What Is a Healthy Weight Loss Per Month?


With over one-third of Americans classified as “obese,” it’s no surprise that many are eager to learn about how to lose weight and do it in a healthy manner. (See References 2) Many turn to crash diets and extreme workout routines to lose weight quickly, only to have their hard work undone when they inevitably gain the weight back. Losing a healthy amount of weight each month is a more effective process with lasting results.

Obesity is rising.
Obesity is rising. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The Facts

If you want to lose weight in a healthy manner, you need to not only lose it, but be able to keep it off. Gaining back lost weight puts you right back at risk for the weight-related health issues you worked so hard to avoid. The CDC reports that the people who are more likely to keep weight off after losing it are people who lose one to two pounds a week, or four to eight pounds a month. (See References 1)

Lose weight slowly.
Lose weight slowly. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

The Numbers

One pound is equal to about 3,500 calories. To lose four to eight pounds in a month, you would have to burn 3,500 to 7,000 calories a week. While that looks like a large number, it is attainable if you span out your weight loss over the week. Losing 3,500 to 7,000 calories each week means you only have to burn 500 to 1,000 calories each day. Since your body already burns 2,000 calories a day performing normal functions and everyday activities, healthy weight loss is easily within reach.

Burn more calories than consuming.
Burn more calories than consuming. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)


To think that you would read about healthy weight loss without hearing the phrase “diet and exercise” is imprudent. If you don’t want to make exercise a part of your weight loss plan (though you really should), that means that you need to reduce what you eat to just 1,500 calories a day to lead to you losing one pound a week safely. If you add exercise to the equation, and you can either eat a little more, or eat the same amount and lose more weight.

Consume healthy food.
Consume healthy food. (Image: Tay Jnr/Digital Vision/Getty Images)


Some people misinterpret the need to lose such large amounts of calories and begin drastically cutting away at their diet. Not only is this counterproductive, as it will cause your body to react to the “starvation” by retaining every bit of food you give it, but it is also dangerous and nearly impossible to maintain over a long period. Make changes that you can live with, because weight loss is not a temporary effort, but a lifelong change. Once you lose the weight, you have to keep it off.

Keeping weight off.
Keeping weight off. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


Once you have made the decision to work towards healthy weight loss, you have given yourself a chance to live a healthier, happier, and longer life. Moderate weight loss alone lowers your blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol, even if you are still considered “overweight” or “obese.” (See References 1) People who lose weight and keep it off long-term report having more self-confidence, more energy, better mobility, and improved general mood. (See References 1)

Feeling confident.
Feeling confident. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

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