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What Is a Healthy Amount of Weight Loss Per Week?

by Amy Dungan
  • Overview

    What Is a Healthy Amount of Weight Loss Per Week?
    What Is a Healthy Amount of Weight Loss Per Week?
    Weight loss is a valuable aid in improving health and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a loss of 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can produce improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. Losing at a healthy pace will assure you are getting the proper nutrients your body needs.
  • Healthy Loss

    The Mayo Clinic states that healthy loss occurs slowly. Aiming for a 1- to 2-lb. loss per week is a realistic and safe goal. Reducing your caloric intake and increasing exercise is the most generally accepted method to lose weight. For exercise, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends starting with moderate levels of activity, 30 to 45 minutes per day, three to five days a week. The U.S. National Library of Medicine admonishes that women should keep their calories no lower than 1,200, men no lower than 1,500, without medical supervision.
  • Healthy Changes

    Slow and steady weight loss will require patience and commitment. A registered dietitian or your family physician can help you plan your meals and exercise program. Permanent lifestyle changes are needed to keep the excess pounds off once you've reached your desired goal weight.
  • Support

    Having a support system can be vital to your success, especially if you feel discouraged by slower weight loss. Look for support from people with like-minded goals. Ask for help and encouragement from your partner, friends, family and any other sources you feel will be helpful. The Mayo Clinic suggests finding people "who you know want only the best for you and who will encourage you. Ideally, find people who will listen to your concerns and feelings, spend time exercising with you, and share the priority you've placed on developing a healthier lifestyle."
  • Food Journal

    Having a food journal can help you track your intake of calories. Making sure you are staying above the recommended minimum, without consuming more calories than you burn, will assure you are doing things correctly. Keeping track of your exercise in a journal will be helpful as well.
  • Goals

    Setting smaller, bite-size goals for yourself will help you stay motivated and feel successful. For example, instead of looking at the bigger goal of losing 50 lbs., plan little goals that can be achieved much faster, like losing 5 lbs. Celebrate every smaller goal and then move to the next smaller goal until you have eventually reached your overall desired loss.

    References & Resources