Cut Update...How Much Weight You Can Expect to Lose?

Mar 22, 2022

Let's talk about expectations when it comes to fat loss..

(my personal cut update is at the bottom!)

I'm on a lot of different of different health and wellness forums on a few different social media platforms, and one question I see come up all the time is people trying to figure out how much weight they can lose in X period of time. 

I've also seen people have full on meltdowns about "nothing working" for them because they only lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks.

So let's chat about this.. First off, a healthy, sustainable rate of fat loss is generally somewhere between 1 - 1.5 pounds per week. Sometimes a little more, and sometimes maybe a little less. Healthy and sustainable means a few things, but most importantly, it means you're in manageable, sustainable calorie deficit. 

For someone who has a significant amount of weight to lose, that number could be a bit higher, especially at first. 

Could you lose weight faster if you severely restrict calories? Well yeah. But will you likely gain back whatever weight you lose? Sadly, yes. Almost every time. 

Slower, smarter, and more sustainable wins, pretty much always. 

Let's do a little math (words I thought I'd never say).  1 pound of body fat is equivalent to roughly 3,500 calories. This is true when it comes to gaining weight, and losing weight. If I eat 3,500 calories over my maintenance calories for the week and don't move enough to burn that extra energy, I'll likely gain roughly 1 pound. Similarly, if I'm in a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories in a week's time, whether from food or from exercise, I'll likely lose 1 roughly pound of body fat.

If you divide 3,500/7 (7 days in a week), you'll get 500 calories a day as one potential option for a calorie deficit. 

This is where I've set my own personal calories at. I'm eating 500 calories a day less than I am burning, leading my body to drop body fat. 

This is on the moderate-high scale when it comes to a calorie deficit, and it will certainly get the job done. Some people opt to go a little more slow and steady with their calorie deficit being between 200-400 a day. You know what works best?

The one that you can sustain. If 500 feels like too much for you because you're too hungry, start with a slower, more moderate approach.

Here's my personal cut update...

I'm down 3 lbs total after 2 weeks of sustained effort with my calorie deficit and movement goals. I expect to gain roughly 2-3 lbs of water weight in the next couple of days (happens every month around my cycle - not gonna freak out), and then I expect to maybe drop another 2-3 lbs of actual body fat between now and our trip, the first week of April.

From there I'll take a break from tracking while we're on vacation. I'll share more about my plans for maintenance after that. 

I'm feeling really good. I've done cuts before where I felt hungry a lot of the time, but my hunger levels are pretty great right now. 

My lifting sessions have felt solid. I've missed a couple of cardio sessions and a couple of my step goals in the last week, which isn't ideal. Instead of beating myself up, I'm letting it go and figuring out how to do better in the coming week.. 

Since I know I can hit my step goal for the day by incorporating a 15-20 minute walk before work, I'll plan to get up just a little earlier this week to make that happen.

Additionally, I'm going to put my workouts on my calendar including training sessions + cardio sessions so I have a clear picture of what I'm doing to do on any given day and can plan accordingly. 

I can physically see a difference in my body from just 3 pounds. Kind of weird right? But that's exactly the goal of a mini-cut.. to maintain a relatively lean physique year round, so cutting a a little bit of body fat can be done without an extreme amount of effort.This "mini cut" will only have me dropping 6-7 pounds TOTAL, but will make my body look quite a bit different. 

*Sigh* This is why I love strength training.

Food I've been eating this week! *Mostly* at home, and a couple out at restaurants...

  • Hard boiled eggs 
  • Eggs + homestyle potatoes 
  • Greek yogurt and paleo style granola 
  • Apples, oranges, cashews as snacks when needed
  • Chicken thighs, jasmine rice and veggies
  • Poke bowl 
  • Japanese style ramen 
  • Steak, jasmine rice and veggies 
  • A coupe of Dove chocolate squares a day to keep that sweet tooth satisfied!

Ok what questions do you have for me? Send em' here or over on Facebook or the 'Gram. Thanks for reading, friends! 

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