As we go into February I have had a couple of discussions with clients and others about how fast they are losing fat. One person told me they had lost a stone (~6.3kg / 14lbs) in January but wanted to hurry up the process. Another client has been going at 1kg (2lbs) a week since Christmas. This is VERY fast in both cases, they are going between 50-75kg fat loss a year (~110-160 lbs, 8-11 stone).
There is a discrepancy between what people think is good short term vs what actually is good long term. For me, the best thing you can do is zoom out and multiply your short term results to give you an annual projection.

The reason using an annual figure over short term measures is helpful is that it puts in perspective what is fast vs slow results. Weight is one of the worst measures to use to judge short term body fat changes because it is so variable. This is shown by boxers who routinely drop and regain 3-5 kg in a day around their weigh in’s to gain a competitive advantage.

Whatever speed you are progressing, almost no one ever feels they are going fast enough. Through taking an annual view point you can more clearly see how big a change you are on course for. It also allows you to judge the progress of some of the big claims you see on the internet and online programmes. For example, it is common to see people lose 4kg (9lbs) in a week on a low carb approach. This is a 200kg/year fat loss rate, which is obviously a ridiculous pace.

In the real world of fat loss, I have found most people go around 20-25Kg a year loss rate (44-55 lbs / 3-4 stone), this is amazing!! However, it is much less than what most people are already underwhelmed by achieving, but I feel it does reflect the reality of your likely speed of change over a longer period that includes real life events, living and behaviour change. You can of course go faster, and the internet has many examples of crazy changes such as David Goggins losing 48kg (110lbs) in 12 weeks  and the man who didn’t eat for a year who lost 125 kg (~276 lbs / 20 stone).

What Does This Mean For You?

Convert any short term progress into an annual view to gauge rate of progress (use the table below). You can then sensibly judge how things are going. If you are making good progress then the best thing you can do is congratulate yourself and just focus on how to continue doing exactly the same as you have been doing. If you are making rapid progress then you should understand that this speed is probably not sustainable and/or the level of difficulty is too much for long term adherence. In this case you should prepare to lessen the intensity without just giving up and quitting everything. If you are making little to no progress then you will need to think about what you need to do to turn things around. Check out my book perhaps or message me about working together.

Photo –  Annual progress rate based on your weekly stats.

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