How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?

by Miral khattak
Lose Weight

Age, gender, and starting point all influence how long it takes to lose weight. Your calorie intake and expenditure can also affect the duration.

Many people try to reduce weight to look better or for a particular event.

It would help if you didn’t get overly thrilled unless you know a reasonable weight reduction rate.

This article discusses the factors that could lengthen or shorten the time it takes to lose weight

How People Lose Weight

Lose Weight

When you consistently consume fewer calories than you expend each day, you will experience weight loss.

Conversely, if you consistently consume more calories than you expend, you will experience weight gain.

Your calorie intake increases if you consume anything that has calories. 

However, figuring out how many calories you burn daily is more complex. This is called energy or calorie consumption.

The three main parts of calorie consumption are listed below.

 1 Source You Can Trust):

Metabolic rate at rest (RMR). This is how many calories your body needs to do regular things like breathing and pumping blood.

Temperature-related effects of food (TEF). These calories are used to break down, absorb, and use up food.

Activity-related thermogenesis (TEA). These are the calories that you burn when you work out. A type of TEA called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can also be included. This is what counts the calories burned while doing things like yard work and moving.

A person’s weight remains constant if their caloric intake and expenditure remain constant.

To achieve a negative calorie balance—the hallmark of weight loss—you must either increase your level of physical activity or reduce your caloric intake below your energy expenditure. 

The Reasons Why Weight Loss Is So Challenging 

Several factors affect how quickly you shed pounds. Many of them are beyond your control. 

Type of Person

How well you can lose weight depends significantly on how much fat you have compared to muscle.

People believe that women’s resting metabolic rates are 5–10% lower than men’s at the same height because women tend to have more fat than muscle (2 Trusted Source).

Sedentary calorie expenditure is 5–10% lower for women than men. For the same caloric intake, men experience a greater rate of weight loss than women.

For example, a study including an 800-calorie diet drew almost 2,000 participants and lasted eight weeks. While women shed 10.3% of their body weight, men lost 16% more, according to 3 Trusted Sources. 

Even though men lost weight faster than women, the study didn’t look at differences between men and women in how long they could keep the weight off.


One of the many changes to the body as we age is our body makeup changes. As we age, our fat mass goes up, and our muscle mass goes down.

Your RMR goes down because of this change and other things, like your significant systems’ decreasing calorie needs (4 Trusted Source, 5 Trusted Source).

RMRs can be 20–25% lower for adults over 70 than those younger than 70 (2 Trusted Source, 6 Trusted Source).

This drop in RMR can make it harder to lose weight as you age.

Place To Start

How fast you lose weight may also depend on how much and what kind of body you have now.

It is essential to know that different people can lose the same amount of weight in different ways. For example, someone may yield the same amount of weight but in extra pounds. Weight loss is, in the end, a complicated process.

The NIH Body Weight Planner can assist you in calculating your potential weight loss based on your initial weight, age, sex, and caloric intake and expenditure.

While a heavier person may shed twice as much weight as a lighter one, the percentage of body weight loss (10/250= 4% vs 5/125= 4%) remains the same.

A 300-pound (136-kilogram) person, for instance, could shed 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in just two weeks if they increased their exercise and decreased their calorie intake by 1,000 calories each day.

Missing Caloric Intake 

Consuming fewer calories than one expends is the formula for weight loss. The speed of weight loss is proportional to the magnitude of this calorie shortfall.

For example, cutting calories by 500 per day for eight weeks is more likely to result in weight loss than cutting calories by 200 per day.

However, be sure that you don’t severely cut back on calories.

You could require additional nutrition on top of the fact that keeping up would be impossible. On top of that, it has the potential to aid in weight loss via the development of muscle rather than fat.

  • Get Some Sleep
  • Sleep is crucial for weight loss, but people overlook its importance.
  • Insomnia might impede weight loss efforts, especially if it persists over time. 
  • Researchers have found that not getting enough sleep for just one night can make you want high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like cookies, cakes, sugary drinks, and chips. (8 Proven Source)
  • , 9 Sources You Can Trust).
  • Over two weeks, participants in a calorie-restricted diet were given the task of sleeping for either 5.5 or 8.5 hours nightly.
  • Sleeping for 5.5 hours resulted in a 55% decrease in body fat and a 60% increase in lean body mass compared to sleeping for 8.5 hours (10 Trusted Source).
  • Thus, there is a strong correlation between chronic sleep deprivation and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even some malignancies (11, 12, 13). 

Other Things

  • A lot of other things can also affect how fast you lose weight, such as:
  • The medicines. A lot of drugs, like antidepressants and other antipsychotics, can make you gain weight or make it harder to lose weight (14).
  • Diseases and diseases. Some illnesses, like sadness and hypothyroidism (where your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the hormones that control your metabolism), can make it harder to lose weight and make it easier to gain it (7, 15).
  • Genes and family history. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have specific genes that may make it harder for them to lose weight (16 Trusted Sources, 17 Trusted Sources).
  • On and off diets. This trend of losing and gaining weight can make it harder to lose weight each time because your RMR goes down (18 Trusted Source).


Many things, like age, gender, and sleep, can change how much weight you lose. Some medical conditions, your genes, and taking certain medicines are others.

  • Rates of weight loss that are safe
  • Although most people desire to lose weight rapidly, it is crucial to avoid losing too much weight too soon. 
  • Losing weight quickly can make you more likely to get gallstones, become dehydrated, and not get enough food (28).
  • Other bad things that can happen when you lose weight quickly are (29 Trusted Source, 30 Trusted Source):
  • Having headaches
  • being irritable
  • feeling tired
  • trouble pooping, Hair loss
  • problems with your periods
  • Loss of muscle
  • The recommended rate of weight loss is 1% of body weight, or around 1 to 3 pounds (0.45 to 1.36 kg) weekly, according to experts (31 Trusted Source). You can see more rapid weight loss at the start of a program.
  • Additionally, remember that weight loss is a process, not an event. You should expect to lose more weight some weeks and less or no weight at all other weeks (32, 33).
  • Don’t give up if you see a temporary halt or slowdown in your weight reduction.
  • Keeping a food diary and regularly checking your weight could be helpful tools to keep you on track. 
  • People who use self-monitoring tools, like writing down what they eat and how much they weigh, are likelier to lose weight and keep it off than people who don’t (34 Trusted Source).


If you lose too much weight too quickly, you could get gallstones, lose muscle, and feel tired. A reasonable target is one to three pounds (0.45 to 1.36 kg) of weight loss per week or around 1% of body weight. 

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