How Much Weight Can I Lose in a Month on Weight Watchers?

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A man is writing down his food in a food diary. (Image: nataistock/iStock/Getty Images)

If you’re on a Weight Watchers diet, whether you goal is to lose 50 pounds or 10 pounds, you need to lose weight at a slow, steady pace. The first month you’re on the plan, you might lose weight at a faster pace than during subsequent months. This is normal and this initial period of rapid weight loss should not last more than a few weeks.

Monthly Weight Loss

Weight Watchers is a method of eating healthfully and of not depriving your body of food. By making the suggested changes in your diet, you can generally lose an average of two pounds a week or eight pounds a month. During some weeks, you may lose less than two pounds a week and during other weeks, you may reach a plateau. You might even have some weeks in which you gain a little. As long as you average a loss of about two pounds a week by the end of the month, you’re on the right track, explains Stephanie Rost, a registered dietitian and director of corporate program development for Weight Watchers.

First Month Considerations

In the first few weeks of the Weight Watchers plan, you could experience dramatic weight loss. This is a sign your body is adjusting to a healthier way of eating. The weight you’re losing, however, is most likely water weight and not fat. Your body needs time to burn off stored fat. After that initial three-week period, you should maintain a two-pound-per-week average drop in weight.

Problems With Rapid Weight Loss

Dropping more than two pounds a week has been linked to numerous health problems. Losing weight quickly can cause gallstones to form, which could lead to emergency surgery. Also, a dramatic change in weight may negatively affect your energy level, as well as your metabolism, kidneys, thyroid function, level of sex hormones and cardiac function -- including an unhealthy change in your blood pressure. Additionally, over time, your bones might become weak and brittle, increasing your risk of fracture.

Making Changes

If you are on the plan for several weeks and you haven’t lost weight or if you’re dropping more than two pounds a week after the first month, it’s time to sit down with your Weight Watchers coach and evaluate your diet. You may need to adjust your points, which is the system of keeping track of food portions and calories. If you’re on a weight-loss plateau, you might need to trim a couple of points from your daily total. Or, if you’re losing weight more quickly than the recommended safe amount, you might need to increase your points by two or three points a day until you’re back on track.

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