I’m Losing Only 1 1/2 Pounds Per Week on my Diet; Is that Enough?


pic of woman exercisingDear Fun and Fit – K and A: “Being a post-menopause person in her early 50s my metabolism SUCKS. I’ve been working out 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I’ve been eating healthfully yet losing only 1 to 1/2 pounds a week.  Is there anything I can do to hypercharge my metabolism?”  Brooke, Midlife Bloggers Facebook Group

Alexandra: The answer is always yes. It’s also “It depends.”

In the group thread of a Facebook community I belong to, I read lots of good advice for this frustrated woman, with people recommending various diets and types of workouts. Yet if we back away from the question, and ponder the underlying assumption, it’s possible she doesn’t need to make any big changes. If she wants to KEEP the weight off once it’s lost, she might just be right on track with her 1 to 1 1/2 pound weekly loss. I’ll make a leap of faith and assume keeping the weight off after her weight loss program is over is her longer-term goal. Which means losing 1 to 1.5 pounds per week might be best.

A few years ago my sister and I were asked whether it is safely possible to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks, and we essentially said it’s reasonable, sustainable and realistic long-term to lose 1.5 – 2 pounds per week if you combine

  1. intense cardio 
  2. resistance training and a
  3. nutritious diet.

Of course, that is hard for menopausal women, and our fitness pro colleague Tamara Grand has some spot-on suggestions and resources for staying the nutrition and fitness course once midlife changes everything!

In this post we wrote about the differences between losing weight and maintaining weight loss, you can see in the chart that to LOSE weight, reduced caloric intake is the easiest way for most people to achieve negative energy balance, while to KEEP it off, physical activity is the strategy to prevent weight regain.

Kymberly: When you are done reading this post, check out how you can choose the “right” diet. You will find it far easier to cut out a 500-calorie drink than to exercise strenuously for about an hour. Ouch, it hurt to say that as a fitness pro who prefers moving more to eating less, but there you have it!

picture of woman eating apple

An apple a day keeps the, er, cowboy hat on!

Alexandra: So our advice to you (and the millions of other women with this same question) is to perhaps focus more on your intake than your output. Once you reach your weight goal, you can switch that around (to a point – the fluffy, puffy, whipped creamy coffee drinks are still an issue).

Kymberly: Brooke, you asked about supercharging your metabolism. In general it usually helps to incorporate strength training 2 -3 times a week into your workout program. Perhaps you are already doing that, given the exercise activity you mention. But if could be that your metabolism is “stuck.”  How can you get it unstuck? Read this: If My Metabolism is Stuck, What Do I Do?

Alexandra: While we’re at it, I’ll throw in my occasional mantra, “Never give up. Never surrender.” It’s from a movie that cracks me up.

A bonus item for you:
Blue Diamond almonds used in Hello Dolly barsAs part of a campaign with Blue Diamond I did a twist on the traditional Dolly Bar recipe that incorporates their Toasted Coconut Almonds. Easy recipe. Quick to make. Delicious to eat.

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Photo credits: Woman walking – GaborFromHungary; Woman eating apple – Mensatic.

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

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