This is one of the first things on people’s minds when they hear about Whole30, Paleo, Keto, IF, or any other diet. They want results quickly. I’ll admit: I was in that same frame of mind before my first Whole30. I wanted to know how soon I’d start seeing results. The short answer is: it depends.
The long answer is much more detailed. I weighed over 312 lbs, so my losing 20 lbs was significant, but not as noticeable. It wasn’t until I had lost 50 lbs that I could really start to see the change. I’ve seen other people lose 15 lbs, but they had so much less to lose, and so the difference was obvious much sooner. Another factor is that if you are someone who eats a lot of sugar and grains, then cutting those out of your diet will likely yield quicker results than someone who is already on a lower sugar and carb intake diet. Likewise, someone who has a lot less to lose may find it more difficult to lose a significant amount of overall weight. For example, if I weigh 180 lbs and I want to lose 15 lbs, that’s a loss of just over 8% of my overall body weight whereas losing 150 lbs out of 312 lbs was a 48% loss of weight. Losing significant percentages of overall weight is much easier to do when there’s a lot to lose. As you get smaller, those margins also get smaller, so it seems as if the rate of weight loss slows.
In the past four days, I’ve lost over 5 lbs. I did that by cutting alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. The funny thing is that I haven’t been able to run at all in the past week, so there’s no exercise to factor in this at all. Yet, just getting away from foods I normally don’t eat (but have been eating for the past few days) has allowed me to lose some weight very quickly. Now, I know: this is just water weight. It’s not actual fat. That comes next, and will slow significantly as I only need to lose around 10-15 lbs total. But, I trust in the diet, I trust in the process, and I will be leaning heavily on my skills of perseverance. I will get through this, and I will meet my goal.
While 5 lbs in 4 days seems great, it’s not true weight loss. That comes long-term, and will be after I’m at this for a few weeks. I can expect another 5 lbs over the next three weeks, on average, with the last 5 lbs taking another month or two thereafter. I know this only because I’ve done it before. How quickly will you see results? It depends on how strict you are with your diet, the quality of the food you eat, and your ability to persevere. If you can do that, you will maximize your rate of loss, whatever that is.