In a world filled with so many weight-related health issues, many do everything they can to lose weight. Some are giving in to fad diets, weight-loss pills, programs, and other outright scams in a bid to lose weight faster. But, after a specific duration, these individuals end up gaining weight or treating various health conditions. These and other issues related to such scenarios are associated with rapid weight loss. Remember, the foundation of successful and healthy weight loss is losing weight steadily and gradually. So, how much weight can I lose in 9 weeks? Please stick around and let us take you through the healthy weight loss process.
Can You Lose Weight In 9 Weeks?
It is possible to shed pounds within nine weeks, but the amount of weight will vary depending on your efforts. However, contrary to what most people think, you may go on a weight loss journey for nine weeks but not shed even one pound.
In such a case, the weight issue may be attributed to some least known causes of weight gain like:
Poor Sleeping Patterns
Lack of sleep affects your weight in two ways. To begin with, if you are up all night, there is a good chance that you will snack. Even worse, it is highly likely that you will give in to unhealthy snacks, which means extra calories (4).
And if that wasn’t enough, several hormones are altered when you do not get enough sleep. These hormones increase your appetite and may lead to overeating, meaning more calories (4). In the end, you consume more calories than your body is burning, leading to weight gain.
Increased Stress Levels
The chances are that life may demand too much from you throughout these nine weeks. You may be settling in a new location, dealing with the death of a loved one, nursing a heartache, getting divorced, or struggling to make ends meet.
These are some stressful situations that make your body go into survival mode. In this mode, your body releases a hormone called cortisol or the stress hormone (4). This hormone increases your appetite, which might explain why most people tend to eat when stressed.
During these eating periods, the majority reach for high-calorie foods like a bag of fries or crisps. This is because we can find comfort in these foods, unlike healthy foods like celery. Unfortunately, increased stress levels plus the consumption of high-calorie foods lead to weight gain (4).
One of the unfortunate side effects of some medications is weight gain. Some medications include antihypertensives, antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, diabetes medications, steroids, and medications for seizures (4).
You should not skip or stop using such medications, even if you are sure they are resulting in extra weight. Instead, you are advised to talk to your doctor and find a drug without weight gain side effects.
Some health conditions may also result in unwanted weight gain. These conditions include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and Cushing’s syndrome (4). Do not jump to conclusions and start looking for medication for these conditions without getting a proper diagnosis.
As mentioned above, such weight gain may be associated with other factors like lack of sleep. Look for other signs and symptoms and let your doctor know about them.
Healthy Weightloss Per Week
If you are trying to lose weight, you are advised to stick to the safe weekly rate of weight loss. Before we look at this rate, it is essential to understand why you are advised to focus on healthy and sustainable weight loss. Well, experts recommend you choose the healthy weight loss approach in your weight loss journey for the following reasons:
It Will Help You Keep The Weight Off Long-Term
You might have noticed that individuals who choose approaches that guarantee rapid weight loss end up regaining weight as soon as they end their diet. This happens because their goal was short-term. If you want to keep the weight off for the long haul, you are advised to stick to this safe weekly weight loss rate (2).
It Is Easier
Even though it may look so, this healthy weight loss approach is more straightforward because you won’t be straining to lose tremendous weight. Instead, you are sticking to what is achievable and practical, hence less effort.
You Do Not Risk Getting Health Problems
Unfortunately, extreme weight loss is linked to several health problems, including malnutrition and gallstones (3). The short-term effects of this approach are numerous and range from headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and hair and muscle loss (3).
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Your Fitness Aim Broadness To Wellness
People who are focused on fast weight loss are only concerned about what the scale says. Their joy is seeing the scale display a lower figure than yesterday. Focusing on just weight loss leads to cycles, whereby you lose and regain weight now and then. It can be frustrating and may make you give up on your weight loss journey, especially when you gain back the pounds.
It Boosts Your Overall Health
Unlike rapid weight loss, healthy weight loss per week boosts your overall health. According to the CDC, this weight loss rate can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels (2). These are some of the risk factors for chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases related to obesity (2).
It Steadily Invites You Into A Healthier Lifestyle
Giving up a sedentary lifestyle is hard, and this is why most people find it hard to transition to a healthier lifestyle. One of the small changes that can help you transition to this lifestyle smoothly is losing weight gradually, safely, and steadily. It helps with this because, along the way, it changes your eating and exercise habits for good (2).
How Much Weight Can I Lose In 9 Weeks?
To find out this answer, we will have to do some math. So, flow along. According to the CDC, you will most likely shed one or two pounds weekly (2).
One to two pounds weekly is 0.5 to 1 kilogram per week (5). So, generally, in nine weeks, you would lose either:
- 9 pounds (1pd x 9 weeks) or 4.5 kgs (0.5 kg x 9 weeks)
- 18 pounds (2 pounds x 9 weeks) or 9 kgs (1 kg x 9 weeks)
- Anything between 9 and 18 pounds (4.5-9 kgs)
So, when you are setting your weight loss goals, be realistic and let your goals within this range. More often, most people set unrealistic goals like getting a 2 month weight loss outcome of 50 pounds.
If you do the math following the procedure we used above, you will discover that this goal is far-fetched and unrealistic. Similarly, if you aim to lose 20 pounds in a week, upon doing the math, you will discover that this is an unhealthy weight loss rate. So, again, the expected outcome falls outside the established safe zone.
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How Can I Lose These Pounds In 9 Weeks?
If you want to lose nine to eighteen pounds in nine weeks, then take into consideration the following (1):
- Eating Mindfully. Try to implement mindful eating practices like chewing food thoroughly, eating slowly and without distractions, and taking your time to enjoy the food.
- Practicing Portion Control. Be aware of the amount of food you eat because large portions contain extra calories that may lead to a calorie surplus.
- Exercising Regularly. Exercise consistently to torch more calories. Try also to switch up your routines to give your muscles a challenge throughout the nine weeks. Make sure you jot down your small wins on your weight loss calendar for enhanced morale.
- Develop a Meal Plan. Talk to your nutritionist and have them craft for you a weight loss meal plan. It is much easier to track your meals and calories when you are working with a meal plan.
- Seek Support. Going on a weight loss journey can be tedious and frustrating. To avoid giving up, enroll a friend or family member. If not, seek support from them for extra motivation.
The Bottom Line
How much weight can I lose in 9 weeks? Based on the healthy weight loss rate, you can lose nine to eighteen pounds. Anything more than this is termed unhealthy and extreme weight loss and is associated with problems like malnutrition and gallstones.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!