Do you have a goal to lose 10 pounds? Ten seems like a realistic number—one that should be a reasonable goal when it comes to weight loss. And many of us these days could stand to lose at least 10 pounds, not only for vanity’s sake, but for our overall health and wellness.
For those of you who’ve already lost a significant amount of weight, are you struggling with the last ten pounds? They’re often the most difficult. Let’s take a look at how long it takes to lose 10 pounds, and why it should be a weight loss goal for most Americans today.
Americans and weight
Evidence reveals a whopping 60% of Americans could stand to lose weight. We’re a largely overweight society, which is costing us millions of dollars in healthcare, much of which can be prevented if we’d make it a priority to lose a little weight. Being overweight causes chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is linked to most of our modern day plagues—including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
A 2012 study, published in Embo Reports explains the inflammatory theory of disease. For this reason, and a higher quality of life, most of us should aim to lose 10 pounds.
Benefits of losing 10 pounds
We all feel better when we’re at our ideal weight. Our self-esteem and self-confidence soar, and we feel sexier and more at home in our bodies. Our mental health takes a giant leap when we exercise regularly, eat right, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy weight. We can also lower our cholesterol and blood pressure by losing those last ten pounds. Losing just 10 pounds can make a significant difference in one’s life.
Additional benefits of losing 10 pounds include:
- A decrease in insulin resistance, which can also lower A1C, and help get rid of belly fat
- An increase in motivation to exercise and eat right to lose whatever more weight is needed
- Reversing or at the very least improving the ill-effects of sleep apnea
- Reducing systemic inflammation in the body, which is at the heart of many serious diseases
- Prevention of arterial plaque buildup
- Prevention of blood clots
- An overall increase in energy and enthusiasm for life
- Healthier joints
- Improved libido
- Healthier lung capacity and decrease in breathing issues
How long does it take to lose 10 pounds?
All the experts agree, losing anywhere from 1-2 pounds per week is a reasonable goal that leads to lasting weight loss. Fad diets may promise more rapid weight loss, but often aren’t sustainable. You need to lose weight the right way—in small increments over a longer period of time. This ensures the weight will stay off if you continue to keep up your healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits. That said, to be conservative, let’s say you lose 1 pound each week. This means it will take approximately 10 weeks, or just a little over 2 months to lose 10 pounds.
Two months however, is an average. You might lose those 10 pounds in 3 weeks, while it takes your best friend several months. Genetics play a large role in weight loss. We’re all unique individuals with genetic variants. The genetic factors that contributed to your weight gain in the first place will likely play a role in the time it takes to get rid of the excess weight for good. Our genes impact our hormones, our insulin sensitivity, and the way we use glucose. These factors all impact our ability (or inability) to lose weight.
Lifestyle factors impact how long it takes to lose 10 pounds
The amount of time it takes you to lose those ten pounds depends largely upon certain lifestyle choices and habits. Sleep is one such example. Sleep deprivation will prolong the time it takes to shed weight. Poor sleep affects your hormones, often creating an imbalance. If you happen to have a hormone imbalance, for whatever reason, this can slow the weight loss process, too.
If you’re taking any medications, the time it takes to lose 10 pounds may also be prolonged. All prescription medications are different, but they definitely impact your ability to lose weight in a timely manner. Birth control pills, antidepressants, antihistamines—these medications in particular list weight gain as a potential side effect. Even beta-blockers are known to slow metabolism, thereby slowing your efforts to shed those 10 extra pounds. What’s more, steroid medications have been proven to contribute to belly fat.
Are you stressed out? The primary stress hormone cortisol can slow down your weight-loss efforts. If you’re chronically stressed, consider taking up meditation, exercise regularly, and engage in any other activities that help you de-stress. Stress wreaks havoc in all areas of your life, including your ability to shed excess weight.
Intermittent fasting speeds metabolism
To speed up your ability to lose weight, consider intermittent fasting. Studies show that, when executed properly, supervised intermittent fasting can decrease fat mass while maintaining muscle mass. You might think this is because you’re eating less, but it goes beyond calorie restriction: intermittent fasting allows your digestive system to rest, which in turn allows your body to devote more energy to things like cellular repair and regeneration.
Muscle gain speeds metabolism
Keep in mind that the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. Gaining muscle mass via strength training is a great way to rev up your metabolism to help you lose those pesky 10 pounds. And don’t get discouraged if the numbers on the scale stay the same. Muscle weighs more than fat, remember? You might be losing those 10 pounds of fat while gaining 10 or more pounds of muscle. That’s ok! They key here is to measure your body composition and body fat percentage. This is how you’ll know for sure your efforts to lose excess fat are really working.
At Elite Physique, we believe an equal balance of nutrition, activity, rest, and confidence is the foundation for achieving a healthier you. Our personalized weight-loss programs are custom-tailored to help you meet your goals and to address the underlying factors that can make weight-loss difficult. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!