How To Lose Body Fat | How Much Can You Lose In A Month?
The following conversation I had with a client provides great insight into the mindset of a typical person trying to lose fat.
Me: How much fat do you want to lose?
Client: Well, I was 75 kg before marriage. Being 6 feet tall, it was the perfect weight for my height. I was an athlete during my college days and the captain of my cricket team, but that was seven years ago!
Lots of responsibilities, married life, and my professional life took a toll on me, and I have gained more than 20 kg since then. I am now around 100 kg. I want to be at the weight I was before my marriage.
Me: I can understand. It happens to the best of us. Now, after seven years, what triggered you to suddenly take this step and lose all that fat?
Client: Last week, my office had its annual health check, and my triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol were through the roof. My knee has started to bother me. I feel ugly, and I’m worried my wife is no longer attracted to me.
Me: Extra weight indeed does that to you. These are pretty strong reasons for anyone to seriously consider losing fat.
Client: Yes, Akash. My younger brother is getting married in November this year, and it’s already August! I want to look the best I can for that wedding.
Me: That gives you only three months to lose the fat. Your body is used to you weighing around 100 kg now. Your most powerful hormones, lep, in and insulin, which are the command center of your body and dictate how much fat your body should store, are used to function in a certain way.
Losing 20 kg (44 lbs.) in 12 weeks is absolutely not possible; that’s 3.7 lbs per week! That rate might be possible during the first few weeks when you lose some water and maybe lean mass in addition to fat, but your body will eventually resist.
I suggest that you try to lose around 10 kg over the next three months, which will definitely be a transformation and help you look good for your brother’s wedding.
To lose 20 kg, I think a healthier timeline is six to eight months. If you do it the Fabulous way, I can promise that most of your health markers will be within the healthy range. Best of all, the habits you form over a long period of time will ensure that the weight doesn’t bounce back.
Client: Akash, I respect your advice, but I promised myself that I would lose 20 kg no matter what. In fact, a slimming center down the road guarantees that I can lose that much weight in just three months.
Yes, this is why slimming centers and thousands of websites promoting bogus weight loss pills and products are raking in millions of dollars. There is a serious lack of information regarding weight loss and an impatient attitude driving people to seek quick fixes.
However, once you have the right mindset, all you need is some sound, specific information regarding what to do.
How Much Fat Can You Realistically Lose In One Month?
I want to clarify that I am not talking about losing weight by crash dieting or doing excessive and boring cardio and spending useless long hours in the gym. Instead, I am proposing permanent fat loss that can be attained in a realistic and natural way.
What is considered realistic? Most experts suggest 2 lbs/week as a general recommendation for losing weight over a period of six months or so.
A weight reduction of 5-15 % within 6 months (or 0.5 -1.0 kg/week) is realistic and desirable as defined by the European Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Obesity.
Let me ask this simple question: Do you have the mindset of wanting it now (like my client in the above example), or are you okay with stretching it out, enjoying the whole process, and building solid health habits?
I can understand if you have the former mindset, and let me tell you that most people do because everything is about instant gratification these days.
Let me give you a strategy that will boost your weight (not just fat) loss by up to 15 lbs in 2 weeks, which will build up momentum and give you a psychological boost. Then we will turn to a slower and more enjoyable way to keep losing fat until our desired body fat percentage is achieved. Deal?
Here’s What You Have To Do
Go Low Carb
You should consume no more than 20-100g of carbohydrates per day. Carbohydrates attach themselves to water molecules. When you stop eating carbs, you’ll lose a lot of water weight, and the stored glycogen levels in your liver and muscles will also drop.
It varies from person to person, but it can be a significant amount. Fewer carbs also mean less insulin, which puts your body in fat-burning mode. Many of my clients have reported up to 15 lbs of weight loss in as little as two weeks.
Now, if you think you are losing muscles while losing weight or feeling low on energy (which is common on a low-carb diet in the short-term as your body is trying to adapt to burning fat as a fuel instead of sugar).
Or if you want to add healthy carbs back into your diet or you’re a weightlifter who needs to build more strength, you can increase your carb intake from low to moderate (100-150g).
You will probably gain some weight, but don’t worry, because most of it will be water weight. Having said that, the slower way is generally the best because you can eat your favorite cheat foods as you go along and maintain your sanity as well as your muscle mass while also building superior health.
I also want to mention that this ‘slow’ method is probably not as slow as you might think. 1-2 lbs/week over the course of a year adds up to 50 to 100 pounds in a year; most people don’t need to lose that much in the first place!
How To Lose Fat | Five Key Points To Remember
1) Don’t reduce your caloric intake to more than 30% below your TDEE.
Related Article: TDEE Definition: Total Daily Energy Expenditure
2) Go low carb in the initial stages to give yourself a motivational boost, and continue this if your body responds favorably.
3) Exercise hard, use weights, and perform HIIT for optimal health and prolonged benefits of EPOC, but check for signs of over-training.
4) Conserve your lean muscle mass as much as possible when losing fat.
Related Article: How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off Permanently
5) Enjoy the process. Remember, it’s not a race; it’s a lifestyle!
How much can you lose in a month? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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About Akash Sehrawat
Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.