Out of all the questions I’m asked daily, this one seems to be the most common. It usually goes something like this: “I finally understand how weight-loss is achieved, but… How long does it take to lose weight?” It’s a good question, I suppose, but the answer isn’t as straight-forward as you might expect.
Nope, the answer is complicated as heck. It depends on a whole bunch of different factors, such as your age, your gender, your height and weight, your motivation, your exercise program, your eating habits, your sleep pattern, your stress level, etc, etc.
In short? Everyone will lose weight at a different rate. What might take you a month could take someone else a week. It might take someone else a year. And, a fourth person might never lose that amount of weight.
So, how long does it take to lose weight? It depends.
But that’s a boring answer, and it leads to a very short article. So, instead, I’m going to outline how long it will take for the average person to lose weight. That’s more fun, isn’t it!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE WEIGHT?
Before I go any further, I need to clarify what I think an “average person” is. When I say “average person“, I’m talking about the average overweight person who is trying to lose weight.
The profile of an average person trying to lose weight:
- Overweight, but not quite obese (30-40 pounds overweight).
- Average height (around 5’10” for a man, or 5’5” for a woman).
- Is between the ages of 25 and 45.
- Gets 6-7 hours of sleep a night.
- Is fairly motivated to lose weight.
- Exercises at a moderate intensity 2-4 times a week (but closer to 2-3).
- Has a fairly good diet and tries to eat healthy foods, with around a 500 calorie-a-day deficit.
If any of this sounds like you, then you’re probably this “average person” I’m talking about. (Don’t take it as an insult, we’re only talking about your weight here! You’re probably above-average at everything else :P)
So, for the average person described above, how long does it take to lose weight?
Around half a year.
Probably not what you were expecting, eh? If you’re ~30 pounds overweight, and you’re following an O.K. diet and exercise program, you’d be able to lose all your excess weight in around half a year.
Or, to bring it down to smaller numbers, it’s around 1 pound of fat per week. If you’re doing all the right things, and sticking to your diet and exercise program, losing 1 pound a week will be no problem at all.
And, if you really want to ramp things up, you can lose 2-3 pounds a week by increasing your exercise to 5 times a week, by eating less, and by eating healthier. (But don’t overdo it, we’re not trying to starve ourselves here!)
In conclusion: How long does it take to lose weight? It depends. But, if you’re close enough to being an “average person” you’ll be able to lose just over 1 pound of fat per week, which will result in around 30 pounds in 6 months. So, for the average person, 6 months is how long it will take to lose weight.
If there’s anything to take away from this short article, it’s that weight-loss is very subjective. No two people will lose the same amount of weight in the same period of time, so all you can really do is try your hardest, track your results, and don’t give up!
If you want to learn more about how long it takes to lose weight, you can watch the video I made about the topic here: “How long does weight loss take“. For more great weight-loss posts (like this one), subscribe to the mailing list. I’ll send you an email every day, and let you know exactly when a new post is published! Subscribe below!