I have a lot of fat lose. I weigh 210 pounds, and I was hoping to start losing weight (42 pounds of fat to be precise). According to my calculations, to do this in 14 weeks I need to lose 3 pounds per week with a 1500 calorie/day deficit (750 less intake + 500 cardio + 250 weightlifting).

But people keep saying that if you want to lose only fat and not muscle, the most you can lose is 2 pounds/week (MAX).

What do you think? Is it theoretically possible to lose 3 pounds of fat per week? Or not?

Can I do it over 14 weeks (3 per week) or will I have to increase the duration to 21 weeks (2 per week) or even more?

I'm male, 5"8', 210 lbs with more than 23% body fat.

  • Theoretically, you can. However, it's possible that your energy level will reduce, which might reduce your workout intensity. Also, you'll lose more fat faster initially than later. Lastly, don't expect 3 pounds to be lost every week. In a week, you might lose 5 pounds and the next, nothing. Or even have a weight gain (on the scale). Have your goal, try your best, and adjust as the occasion requires. Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 22:03
  • On a totally different note. I'd rather take pictures every week and compare those (at least in addition to weighing on a scale). As Kneel-Before-ZOD already pointed out, what happens on the scale is not necessarily representative of your fat losing success (water weight and all that).
    – user8119
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


Yes, its theoretically possible. Are you going to be able to do it? No. It looks like you're deciding to, at the same time, start cutting calories, add in cardio, and begin weightlifting. Even with a will of steel, you aren't going to have the energy to add in these new activities once you're on a deficit.

Instead, start by maintaining your current diet, and adding in the cardio and weightlifting. See how you handle this. You may feel weak; if you need to add 250-500 calories a day, you can do so, and still maintain a deficit. Over time, as you become accustomed to these activities, you can begin to drop your daily caloric intake. A strategy like this is especially important as you have long term goals, ones which could not be reached by busting your ass for a week on the plan you drafted.

With these changes, you'll only see a loss of a pound or so a week to start, but as you become more accustomed to the lifestyle changes you can work to bring that number to 2+. The most important thing here is to set yourself on a maintainable track where you can continue to lose weight for a while, as this is how you will drop those 42 pounds.

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