How Much Weight Loss Is Good For You?

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A woman with curly hair, wearing an orange long-sleeve shirt, standing with one hand on her hip and the other on her chin in a pondering gesture, against a turquoise background.

The amount of weight you should lose depends on a few things like your age, gender, how much you weigh now, and something called BMI (Body Mass Index).

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all number for everyone; it varies depending on your current situation, such as any health conditions you might have or medications you’re taking.

For example, suppose you are 5’5″ (166 cm) tall and weigh 85 kg (187 lbs).

In this scenario, you could be considered 15 – 20 kg overweight.

How did I arrive at this conclusion? Keep reading, and I’ll explain the calculation.

By the end of this article, you should have a clearer understanding of what a healthy weight loss looks like for you and how to figure out your own target.

How to Calculate How Much Weight You Should be Losing?

The first step to figuring out how much weight you should be losing is to calculate your BMI.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a numerical value calculated from a person’s weight and height. It provides a simple way to classify individuals into categories such as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity based on their body mass.

You can use the tool below to calculate yours.

So continuing with the example I gave in the intro, if you are 5’5″ (166 cm) tall and weigh 85 kg, Your BMI would be 30.85 putting you in the obese category.

According to BMI, the normal weight range for your height is between 51.0 and 68.6 kg. This means if you weigh 85 kg, you need to lose at least 17 kg.

Use This Calculator

Enter your height and weight to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI), your ideal body weight, and the amount of weight you need to lose.

BMI Calculator with Healthy Weight Range

BMI Calculator

Here is a BMI Chart for your reference, check which category your BMI falls in:

CategoryWHO (BMI)Asia-Pacific (BMI)
UnderweightLess than 18.5Less than 18.5
Obese30 or more25 or more

Once you know your BMI and IBW, the next question is, how fast should you lose weight? let's find out in the next sections

Also Read: What Role Does Hormones Play in Weight Loss?

How Much Weight Should You Be Losing in a Week?

Based on my experience, everyone loses weight at a different rate, but an acceptable number of losing weight in a week would be to lose 1 - 2 lbs (0.5 - 1kg) per week.

Now do note that you could very well lose 0.5 lbs per week or more, this number isn't set in stone, it's more of an average of what people lose weight when they go on a caloric deficit diet.

How much weight you lose in a week can depend on multiple factors, such as your age, gender, current medications that may interfere with your hormones, sleep quality, and stress levels, (I could keep going).

I would like you to think of losing weight as a marathon rather than a sprint, for some, their weight loss goal could be achieved within months, and for others, it could take years.

How To Lose Weight?

Now that you know how to calculate BMI and the average amount of weight you might lose in a week, the next step is understanding how to start losing weight.

This begins with calculating your BMR, which stands for basal metabolic rate. BMR is the number of calories your body needs to keep working if you were just resting all day.

It’s the minimum fuel your body needs for basic things like breathing, keeping your heart beating, and staying warm.

For example, let's say a woman is 5'5" tall (165 cm) and weighs 187 lbs (85 kg). Her BMR would be about 1743 kcal. This means her body needs 1743 calories each day just to keep being 187 lbs.

If she wants to lose weight, she needs to eat fewer calories than what her body needs to stay the same weight. It's often suggested to eat 500 calories less each day.

Here's the reason: To lose 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of fat, you need to use up about 7700 calories because that's roughly the amount of energy stored in 1 kg of body fat.

Think of it like this: if your body is a car and fat is the fuel, 7700 kcal is how much fuel you need to burn to lose that 1 kg.

Since 1 pound of fat equals about 3500 calories, eating 500 fewer calories every day adds up to a 3500 calorie deficit over a week.

This results in losing about 1 pound of fat. So, if you continue this every day, you can expect to lose around 1-2 pounds in a week.

Calculate Your BMR

To find out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), use the tool provided below and then create a calorie deficit to start losing weight.

I would not recommend reducing your daily calorie intake below 1,000 calories. If creating a deficit results in your daily calories dropping under this threshold,

I would suggest aiming for a smaller deficit, perhaps 200-300 calories per day. Additionally, if you are physically active, you can adjust your calorie intake upwards based on your activity level.

When you calculate your BMR, the tool will display a chart showing how many calories you should be consuming based on the results.

Enhanced BMR Calculator

BMR Calculator

Male Female


The amount of weight loss that is good for you depends on your current health, weight, and body composition.

Generally, losing about 5% to 10% of your total body weight is beneficial for improving health markers like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. For most people, this means losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

It’s best to aim for a slow and steady weight loss through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.

Also Read: Why Low-Fat Diets Dont Work For Weight Loss?


How much weight loss is healthy in a month?

A healthy amount of weight loss in a month is typically 4 to 8 pounds, which equates to about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

How much weight loss is normal?

Normal weight loss varies depending on the individual's starting weight, diet, exercise regime, and overall health. Generally, losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is considered safe and sustainable.

What does losing 20 pounds do for your body?

Losing 20 pounds can significantly improve cardiovascular health, reduce pressure on joints, enhance mobility, and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. It may also lead to improvements in mental health and self-esteem.

What does losing 40 pounds do to your body?

Losing 40 pounds typically leads to more pronounced health benefits, including greatly reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, better control of blood sugar levels, improved cholesterol levels, and enhanced physical mobility. It can also profoundly impact mental well-being and overall quality of life.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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