What Are the Stages of Weight Loss?


When you’re like most individuals, you could be desperate to know when you possibly can anticipate to see outcomes after embarking in your weight reduction journey.

On the similar time, you may additionally need to know whether or not the load you’re shedding is coming from fats relatively than muscle or water.

This text opinions the phases of weight reduction, the distinction between weight reduction and fats loss, and ideas for stopping weight regain.

Weight reduction typically happens in two phases — an early, fast weight reduction stage adopted by a slower, longer interval of weight reduction (1).

Stage 1 — Fast weight reduction

The primary stage of weight reduction is whenever you are inclined to lose probably the most weight and start to note adjustments in your look and the way your garments match. It normally occurs throughout the first 4–6 weeks (1).

Many of the weight reduction on this stage comes from carb shops, protein, and water — and to a lesser extent, physique fats.

Weight reduction tends to happen extra quickly in individuals who comply with a low carb or keto weight loss program than those that comply with a low fats weight loss program, as they deplete their physique’s carb shops quicker, together with water (2).

Nonetheless, in the long run, the analysis stays combined as as to if a low carb or keto weight loss program presents a bonus for total weight reduction over a low fats weight loss program (3, 4, 5).

Elements aside from weight loss program, together with your age, intercourse, beginning weight, and bodily exercise degree, may affect your fee of weight reduction.

For instance, males usually tend to drop extra pounds faster than girls, and older adults might drop extra pounds faster than their youthful counterparts, though a few of this weight reduction could also be muscle (6, 7).

On the similar time, you’re prone to drop extra pounds faster when you have the next beginning weight and train extra steadily.

Stage 2 — Gradual weight reduction

Weight reduction within the second stage happens at a a lot slower fee, however it primarily comes from physique fats, typically after 6 weeks and past (1).

At occasions, you could expertise a weight reduction plateau throughout which you expertise little to no weight reduction.

Weight reduction plateaus can happen resulting from metabolic diversifications that lower your metabolism and the variety of energy you burn whereas exercising (8).

Nonetheless, weight reduction plateaus extra generally happen as a result of many diets are overly restrictive and onerous to comply with, inflicting individuals to deviate from them (9).

As such, it’s vital to comply with a dietary sample that matches your way of life and preferences so as to keep it up long run.

In both case, you’ll possible must make changes to your weight loss program and way of life over time to succeed in your purpose.


Weight reduction happens in two phases — a fast weight reduction section adopted by a slower weight reduction section. The fast weight reduction section is whenever you’ll discover probably the most vital bodily adjustments.

Whereas weight reduction and fats loss are sometimes used interchangeably, they’ve totally different meanings.

Weight reduction refers to decreased total physique weight from saved carbs, protein, water, and fats.

Conversely, fats loss refers to weight reduction from fats.

Fats loss is a more healthy purpose than weight reduction, as weight reduction might embody water and muscle losses (10).

Sustaining muscle is vital for supporting wholesome blood sugar ranges, controlling irritation, and sustaining your mobility as you age (11, 12).

Whereas a normal scale can’t differentiate between weight reduction and fats loss, you possibly can improve the chance of weight reduction within the type of fats by consuming loads of protein and making a calorie deficit by partaking in additional bodily exercise and decreasing your total calorie consumption (13, 14).


All fats loss is weight reduction, however not all weight reduction is fats loss. Fats loss is a more healthy purpose, because it prioritizes fats loss relatively than muscle or water losses.

The proof to help weight-reduction plan for sustainable weight reduction is way from convincing.

One older overview of 29 research discovered that individuals who misplaced weight by means of weight-reduction plan regained greater than half of the load they misplaced inside 2 years, and by 5 years, they’d regained greater than 80% of the load they misplaced (15).

Nonetheless, these statistics shouldn’t stop you from focusing in your weight loss program and shedding weight to enhance your well being or self-image.

Apart from, diets are solely efficient in the event that they can help you develop sustainable wholesome behaviors.

Listed here are some dietary and way of life ideas that will assist stop weight regain (16, 17, 18, 19):

  • Have interaction in self-monitoring behaviors like monitoring your weight loss program and train. Monitoring your calorie consumption and train will increase self-awareness of your behaviors and the way these behaviors have an effect on your weight reduction targets.
  • Discover an exercise you take pleasure in. Train is available in totally different types, similar to biking, strolling, swimming, taking the steps, or enjoying open air together with your children. Discover an exercise you take pleasure in and do it usually.
  • Have wholesome meals like fruit and veggies obtainable at dwelling. When you’ve got extra wholesome meals like fruit and veggies at your property as a substitute of extremely processed snacks like chips and soda, the choice to eat healthily is already made for you.
  • Prioritize sleep and cut back stress components you’ve management over. A scarcity of sleep and plenty of of life’s stressors can sabotage your weight reduction targets. Set up wholesome sleep habits and attempt to study methods to ease your fear about issues you possibly can’t management.
  • Fill your plate with entire meals. Select entire and minimally processed meals like fruits, greens, entire grains, and lean meats. These meals might help hold you feeling full and supply your physique the mandatory vitamins to help weight reduction and your well being.


Creating and sustaining wholesome dietary and way of life habits are the keys to stopping weight regain.

You are inclined to lose probably the most weight and spot probably the most vital bodily adjustments throughout the first stage of weight reduction.

Through the second stage of weight reduction, you drop extra pounds at a slower tempo, however the weight you lose comes primarily from fats relatively than saved carbs, protein, and water.

A very powerful weight reduction components embody adopting sustainable and wholesome dietary and train habits you take pleasure in doing in the long run.


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