Healthy Weight Loss


Crash diets and rapid weight loss exercise routines sound great on paper. After all, who doesn’t want to lose as much weight as possible as quickly as possible? Unfortunately, rapid weight loss may present more cons than pros. This article will discuss healthy weight loss, why quick weight loss plans don’t work, and some of the negative side-effects of rapid weight loss. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month?

When we step on the scale and watch that number grow higher and higher, the only thing that comes to mind is, “how can I lose this weight as quickly as possible?” The idea of losing 5, 10, 25 pounds in a week is intoxicating. However, losing weight that quickly can actually be damaging for our bodies, and most experts agree, it’s not sustainable. 

So what is healthy weight loss per month? What should you be shooting for? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is healthy and aiming for 4 to 8 pounds per month is reasonable. Just because it’s possible to lose more doesn’t mean that it’s healthy nor sustainable. 

What Is a Healthy Weight Loss Rate?

When losing weight, it’s easy to focus your attention on the numbers on the scale, especially early on in the process. However, most experts suggest that the numbers are simply a by-product of living a healthy lifestyle, which should be the primary focus. By shifting your focus toward a more long-term goal, you can expect long-term results. 

As mentioned above, the CDC says a healthy weight loss rate is anywhere between 4 and 8 pounds per month. That doesn’t mean that anything below this number is a bad thing. Even modest weight loss can provide significant health benefits. Remember, your primary focus should be on implementing lifestyle changes that deliver lasting results. 

What Is Wrong With Losing Weight Too Fast?

Rapid weight may seem like a huge success. However, fast weight loss usually takes extraordinary efforts in diet and exercise. What you have to put your body through to achieve this rapid weight loss is generally very unhealthy and unsustainable. As you probably already know, a calorie deficit is required to lose weight. 

The issue is, our bodies still need calories to produce energy. By operating at massive caloric defects, your body will need to shed water weight and even lean tissue to produce enough energy. Once your body has burned through the water weight, you will start to notice a plateau. This is because your body has run out of fat cells to burn off for energy. 

What Percentage of Body Weight Should You Lose Per Week?

Many experts will argue that instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale, we should be looking at percentages. This helps put into perspective just how much weight we’re losing. The CDC suggests that healthy weight loss per month is around the 5 to 10 percent range. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss would equal 10 pounds. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t as exciting as watching the numbers on the scale move up or down. However, by monitoring our weight loss using percentages, we can set more realistic long-term goals. 10 pounds in a month may not sound that exciting, but losing 5 percent of your body weight comes with substantial health benefits. 

Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss

We have briefly discussed how rapid weight loss can bring on more bad than good. But what exactly are the risks? Side-effects can be something as nominal as fatigue, or it can be something much more severe. Knowing the potential negative side-effects can help you know when it’s time to seek medical assistance. Here are some of the side-effects of rapid weight loss:

  • Gallstones - occur in 12 to 15 percent of people losing significant amounts of weight over several months
  • Dehydration 
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation

Rapid weight loss may not be healthy, but neither is obesity. For this reason, very low-calorie diets and other rapid weight loss methods may be considered reasonable in dire circumstances. In those with a BMI greater than 30, needing rapid weight loss for a weight loss surgery can be common. 

Safest Way to Lose Weight?

The best way to safely lose weight is by implementing a long-term plan. The numbers may not be as sexy, but the long-term results will far outweigh what you could expect on a rapid weight loss diet or exercise plan. These plans are prone to burnout, which frequently result in re-gaining most of the weight you already lost. 

Develop a workout plan and a meal plan. Find foods and recipes that you enjoy. Don’t torture yourself by eating foods you hate. It’s not sustainable. Figure out what it is that drives you to overeat. Is it stress? Is it depression? Getting to the root cause can help you implement lasting changes rather than temporary ones. 

Supplements May Help

A healthy lifestyle extends beyond your diet. Pairing your healthy lifestyle with exercise and a regular supplement regimen can help enhance the positive effects of dieting and fasting. While fasting, your body enters a process known as autophagy. This cellular renewal process cleans out damaged or dead cellular material, improving your cells’ overall function and health and preventing age-associated cardiovascular diseases. Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine, aids in inducing autophagy. While you can reap the benefits of spermidine through a spermidine-rich diet, it can be challenging to meet the recommended daily dose of spermidine through diet alone. This is because spermidine content varies widely between foods. Spermidine supplements can help ensure you meet your daily intake of spermidine.



  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.