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How Fast Should I Lose Weight?

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How Fast Should I Lose Weight?
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In this article:

  • A recommendation for weight loss is often 1⁄2-2 pounds per week.
  • That allows you to include a variety of nutritious foods and to establish healthy habits
    that can help you keep the weight off for good.
  • You can create a negative calorie balance by eating fewer calories, exercising more, or
    doing both. This article has ideas on how to do that.
  • Lark can help you lose weight and create healthy habits for sustainable weight loss and
    improved health.

How fast should you lose weight?

It’s an important question! Losing weight too fast can be unhealthy. On the other hand, if you don’t make enough changes, you may not lose weight and hit your goals. Here’s what to know about how fast to lose weight and what changes you can make to hit your goals.


How Fast to Lose Weight

Many experts suggest trying to lose 1⁄2 pound to 2 pounds per week. It’s okay to lose 1⁄4 lb or even less per week. It’s an amount that may not seem like a lot, but it’ll probably get you to your goal sooner than you think! Aiming for this rate of weight loss gives you the chance to make small changes on a daily basis without feeling deprived.
Rapid weight loss is often unsustainable and can be unhealthy. Losing weight too fast can lower your metabolism, make you lose muscle mass, and can mean you’re not providing your body with enough nutrients. Feeling deprived is not fun or healthy, and often leads to gaining back the weight you lost.
Slow and steady weight loss is the way to go!


Calories for Weight Loss

If your calorie intake is equal to your calorie output, your weight will be stable.
       
To lose 1⁄2 pound per week, your calorie intake needs to average 250 calories less per day than the calories you burn.
Your average daily calorie deficit needs to be 500 to lose 1 pound per week, or 1,000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds per week.
You can change your calorie balance by reducing the calories you get from food and drinks, or by increasing the calories you burn from exercise, or by doing a combination of both.


Ideas for Reducing Calorie Intake

These are some ways to cut calories.

Cut 50 to 75 Calories

  • Have 1 cup of skim milk instead of whole milk.
  • Have 1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt instead of low-fat or whole milk yogurt.
  • Have two tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing instead of ranch or another creamy dressing.
  • Have 3 cups of air-popped or light popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips.
  • Have 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter instead of 1 slice of white bread with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of jam.
  • Have 4 egg whites instead of 2 eggs.

Cut 100 Calories

  • Have 1⁄2 cup of ice cream and 1⁄2 cup of berries instead of 1 cup of ice cream.
  • Have 2 whole grain English muffin halves instead of 1 bagel.
  • Have skinless chicken breast instead of chicken with skin.
  • Have lean ground turkey instead of regular ground beef.
  • Toss pasta with 1⁄2 cup of marinara sauce instead of 1⁄2 cup of Alfredo sauce.

Cut 200 Calories

  • Have 2 slices of thin-crust pizza instead of thick-crust.
  • Have 1⁄2 cup of pasta tossed with 1 cup of vegetables, 3 ounces of skinless chicken, and marinara sauce instead of 1 1⁄2 cups of pasta.
  • Dip 1 cup of raw vegetables instead of potato chips.
  • Have 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 mini muffin instead of 1 large muffin.

Cut More Than 200 Calories

  • Drink water instead of a 20 ounce soda.
  • Have a small latte instead of a large one.
  • Order a taco instead of a burrito.
  • Order small instead of large fries or onion rings.
  • Have 1 cup of unsweetened puffed whole grain cereal and 1 cup of berries instead of 1 cup of granola.

Tips for Burning More Calories 

The easiest way to burn more calories is to increase your physical activity. Here are some ways to increase your calorie burn: 

  • Work out for longer, such as taking longer walks.
  • Increase the intensity of your activity, such as walking uphill while on a treadmill, hiking,
    or adding periods of fast walking or jogging during a walk.
  • Add more periods of activity, such as walking before meals or during breaks.
  • Sneaking in activity, such as walking around the parking lot before getting in the car,
    taking the stairs instead of elevator, or parking further away.


What If...?

What if you don’t fit into the mold of someone who’s losing weight at the rate of 1⁄2 pound to 2 pounds a week? Let’s take a look!


What if I’m losing weight more slowly?

That’s great! You’re making small changes. Those are showing up on the scale as weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with slower weight loss. It’s even what Lark suggests to make sure you learn how to make choices that work for you long-term!


What if I want to lose weight faster?

Some people are in a position to lose weight faster than 2 pounds per week, but that’s something you should ask your doctor about. If your healthcare provider agrees that a faster rate of weight loss is right for you, they can work with you to come up with a plan and carry it out!


What if I’m not losing weight?

Weight loss can be challenging. If you’re not losing weight, here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Are you sometimes eating foods that you didn’t plan to eat, or eating more than you had
    planned?
  • Are you eating only when hungry, or are you sometimes eating for social or emotional
    reasons?
  • Are you logging all of your food accurately so you know what you’re eating?
  • Are you able to safely increase your physical activity levels to burn more calories?
  • Are you getting enough sleep and managing your stress levels to enable your body to
    lose weight more effectively?

Losing weight with small, healthy changes can help you stay on track for longer periods of time. That means you have the chance to establish the habit of making healthy choices, and that means you can get closer to reaching your weight loss goals and keeping the pounds off for good. Lark can help you with more tips for making small changes that fit into your lifestyle.
Check in with your coach now and keep working towards your goals!

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