Expert advice

Anthony Wall

Anthony Wall: Fitness expert

Anthony is the National Personal Training Manager at Les Mills. For more information about Les Mills, home of the world's best fitness classes, visit lesmills.co.nz or phone 0800 LES MILLS. ASK ME A QUESTION

How much weight should you lose in a week?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
What is healthy weight loss? Image: Getty

Question
I've seen many TV reports and shows about people who have dropped a huge amount of weight in a small period of time. This is via different programmes and exercises. I have to ask whether this is healthy or not good for your body. What's a healthy amount of weight to drop in a week?

Answer
I have recently been in a few discussions about the state of the fitness industry. I have also heard from a few other experts who feel that there has been a lot of injustice served to the weight-loss information out there.

The reality is that many individuals and companies have capitalised on this confusion. There is a huge amount of money to be made by selling the latest diet or exercise fad. Many experts are not really concerned with any long-term benefits, or risks for that matter. Their goal is to simply make money with little regard to the user — so long as their product or training method is "relatively" safe.

I can tell you that if you are reading a sponsored ad or watching an infomercial then the likelihood is that the sell is an emotional one. Their focus is on the product but you'll always find a disclaimer and some small print that talks about following a diet of sorts as well as using their amazing product.

Despite the overwhelming amount of diets, machines and tricks the safest and most effective way to lose weight (body fat) is with a combination of regular exercise and a nutritionally balanced eating plan.

I won't go into what that includes at this point but this information is really the same stuff that has been around for years — it just harder to find or more confusing with all of the other misleading information out there.

When it comes to discussing a healthy amount of weight-loss per week we should be talking about fat loss, and that will vary from person to person. Also people often forget that they may be putting on a small amount of muscle as well. This would offset that hard sought after "weight loss".

Weight loss is only one of the indicators that we use to determine if someone is losing body fat. On average it is possible to lose 0.5kg to 1kg per week. Please remember that this is a guideline only, as it doesn't tell the whole picture. If we saw a decrease in your waist size and we measured your skinfolds then we would see a much more accurate picture.

Les MillsAnthony is the National Personal Training Manager at Les Mills. For more information about Les Mills, home of the world's best fitness classes, visit lesmills.co.nz or phone 0800 LES MILLS.


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