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Healthy Weight Center

Is Losing a Pound a Week Too Little?



I have begun to change my lifestyle--in the way of eating better and exercising, but I am not losing weight very fast. I feel more energetic, though. You see, I`ve noticed that vigorous exercise and depriving myself of food doesn`t work for me. My question is, is one pound a week too little--do I need to step it up more?


You didn't gain your excess weight overnight, and you won't lose it quickly either. There are several gimmicks for losing a few pounds quickly, but rarely is weight kept off with these techniques. Many of them are in fact harmful and may cause dehydration. A healthy weight loss program utilizing a moderately reduction in food intake and regular exercise should result in a weight loss of about 1-2 lbs/week. At this rate, you probably lose about 5lbs/month. Don't get discouraged by the slow response. Even though the scale is not showing big results, you're feeling them in the form of increased energy. If we measured closely, we might notice other benefits if you've been sticking with your program for a few weeks, such as more muscle and decreased blood pressure, all of which contribute to improved health. Losing weight is hard work. Successful weight loss requires a long term committment to healthy habits. Give your self some rewards for sticking with your regimen and enjoy your increased energy.

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Response by:

Jill Foster, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati