How Quickly will I see Results?

Apr 3, 2024

 by Abby McCoid

When I talk to prospective or new BEO members about their gym goals, a lot of them voice a desire to lose fat and gain muscle. What I’ve found in years of helping people achieve that goal is that realistic expectations can make all of the difference in getting from where you are to where you want to be. 

Often, folks feel like failures because they anticipate fast results or have unrealistic aspirations. Wanting to look like you did in high school or like that influencer on Instagram might set you up for disappointment. Most of us logically understand that losing 15 pounds of fat or gaining 10 pounds of muscle in two weeks isn’t going to happen, subconscious desires may still lead them to believe otherwise. Social media makes results appear to happen overnight, fueling our disappointment when our bodies don’t transform as quickly. 

Suppose someone lost 4 pounds of body fat in the first four weeks of their fitness journey. Although this progress should be celebrated, they might feel disappointed due to unrealistically high expectations. From a professional standpoint, losing a pound a week is exceptional progress! In fact, maintaining this rate of progress over six months could lead to a remarkable 26 pound fat loss. **Side note- everyone is different and some won’t lose fat this quickly!

Part of our responsibility as coaches is to help you set realistic, achievable expectations from day one. The rate at which you can lose body fat depends on the level of consistency with guidelines provided, i.e. How well you stay the course. Generally, the following levels of consistency yield the respective rates of fat loss per week:

– Extreme Consistency (90-100%): 1-1.5% body fat loss per week

– Reasonable Consistency (70-85%): 0.5-1% body fat loss per week

– Comfortable Consistency (50-65%): Less than 0.5% body fat loss per week.

It’s also important to note that slower fat loss is more easily maintained and more likely to be actual fat. When we lose weight too quickly, it will include more muscle loss and the fat is more likely to be regained. NOT what we want!

The rate we gain muscle is a whole other thing. Muscle gain is influenced by factors such as age, sex, genetics, food intake, and resistance training variables like experience, intensity, frequency, style, and volume. Here are some realistic rates, based on fitness level, for both men and women over a month:

– Beginner: Men 1-1.5% of body weight, Women 0.5-0.75% of body weight

– Intermediate: Men 0.5-0.75% of body weight, Women 0.25-0.375% of body weight

– Advanced: Men 0.25-0.375% of body weight, Women 0.125-0.1875% of body weight

Here’s the deal, folks. People who are new to fitness training and have more body fat to lose will lose it more quickly at first if they’re consistent. As we lose fat and become more fit, the rate of fat loss and muscle gain slows down a bit. But if we remain consistent and stay the course, we keep making progress. Keep your expectations realistic and celebrate ALL the progress you make, whether it’s fast or slow!

Having a coach on your side who tells you what you should be doing, keeps you accountable and checks in with you can make all the difference. Take the guesswork out of your fitness journey and start making some real progress. Get started here.