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How much weight loss per week is healthy and sustainable?

January 27, 2016

I always laugh when someone comes to me and says something along the lines of: “I need to look good in this swimsuit in two weeks!!” or “I want a six pack in 6 weeks”

No. just no.

What you need to do is have realistic expectations before beginning your diet and training program or before going on a weight loss program. Expecting unreasonable results will make the process miserable and the result a failure.

Sustainable weight loss looks something like this:

Fat Loss: 0.5-1kg per week

For muscle gain: 0.5kg every few weeks

Now, am I not saying that it is impossible to exceed these numbers. Obviously there are exceptions. But no matter what you see on TV shows like the Biggest Loser, you cannot expect 20kg of weight loss in three weeks.

And for those of you who are trying to put on muscle, and who have been training for longer, after year one of training, it becomes more difficult to add muscle; you’ve exhausted all of your “newbie gains”. The consensus is that after year one the most you can expect to gain is:

Year 2: 5kg, Year 3: 2-3kg Year 4+: possibly 1kg
*Females can expect roughly half these amounts

*For example, and to put things in context, I have been doing regular strength training/CrossFit for a over four years now and I have gone from weighing 58-59kg to around 63-64kg. I have a lot more visible muscle, but it’s really not that much on the scale, considering I have been training for that long. If you have only been training regularly for one to two years, you simply cannot expect to have the same amount of muscle as someone who has been at it for longer.

The rate of weight loss, on the other hand, is not related to years of training experience. 0.5-1kg per week is a reasonable fat loss rate for both a beginner and more advanced trainees, as long as you have your nutrition sorted.

The bottom line: Don’t fall for any “Gain 15kg of muscle in four weeks” or “Blast fat and get six pack abs in 10 days!” scams.

Please don’t let this discourage you from starting a program. By all means start today (there’s no better time to start then right now), but just be reasonable in your approach, or I can guarantee you won’t stick with it or be consistent.



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