weight loss concept

how much weight can you lose in 12 weeks


How much weight can you lose in 12 weeks?

On average, expect to lose 12 – 24 pounds in 12 weeks. It is a safe amount to lose in 12 weeks for most people. It’s also in line with CDC (center for disease control and prevention) guidelines for healthy weight loss.


With a daily calorie deficit of 500, expect to lose 12 pounds in 12 weeks. Double the effort to a daily calorie deficit of 1000 to lose 24 pounds in 12 weeks.


However, keep in mind that these numbers can vary from person to person. Several other factors also influence how quickly you lose weight. These include factors such as; activity levels, age, weight, gender, and height. Due to these differences, some people might lose more or less weight in 12 weeks.


A person who weighs over 300-pounds, for example, might lose more weight in 12 weeks when compared to another person who weighs 150-pounds. The heavier person burns more calories as their energy needs are higher.


While you lose more weight in 12 weeks, it is not recommended. It is especially so if you have to resort to unhealthy measures such as; extreme exercising or severely restricting your calories. Not only are these measures unsafe, but also unsustainable long-term.

woman showing off weight los

Understanding weight loss.

Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than the body needs. It creates a caloric deficit that forces the body to tap into stored fat. It takes a calorie deficit of 3500 to lose a pound of fat. You can achieve this with diet, exercise, or both.


We know that most adults need to eat at least 2000 – 2500 calories to maintain their current weight. However, to lose weight in 12 weeks, you need to eat less. Aim for a moderate calorie reduction of 500 – 1000. It is enough to jumpstart weight loss without leaving you deprived.


Start with small changes such as cutting out junk food and all other empty calories. These include foods such as; cookies, cakes, pastries, fried foods, sugary drinks, candies, and alcohol, especially beer. These foods are high in calories with little nutritional benefit. Reduce how much of these foods your at daily or cut them from your diet.


As we tend to overestimate how much food we should eat, you can also consider portion control to help reduce your calories. Use simple tips such as serving your food on smaller plates or bowls.


Or better yet, use your hand as a serving guide. A palm size of protein foods such as; salmon, tuna, or lean chicken for women and double for men. One cupped hand of carbs such as; white or brown rice for women, and double for men.


A fist-size of vegetables for women and double for men.  A thumb-size of healthy fats for women and double for men.


Focus on eating more nutrient-dense foods to make up for the reduced calories. Eat more vegetables, fiber, protein, and complex carbs. These foods are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer.

woman exercising

Stay active to lose weight

It is recommended that healthy adults spend at least 150 – 300 minutes exercising weekly. This is not only good for health but also for weight loss. Focus on workouts you enjoy doing. This way, you’re more likely to be consistent and exercise often. If you hate running, consider rowing or cycling instead.


Alternate between cardio and weight training for best results. Cardio exercises such s; swimming, running, and volleyball help burn calories fast. Weight training exercises such as; squats, deadlifts, lunges, and planks help build more muscle.


If you struggle with a busy schedule, consider high-intensity interval training. These workouts take only 30-minutes or less to complete yet are just as effective at burning fat.


How much weight can you lose in 12 weeks? Conclusion

Generally, expect to lose 12 – 24 pounds in 12 weeks. This is a safe and healthy amount for most people to lose in 12 weeks.