Before we delve into this topic, I want to make it clear that I’m talking about fat loss here, not weight loss.
With all fat loss diets your goal should be to preserve as much muscle as you can whilst dieting, it’s all well and good losing 10lbs but if 5lbs of that is muscle I’d argue that you’re in a worse position that when you started your diet.
For most people, a pound of fat loss per week is the maximum they should aim for, there are exceptions to that rule however.
The rate at which you can and should lose fat depends on your body fat levels: an obese person can (and probably should) lose fat a lot more quickly, easily, and with fewer side effects than someone who’s already fairly lean.
Whilst we all want to see big drops on the scales week after week, it just isn’t an effective long term plan. You should be aiming for slow, consistent fat loss, which will not only help your physical health but also your mental health, your hormone levels will stay more balanced (especially testosterone), you’ll have less of a chance to obsess or be overly restrictive with food and mentally you may not feel as hungry as you would if you were in a larger deficit from the outset.
With a fat loss phase it’s important to give yourself enough time to achieve your goal, don’t think you can get beach ready in four weeks if you’ve been eating junk and skipping gym sessions for that last nine months.