Juniper Journal

How long does it take to notice weight loss?

When you can expect to see your hard-earned weight loss results.

How long does it take to notice weight loss?
Jump to:

One of the most commonly asked questions among those on a weight loss journey is this: "How long does it take to notice weight loss?"

If you've been wondering when your results will be visible to you and everyone around you, you're not alone.

While there's a common saying that suggests it takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice, the truth is that everyone's weight loss journey is different.

To help you prepare for your own journey, today's guide dives into how to lose weight, what will likely happen along the way, and when you can expect to see your hard-earned weight loss results.

How does weight loss work?

If you've been trying to lose weight, you might have noticed a familiar piece of advice popping up over and over again: consume fewer calories and increase your physical activity.

While it can take some time to figure out just how to fit both these habits into your lifestyle, this is the go-to method for weight loss that's backed by science, and here's why.

Gaining weight typically follows a similar formula: you're likely consuming more calories than you're burning. So it follows that in order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories and burn more calories through physical exercise, or both [1].

The way fat loss works is that, as you progress on your weight loss journey, your fat cells will actually shrink, and this is what creates the physical change you're probably wanting to see.

How long does it take to start losing weight?

When you're on a weight loss journey, it's common to wonder how long it will take to start seeing a difference in your body.

The good news is that once you start eating in a calorie deficit and increasing your energy output, you're on the right track to losing weight. But when you actually see or notice any physical changes will vary from person to person.

How long it takes to lose weight often depends on how much weight you want to shed at the beginning of the journey. If you're starting at a higher weight, you may have to put more into shedding those extra kilos (but remember: with the right approach, weight loss is achievable for everyone).

There are 2 stages that most people go through when they lose weight: the rapid weight loss stage, followed by the maintenance stage [2].

The rapid weight loss stage usually happens within the first 4-6 weeks and is usually the loss of carb stores, protein, and water weight. The maintenance stage is where most of the actual fat loss occurs [3].

So even if you see a drastic drop in body mass at the beginning of your weight loss journey, it's important to keep at it to make sure you put sustainable, holistic strategies in place to keep the weight off for good.

Where do you notice weight loss first?

So, you've started to make lifestyle changes like increasing your step count, reducing your intake of refined sugar, and maybe even testing out new exercise routines. These are all positive steps in the right direction towards losing weight.

But you're probably wondering where you'll first see those physical changes. Unfortunately, there's no one answer to this question. And that's because everybody stores body fat in different ways.

Take this example: men tend to hold weight on their stomach area, and women are more likely to store fat on the thighs and hips. And when it comes to losing weight, men often initially lose stomach fat, whereas, for women, it's a little trickier to guess where the weight will come off first.

At the end of the day, you can't predict where you'll lose your body weight from first. Sure, targeting areas with resistance exercises can help tighten and tone those areas to appear leaner once body fat is lost, but you can't make your body lose fat in certain areas.

Instead, your main focus should be on making sustainable lifestyle changes and finding the right support for your weight loss both now and in the years to come.

What happens when you start losing weight?

When you start shedding those extra kilos, you might notice your memory improves, you're in a better mood, and you're even sleeping better [4][5].

There is a stack of tangible health benefits to losing weight, and the list doesn't end there.

You may also notice your energy levels increase and your risk for high cholesterol and blood pressure will decrease, too. A lower weight can also help to reduce your risk of a range of more serious health conditions, such as heart-related complications, stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.

As you can see there are so many benefits to losing weight beyond watching the number on the scales drop. While seeing a physical difference in your body can be rewarding, it's also important to acknowledge and celebrate the other positive health benefits linked with losing weight.

What is a weight loss plateau?

Everyone's weight loss journey looks a little bit different, but a really common experience is something known as a weight loss plateau.

Weight loss plateaus tend to happen during the maintenance phase that we mentioned before. Essentially, it's when your steady weight loss progress slows down or even stops altogether. This happens for a variety of reasons and is a completely normal part of the weight loss process.

The most common reason for a weight plateau is that your body is readjusting to your 'set point', meaning your body's desired fat levels [8]. As you lose weight, your body slows your metabolism and tries to store fat. That's because you have a higher set point.

Throughout your weight loss journey, your body will go through many set points, and weight loss plateaus are a completely normal part of that.

When you do encounter a plateau, there is a stack of practical adjustments you can make to get your progress back on track, like adjusting your exercise schedule, reviewing your diet, prioritising sleep, and lowering your stress levels.

While they can be discouraging, it's important to remember that plateaus are an expected part of your weight loss journey. The best thing you can do is acknowledge what is happening, refocus on your long-term goals, and take proactive steps to break the plateau.

Fat loss vs weight loss: What's the difference?

So, you're noticing the numbers drop on the body weight scale. You might be wondering how much of that is from reducing your fat cells.

First, let's look at the difference between fat loss and weight loss. The first refers only to the number of fat stores lost. On the flip side, the latter refers to the total loss of weight from water, muscle, and fat stores.

But why should you prioritise fat loss over weight loss, and how?

Well, that's because muscle loss can actually make it harder for you to maintain your lower weight in the long run. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, but fat tissue isn't. That means muscle mass requires energy to maintain, so having more muscle can see you burn energy — even at rest.

Want to check if you are losing fat or weight? Try switching from a body weight scale to a body fat scale for a more accurate look into your body composition.

How to start losing weight

Ready to kick start your own weight loss journey? Luckily, there are some general rules to follow that will help you drop some kilos. By reducing your calorie intake and upping the intensity of your workouts, you'll put yourself on the right track.

Maintaining a calorie deficit through a low-calorie diet with a low-fat or carbohydrate intake is generally the most successful [6]. Depending on your desired weight loss speed, an average caloric deficit of 500 calories per day is generally recommended as a great place to start [7].

If you struggle to stay in a calorie deficit, meal replacement shakes like Juniper's Nourish Shakes can come in handy. Packed with high-quality ingredients and the nutritional benefits of a balanced meal, these shakes keep you fuller for longer and your calorie intake under control.

On the exercise front, you should be aiming for 2 to 3 strength workouts per week, along with 2 to 3 cardio or HIIT workouts per week.

But the key is to start with small, incremental lifestyle changes and work your way up from there. Even boosting your step count by 1,000 steps per day is a great place to start, along with removing refined sugars, excess alcohol, and sugary drinks from your diet.

Other ways to approach weight loss

Sometimes it can feel like you're doing everything right, but you're just not seeing the weight loss results you hoped for.

If you've made healthy diet plans and changes to your exercise routine but you're still struggling through the weight loss process, it might be time to consider weight loss medication under the advice of a healthcare professional.

A weight loss program that combines science-backed medication with lifestyle coaching and a supportive team of like-minded women can help you reach your weight loss goals holistically — and that's exactly what you get access to with Juniper’s Weight Reset Program.

At Juniper, we know that the most sustainable way to lose weight is to ensure you're under the guidance of evidence-based healthcare professionals who know the ins and outs of weight loss.

That's why we address weight on a cellular level to create a solution that works for you — because no 2 weight loss journeys will be the same. We set you up to achieve long-term weight loss success and help you make a change in your life for the better.

Photo credit: Getty Images

It’s more than just weight loss

Thousands of Australian women have found new confidence with Juniper.

No items found.
Arrow left greenarrow right green

Articles you might like:

No items found.
Arrow left greenarrow right green