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TOPIC: What is an appropriate body fat percentage loss for a week?

 
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January 23, 2011 9:55 AM
Question: I know it will probably be different for everyone, but I find it hard to set weekly goals for body fat percentage because I don't know what an average body fat percentage loss in a week is supposed to look like. I'm a 30 year old female. Any input?

Answer
Set a fat reduction goal of about half a percent per week. Based on many years of testing clients in person with skinfold calipers, I've concluded that this is about average. This is an honest number that reflects not just the outliers in the top success stories, but an average of everyone. That's what makes this figure a good realistic weekly goal

If your body fat measured 24.6 percent on day one of week one, then 24.1 percent would be your goal for the end of that seven-day period. That will be an impressive 6% drop in your body fat if you keep that up over 12 weeks.

If you're more ambitious and you want to shed body fat even faster, it's certainly possible, although it does depend on body size. Larger people can often lose larger amounts of weight and body fat. When someone is already lean and wants to get even leaner, there is less fat remaining so it becomes more difficult to lose large amounts every week.

Many people drop 0.6 percent or 0.7 percent body fat per week if they worked hard, usually doing multiple cardio sessions per week on top of their weight training, combined with excellent dietary compliance.

People can shed 0.8 to 1.0 percent body fat per week, but more often than not, those were temporary spikes in progress, reflecting one exceptionally good week.

If you lose less than a half a percent per week, as long as you made some forward progress, you should celebrate that as success. It's more normal for results to vary from one week to the next than to drop the same amount every week, so an occasional slow week is nothing to get upset about. It's just feedback.

After a below average week, to bring the rate of fat loss up to average or better for the next week, you'll need to: (a) re-establish compliance if you had a bad week (get back on the wagon! ... and start tracking food intake more meticulously if necessary) or (b) make adjustments to your nutrition and training to increase your caloric deficit and optimize body composition changes.

Last but not least, remember this: Above average results require above average effort. Extraordinary results require extraordinary effort. There are quick fixes for weight loss, but there are no quick fixes for fat loss

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