Can you know in advance how much weight you will lose in a given amount of time? If you have a wedding dress or a swimsuit to fit into by summer, for example, can you know if you will lose the weight that you desire in the time that you have?
Weight loss isn’t an exact science. From genetics to nutrient intake, sleep quality and stress levels, there are many factors that play a role in determining how much weight you lose. You can, however, make an educated guess or a guesstimate to arrive at a rough timeframe for the weight you hope to lose.
How do you figure out how much you can lose?
The most common way in which to determine your weight-loss timeframe is to start by looking at your calorie burn rate while at rest. You can ask your doctor to run an RMR test that measures how much oxygen you exhale in a given amount of time and calculates how many calories you must use up while at rest. On average, women burn up 1500 calories over the day; men burn 1700 calories.
Once you know how many calories you burn while at rest, all you need to do is to take fewer calories than the number you have.
Working out a timeframe
In general, burning 3500 calories equals losing a pound of fat. To lose three pounds of fat over the first week is a realistic goal for those who work out. After this initial surge, weight loss rates drop to about one pound a week.
After eight weeks of working out and losing weight, it’s usually a good idea to schedule a second RMR test. If you have lost some weight, your at-rest calorie burn rate should drop, as well. You can then recalculate your weight-loss speed.
The smaller you are, the less energy you expend while at rest. For this reason, as you continue to lose weight the next several months, your rate of weight loss will drop. You will continue to become healthier, however. In general, everyone has a different burn rate and ability to lose weight. While it can be very hard to put an exact number on it, planning on a pound a week is realistic for those who eat responsibly and work out with reasonable intensity. If you need more exact figures than that, it would require far more testing.