggestion, swap it over to a yam or sweet potato and go from there. Give it two weeks from the day you start. Actually looking at it... you probably don't even need to potatoes if you're only "lightly active. My suggestion is drop it all together looking back on it.

Take your bodyweight and multiply it by 12 (as its probably a decent fat loss guide) So.. you're getting roughly 1600 calories. That should be more than adequate to ensure a safe steady fat loss. You're not severely overweight, so you don't want to and probably WON'T be able to lose 2lbs a week, unless it's muscle thrown in.

Try and get 10% of your intake from green cruciferous veggies. MOAR FATS!!! Throw in some sardines, as they are both a good source of protein and omega 3 fats. maybe also an ounce of either macadamias or almonds (for the arginine).

Hope this is of some help. ~ Cricket

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Try and walk BEFORE breakfast, you'll get a sense of mental clarity and it will really get you going for the day. Also... in regards to the re-introducing carbs cause scoffing down almond butter (its addictive with that stuff!) is most likely there are nowhere near enough healthy fats in your diet. Try throwing some avocado in. If you can't stomach them on their own, throw it into a smoothie... avos have a tendency to take on a different texture when thoroughly blended.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I'm not familiar with the terms somatotypes and Endomorph.. (looking them up right now haha) but since I have SUCH a problem with fruit carbs, even just 1 a day, you are most likely right about me being carb sensitive. And I like your idea about the grease the groove. And your right about walking before breakfast, that's what I did everyday when I originally lost the 15 lbs, I always feel better the entire day, when I do that. thanks Cricket! I'm going to drop the potatoes and see if I truly am carb sensitive.

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Greasing the Groove is basically this - working out on your own time on your own terms. No target reps or sets, but its always good to have a minimum aim. For example, if you wake up at 6 and go to bed at say 9/10pm, then you have approximately 15 hours to grease the groove of your muscles. So, every hour make it hard for yourself to do the following: 5 Pushups, 5 Squats, 5 Bodyweight Rows/Pullups. Now this may seem odd, but over 15 hours, you'll do roughly 75 reps each exercise. Throw this in each day alongside your walking, and it will definitely help... bit more below...

125dfe387c83d848c2fe92de6d8bfdf0

(365)

on October 26, 2012
at 08:30 PM

Definitely drop the potatoes. I know people don't believe in somatotypes, but you're most likely an Endomorph like myself, therefore, rather carb sensitive... but then again maybe not. If you really want to go off a number than how you feel, so be it. But the mirror and your energy will ALWAYS be your best guide. Looks like you take the move slowly idea well. Another suggestion is to build some lean muscle. How?? By greasing the groove. I believe you can do sporadic training in order to achieve the same effect as a consolidated session. Refer below...

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Since the potatoes, I rarely even want nuts so I thought potatoes would be the better option since they're lower in cals... but maybe I should drop them short term? until I lose the 15 lbs? I've just been reading more and more evidence that a lower carb (than what I am already) diet isn't necessarily needed when trying to lose weight? but I'm not sure... maybe taking them out would be better for now?

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:36 AM

Well "lightly active" for me just means daily activities, I move around a lot, and some days I go on multiple walks, probably equating to 20-30 minutes a day. I'm looking to lose at least 15 pounds by December (I used to weigh 115, so just trying to get back there) and the reason I had the carbs in my diet was b/c when I was low carb I got somewhat depressed for some reason and found myself SCARFING down nuts/almond butter. - continued on next comment

0
5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Slow loss is good loss. Be patient. Big guys like me can lose lots of weight fast (initially) simply because we have a lot to lose and can absorb bigger deficits safely. If I forget a meal or 4 my body will take the difference from my belly. However, as you get closer to your target, attempting to lose all of the difference quickly will likely mean that you are going to lose a lot of lean mass and water vs. fat.

Figure out what your intake should be at your target weight (your long term weight), develop a sustainable routine for that intake and expenditure, and then just be happy and live your life. Monitor your weight a few times a month (yes, a month - daily weight measurements are a recipe for madness as your weight can vary by several pounds due to meals and hydration levels).

Making excessive deficits in your intake (more than 500 calories) can send you into starvation mode where your body just wants to shut down and conserve. You're so close to your target that just a few calories deficit will lead to weight loss with time and let you stay happy and active.

0
Fa666905e4ed72858084dbcfed164daf

on October 27, 2012
at 02:20 AM

  1. Try this calorie calculator and NEVER eat below maintenance unless you don't really give a crap about your long term health and only care about short term weight loss.
  2. Work on gaining muscle, it is metabolically active tissue and will eat your body fat given you are at a HEALTHY caloric deficit.
  3. Chill out grrl. Maybe look at the reasons why you gained from emotional eating, address those issues and love your body for the HEALTHY height and weight that it is at RIGHT NOW!

0
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on October 26, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Very hard to figure out how low your calories need to be unless you keep track yourself: try keeping a diary for a few weeks & track your calories and activity. 800 calories sounds crazy, but maybe that's just me. I've never been able to eat less than 1600.

I didn't worry so much about how many pounds I lost a week because some weeks I lost more, some weeks I lost nothing. Most people hit a plateau eventually and have to find a way to break through that.

Personally, I find that I lose weight if I drop to 1700-1750 calories, but I have lots of moderate activity...or another way to put it is that I spend very little time sitting down. When for various reasons I spend more time sitting, I find that I have to cut my calories back by as much as 150-200 a day in order not to gain weight.

-3
4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 26, 2012
at 04:30 AM

You can safely lose half a pound of fat per day (1750 calories). This means that in a week you can drop 3.5 pounds. If you are not exercising then you would actually need to eat only 600 calories per day in order to drop 2 lbs per week. If you run 4 miles a day (or equivalent cardio) then you can eat 1,000 calories a day and still lose 2 pounds a week.

My two suggestions for improving your weight loss would be to replace the white potatoes with sweet potatoes and try intermittent fasting. I would also suggest adding in some vegetables, especially ones that are high in fiber.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Huh thanks! Maybe I just have to get my butt moving haha! Currently I do intermittent fast, typically from 8pm-12:30pm the next day and I am happy with it so far, and have found SO much more enjoyment in my food with the little fasts. Would walking 4 miles a day still be good haha or should I run? Or better yet sprint, walk, etc? 1,000 doesn't sound to shabby, but then I'd definitely have to take out the potatoes I think :/ Since I like at least a T of butter on each one ahah the cals add up quick. - continued on next comment

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 05:02 AM

Do you mean steady state cardio though? Or more like HIIT?

4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 26, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I mentioned running 4 miles because that would burn 400 calories for a person your size. If you walk 4 miles you will burn around 275 calories instead of 400.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:45 AM

The reason I stay away from most veggies except for the leafy ones is because I find I always get really bad digestive discomfort after having "fiberous" veggies. Same for sweet potatoes sadly. I always feel strangely bloated after wards, usually up to 24 hours. I don't get this with white potatoes, I don't know why.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on October 26, 2012
at 04:44 AM

The reason I stay away from most veggies except for the leafy ones is because I find I always get really bad digestive discomfort after having any more "fiberous" veggies. Same for sweet potatoes sadly. I always feel strangely bloated after wards and usually for up to 24 hours. I don't get this with white potatoes, I don't know why.

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