How Much Weight Can You Safely Lose in a Month?
We know it’s tempting to chase “get thin quick” fixes that promise you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days — but this is not a healthy and safe way to lose weight. Plus, these fad diets will not result in sustainable weight loss, causing you to regain all of the weight you lost — if not more. So, how much weight can you safely lose in one month? Let’s find out.
We all differ widely in how fast we lose weight, depending on your age, sex, exercise level, and even medications you’re taking. However, most people can aim to lose between ½ of a pound to 2 pounds per week. Anything above 2 pounds per week is generally not considered sustainable or safe. This translates to between 4 to 8 pounds per month or about 5 to 10% of one’s body weight.
How to Lose Weight Safely
To reach this goal, a slight calorie deficit is needed — typically reducing your intake by about 250 to 400 calories per day. If you’re unsure how many calories you currently consume, free trackers like MyFitnessPal can help you gather that data before you start your weight loss journey. While physical activity and exercise are undoubtedly helpful for losing weight and improving overall health, the best way to create a calorie deficit is by reducing it through what you eat and drink.
It’s also important to note that many people may lose much more weight in the first week or so of a weight loss plan — sometimes even up to 10 pounds, depending on your current body weight. This is because you lose a lot of extra water weight initially, which will slow down once you’ve cleared the excess fluids.
How Much Weight Loss is Too Much?
Typically, anything above 2 pounds per week (after the first week) or 10 pounds per month is not sustainable — unless you’re in a medically supervised program or had weight loss surgery. If you try to double or triple your calorie deficit to speed up the weight loss process, this will likely backfire.
Your body does not like to run on too few calories. A too-low calorie diet causes your metabolism to slow down, your stress hormones to increase, and your hunger and satiety hormones can go haywire, causing more cravings. Remember — slow and steady always wins the weight loss race.
The Bottom Line:
Losing ½ of a pound to 2 pounds per week is a safe and sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off. Although fad diets that promise more weight loss are tempting, they will likely backfire later on, and you will re-gain the weight.