How much weight can/should you lose each week?


In today’s post i’d like to discuss a very common question I receive from clients. How much can i actually lose?

Despite the common advice of ” lose 2lbs per week”, this is not a healthy weight loss goal for all people!

Trying to lose 2 pounds per week when you’re short, a female, or don’t have a lot of excess fat is not healthy. The calorie deficit required for a 2 pounds per week weight loss is 1,000 calories per day. This mean that an average woman who maintains her weight on 1,800 calories would have to consume just under 800 calories per day! Not only is this incredibly unhealthy, but this is most definitely not sustainable long term, and it may result in a higher percentage of “weight” being lost from muscle.

As we lose weight we lose a combination of fat, muscle mass, and water. In order to maintain optimal muscle mass or minimize muscle catabolization you must consume adequate protein (.8g-1.2g per pound lean body mass), eat a moderate calorie deficit, and consistently perform resistance exercise. 

In order to lose weight safely and effectively you should aim to consume a diet that is high enough in calories to provide all of the essential micronutrition, fats, and amino acids our bodies need; while providing you enough energy to sustain the calorie goal over time. In order to achieve weight loss this means this goal should be less overall calories (energy) than it takes to maintain our body’s current weight.

It’s important that when we’re setting goals we look to how we’ll be able to maintain our losses long term and what state our bodies will be in when we acheive our goal. A body with more muscle mass will require more energy each day and subsequently will have a higher metabolic rate.

Okay, so how much can i actually lose? What’s moderate?

You should aim to lose no more than 1% of your total body weight per week.

If you’re within 10 pounds of your goal -or- Less than 20% body fat for women/15% Body fat for men half this measurement.

By maintaining a moderate calorie deficit, eating a nutritionally complete diet, and consistent training you’ll be well on your way to a happy healthy body long-term! For more information on how to set proper calorie and macronutrient goals, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition!


For more information on how muscle mass is catabolized with low-calorie, low-protein, and inactivity check out these studies!


To learn more about Weight Loss, check out Evolve – The Healthy Lifestyle Transition Plan