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

Alexandra Williams, MA

pic of woman exercisingThis question came up in a group I’m in: “I’ve been working out 5 days a week sometimes twice a day. I’ve been healthy eating and only losing 1 to 1/2 a week. Being a person in her mid 40s my metabolism SUCKS. Is there anything I can do to hypercharge it?”

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

In the group thread 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 we were asked whether it was 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 intense cardio with resistance training and a 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.

As my sister points out in her post about choosing the “right” diet, it’s far easier for most people to cut out a 500-calorie drink than to exercise strenuously for about an hour.

picture of woman eating apple

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

So our advice to you (and the millions of other people 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). If you want an in-depth explanation about what does and doesn’t work for fat loss, listen to our radio interview with Dr. James Hill, member of the NIH Expert Panel on Obesity, author of “State of Slim,” co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry, and co-founder of America on the Move, a national weight gain prevention initiative.

While I’m at it, I’ll throw in my occasional mantra, “Never give up. Never surrender.” It’s from a movie that cracks me up. [youtube][/youtube]

Two bonus items for you:

1) We have a giveaway ending in a few hours that you should enter. You could win either a Foot Note shoelace or bracelet motivational fitness charm from Momentum if you have a U.S. address, so head to our fan page right now!
Blue Diamond almonds used in Hello Dolly bars
2) As 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.

If you’re wondering what could be better than a galaxy quest, it’s a quest for accurate, successful and engaging fitness & health info! And that’s what occurs when you:

1) Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit or

2) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference at (805) 403-4338 or email

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

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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

  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities June 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    It truly is all about what you’re eating. You can work out until your blue or even purple in the face, but in the end, even if you think you’re eating healthfully, you really need to evaluate what you’re putting down your esophagus!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..The Three Amigos Are A Delicious MealMy Profile

  2. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta June 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    I think a pound to a pound and a half a week sounds pretty good. I know everyone wants fasts results, but to lose more takes a really big caloric deficit that probably isn’t sustainable.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..8 Summer Running Tips. Plus Training and Doggy Updates, and BaseballMy Profile

  3. Carla June 23, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    but im the queen of slow and steady
    Carla recently posted..Consciously uncouple with me?My Profile

  4. Pamela Hernandez June 23, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    Wonderful advice! It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes.
    Begin with the end in mind. :)
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted..The Hormone Cure Book Ep 110My Profile

  5. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie June 23, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    If I continue to lose a pound a week I’ll be SUPER happy. I don’t want to lose it all quickly, I want to lose it permanently. Great post!
    Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie recently posted..A summer weekend in OmahaMy Profile

  6. Mindy @ Road Runner Girl June 23, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    I’ve lost 20 pounds so far and have done it with a goal to lose 1 pound a week. I wanted to lose but also make a healthy lifestyle change. No fad diets or fast results here but I feel like I’ve learned how to choose those healthy foods. In turn I don’t want those unhealthy foods anymore. I crave the veggies and fruits!
    Mindy @ Road Runner Girl recently posted..The Weekly Chase #77!My Profile

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman June 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Who doesn’t want a quick fix, especially when there’s a lot to lose? But that isn’t realistic. To me, 1.5-2 pounds a week sounds great. I’d be very happy with that.

  8. Tamara June 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    I have a ton of clients who’d be thrilled with 1.5 pounds a week. Slow, steady and CONSISTENT equals sustainable! Thanks for the linky! xo
    Tamara recently posted..Peaceful coexistence at the gym: when older and younger work out togetherMy Profile

  9. Jamie June 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I would have to say that 1.5 lbs per week can be both enough and not enough. I think it is good for maintaining weight after the diet is over, but can be bad for motivation. If you lose less than you think you should, you might think dieting will never end and be discouraged with the slow process. I aim for 2 lbs per week, which is definitely enough to keep me motivated but not too much that my body can’t adapt to it.
    Jamie recently posted..What’s The Best Umbrella Stroller?My Profile

  10. Jody - Fit at 56 June 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Yup, like everyone else, slow & steady wins the race. :) I have 1 caveat though… when you already are eating less due to age hormones like me – already have cut back since turning 50 a little at a time, then cutting out even more food can be tough… then we have to start experimenting with types of food we eat, protein/carb/fat – types of carbs & honestly, depending on what your goals are for what you want to look like & weigh, intensity of exercise & how much & what you do… some are fine with less – I am talking to those at our age that want to look leaner… :)
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Thermo Heat Maximum Strength Fat BurnerMy Profile

  11. Lana June 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder that slow and steady is best. Most weeks I lose about a pound, and sometimes I get discouraged that it’s not more. But I’m very close to my goal weight, so I’m trying to focus on being healthy and strong instead of the numbers on the scale.
    Lana recently posted..Hiking To Heather LakeMy Profile

  12. Carol Cassara June 26, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    It’s a sane rate but we always want it to be faster.
    Carol Cassara recently posted..Perfect lifeMy Profile

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