What is a realistic weight loss goal per week? We undoubtedly all recognize it: you have a target weight in mind, eventually achieve that weight, but you do not keep it for longer than a few days or weeks.
At first you feel proud when you step on the scale, but as time goes on, the number goes up again. You have trouble sticking to your diet and you quickly crave snacks again, or you can’t keep up with your sport and you increasingly skip that daily jogging. Either way, it’s a fact: maintaining your new weight isn’t always easy.
In fact, this may not be your first time, but it happens over and over again. As a result, you quickly become hopeless and lose confidence in your own capacity when it comes to losing weight. Good to know: you don’t have to! It is possible to maintain your target weight. How do you do that? Read on quickly, because in this article I explain it!
What is ‘realistic’ weight loss?
A realistic weight
First of all, you should consider what is a realistic goal in terms of weight loss . Many women see slim models or actresses with hourglass figures and will strive for their weight — the same goes for overweight men, who take male models or athletes as an example. It’s important to let go of those thoughts, though, because they’re usually unrealistic: these figures often have radically different eating habits, or have personal trainers always by their side. After all, losing weight is above all about your own health.
It is recommended to calculate a healthy weight using a BMI calculator. It tells you if you are in a healthy weight range and, if necessary, how much you need to lose to reach a healthy weight. Ideally, you should aim for a weight that will keep you within a healthy BMI; this is between 18.5 and 24.9. At the same time, such a BMI tool can also help you calculate the number of calories you should consume each day.
It is very difficult to say what is actually realistic and desirable. Moreover, the opinions of experts on this matter differ widely. A professional in the field of weight loss can make an estimate for each individual, but you can also make an estimate yourself that depends on your lifestyle , diet and other wishes. For example, a weight of 50 kg for someone who now weighs 120 kg is of course very unrealistic!
Not too much at once
Research shows that people who want to lose weight often set far too extreme goals. It is often not about a few kilos, but about tens of kilos. Instead, experts recommend setting “mini goals” and taking a step-by-step approach to weight loss. For example, losing half a kilo per week is much better than drastic weight loss, or, for example, setting a goal to lose 5% of your current weight.
Losing weight too quickly can increase your risk of physical ailments and side effects, including: muscle loss, lower metabolism, nutrient deficiencies, gallstones, and many other risks. Losing too many pounds will mainly happen due to a lack of nutrients and by making your daily calorie intake significantly lower. How do you know you’re losing weight too quickly? It’s not always easy to say, but these symptoms can show up:
- You are always exhausted
- Your period is irregular
- You are weak/weak
- You suffer from hair loss (you notice it in the shower, for example)
- You’re always cold
Benefits of realistic weight loss
The first advantage speaks for itself: if you go for a realistic goal weight and try to lose weight in a normal way, you strive for something that you can actually achieve. Some will say that when they plunge into significant weight loss, they can train discipline, get to a healthy weight faster, and so on. But experience shows that this is simply unfeasible. Losing weight in smaller steps does have advantages.
Even modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight is likely to provide health benefits. For example, if you weigh 90 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss equals 4.5 pounds, dropping your weight to about 85.5 pounds. While this weight is still in the “overweight” or “obesity” range, this modest weight loss may reduce risk factors for chronic diseases associated with obesity. Benefits of increased weight loss include:
- Improving blood pressure
- Cholesterol Improvements
- Improving the quality of sleep
- Improving your mobility
- Less joint pain
- Less risk of stroke
- More energy
- More confidence
6 Tips for realistic weight loss
1. Keep moving
To maintain weight loss, regular exercise is essential. While you can lose weight without exercise, regular exercise plus calorie restriction can help you lose weight. If you’ve used this technique to lose weight, it can make a big difference when you stop exercising. It is therefore highly recommended to continue exercising.
How do you keep this up? It is recommended that you establish a routine and stick to it. If you exercise long enough, it will become a habit. In addition, sports should also remain fun and attainable. Therefore, choose exercises that you enjoy yourself, otherwise you will lose weight faster.
For example, experts recommend walking for at least 30 minutes a day. At the same time, you can also choose to turn on your favorite music and dance, or – if you have green fingers – go gardening. An activity is as intense as you want it to be, so if you’re up for a bigger challenge, increase the intensity and duration of your exercise a bit. In addition, the following applies: take the stairs as much as possible and cycle where possible.
“30 minutes of exercise a day can go a long way toward maintaining your weight loss goal.”
2. Enjoy healthy food
Healthy eating should be a celebration , not a challenge or even a torment. You’ve most likely adjusted your calorie intake for your diet — now’s the time to stick with it. To facilitate weight loss maintenance, the body must be given time to adjust to a calorie restriction. To achieve this, we need to slightly reduce the amount of calories consumed by eating better and increase energy expenditure by exercising more.
You may ask yourself: how do I maintain this eating pattern? First of all, you have to find out why you would deviate from it, for example by snacking. We often eat too much because we feel emotional or because we suffer from hormone fluctuations. Depression is also a known cause. If you know where your urge to snack comes from, you can solve it.
Eating should remain fun, and this can be done, for example, by spending time finding new recipes. For example, try something completely different. You can also make subtle changes by swapping parts of your favorite meals for products that are healthier, such as swapping fries with mayonnaise for fries from the airfryer with low-fat mayonnaise. Here are a few more tips to keep eating healthier:
- Eat at least 4 servings of vegetables daily
- Eat at least 3 servings of fruit daily
- Replace refined carbohydrates with whole-grain products
- Eat healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, oily fish, olive oil)
- Eat less sugar
- Opt for low-fat products (e.g. low-fat yogurt, chicken instead of pork)
3. Find and maintain inner motivation
No one else can make you lose weight. Even if you’ve ever been bullied for your weight, or heard negative comments, you can’t lose weight realistically until you’re convinced. You need to make changes in your diet and exercise to please yourself. What gives you the burning drive to stick to your weight loss plan?
Make a list of what’s important to you to help you stay motivated and focused, whether it’s an upcoming vacation or better overall health. Then find a way to make sure that you can call on your motivational factors in moments of temptation. Before you order a burger, ask yourself: why did I lose so much weight? Why shouldn’t I choose the salad? Here are some tips:
- Write a letter of encouragement to yourself and stick it on the door of your pantry or refrigerator.
- Set a motivational wallpaper on your phone, tablet or computer.
- Write down why you do it.
- Keep track of your progress and positive moments in a journal. For example, write down whether you feel better about yourself.
- Stay optimistic and don’t give up if you gain a little weight; simply continue with healthy eating.
4. Find support
While you have to take responsibility for your own behavior to achieve and maintain successful weight loss, it helps to have support — of the right kind. Choose people to support you who will encourage you in a positive way, without shame or sabotage. For example, if you have a friend or partner who doesn’t support your weight loss, it’s important to ignore their opinion. This can be demotivating.
If you’ve found the right person, you may be able to move together . Think, for example, of walking together through the city or in the woods, or cycling together in the area. You can also participate in each other’s new, healthy lives by, for example, composing and exchanging healthy menus together. If both of you are engaged in realistic weight loss, it will be motivating.
If you have found someone who does not follow this process, but who does offer support , that is also a good option. When you can share the beautiful moments and less beautiful moments with someone, you will remember why you lost weight and where things sometimes go wrong. At the same time, that person can encourage you, giving you that little bit of support to keep going. In short: seek support and talk about it.
5. Perfection Isn’t Everything: Stick to the 80/20 Rule
If all of the above seems like a huge effort, remember that you don’t always have to be perfect. The key is moderation and balance. In fact, being very strict with yourself can actually backfire. For example, you can feel bad if you eat a little too much, which makes you wonder why you ‘would even try’, so that you eventually come back to square one.
Some experts therefore adhere to the 80/20 rule: if you adopt healthy habits 80% of your time, you can slacken the remaining 20%. If you’ve been doing well for a whole week, treat yourself to a glass of wine or dessert at the weekend. While this is indeed loaded with calories, sometimes treating yourself to a treat works better than not eating anything unhealthy at all. Some people call it a ‘cheat day’.
At the same time, they warn: do this in moderation . If you restrict yourself for a whole week and then eat a lot one day a week, this can of course have bad consequences for your weight loss and possibly even undo it. Plus, eating unbalanced foods — very little one day and a lot the next — isn’t good for your body. In short, it’s okay to treat yourself, but don’t do it too much either.
“ If you’re too hard on yourself, it can backfire.”
6. Keep weighing yourself realistic weight loss goal
This tip may seem very obvious, but it’s good to mention again: buy a scale and keep weighing yourself. A US study, which followed people who have lost weight and successfully maintained their weight, found that 75% of them weighed themselves at least once a week . When they had gained a kilo, they immediately knew: this week I have to control my portions better.
It must be said that gaining 1 or 2 kilos is not always due to your eating behaviour; sometimes you just retain moisture . Nevertheless, it is still useful to know whether you are gaining weight or not by keeping a close eye on your kilos. Experts do not recommend doing this more than once a week, because your weight can fluctuate slightly per day and the indicated number is therefore not always significant. realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal realistic weight loss goal