Is it realistic to lose 20 pounds in a month?
Over 62 percent of Americans are considered overweight or obese, and 84 percent of Americans have tried at least one weight loss method in the past. You can expect to lose four to eight pounds over 30 days on most healthy diets.
If you’re considering losing weight, you may wonder: how much weight can you lose in a month? Weight loss of four to eight pounds a month is generally considered healthy and realistic.
Read on to learn what you need to know about how much weight you can lose in a month.
For most people, it’s not realistic to lose 20 pounds in a month. There are some situations where very rapid weight loss is appropriate, such as after bariatric surgery or a medically supervised diet for an obese patient with serious weight-related health problems.
Rapid weight loss carries health risks such as:
Losing muscle mass
When you lose weight rapidly, you may lose more muscle and water weight than you would at a slower rate of loss. Sudden, extreme calorie restriction causes the body to lose muscle as well as fat and since muscle mass burns calories, losing that muscle tissue lowers your metabolism and makes it harder to keep losing weight.
Many diets that promise rapid weight loss severely restrict calories or cut out entire food groups, putting you at increased risk for deficiencies in necessary vitamins and minerals. Alert your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of malnutrition, such as:
Inability to stay on your diet
Severe calorie restriction causes hormonal changes in your body, making you want to eat more food. While many people hope that rapid weight loss will motivate them, it can be much more challenging to stick to an extreme diet long-term.
As many as 80 to 95% of dieters regain their weight, so it’s essential that you set yourself up for success over the long term. Yo-yo dieting — repeatedly losing and gaining weight, also called weight cycling — carries health risks such as:
You should always speak to your doctor before attempting rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss can be unsafe and needs to be monitored by a healthcare professional.