The 'How Much Weight Loss' Calculator can help determine how much weight you can lose on popular diets and specific calorie plans.
For example, how much weight could you lose if you followed a 1, 200 calorie (women) or 1, 800 calorie (men) diet plan for two weeks, a month or six weeks? Or perhaps you are wondering how long it would take to lose 30 lbs on a liquid diet, Atkins or Weight Watchers.
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Fat Loss NOT Muscle Loss
When you’re trying to lose weight you should try keep your lean muscles at all cost! Muscle is your secret “fat loss” weapon. Muscles increase the body’s overall metabolic rate, burning calories three times faster than fat cells.
Muscle gives you definition, you will look stronger, more solid and fit. It will also help avoid the dreaded amorphous skinny fat look.
Unfortunately a large percentage of weight loss is muscle mass, almost 50%, when you follow very low calorie diets.
Avoiding Muscle loss
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, women should not drop below 1, 200 calories per day and men should eat at least 1800. It is recommended that dieters only cut between 500 and 1000 calories from their diet per day as any more will risk muscle loss.
You can also determine your safe daily calorie intake and avoid minimal muscle loss by eating at least 70% of your maintenance calories. Anything less can result in muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. Your maintenance calories refers to the amount of calories you consume daily to remain at your current weight.
- Male, 200lbs 6'0"
- Maintenance level is 2, 300 calories
In order to lose weight and avoid minimal muscle loss a 200lb male needs to consume at least 70% of his daily maintenance calories. Seventy percent of his daily maintenance calories equates to 1, 610 calories, a deficit of 690 calories.
Dangers of Low Calorie Diets
Low calorie diets are short term, high risk weight loss solutions which are quickly reversed when dieters go back to their old habits. The weight loss is essentially due to starvation. This process slows down your metabolism, meaning that weight loss in the long term is made much more difficult.
The initial weight loss which may have been dramatic, is, for the most part, water loss and degeneration of muscle health, not fat loss.
Physically, a very low calorie diet can have ongoing side effects that last long after the participant has stopped the low calorie diet. These include an increase in insulin resistance and a decrease in the effectiveness of the thyroid gland.
The effects of a low calorie diet don’t stop there, you may also experience extremely low energy levels, an obsession with food and cravings and a loss of clarity in your thinking. In extreme cases, it can even lead to depression.
The healthiest and most sustainable way to lose weight is to choose a diet with the right amount of calories and nutritional content to lose around 1 -2 lbs per week. This is sustainable and maintainable, particularly when paired with regular moderate exercise.