Weight-loss experts say that aiming to lose between one and two pounds of excess weight per week is a good average weight loss. But no two people are alike when it comes to weight loss. How long does it really take to lose 10 pounds? There are hundreds of factors that can determine how quickly someone can lose weight — such as the number of hours of sleep they receive on average, and whether they take prescription drugs that can interfere with weight loss.
The amount of time it takes you to lose 10 pounds could take as little as five weeks, or as long as several months, depending on your personal state of health and lifestyle choices. Throughout your weight-loss journey, it’s important to keep in mind that you are unique from everyone else, and that everyone loses weight at their own pace.
Here are some facts about weight loss that may play a key role in the amount of time it takes you to lose 10 pounds.
Muscle is denser than fat
Strength training and anaerobic workouts can build muscle, which means that if the scale is going up or staying the same, you may be replacing fat with muscle. If you find that your clothes are becoming roomier and you’re dropping inches but the scale isn’t budging, you’re most likely losing pounds of fat. If this is happening to you, understand that you’ll eventually start dropping weight and keep slimming down as you continue replacing fat with lean muscle.
Prescription drugs can interfere with weight loss
Many prescription drugs list weight gain as a side effect — including antidepressants, birth control pills, and antihistamines. Some studies show that remnants of these drugs are stored in fat cells long after you quit taking the medication, and are released back into the bloodstream following intense workouts. This can prolong the cycle of weight retention, and make it difficult for some individuals to lose weight within a short period of time. If you’re currently using prescription drugs that cause weight gain, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments that don’t interfere with your body weight.
Hormonal imbalance may be a factor
Hormonal imbalance may cause you to lose weight at a slower pace than other individuals. For instance, stress can trigger a rise in cortisol and adrenaline, and throw off hunger hormones that cause you to overeat and indulge in junk foods. Lack of sleep can also throw off your natural hormone balance and slow your metabolism.
Anyone has the ability to change their metabolism
Many assume that metabolism is genetic, and that a slow metabolism can’t necessarily be improved to result in weight loss. However, your metabolism is fully within your control, and can be improved with healthy lifestyle practices such as exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, and getting plenty of sleep. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds at a fast rate, avoid sugar and processed foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise several days per week, and make breakfast your most important meal of the day to boost metabolism and energy.
Certain foods and workouts may work best only for you
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss, focus on finding solutions that work best for you, and not on solutions that may have worked best for a friend or celebrity. Your body is unique, and will respond to certain workouts, foods, and treatments differently than others. To find out which foods and exercises can best complement your personal weight-loss goals, consider undergoing genetic testing that reveals the workouts and foods your body responds to best.
Our weight-loss clinics are now offering Vivaliti DNA, a personalized genetic test that provides you with a detailed 49-page genetic report, including actionable steps you can take to lose weight, increase energy, prevent disease, and protect your health as you age. Ask about Vivaliti DNA at your next appointment, or schedule a no-cost consultation to learn more!