How Much Weight Can I Lose?

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Maria Lorenz
Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

“How much weight can I lose?” – have you ever asked yourself this question? Can you lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks? Can you lose weight in, say, 1 week? Maybe you can, maybe there is no answer to the “how much weight can I lose?” question. But do not tell that to the diet books. They seem to have all the answers, and they are not shy about giving out the promises of losing weight in a predetermined amount of time.

The truth is simply this: When it comes to the “how much weight can I lose?” question, diet books do not know what they are talking about. Why? Because the answer to the “how much weight can I lose?” question is not as straightforward as you may think.

There is no way to definitively answer this question, it really depends on a number of individual factors that go beyond the scope of this post, but if you make almost unnoticeable changes to your daily calorie intake, you will start seeing results. What kind of changes? All it takes is ditching about 150 calories a day. Keep in mind, this is not much – for example a pack of nuts or some dried fruits.

How much weight can I lose if I cut 150 calories from my daily menu? According to Mindless Eating, “unlike what you hear in 3:00 A.M. infomercials, it would not be 10 pounds in 10 hours, or 10 pounds in 10 days.

It’s not even going to be 10 pounds in 10 weeks. You would notice that, and you would feel deprived.” But if you lose 100 – 200 calories a day, there is a very good chance you would not feel hungry, and in 10 months you might be 10 pounds lighter.

“It won’t put you in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but it might put you back in some of your “signal” clothes, and it’ll make you feel better without costing you bread, pasta, and your comfort foods,” says Brian Wansik, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating.

How much weight can I lose in a year if I reduce my total daily caloric intake? If you make a change, there is an easy way to estimate how much weight you will lose in a year. You simply divide the calories by 10. That is roughly the number of pounds you will lose if you are otherwise in energy balance.

  • One less 270 calorie candy bar each day = 27 fewer pounds a year
  • One less 140 calorie soft drink each day = 14 fewer pounds a year
  • One less 420 calorie bagel or donut each day = 42 fewer pounds a year

The same thing works with burning calories: walking one extra mile a day is 100 calories and 10 pounds a year. Exercise is good, but for most people, it’s a lot easier to give up a candy bar than to walk 2.7 miles to a vending machine.

The bottom line on “how much weight can I lose?” As you can see, what seems to be an insignificant dietary change, quickly adds up to a significant weight loss. Try it, it really works.


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