How much weight can you lose in 6 weeks?
The amount of weight that you lose in a given period of time depends on a number of factors, but by far the most important is your diet. The type and amount of food that you eat plays a crucial role in determining whether you lose or gain weight.
In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than what your body uses. Doing so creates a calorie deficit and therefore forces your body to use its fat stores as a source of energy, leading to weight loss.
The recommended amount of weight to lose in a healthy manner is 1 – 2 pounds a week. So in a 6 week period you can expect to lose 6 – 12 pounds on average.
There are a number of factors that affect how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight. These include:
- Age – in general, the older you are, the fewer calories you burn. This is because you begin to lose muscle mass and your metabolism slows down as you get older.
- Gender – men tend to be more muscular than women of the same age and so burn slightly more calories. The more muscular you are, the more calories you burn.
- Activity levels – people who are very active use up far more calories than people who rarely move. Strenuous exercise such as weight lifting and high intensity interval training makes use of calories as a source of energy.
Your current weight and height also play a role in determining how many calories you need to be consuming. You can use the calculator below to estimate your calorie intake.
This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.
For example a 40 year old lady who weighs 180 pounds, is 5 feet and 6 inches tall and exercises 4 times a week will need to consume 1900 calories to begin losing weight and 1400 calories to lose weight fast. It is recommended that you do not consume fewer than 1,000 calories per day without the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
In order to lose weight successfully and maintain a certain weight, you need to make lifestyle changes. You cannot expect to achieve long term weight loss by following a specific diet and exercise plan for just 6 weeks and then going back to eating unhealthy and not exercising. As soon as you start consuming more calories than your body burns, you will start to put the weight back on.
Here are some important tips to follow that will help you lose as much weight as possible in 6 weeks:
Cut out soda and sugary drinks and replace them with plain water
When it comes to weight loss, sugary drinks are the enemy. A can of soda contains 140+ calories and 30+ g of sugar. Fruit juice should also be consumed with caution; a cup of orange juice contains 100+ calories and 20+ g of sugar. If these extra calories are not used up by your body, they will be stored as fat.
Also, the large amounts of sugar in these drinks causes havoc on your insulin levels, which can leave you feeling hungry and make you overeat. Water on the other hand contains 0 calories, no sugar and is the healthiest drink on the planet. In fact, studies have shown that drinking plain water helps you lose weight.
If you have a glass of orange juice in the morning and a can of soda with your lunch, replacing them with water will reduce your daily intake by 240 calories. This small change in itself could mean you help your body lose a significant amount of fat in 6 weeks!
Increase your protein and fiber intake
Lots of studies have shown that increasing your protein and fiber intake helps you lose weight. This is because they make you feel full faster so you are less likely to overeat.
This study found that increasing protein intake to 30% of total calories led to 441 fewer calories being consumed per day; that is a significant amount!
It is recommended that you stay in a daily deficit of 500 calories to lose weight. Increasing your protein intake could help you achieve this goal. Upping protein intake has also been shown to naturally help burn up to 100 extra calories a day.
Studies such as this one have also showed that increasing fiber intake to 30 g or more per day can help you to lose weight (so long as you remain in a calorie deficit). This a much easier plan to follow than more complex weight loss diets.
There are lots of foods that are rich in protein and fiber. In particular, you should increase your intake of vegetables, fish, lean meat, nuts & seeds and reduce your intake of processed foods such as pizza.
Get enough exercise
Even though diet is the most crucial part of a weight loss plan, exercise does play a role. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. You should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, 3 times a week. You want to do the type of exercise that makes you sweat.
I am sure that your overall goal is to not just lose weight but to also have a better looking body. Monitoring your progress on a weighing scale is helpful in telling you how much weight you have lost but you should also use a mirror as well.
For example, weight training causes you to burn fat and build muscle. Both muscle and fat have mass but muscle is much more compact than fat. So whilst it may not seem like you are losing fat on the scale, after 6 weeks of strenuous exercise, you will see the results when you look in the mirror.
Over a 6 week period, a healthy amount of weight to lose would be between 6 – 12 pounds. The amount you lose is dependent on lots of factors but your diet plays a crucial part. For more advice on healthy weight loss, read our tips here.