how much weight can you lose in a month
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you aren’t interested in losing temporary water weight, you don’t want to lose any lean muscle mass, you don’t have “explosive diarrhea” on your to-do list, and you’re not comfortable with the idea of cutting off a leg (smart move).
And in that case, the one and only thing we’re really talking about when we ask this question is body fat.
So, with this important distinction made, we can now rephrase the question a bit.
Instead of asking how much weight you can lose in a month, let’s make it…
How Much Fat Can You Lose In A Month?
Now this is a question we can more accurately answer. All we need are two simple facts and some easy math.
A caloric deficit is the sole cause and requirement of fat loss.
This means that in order to lose any amount of fat, you need to either eat fewer calories, burn more calories, or do some combination of the two so a consistent deficit exists.
There are approximately 3500 calories in 1 pound of body fat.
This means that for every 3500-calorie deficit you have, you can expect to lose about 1 pound of body fat.
Please note, however, that you shouldn’t expect to lose exactly 1 pound of “weight” in this scenario, as those other factors I listed earlier (water, poop, stomach content, etc.) will throw off the number on the scale to some extent (e.g. you may lose 1lb of fat but gain 0.5lb of water, so the scale will only show a loss of 0.5lb).
Plus, factors like NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and TEF (thermic effect of food) are changing all the time in ways that affect exactly how many calories you end up burning each day.
Having said that, estimating that you’ll lose about 1 pound of weight for every 3500-calorie deficit you create is still the best method we have for estimating how much weight you can lose in a given period of time.
With these two facts in mind, all that’s left to do is calculate how much of a deficit you’ll have over the course of a month.
Here are some examples.
Let’s say some example person needs to eat 2500 calories a day in order to maintain their current weight (again, this is just an example… you can figure out how many calories you need to eat a day here).
Now let’s say they start eating 2000 calories per day instead.
2500 – 2000 = a 500-calorie deficit each day.
In this scenario, our example person can expect to lose about 1 lb per week. Why? Because a 500-calorie deficit per day x 7 days in a week = 3500 calories.
Pretty simple, right?
Now let’s expand this example to a month instead of a week.
Since there are about 4 weeks in a month, this example person could expect to lose about 4 pounds in a month.