How To Lose 2 Pounds A Week [3 Simple Steps]
Is it realistic to have a goal of losing 2 pounds a week? Today, I'm sharing the details of how to lose 2 pounds a week from fat and not muscle in three simple steps!
Is It Realistic To Lose 2 Pounds A Week?
Losing two pounds per week is a realistic goal. However, it might take a few weeks for the body to re-adapt to burning fat as fuel before it starts to tap into it's own fat stores. One crucial thing to note about the "2 pound a week" goal, is that using a scale is one of the worst ways to measure weight loss progress.
A scale will not tell you if you're losing fat or if you're losing muscle. It can only tell you your overall weight. And if this doesn't sound like a big deal to you, it should. Because losing body fat is what will result in overall improved health and a more lean physique. On the flip side, losing muscle mass does not mean that you've lost fat. You can lose muscle mass while still maintaining body fat. So even though you've "lost weight", you haven't actually lost fat. Plus, decreased muscle mass lowers the body's metabolism and increases insulin resistance making it even harder to achieve a weight loss goal in the future.(1)
So is a goal of two pounds a week realistic? Yes. You can find stories like Ron's where he was losing more than two pounds a week HERE. And then there's Robyn, who experienced a little over three pounds per week of weight loss HERE. However, is a goal of two pounds per week a good goal? Not really. Instead, if you need to have a numeric way to track your progress, try using an at-home body fat/muscle mass scale (like THIS* one) that can give you an idea of how much body fat you've lost and whether or not you're losing muscle. These are the numbers that you'll want to pay attention to. NOT to the overall scale number.
How To Lose 2 Pounds A Week [3 Steps]
How much weight is lost per week will be dependent on a few factors, such as:
how much weight you have to lose (if you only have 10 or less pounds to lose, weight loss tends to be bit slower, simply because you have less body fat to pull from)
if you're insulin resistant (insulin resistance can make it more difficult initially to start losing weight -- this is where that grace period of 1-3 weeks comes in)
how much muscle mass you have (more muscle mass can make it easier to burn fat)
how often you're eating (we'll be diving into the details of this shortly)
Regardless of where you're starting from, I'm sharing three simple steps that you can start incorporating right now to help increase fat burning while protecting muscle mass for long term weight loss results.
Step 1: Eat Less Often
The more often we eat (like with snacking/grazing), the more frequently we're releasing the storing hormone insulin. When insulin is high, fat burning is turned off. Period. So if you want to increase fat burning without tapping into muscle mass, it's first crucial to eat less often (not necessarily less, but we'll get into that shortly).
You can go about this by either eating a meal structure or 2-3 meals per day, no snacks OR you can start Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent Fasting has the added perk of protecting muscle mass from breaking down by increasing growth hormone. Plus, Intermittent Fasting has been found to increase metabolism, which is the exact opposite of traditional, calorie restrictive approaches.(2)
Step 2: Remove Insulin Spiking Foods
On top of eating less often, we can further aid in increasing fat burning by removing highly insulin spiking foods. These include foods rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead, you can swap out those highly processed sugars and starches with high quality sources of protein, fat and fiber -- all of which do not have a big impact on the storing hormone insulin.
Step 3: Walk 30 Minutes Per Day
The more often muscles contract, the more insulin sensitive they can be.(2) Increased insulin sensitivity can make it easier to shift back into a state of fat burning. Depending on where you're starting at with your fitness approach, you can begin with walking 30 minutes per day. Just 30 minutes per day has been found to aid in weight loss.(3)
If you want to double down on the insulin sensitivity perks and possibly increase how much fat the body burns per week, you can also add in a strength or resistance training routine. Typically 3-5 days per week is helpful for leading to increased muscle mass/toning and improved insulin sensitivity. You can try out free workouts on YouTube, create your own workout schedule, or use the workout plan in the 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program HERE.
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Keto Coffee Cheers,
Autumn Elle Nutrition