When most people set out to lose weight, they can get impatient; they want to lose it as fast as possible and get frustrated if the scale doesn't go down as quickly as they'd hoped. In reality, losing weight slowly and steadily may be the best indicator of overall success. "I always say it can go on as fast as it can come off," Jim White, RD, NASM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR.
Although the amount of weight you can lose each week depends on how much weight you have to lose — someone who has 100 pounds to lose tends to lose it at a quicker rate than someone who is trying to lose 20 pounds — the American College of Sports Medicine recommends people lose one to two pounds of fat per week.
"If people are experiencing fatigue, dizziness, mood changes, or decrease in exercise output, they are most likely losing too much [weight] too fast," Jim said. Or if someone is losing upwards of five to 10 pounds a week, that is also a sign that they are losing too quickly.
Instead of focusing on hitting your goal weight as soon as possible, it's important to think about the big picture: aim to lose half a pound to two pounds a week until you hit your goal. Not only is that a safer way to lose weight, but you're more likely to keep it off that way.
"The weight-loss game is a marathon, not a sprint, and it's important to lose a moderate amount of weight over a longer period of time," Jim said.