Expectations for slow weight loss

Hey everyone! I’m currently working with a weight loss coach where she has put me in a small calorie deficit to lose 0.5 lbs per week. I want to lose 25 lbs. I’ve been doing this for 6 weeks and I’ve lost 2-3 lbs (not sure due to scale fluctuations) but my measurements have hardly changed. I’m so sad because I’m feeling good and I’m not deprived and I feel energetic too. Should I just continue and trust the process? How quickly do you see results when losing 0.5 lbs per week? I’m asking because I want to have realistic expectations and know what to expect.

Replies

  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,447 Member
    edited February 2023
    If you’re ok with .5 lbs a week there is no problem with that. The main thing is it sounds like you have a handle on how many calories it takes for you to lose a half a pound a week. So if you want to speed it up a little bit lower calories a little bit or add some Activity or a combination of both.

    With a small deficit you’ll most likely have to lower your calories once you lose some of that weight in order to keep losing.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,846 Member
    edited February 2023
    Six weeks isn't enough time for a female to notice any significant muscle development...but congrats on that 3 pounds loss.

    For comparison, it took me nine months to lose the last 15 pounds to put me at 21 BMI, and it wasn't easy. I was hungry a lot and it was a long slog.

    Hang in there. You'll get there. If you cut calories too much you'll just have more frequent binges, so yes - stay the course at the small deficit. It's the only way, really.
  • pccra
    pccra Posts: 2 Member
    My thoughts, continue and trust the process.. Depending on your body composition, you might loose visceral fat first. If so, you will probably not see anything significant on the outside (loss of subcutaneous fat) for the first 2-3 months. Give your programme 3-4 months and evaluate from there. Guess you will see changes in your measurements at around that time.

    You might do some cardio minimum 3 times per week. See if you can do each cardio session for a bit more than 30 minutes and work up a sweat after 10-12 minutes. Do some basic stretch exercises afterwards for about 10 minutes, hold tight in static tension for 1-2 minutes for each muscle/group (ideally you should sweat when you do stretching and feel some pain). And, add some basic strength exercises.

    Go with the above, in May/June you'll be good to evaluate, adjust and take your next steps.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,231 Member
    weight trend app or web site will be your friend. When I was losing at a .5lb a week or less there were several months where my weight was higher on the 31st than on the 1st. Even though I was losing at the correct rate. It happens.

    People are pretty bad at seeing themselves. And that's even with much more dramatic loss. A bit hard to see 3lbs really. Depending on starting weight even 20 or 30 may not make a difference. Near end goal usually 10lbs would be visible to most -- but not all people.

    Are you feeling good/better? Then it's worth heading in that direction, right?
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,967 Member
    I'm on the slow roll plan too - not quite 1/2 lb/week, trending .4 right now. Having energy for my jobs, workouts, strength training is far more important than a faster loss. I really need to build strength and endurance, cardio too, so a steep cut is not much of an option - but have about 15-20 pounds to lose at this point, started with ~22-27 to lose (not 100% sure, will have to evaluate as I get closer). On week 9 with a fairly intense for my level fitness plan, and not starving. The past 2ish weeks my weight has finally started to come closer to stabilizing where the swings aren't so extreme.
    Unless your goal is weight loss first, I'd stick with what you are doing. Take a progress photo in the same clothes in the same place and same poses each month and give them a comparison.
    When I look in the mirror, I feel like I can't see a difference - but my pants are fitting better, and when I compare photos, there's a difference - just can't compare too often as, again, that slow roll takes a while to show.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 935 Member
    pccra wrote: »
    My thoughts, continue and trust the process.. Depending on your body composition, you might loose visceral fat first. If so, you will probably not see anything significant on the outside (loss of subcutaneous fat) for the first 2-3 months. Give your programme 3-4 months and evaluate from there. Guess you will see changes in your measurements at around that time.

    You might do some cardio minimum 3 times per week. See if you can do each cardio session for a bit more than 30 minutes and work up a sweat after 10-12 minutes. Do some basic stretch exercises afterwards for about 10 minutes, hold tight in static tension for 1-2 minutes for each muscle/group (ideally you should sweat when you do stretching and feel some pain). And, add some basic strength exercises.

    Go with the above, in May/June you'll be good to evaluate, adjust and take your next steps.

    Thank you for giving me a rough time line of how long I should wait. I’m going to wait until 3 months to check progress.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 935 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Hey everyone! I’m currently working with a weight loss coach where she has put me in a small calorie deficit to lose 0.5 lbs per week. I want to lose 25 lbs. I’ve been doing this for 6 weeks and I’ve lost 2-3 lbs (not sure due to scale fluctuations) but my measurements have hardly changed. I’m so sad because I’m feeling good and I’m not deprived and I feel energetic too. Should I just continue and trust the process? How quickly do you see results when losing 0.5 lbs per week? I’m asking because I want to have realistic expectations and know what to expect.

    I vote "continue and trust the process".

    Warning, long personal anecdote coming:

    I'd let my weight creep up over about 4 years of maintenance to the point that my jeans were getting a little snug when worn over my Winter long underwear (needed here!). I wasn't feeling much enthusiasm for a big calorie deficit, and had high confidence in my logging reasonableness and calorie needs estimates, so I decided to creep weight back down again verrrrryyyy sloooooowwlllyyyy.

    For my preferences, it was outstanding success: So painless I barely noticed. I was setting base calories at maybe 1/2 a pound a week or a little less, but also occasionally eating over goal calories. It took over a year to lose maybe 12-15 pounds, but there was no sacrifice of energy level, no sense of deprivation . . . I hardly noticed.

    Yeah, I hardly noticed the progress on the scale from week to week, hardly noticed changes in clothing fit maybe even from month to month, but also didn't notice a decline in energy, didn't see a decline in exercise performance, definitely didn't notice any sense of subjective difficulty or deprivation.

    Even my weight trending app thought I was maintaining or even gaining for a month or so at one point (when I resumed strength training after a long hiatus so added a couple of pounds of persistent water weight). So what? I was pretty sure I was still losing, and eventually the scale blipped down suddenly by the expected amount.

    At the end of the total time period, my clothes fit right again, even with the long undies on. I wasn't even trying to add muscle alongside, so wasn't looking for a body composition change, just maintenance of strength/performance and a happy lifestyle plus a little weight loss.

    It was a win, in my world. YMMV, of course.

    Your story was really inspiring…I guess I just have to trust the process. I do look leaner and my family has said so too. Just don’t understand why the measurements didn’t change much!
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 935 Member
    I'm on the slow roll plan too - not quite 1/2 lb/week, trending .4 right now. Having energy for my jobs, workouts, strength training is far more important than a faster loss. I really need to build strength and endurance, cardio too, so a steep cut is not much of an option - but have about 15-20 pounds to lose at this point, started with ~22-27 to lose (not 100% sure, will have to evaluate as I get closer). On week 9 with a fairly intense for my level fitness plan, and not starving. The past 2ish weeks my weight has finally started to come closer to stabilizing where the swings aren't so extreme.
    Unless your goal is weight loss first, I'd stick with what you are doing. Take a progress photo in the same clothes in the same place and same poses each month and give them a comparison.
    When I look in the mirror, I feel like I can't see a difference - but my pants are fitting better, and when I compare photos, there's a difference - just can't compare too often as, again, that slow roll takes a while to show.

    It is weight loss. Fat loss to be specific!
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,870 Member
    edited February 2023
    I had exactly that amount to lose too OP - and yes slow and steady is best.

    I lost at the rate of 1 kg per month (or around 1/2 lb per week)
    10 kg in 10 months to get to goal.

    Was a few months in before noticing any changes in clothes fitting although the scale was going steadily down ( but not exactly linearly, of course)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,411 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Update:

    So I’ve lost a total of 5 lbs in 11 weeks which is around 0.5 lbs per week. It took me nearly three months to notice this! Also my clothes are fitting looser and I look visibly leaner. I’m so glad that everyone told me to stick it through and trust the process because it’s definitely working. The best part is that I don’t feel like I’m on a diet and I don’t feel tired or deprived because I’m eating so much food.

    Woo-hoo, yay: You found the sweet spot! It can be psychologically hard to get there - and takes some pretty refined logging skills to stay there consistently - and you're doing it.

    That's. Really. Good.