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How Long Does it Take to See Results When Dieting?

author image Tammy Dray
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.
How Long Does it Take to See Results When Dieting?
A slender woman is measuring her waist. Photo Credit: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Everybody wants to lose weight fast. After all, it can be discouraging to diet for a month and see no changes when you look in the mirror. The truth is that results are rarely noticeable that quickly when you’re trying to lose weight. Patience is key if you want to see lasting results.

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Healthy Dieting

According to, people who are following a healthy, well-balanced diet should not lose more than 2 lbs. per week. Depending on how much weight you need to lose, 2 lbs. may or may not be noticeable. For example, a person who weighs 200 lbs. might not see an obvious difference after a loss of just a few pounds. On the other hand, a person who’s just a few pounds away from his goal might notice how a small loss affects his appearance or the fit of his clothing.

Crash Diets

Crash diets are diets with very low calorie intakes. Because they cut calories so drastically, these diets usually produce impressive results very fast. Diets like the Master Cleanse, where you only drink a mix of water, lemon and cayenne pepper for days, can cause a weight loss of 10 lbs. or more in a week. However, these results are not only temporary, but they’re also dangerous. Losing weight too rapidly can lead to weakness, blood sugar changes, heart palpitations and nausea.

Low-Carb Diets

Atkins, one of the most famous low-carb diets out there, promises a weight loss of up to 15 lbs. during the first two weeks in the program. Anybody who loses that much in a short period of time will see a significant difference when he looks in the mirror. Low-carb diets work fast because they cause water loss. As you lose water weight, you’ll look less bloated and the changes in your body will be more obvious.

Other Factors

Other factors besides diet will affect how quickly you lose weight. If you’re also exercising, the pounds will drop faster than if you’re only cutting calories. According to the Better Health Channel, men’s metabolism is faster than women’s, so they’ll see results faster when dieting. Younger people and those with a higher percentage of muscle mass also lose weight faster and will notice results earlier.

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