T Nation

How Long to See Results?


How long before seeing results on a fat loss diet? I know it will vary among people but how long should you stick to something before deciding it's not working? I'm extremely impatient.



Sarcastic Answer: 1 day

Real Answer: Impatient people never fully realize any true gains. Stick with something, tweak the workouts & diet to make things work. If you are on a fat loss diet, you should be able to drop .5-1.5lbs a week before you start to sacrifice strength. Some people will drop 5-8lbs that first week when they change their diet and/or workout and then be pissed that they don't keep the same progress.

Don't be impatient, it's a waste of time. Stick to something, and see it through.


Definitely have a plan and give it your all before tweaking it!

I wasted too much time over thinking and analyzing stuff instead of just getting it done. Once I was pissed off enough, it took me about 4 months to lose 30+ lbs.


Just be as scientific and strict about it as possible. Write down EVERYTHING. If you don't know how much calories/fat/ect is in something, Don't eat it. Nothing around to eat except junk? Don't eat it. You can eat when you get home or somewhere with something suitable to eat. Find out your maintinence caloric intake. This is important. Then choose X diet and make sure you are eating less than that. Throw in some cardio and Voila. Your weight has nowhere to go but down.


Best Diet if you're impatient: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/rapid_fat_loss_30

Derp. Look around a little bit before starting such a generic thread, it won't make you look as lazy.



Also, you're a girl, so your monthly womanly cycle might affect water retention in a big way. You might have to measure your weight/fat and only compare it to the same time in the previous month.


^ why didn't I think of that!

I don't think you have to get all scientific..just don't eat crap and go to the gym. Base your diet around protein, veggies and fruits. Have carbs before training. Voila! The key is consistency..thats the hardest part. Same habits, different day until it's done! Then you have the pleasure of maintainence which is probably harder than the actual dieting.


Thanks, for the replys. I will be patient and track like crazy.


Since her handle is gymgirl, she is already on a bodybuilding forum, and on a diet I think I'm probably correct in making the assumption that a) Shes already "not eating crap" and b) shes "Go(ing) to the gym".

Don't eat crap and go to the gym might only be good advice for obese people who are sitting at home watching opera and snacking on twinkies. It's sometimes dangerous as I once told my friends roomate when she asked me for advice to get in shape. "Be more active, stop eating stuff like pizza, burgers and fries and instead eat more whole grain bread, rice, chicken, fish, ect." I didn't get into details.

A month later I saw her again and she was mad at me "I thought you knew your stuff - I followed your advice and actually GAINED weight!". I asked her to run down for me exactly what she had been eating, and she had been muching down on Chicken fried rice, fish and chips, and huge bowls of pasta with bread and butter. I asked why on earth she put butter on the bread and she said 'because the whole grain bread is too bland'.

The reason why I say to get 'scientific' is because while someone who is obese can basically just eat 3 less chocolate bars a day and lose weight, those who are already at a respectable bodyfat and trying to get ripped would really benefit from having a log of what they eat and seeing where the extra calories are coming from. Know what your body requires, then you can modify your diet to get the result you want. Plus tracking calories I promise there will be many times when you are like 'wow I never realized there was that much fat in X'. or "omg I could have sworn I didn't go over my fat allowance today!"


I've been 'obese.' And nope, I didn't get that way from eating chocolate bars. But your right, when it comes down the last 10-15 lbs, I'm finding I have to keep track more. The body isn't as willing to let go.


I would say atleast 3 months, although I was seeing visible changes in two weeks and more pronounced changes in 6 weeks.

I kept a food log in the beginning but I was eating more or less the same things so I used "fitday" to give me the calories and macro-nutrients and wrote it all out in a list and varied accordindly. Usually planning for meals happened the day before or on the weekend.

I think tracking your training program is really important, you'll be amazed at your progress if you can see that.

Also I realise there is a gender difference between us so the training logs and threads of the hard working women of T Nation is well worth reading for ideas and inspiration. I've read a few posts and threads and I have to say their determination is second to none. Mom-in-MD would be a great example.


Did you read the title wrong? 3 months to see results is a bit long. I think you will see a big 'result' at first, (being water weight) then probably a good 'result' or change in 6 weeks. Depending on the diet, what % you are cutting out of your diet, goals, current bodytype, ect. But all around I think if you are working hard you will notice changes from as early as 5-6 weeks. Take a picture of yourself now, hide it somewhere on your computer then 6 weeks from now look at yourself in the mirror and then look at the 'before' pic. Looking at yourself everyday might be discouraging as you might not notice changes since you are checking every day.


Maybe. Perhaps I should clarify. There should be some results in a period of two weeks regardless of level of lifter. In that time measurements should be going down in the right direction, weights going up in the right direction etc. And assuming things are going right I'd keep persevering for 3 months and checking along the way on progress. I think one issue I've seen before is people changing diet or routines haphazard and not giving a specific method or training philosophy time to work.

My weight is stabilising this past fortnight but my gut measurements and belly fat measurements are going down with pronounced vascularity in my forearms and right bicep, I have to assume I'm losing fat until I test for body fat again. I have been using a Bio Signature test the past 3 occurrences.


It's posts like this that indicate you and others are completely clueless about and inexperienced in training and nutrition AS A WHOLE.

Ever try reading the hundreds and hundreds of articles on fat loss on here or the thousands and thousands on the internet?

It's also a vague question. You can whittle down slowly or you can use more extreme approaches for fat loss.

You said your impatient, so the absolute damn fastest way is with a protein sparing modified fast. Nothing works faster.


NOT a bad answer, but still pretty vague.

To make gains in srength and size, yes, that takes time.

However, you can be impatient with fat loss and do something to satisfy this impatience--a protein sparing modified fast.

It also depends on how much fat someone carries. Obese people can lose 4+ pounds per week on a fat loss diet.

This woman says she's impatient. I suggest she try Rapid Fat Loss or the V-Diet.


Good point. Probably the stupidest thing fat people do besides yo-yo dieting is .... diet... hopping. Going from low carb to low fat high carb to twinkie diet to atkins to south beach to V-diet... in the same month. Just pick one and stick with it.


I have read articles and I wanted advice from real people with experience...so I asked a question on a forum. Which is entirely the point of a forum is it not?


Reading and asking questions is good, but what have you done up to this point? How were your results? How long did you follow the fat loss protocol? It's hard to give advise on "how long" without knowing where you've been and where you are now.
That being sad, Brick is right about the fast.



It was lazy and poorly thought out to recieve any sort of useful answers. The fact that you didn't get torched, it probably (1) cause you're a girl and (2) because these forums are getting soft.

What diet are you referring to? "A fat loss diet"? Which one, because if you have read articles you said you have and done research you'd have realized that different diets yield very different results at very different speeds.

So next time I suggest that you explain a little more about where you're at now, what you've done in the past and what you're planning on doing in the future and maybe you'll get more useful answers for your situation. Rather than starting a thread with 2 generic lines of bullshit finished off by "I'm extremely impatient. Thanks!"


Point taken that my questions were vague.