How Much Fat Can I Expect to Lose?

Weight Loss & Nutrition

About PJ

It’s a satisfying feeling to be part of a team that has such a positive impact on people’s lives. I graduated from Health and Sports Science in 2004 as an Exercise Physiologist. It’s my job at Ignite to do whatever I can to ensure our clients are using Ignite and getting the great results that everyone wants.
“All you taught me on nutrition made me reach my Body Fat % Goal. It’s been 3 years in the making but I made it 🙂  Thanks to everyone at Ignite for getting me there!”
I recently received an email from a past Ignite client who reached out to participate in our good to great program. I was delighted to hear he’d finally reached his body fat percentage goal of <15% which he’d been flirting with prior to leaving Ignite after starting the process at close to 30% body fat 3 years ago.
This client was goal driven, knew what he wanted and put in the time to learn and understand what was needed to reach his goal, and then he did it. Sounds simple right.
My goal here is to give you more clarity as to how you should set your own goals. Especially, the most common goal most people come to us with – reducing body fat.
There’s 3 factors that will determine how quickly you lose weight / body fat.
1) How much weight do you have to lose?
The more weight you have to lose, the more rapid you can expect to lose it. A person who has 10+kg to lose can expect to lose it faster than someone looking to drop <5kg. This is only one piece of the puzzle! The following point is what will have the biggest impact!
2) What are you willing to put into it?
This is the most important of the 3 points and what will ultimately determine the rate at which you lose weight / body fat. The more positive changes you make to your nutrition, movement patterns, sleep quality and stress management the more you can expect to lose. Those doing our good to great program in the past typically lose between2 and 4kg of body fat in 4 weeks and they are making improving their nutrition one of their top priorities to do so.
3) Who is your mum and dad?
Yes, genetics and your body type will play a role. I’m not going to go any deeper than that.
How much can I expect to lose?
If you are making it a top priority 0.5-1kg per week of body fat per week is what you can expect to lose.
Where you will sit on this scale will be determined by your start point and your more than that, by the degree to which you change your current behaviours, particularly around food, to make these changes happen.  People with more fat to lose (10kg+) will be closer to the 1kg per week and those closer to their goal closer to the 0.5kg per week.
From my experience 1kg of body fat loss usually equates to 1-2cm reduction in the waist girth. This means that even with modest body fat reduction a change in appearance and the way clothes are fitting is often noticeable.
What’s the rush?
Ultimately, I believe it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you’re moving in that direction and you get there in the end!
For most people, I believe that a 0.5 per kg per week reduction in body fat is a good rate to set your medium to long term goal off.
If you are currently moving towards your goal, whether it be body fat or in another pursuit, you are being successful.