6

votes

Is "1-2 lbs a week" conventional wisdom?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Wondering about the 1-2 lbs a week safe weight loss that I've heard echoed everywhere since I started trying to lose weight on WW 25 years ago (at the ripe old age of 14). I went on a very paleo-ish yeast diet for 21 days about a year and a half ago, and lost about 10 lbs in 3 weeks. I've been "mostly paleo" since then but am currently doing a very strict Whole 30. I'm totally cheating with their "don't get on the scale" rule, and I can say the weight is just sliding off again, about 10 lbs since I started 19 days ago.

So, is the 1-2 lbs a week safe weight loss just another piece of conventional wisdom? Is it an average? Is it something else?

Really just curious...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Waistline and systolic blood pressure are better health markers than scale weight per se, but I'll use all indicators at my disposal.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:41 PM

Don't let the boredom get to you. Even if you're never hungry boredom makes me want to eat for entertainment.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Good point! I'm 39 years old, have had two children. When I started the Whole 30, I was 160 lbs at 5'6. I really don't care to get below 140.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 21, 2012
at 04:58 AM

The basis is that you don't want to cut down too many calories and binge on crap because you're starving. Also the idea that you want to prevent your body from thinking you're fasting (which paleo and IF go against). Regardless, if I eat a lot less it usually catches up with me and I eat sugary stuff.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I threw in an answer but +1 on scale is CW when upping some muscle.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Damn you metric system!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:07 AM

I have lost 1/3kg per week for 48 weeks, so yeah, that's about right.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 21, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Probably much less extra skin if you take it slow.

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8 Answers

best answer

4
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 11:50 PM

You should do what works for you and what you like to do. I really believe that. Whatever makes your health a fun project for you is okay in my book.

That said, I tend to label changes on the scale as meaningless info. But, if your measurements are changing and your clothes are looser then good things are definitely happening!

I had my periods of scale obsession, sometimes weighing in 4-5 times per day. The number was different each time, of course, as I ate/drank/eliminated/changed clothes. Other than the first week or two of "water weight" I did in fact tend to drop 1-2 pounds of weight per week but even then I don't believe it was actual loss of excess body fat based on what happened if I started eating "normally" again.

These days I measure my waist and hips once per month and take a "mug shot" so I can argue with myself about whether or not I look thinner. Overall, though, I trust my clothes to tell me if anything has really changed.

3
F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on January 21, 2012
at 12:28 AM

I believe that using a scale is conventional wisdom. I think that there are better markers of fat loss than just weight.

I would suggest measurements, or pictures. As for myself, I use clothes. If my clothes fit, or if I'm constantly buying smaller clothes, I know something is working.

A word of warning though: if you're doing crossfit, or something that has squats + deadlifts, don't expect to buy smaller jeans. I'm having to buy relaxed fit and bootcut jeans because nothing in the regular sizes fits. But the pictures? A lot better. :)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Waistline and systolic blood pressure are better health markers than scale weight per se, but I'll use all indicators at my disposal.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I threw in an answer but +1 on scale is CW when upping some muscle.

2
9509ca55fececbd57a8a91697ae9b3fe

on January 21, 2012
at 04:40 AM

none of the responses, neither the question, mentions the initial weight oe rather how much a person is overweight. a very overweight male in his twenties or thirties would lose much faster at the beginning compared to say a female in her fourties or fifties with only a few pounds to loose.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Good point! I'm 39 years old, have had two children. When I started the Whole 30, I was 160 lbs at 5'6. I really don't care to get below 140.

1
Bd5f68adc20a1eef51aebe7ee0e619ae

(220)

on January 21, 2012
at 12:45 AM

I'm going through something similar myself.

My new years resolution has always been the same. I usually lose weight until Australia day (26th Jan), then I have a few beers, and by the time April rolls around I'm back to where I started, if not more.

This year I've quit drinking alcohol for 2012, in an effort to finally get down to where I want to. As a side effect I am now 99% compliant in my Paleo eating, and I've stopped having diet soft drinks as well (sodas). From 2nd Jan to 13th Jan I lost 4.5kg (10lb). I know some of it is water weight. But that's pretty huge, considering I'm never hungry.

I'm on holidays at the moment, and haven't been able to jump on the scales since the 13th, but looking in the mirror and judging by my clothes I know I am still losing weight. Rapidly. And I need to stress that I am never hungry. And because of that lack of hunger, I'm not worried with how much I lose scale wise, so long as I lose inches and the clothes fit better, and so long as I am not hungry. I find that when I get serious for a few days I can lose 5kg pretty easy, after that it drops back to 0.5-1kg/week.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:41 PM

Don't let the boredom get to you. Even if you're never hungry boredom makes me want to eat for entertainment.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:35 PM

From personal experience, 2 or more pounds a week is easy if you're obese (BMI 30+) and murder when you're normal weight (BMI 25 or less). Is feeling like you're starving conventional? That's what I felt like trying to maintain a high weight loss rate at 25 BMI.

In defense of losing the weight fast, I haven't had any regain in 5 years. I don't want to have to go through the torture again. I'll have spot gains of 5 lbs, but those are easy to shed in a week or two.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 21, 2012
at 06:13 AM

You may be able to lose a lot of weight up front. Eventually tapering off to still a very fast 1-1.5 lbs / week. Then your number of pounds lost per/week will drop as you reach your ideal weight.

0
737471a5bc1c8b81d968c3f3fcd13b71

on January 21, 2012
at 02:11 AM

The 1-2lbs limit may be important not because of the amount of fat lost, but because of the caloric (nutritional) restriction and stress required to achieve it through conventional wisdom methods.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:57 AM

This is going to suck as an answer since I don't have the actual place or research. Just from recollection I saw a piece that stated if you were losing more than that in a week it was likely A. water weight or B. lean muscle with the fat. ....and as you are likely to lose "some" lean mass as you lose fat you wanna keep it to a minimum. My particular reason for favoring a low carb way of doing it which spares muscle (but the water weight will be first).

Anyway yes do resistance exercise to retain that lean mass also. Like Jake said the scale is fickle and next to useless when actually recomposing your body with muscle instead of fat....well he kinda said that....OK I said that, but got it from his answer :)

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