By - urannoyingmee
The initial water weight loss *will* come back if/when you return to old food habits.
Toward the end of your weight loss the losing slows down considerably- those last ten pounds can take forever to get off. That's just how it is.
I see, thank you.
So this means if you have 30 pounds to lose, it will take at least 4-5 months to lose it, assuming you’re aiming for 10 lbs a month? In theory it should be 3 months but bc of the way our bodies are set up, it will take 2-3 months to lose the last 10 lbs?
10lbs a month is very fast. I wouldn't expect that rate of loss to hold up for very long at all.
> it will take 2-3 months to lose the last 10 lbs
Could be fast could be slower. It just depends on how lean your goal weight is, how long you've been dieting at that point, how active you are, etc. The less fat you have on your body, the slower you need to go to continue losing weight. It's much much easier to go from 250-240 ( a loss of 4% of BW) than it is to go from 160-150 (a loss of 6%+ of BW).
Something else to consider is that how fast you lose is really a lot less important than whether or not you successfully maintain. If you can figure out maintenance, you only have to lose the weight once. If you lose extremely quickly and rebound, you're back to square 1, or worse some people rebound to a new highest weight.
Your total calories burned from the day come from two places.
1. Your Basal Metabolic Rate - the energy your body uses just to stay alive, digest, pump blood, etc.
2. Exercise - Walking, Moving, Lifting, Running, etc.
As you lose weight you're going to burn less calories from walking, your body won't have to work as hard to pump blood, etc, etc, so you'll need to adjust how much you eat a day to maintain weight loss.
If you're very overweight it's going to be easier to maintain a deficit than if you're slightly overweight. It's not going to be 'harder' to lose the last bit of weight but it'll probably take longer unless you maintain a high deficit.
I’m only 30 lbs overweight tbh so it’ll definitely take time 😩
You can do it in 3 months (depending on body composition). It's going to take dedication. Download MyFitnessPal, let it calculate your daily needs, log all of your food an make sure you're at/under your max calories for the day. Every 10 pounds you lose let it recalculate your goal.
FWIW the “last 10” from 165-155 for me were lost in 6 months while working up to maintenance. I wasn’t even planning any additional loss and I wasn’t trying to keep more than maybe a 100 kcal deficit. Aiming for 1850 + activity instead of 1950 + activity
You could also add more cardio to burn more calories.
Q1. - your body will retain more or less water for many reasons, including recent exercise, recent salt consumption, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and other factors. It's normal to gain weight for a few days or even weeks here or there even fi you know you've been in a deficit and this is partly due to water weight. So the answer to your question is not so clear cut as "yes it returns at the end" or "no it's gone forever".
Q2. - many people slow down their weight loss towards the end but it doesn't necessarily need to be that way if you keep a constant deficit. Yes that normally means you have to reduce your consumption since your "maintenance" level of calories generally goes down as you lose fat. If you are using a calorie tracking app they might make this adjustment automatically based on the settings, e.g. reduce the budget by 5-10 calories per lb lost.
1. Water weight will constantly fluctuate. A lot of people lose a few pounds of water when they change their diet because they're eating less which means less carbs and sodium. You can pick that couple pounds back up with a single salty meal. You'll have to get comfortable with your weight fluctuating.
2. Yes, as you lose weight your caloric needs will go down which means if you want to keep losing weight at the same rate you would need to lower your calorie goal accordingly.
> Once you lose the initial water weight from weight loss, does it eventually return or will it stay away as long as you keep eating at a deficit + exercising?
It will return when you start eating higher amounts of sodium, carbohydrates, and bulk (food's mass and volume). It's the reduction of these things that cause that water-weight loss. The increase of these things will cause water-weight gain.
> If you lose the most weight at the beginning of your weight loss journey, what happens towards the end when you only have 10-20 pounds left to lose? Will it mean that you have to eat at an even lower deficit e.g. 1200calories for the same results as when you were eating e.g. 1500?
It depends. If you're an adult female, you can go as far down as 1200+ to safely lose the last few pounds. If you're male and adult, you can lower your calories goal only to 1500+. Teens need more and should keep their numbers above 1600+ until they've agreed on a way forward with their doctor.
Most of us adults lower our calorie goals by 100 each time we lose more than 10 pounds. Doing this keeps our weight-loss rate more constant than when we keep it the same. Some do not, however. When you cannot or do not lower your calorie level, then you will experience slower weight loss over time -- which is fine.
Thank you for the detailed answer!!
For q1… I see, I understand much better now.
As for q2, does this mean going from 1500, 1400, 1300 calories per day in that order if you have e.g 30 pounds to lose?
How do you not get hungry once you get to 1300?
> does this mean going from 1500, 1400, 1300 calories per day in that order if you have e.g 30 pounds to lose?
When you lose 10 lbs of the 30, drop your 1500 goal to 1400. Eat 1400 daily until you drop the next 10. That's when you'll go from 1400 to 1300. And so on.
> How do you not get hungry once you get to 1300?
By the time you get there, you'll have a smaller body to feed. Smaller bodies require fewer calories so it's unlikely that you'll be metabolically hungry. What is more likely is that you won't be used to the smaller quantities and the 1300/day eating patterns and that *does* take some adjustment and sometimes our habits fight back because we'll more-often see people with bigger bodies eating a lot more food than we do.
Note that you also don’t have to maintain any particular rate of weight loss. If you can’t find a way to not be hungry at 1300. Then don’t go there.
I tried 1500 for a few weeks. I was constantly hangry and my athletic performance degraded.
So I went back up to 1650 and stayed there for about 6 months. My rate of loss stayed the same as I increased my activity at the same time.
When you get towards the end, it becomes more difficult mostly because your TDEE is different from when you began. Your best bet is to adjust slowly. If you eat too little you’ll both not lose and be miserable.
I made the mistake of eating close to 1500 calories when I hit my final weight. That was a mistake. It did nothing to help me lose weight cause my metabolism simply slowed cause my intake was so low. I had no energy, and it started to eat into my gains at the gym.
When I back up to 2600 slowly, starting at about 2400, I found I lost weight slowly, steadily, and I felt healthy.
Definitely invest the time in finding a TDEE calculator that works for you like nSuns or MacroFactor.(I'm not familiar if Loseit does TDEE or not.)
My opinion is you should ignore water weight. It comes and goes. If you have a cheat day and drink alcohol and eat salty food, you will be a few pounds heavier the next few days and it will take a few days to get back to normal. Water weight and what is in your bowels will go up and down. My first week of dieting and not drinking alcohol ( I had been drinking a lot ) I went down 6 lbs. I did not really lose 6 lbs of fat. I might have lost 2, I was just not retaining as much water.
As long as you are consuming less calories than you are burning, you are losing weight. I am just starting to diet and exercise again and last Thursday I was 263lbs. I did not eat bad, but had more carbs and salt on Sunday and on Monday I weighed 266lbs. Today I weighed in at 261lbs. I guess it comes from experience, but I know as long as I maintain a 1000cal per day deficit, I will lose 2lbs per week. Some weeks I don't see it on the scale, but then the next week I am down 3 or 4 lbs on the scale.
As you lose weight your body burns less calories both at rest and with exercise. You have to eat less or exercise more to maintain the same rate of weight loss. 3500calories = 1lb.
Drink coffee (decaffeinated works too) and or take diatomaceous earth powder to keep water weight off. Your body naturally wants to store water for hydration. Also, health issues like hormonal imbalance, and or medications you are taking can cause high water retention issues. Do you deal with anything like that?