How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss Results?

weight loss results

If you have started following a healthy weight loss diet and a workout regime, you might already be wondering, how long does it take to see weight loss results?

Though you may feel the difference in just a few days of healthy lifestyle habits, it generally takes a little longer before you and others can see the results of your hard work.

The time it takes for weight loss results to appear to you and others can vary a lot from one person to another.

There are many factors that come into play, including your diet, exercise and your starting weight.

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There is a lot more associated with weight loss than just the number on the scale.

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How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss Results?
How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss Results?

To find out how long it takes to see weight loss results, let us dive deeper and try to understand what you can expect on your weight loss journey.

Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss

Your body weight is a representation of everything in your body, the fat, bones, muscles, organs and fluids.

When the scale drops, you can be losing any of these. Those who are looking for weight loss are actually interested in losing fat and not just the number.

The initial weight loss you see on the scale is not a fat loss but water loss, particularly if you are on a carb-restricted and low-sodium diet.

This type of weight loss is quick and generally shows up on the scale and not on the clothing size.

Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss
Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss

On the other hand, fat loss takes longer to be noticeable as it occurs at a slower rate. If you are following a workout routine, it is possible that your weight scale doesn’t show many changes even if you get slimmer because you are losing fat and gaining muscle mass at the same time.

When Weight Loss Becomes Noticeable

Consistency is the key when you use any workout or diet routine to lose those extra pounds from your body.

However, there are numerous factors that affect how quickly these lifestyle changes show results.

Weight loss can differ between individuals and there is no definite answer to how long a weight loss program takes to show effects.

Here are some of the reasons why weight loss can vary from one person to another.

Starting Weight

The initial weight when you start a weight loss program affects how soon you start noticing results. If you fall into the obese weight range, it takes longer to see noticeable changes.

If you have a smaller build, your weight loss can be noticeable quickly. Those who have a bigger build may see faster weight loss in the initial phases.


There are many diet plans that focus on losing an initial considerable weight. These popular programs give you quick results for a week or two when food restrictions are quite intense and you lose weight.

This means your weight loss becomes noticeable quickly when you adopt such a diet plan.

However, such initial weight loss often returns back as it is caused due to water loss from a carb-restricted diet and is not an actual fat loss.

Carbohydrate Intake

How soon you see weight loss results depends a lot on your daily carb intake.

If you follow a low-carb diet, you can lose a lot of weight in the form of water loss in the initial days of starting a diet or workout routine. This is because the body needs water to store carbs.

So when you take lesser carbs, the stored water is lost and you appear slimmer to yourself and others even when your body fat has not reduced.

For some, this water weight loss can result in a size drop for clothing. However, water loss is different from fat loss.

It is important to follow a comprehensive weight loss program for long-term results rather than just focusing on water loss by cutting down on carbs.

Measurement Method

Different people have different goals when they start any weight loss program. Some may want to fit into a smaller size while others may want to see a drop in the scale number.

For some others, a flatter tummy or a slimmer thigh would matter more. Though we all want to feel and look better, the way we measure the progress makes a difference.

For most people, weight loss results first show up on the weighing scale.

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If you use a digital scale, you can see the smallest changes to your body weight which is harder to notice on a part of the body.

Next, you can see results on your clothes. Though you may not get a size smaller all of a sudden, you start noticing that your clothes fit differently.

Some people start to notice their body parts getting slimmer.

While this depends on your body composition, such changes occur before or after your clothes start fitting loose.

Changes you see on the part of your body are faster if your weight loss program includes workout.

Timeline For Weight Loss Results

The average healthy weight loss per week depends largely on individual factors but the standard is 1 to 2 pounds per week.

This is the actual fat loss resulting from an effective diet and workout regime.

Any number greater than this means you are not on a track to healthy weight loss. Starvation diets used for rapid weight loss are often unsustainable and ultimately ruin your fitness plans.

Timeline For Weight Loss Results
Timeline For Weight Loss Results

Here is a sample timeline that shows the changes you see when you stick to a healthy diet and workout program though it may not work for everybody.

Week 1 – You can see the scale dropping by up to five pounds and feel better though your body does not show noticeable changes.

Week 2 – In this week, you start seeing changes in how your body looks and feels. Your clothes start fitting better and exercise becomes easier.

Week 3 – This is when the weight loss program starts feeling effective. If you maintain consistency, your body responds to the changes and you feel your efforts are being successful.

Week 4 – During this week, you might have reduced so much weight that you can go a size down for clothing.

Week 5 – By this time, your weight loss plan becomes a normal routine. Based on your weight loss goals, you can now adjust the plan to lose more weight or maintain the weight loss.


A healthy, consistent weight loss program certainly starts showing noticeable results in a few weeks of diet and exercise but it is important that you are patient and set realistic expectations.

Every individual has a different body composition and the rate at which he loses weight differs from others.

Stay motivated on your journey to healthy weight loss to see effective results that bring many more benefits along.

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