Should you lose weight fast?

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s tempting to want results as fast as possible. But remember, very rapid weight loss is unlikely to help you to maintain a healthy weight long-term. And it comes with health risks.

You can monitor your weight loss progress using our Healthy weight calculator.

 

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably keen to see, and feel, a difference quickly.

It can be tempting to put your trust in one of the countless schemes that promise rapid, easy weight loss.

Unfortunately, even if these fad diets do help you to lose weight, you’re unlikely to maintain a healthy weight in the months and years afterwards.

If you’re visualising a future in which you’ve shed your excess weight, the best choice is to make healthy changes to your diet and levels of physical activity that lead to a safe, steady rate of weight loss, and that last a lifetime.

Weight loss tends to plateau after a while and you may need to make further changes. If after six to nine months you haven’t achieved a healthy weight, talk to your GP for advice on the next steps.

Safe rates of weight loss

If you’re trying to lose weight, the safe weekly rate of weight loss is between 0.5kg and 1kg. That’s between around 1lb and 2lb a week.

Lose weight faster than this, and you are at risk of health problems that include malnutrition and gallstones, as well as feeling tired and unwell.

Fad diets (that involve simply changing your diet for a few weeks) associated with very rapid weight loss are also unlikely to lead you to a healthy weight in the long-term.

Take action

You can learn more about the diet and physical activity changes that can lead you to a healthy weight future in Lose Weight.

Remember: the goal is not overnight success. The secret is sticking to the changes you’ve made, and you can find useful tips from real-life slimmers in Weight loss motivation.

You can monitor your progress using our Healthy weight calculator. This interactive tool calculates your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of whether you are a healthy weight for your height.

Page last reviewed: 25/08/2012

Next review due: 25/08/2014

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