1

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Whats the usual weight loss pace?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 07, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Hello happy friday!

I have only been eating paleo since monday morning, and at this rate I am losing a pound a day!

Im happy but also a little concerned, is this just water? Am I losing muscle? I have not even been that strict (i have had wine, champagne, a white potato and a run in with a white chocolate mocha)

So- is this normal? And is this bad? I have also been taking kelp tablets but I dont know if they will make such a difference?

Also im 191 pounds and 5'7 if that helps.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on December 09, 2012
at 04:32 PM

When I was losing weight, starting at 6'0" 229#, I was eating about 1100-1200 calories per day with no ill effects, not a lot of hunger, and I felt great and lost weight. I don't really understand these recommendations that someone my size should eat 1800-2000 calories per day. If I did that, I'd swell up like a Macy's day balloon.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on December 09, 2012
at 06:15 AM

What's long term? And when you say challenge, do you mean challenge as in never eating gluten or dairy or sugars or osmething else entirely? Truth.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 08, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Yeah, but it ain't losing 50lbs, it's keeping 50lbs off in the long run. That's the chakllenge.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on December 08, 2012
at 12:11 PM

"Some people do manage to lost 50lb in a year, but that takes lots of hard work." Doesn't it seem like people lose that amount quite regularly here and in less than a year? I don't know this to be 100% true, but it just seems to me that I seem to read people here posting numbers and they all seem to be quite high?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Again thanks Rob. I've learned a lot of thingshere, inculding a huge amount of unrelated trivia (like about Pepin's autobiography), but usually not a whole lot about the mechanics of metabolism. I view the ketotic state as a preservation mechanism against starvation, so it's not surprising that hunger suppression comes along with it. I wonder where the ghrelin goes....

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:17 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise about this, so I have no opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is making you want only 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine on that diet, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of the situation.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:16 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise with this, so I have no opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is making you want only 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine on that diet, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of the situation.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:14 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise in this area, so I don't have an opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted to eat one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is telling you to eat just 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine that way, it might be a good idea to take advantage of it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. In addition to co-authoring the equation, he's also co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. The data in the graph comes from that book. In the 1960s the book was superseded by studies done by George Cahill and his fellows -- those are the people who are responsible for most of what we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a link to a free copy: http://books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. Among other things, he's co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. The data in the graph comes from that book. In the 1960s the book was superseded by studies done by George Cahill and his fellows -- those are the people who are responsible for most of what we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a Google link to it: books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. Among hother things, co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. In the 1960s it was superseded by work at George Cahill's lab -- that's the lab that's responsible for almost everything we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a Google link to it: http://books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 05:03 PM

The other thing that's interesting is fasting weight loss conversion to calories - about 2500. Some people are insistent that you never eat below your BMR for health reasons. That may be true for normal weight but not for someone who is obese. At that level eating the BMR of your target weight seems more appropriate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:53 PM

That's quite a fast. I'm assuming this is Benedict of Harris-Benedict. When I started losing weight I wasn't hungry, but as I lost weight and started exercising I was attacked by the demon ghrelin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Thanks. I was inspired to do it by a diabetes diagnosis at my annual checkup. Meds are a patch-up fix, the real solution is weight loss.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 01:26 PM

A single post like this one, where you tell us what you observed and measured, where you tell us hard facts, is worth one thousand posts of the kind we usually see on this website in which people repeat what they read somewhere else or describe what they imagine to be true. Thank you for your post and grats on your accomplishment.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 01:25 PM

A single post like this one, where you tell us what you observed and measured, where you tell us hard facts, is worth one thousand posts of the kind we usually see on this website in which people repeat what they read somewhere else or describe what they imagine to be true. Thank you for your post, and grats on your accomplishment.

C8f6480bff1feac12cd07cfb8dc4b9ff

(13)

on December 07, 2012
at 12:13 PM

Thank you that was very helpful

  • C8f6480bff1feac12cd07cfb8dc4b9ff

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6 Answers

4
Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 12:23 PM

I had a 2 lb/week weight loss rate for 6 months going from 215 to 165 lbs, and have maintained there for 5-1/2 years. The initial loss rate was somewhat higher than later, something like 3 lbs/wk vs 1-1/2 lbs/week. The first 25 lbs was achieved almost completely by dieting, but by the end I was exercising a lot to keep losing. Throughout the whole period I was acutely aware of both food and exercise caloric effects, as well as the loss of metabolic effect caused simply by weighing less. If you lose 25% of your weight, expect to lose 25% of your metabolic rate. For me this meant ramping down eating at the same time I wanted to eat more.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 01:25 PM

A single post like this one, where you tell us what you observed and measured, where you tell us hard facts, is worth one thousand posts of the kind we usually see on this website in which people repeat what they read somewhere else or describe what they imagine to be true. Thank you for your post, and grats on your accomplishment.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Thanks. I was inspired to do it by a diabetes diagnosis at my annual checkup. Meds are a patch-up fix, the real solution is weight loss.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 01:26 PM

A single post like this one, where you tell us what you observed and measured, where you tell us hard facts, is worth one thousand posts of the kind we usually see on this website in which people repeat what they read somewhere else or describe what they imagine to be true. Thank you for your post and grats on your accomplishment.

2
82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 02:33 PM

I am losing a pound a day! Im happy but also a little concerned, is this just water? ... Is this normal?

Yes, it's mostly water, and yes, it's normal. When people reduce carbs in their diets, their bodies burn glycogen. The glycogen is attached to water molecules. When the glycogen burns, their bodies get rid of water. This causes rapid weight loss for a few days. Women can also go up and down in weight from water due to hormonal changes associated with menstruation.

Whats the usual weight loss pace?

There's no "usually." Over the long run, people can lose at a rate that varies from a smidgen more than nothing per day up to some maximum amount per day.

For the reason described by thhq, this maximum rate tends to be higher in larger and more active people.

Your maximum rate is reached when you don't eat anything.

The less you eat, the faster you lose weight.

The maximum rate has been measured in dozens of studies that have been done on people who eat nothing for months at a time. This rate varies from one person to the next.

Over a long period of time (a year or more), the maximum observed rate for somebody who starts out as a very large person is about three-quarters pound per day. This was seen in a study of an obese man who ate nothing for 384 days. At the beginning he weighed 456 pounds; at the end, 180.(1)

This man lost 276 pounds in 382 days. That comes out to .72 pounds per day.

I think it's possible that a person could achieve even higher rates if he or she did extremely strenuous labor or exercised heavily for hours per day. But this would be difficult for obese, fasting persons, and obese people are the only people who can fast for a year.

There have also been many similar studies over a shorter period (up to 45 days). These studies are less applicable to your situation than the longer ones, but at the moment I can't find a nice graph from the long ones, so I'll use this graph from one of the shorter ones:(2)

whats-the-usual-weight-loss-pace?

References

  1. Stewart WK, Fleming LW. Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration. Postgrad Med J. 1973 Mar;49(569):203-9. http://pmid.us/4803438

  2. Kerndt PR, Naughton JL, Driscoll CE, Loxterkamp DA. Fasting: The history, pathophysiology, and complications. West J Med. 1982 Nov; 137(5): 379???399. http://pmid.us/6758355

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. Among hother things, co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. In the 1960s it was superseded by work at George Cahill's lab -- that's the lab that's responsible for almost everything we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a Google link to it: http://books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Again thanks Rob. I've learned a lot of thingshere, inculding a huge amount of unrelated trivia (like about Pepin's autobiography), but usually not a whole lot about the mechanics of metabolism. I view the ketotic state as a preservation mechanism against starvation, so it's not surprising that hunger suppression comes along with it. I wonder where the ghrelin goes....

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:16 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise with this, so I have no opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is making you want only 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine on that diet, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of the situation.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:53 PM

That's quite a fast. I'm assuming this is Benedict of Harris-Benedict. When I started losing weight I wasn't hungry, but as I lost weight and started exercising I was attacked by the demon ghrelin.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:14 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise in this area, so I don't have an opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted to eat one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is telling you to eat just 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine that way, it might be a good idea to take advantage of it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:17 PM

About eating below BMR: I have no expertise about this, so I have no opinion. But I can contribute one fact which may be relevant. When people go into high ketosis, their appetite often becomes extremely suppressed. I've seen several people, including myself, get into a state where they only wanted one small meal every other day, around 450 kcal. It seems to me that if you are obese, and if your body's natural appetite-regulating mechanism is making you want only 450 kcal every other day, and if you feel fine on that diet, perhaps you should consider taking advantage of the situation.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. Among other things, he's co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. The data in the graph comes from that book. In the 1960s the book was superseded by studies done by George Cahill and his fellows -- those are the people who are responsible for most of what we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a Google link to it: books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 07, 2012
at 05:03 PM

The other thing that's interesting is fasting weight loss conversion to calories - about 2500. Some people are insistent that you never eat below your BMR for health reasons. That may be true for normal weight but not for someone who is obese. At that level eating the BMR of your target weight seems more appropriate.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 07, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Yep, Francis Gano Benedict. In addition to co-authoring the equation, he's also co-inventor of the respiration calorimeter and author of a book called "A Study of Prolonged Fasting" which was for about half a century the definitive work on fasting. The data in the graph comes from that book. In the 1960s the book was superseded by studies done by George Cahill and his fellows -- those are the people who are responsible for most of what we know about ketosis -- but it's still a wonderful book. Here's a link to a free copy: http://books.google.com/books?id=rs8EAAAAYAAJ

2
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 07, 2012
at 11:48 AM

The usual weight loss pace is about 3500kcal per pound of fat.

In order to lose a pound of fat (which doesn't equal a pound on your weighing scales) you need to create a calorific deficit of 3500kcal. How quickly you can do that determines the rate at which you lose weight.

As a 5ft9, 191lb, 29 yo, woman you burn about 1660kcal a day just to stay alive (your Basal Metabolic Rate). Using the Harris Benedict equation, if you are moderately active you'd burn about 2300kcal a day (raising up to about 2900kcal if you do lots of high intensity exercise).

You can quickly see from this, that losing 1lb a week is going to be tough. It's the equivalent of starving yourself for more than one day a week.

Some people do manage to lost 50lb in a year, but that takes lots of hard work. It's much more likely that in the early days of your diet rapid weight losses are due to water loss from your liver (and other hormonal adjustments).

The truth is, that it doesn't matter how quickly it comes off - by the time you've lost 10lbs, everyone will be telling you how great you look and you'll be motivated to stick with it for longer.

It's much better to lose 1lb a month, and keep if off, than losing a 1lb a week and piling it all back on. Sustainability is the key.

Good luck.

C8f6480bff1feac12cd07cfb8dc4b9ff

(13)

on December 07, 2012
at 12:13 PM

Thank you that was very helpful

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on December 08, 2012
at 12:11 PM

"Some people do manage to lost 50lb in a year, but that takes lots of hard work." Doesn't it seem like people lose that amount quite regularly here and in less than a year? I don't know this to be 100% true, but it just seems to me that I seem to read people here posting numbers and they all seem to be quite high?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 08, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Yeah, but it ain't losing 50lbs, it's keeping 50lbs off in the long run. That's the chakllenge.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on December 09, 2012
at 06:15 AM

What's long term? And when you say challenge, do you mean challenge as in never eating gluten or dairy or sugars or osmething else entirely? Truth.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on December 09, 2012
at 04:34 PM

When I lost about 25 pounds, it seemed to come off a few pounds at a time, like nothing for a week and then I'd be 3 pounds lighter in two days. The long term trend was about 2 pounds a week. I am not totally sure I get how that works, maybe the fat was being converted to water and then came off all at once or something. I stopped weighing myself every day because it was discouraging to have no progress for several days, instead started to weigh myself once or twice a week.

0
D916a0f55db32cab0a4f54549fcdb8a7

on December 08, 2012
at 11:48 AM

i think men should not eat fewer than 1,500 calories each day and women should not eat fewer than 1,200 calories each day, unless you are medically supervised. Eating too few calories can create nutrient deficiencies which can negatively affect your health.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on December 09, 2012
at 04:32 PM

When I was losing weight, starting at 6'0" 229#, I was eating about 1100-1200 calories per day with no ill effects, not a lot of hunger, and I felt great and lost weight. I don't really understand these recommendations that someone my size should eat 1800-2000 calories per day. If I did that, I'd swell up like a Macy's day balloon.

-1
1cbc73fae80d4879abfa77d182c98834

(-2)

on December 09, 2012
at 01:34 PM

Hi there, I like your question ... Now -- If any of you are struggling with weight loss, then I recommend you check out Weight Loss Factory. There is a thorough review on it here http://weightlosseasiestway.blogspot.com . I hope that helps some of you here at paleohacks!

Best regards & have a nice day!

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