I received an e-mail from a client last week saying that she was disappointed with her weight loss since she had cut out drinking and started exercising again.

It had been two weeks so far and she had lost two pounds.

Now in the eyes of the trainer that’s great weight loss that’s probably more permanent than just water weight.

But you’re thinking to yourself, “What?! Only 2 pounds that’s terrible!”

Hold on a minute.

The reality is that rapid weight loss isn’t very good for your body.

Here was my response to her e-mail:

Now the only reason I’m posting my response is because it is very informational for you.  She had a very legitimate question and we wanted to share with you the response.

“The weight loss of 2 pounds in 2 weeks is actually very healthy weight loss.  Healthy weight loss is normally 1-2 pounds a week.

Especially if it has stayed off, it means you probably aren’t just losing water weight and it’s actual weight.

Most people that lose more than 2 pounds a week are either very big or are just losing a lot of water weight.

Any more than that then you may be losing muscle.

You have to think though that 1 pound a week for a year is 52 pounds.

If you want to speed up the weight loss however we will have to incorporate more cardio/intervals on your off days.

As pure “numbers” on the scale go it is just whether or not you’re in a calorie surplus or calorie deficit, which comes from the combination of burning calories through exercise and the food you consume.

Have you performed any additional exercises (excluding your normal walks) outside of our 3 workouts a week?

Also I remember you saying that one day that you only ate some gummy candies and maybe dinner after the workout?  (eating too little will slow down your metabolism due to your body storing anything it takes in to make sure it can survive)

You will need to stay strict to the dietary plan as well to make sure we have all avenues covered in terms of getting you the results you want.

Have you been measuring out your calorie intake with a food log or the “my fitness pal” app?
But you have to make sure you are calculating everything you put in.  It is the only way to truly figure out your personal calorie level.

If the diet has been strictly calculated/measured and you are performing extra cardio on your days off and you’re not losing weight then we will have to readjust cardio and dietary intake.”

Now that is a lot of information put into one small e-mail.

The things you need to take away from this are:

  1. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week (but people that are heavier to start can lose weight a little more quickly depending on their size).
  2. The weight on the scale doesn’t tell you everything.  Just because numbers are going down on the scale doesn’t mean that they’re good numbers. The weight scale doesn’t factor in lean body mass, fat mass, or any other number of things that can cause your weight to fluctuate.
  3. You can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.  If you lost weight walking or doing some exercise and that weight loss has stopped, then you have to change it up whether it’s the workouts or how you are eating.
  4. The only way to lose weight is to make sure that you’re burning off more calories than you’re putting in, so if you’re sneaking in food here and there and not admitting to it, you’re cheating yourself.
  5. Weight loss is all a numbers game and to truly get to where you want you have to make better nutritional choices.

We hope this helps and good luck!