How Fast Should I Lose Weight?

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How Fast Should I Lose Weight?

How Fast Should I Lose Weight?
How Fast Should I Lose Weight?

Put simply: As slowly as you can stand! In this regard, the scale can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Although your goal may be to see that number go down, the scale often doesn't accurately reflect what's going on in your body.

No matter your fitness level, the number on the scale can fluctuate by five or more pounds in a single day, depending on things like how much water you drink and the food you eat. 

These changes don't mean that you've suddenly put on five permanent pounds of fat, though. For this reason, it's important to weigh yourself at the same time every day and to take what's on the scale with a grain of salt.

When you do weigh yourself, remember that sustainable progress is usually fairly slow. Depending on how many calories you cut out of your diet and how much exercise you're getting, 1-2 pounds per week is a reasonable goal.

But sometimes, particularly if you're on a serious long-term physique transformation journey like "Possible Pat" Brocco, the scale might not budge for weeks or even months at a time, even if the mirror tells you that you're losing belly fat and adding muscle. That's OK. It's normal, in fact! Just know that over time, your consistent approach will eventually pay off. Slow loss is always the best choice. Think of it this way: The pounds didn't go on in just a few weeks, and you won't get them off in that time, either.

If that number on the scale sticks in your mind, though, it can be important to limit how often you step on it. It may also benefit you to take weekly progress photos. That way, you'll notice those small changes and feel motivated to keep going. It may also be helpful to get your body-fat percentage checked as you go, but it's not essential.

If you get really interested in strength training, you may find that the number on the scale goes up instead of down because your muscle mass is increasing. Remember, the scale doesn't always tell the whole story, so pay attention to the mirror, how you feel, and how you are performing in your workouts.

If you know you stress out about the number on the scale, stop using it! Plenty of people have success without it.

What Are The Best Macros For Weight Loss?

Technically, you could experience some success by only counting the number of fast-food hamburgers you eat each day and decreasing it by one. However, if you would like to experience lasting changes to your body, stay healthy, and increase your fitness, it can be helpful to look more deeply into how much of each macronutrient you're consuming.

There are three primary macronutrients (macros): carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Each of them is necessary for your health and performance, but there are endless ways to combine them. For carbohydrates alone, your options range from a very low-carb ketogenic diet where you eat next to no carbs and lots of fats, to carb cycling, where you change your carb intake day by day based on your training schedule.

These days it's pretty easy to do a quick internet search and find hundreds of different diet plans of varying complexity and extremity. But to start off, it's best for most people to keep a good ratio of all three macros in their nutrition plan and simply focus on quality and consistency.

Most American diets are too heavy in fat and carbs and don't have enough protein. A tried-and-true ratio to start with to get these imbalances under control is:

20 percent of your calories from fat
40 percent from carbs
40 percent from protein

Use App free macronutrient calculator to help you find what works best for you and your lifestyle. Over time, you can make alterations to this ratio depending on what foods you like, how your body responds, and your daily activity level.

For example, fitness model and trainer Obi Obadike says he ultimately landed on a 20/30/50 split for lasting leanness while still being able to perform in the gym. Other coaches and athletes have had success with 30/30/40, 25/35/40, or other ratios entirely.

Honestly, there's a lot of room for customization when it comes to fats and carbs, as long as you keep two factors more or less consistent: overall calories and daily protein intake. Those two factors are the numbers that studies have shown to be most connected to dieting success, explains registered dietician Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., in the video "How to Eat for Weight Loss" in Foundations of Fitness Nutrition course.

"Here's the thing: As long as calories, total portions are under control and you're getting enough protein, [dietary systems] all work with about the same level of predictability," Hewlings says.

Having a balanced nutrition plan will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help you be able to maintain it for the long term. It may not sound sexy, but maintenance.e., not doing is an essential part of losing fat and keeping it off.

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