Surviving Fat Loss Progress

Let’s talk about fat loss progress and your expectations. Because understanding this process will keep you motivated and yield you your best results at bootcamp.

Look, everyone’s looking for the quickest, fastest, and easiest way to change their body and quite possibly their life…

But the truth is, if fitness and fat loss was easy, everyone would have a great body. Results don’t come in a bottle and unfortunately, you will need to dedicate a considerable amount of time, effort, and hard work to the process. Sort of a borderline obsession…


With that being said, knowing the amount of progress you can realistically make in a certain time frame will keep you sane and be of great benefit and aid in your long term success.

And let’s get started.

1) Losing 1lb/ week is amazing progress. And means you are losing fat! Accept this. Don’t look for anything more. Here is an example:


Body TypeAmount of Fat Loss per Week
Lean0.15lbs – 0.5lbs/week
Moderate0.5lbs – .75lbs/week
Overweight.75lbs – 1.5lbs/week


Males Body TypeAmount of Fat Loss per Week
Lean0.25lbs – 0.85lbs/week
Moderate0.85lbs – 1.5lbs/week
Overweight1.5lbs – 3.0lbs/week

2) Fat loss is not a straight line. Don’t expect to lose weight everyday, so you have absolutely no reason to weigh yourself everyday!

On a daily basis your weight will fluctuate for a number of reasons. What’s important is the overall downward trend. It will go up and down, but whats important is longterm progress. Like this…

3) Weight isn’t everything.

You can weigh 150lbs and completely change the way you look by adding 5lbs of muscle and losing 5lbs of fat. Which would make you look smaller! Not to mention, the scale measures everything in your body: muscle, water, fat, bone, stomach content, etc. While the scale can be a useful tool to see if you’re losing weight over time, it’s important to understand that not all weight is created equal. Over the course of bootcamp, weight gain can be attributed to many different things such as muscle, water, stomach content, glycogen (stored carbs in your body), bone density, and… even a little bit of fat (usually happens when you make poor nutrition choices). Having said this though, if you have 50lbs to lose you should be seeing some weight loss with regular exercise and good nutrition choices.

4) The Post Workout Effect – Your weight after workouts is higher..

Doesn’t sound right does it… You workout hard, burn a lot of calories, and then you weigh in the next day and you’re heavier…

This is normal.


After strenuos workouts (like bootcamp workouts), your body needs to recover and in order to do this effectively, your muscles actually store more glycogen (carbs), which results in short term weight – NOT fat gain!

So slight weight gain the day after a weight workout is normal. That being said, if your goal is to lose fat and you aren’t seeing a consistent downward trend over time, odds are you’re eating too much food and need to re-evaluate your nutrition!****************** 

That many stars…. Gotta be important.

6) Don’t blame it on the muscle gain

Muscle doesn’t weigh THAT much! And it is really hard to gain muscle.  Check out this chart for males. Females would be lower than this by at least half!!!!

CategoryRate of Muscle Gain
Beginner1 – 1.5% total body weight per month
Intermediate0.5 – 1% total body weight per month
Advanced0.25 – 0.5% total body weight per month

Lot’s of people chalk up unwanted weight gain to new muscle growth from beginning a fitness program. Unfortunately, that’s not the reason.

The thing is, in order to gain muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus (i.e. eat more calories than your body burns) on a consistent basis. Most nutritional experts put this at about 20 x your bodyweight. For example, if you are 200lbs, you would need to eat 4000 calories a day on a consistent basis in addition to challenging yourself in the gym and at bootcamp to gain muscle.

Conversely, in order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit (i.e. eat less than your body burns) on a consistent basis. For fat loss that is approx 10 or 12 or 14x your bodyweight, so if you are 200lbs you would eat 2400 calories a day to lose weight. I like to use the 10x your bodyweight on days when you don’t exercise and use the 14x your bodyweight if you are exercising 5-7x/week. It’s all relative to your intensity and how much you exercise!

See the problem?
It’s physiologically impossible to gain a significant amount of muscle while losing fat.

Beginners will gain some muscle due to the new stimulus of exercise while losing fat but this period is short-lived and the total amount of muscle gained won’t make a significant difference on your weight

Second, even in the absolute best conditions, a muscle gain of 2lbs per month is extraordinary for men and muscle gain of 1lb per month is extraordinary for women.

If the weight isn’t going down, re-evaluate your nutrition. It’s a game of calories in vs. calories out. You can eat a heck of a lot of food and be low calories with chicken rice and broccoli and get your best results!

7) Weigh in at the same time, same day and with the same conditions.

If you’re using the scale to track your progress. Let’s limit stress to a minimum and weigh in every 2 weeks at the same time of day and under the same conditions. An optimum time is when you first wake up to eliminate any external variables – this will give you the most accurate gauge of your progress.

8) The scale isn’t everything

I hate stepping on the scale. It messes with my mind everytime. I didn’t weigh myself for almost a year till the other month.

I personally like to gauge progress by the mirror. And in my opinion is the best way to gauge progress. You take a look. You look good. End of story. Simple. Not to mention, do your clothes fit better or looser? That simply didn’t just happen, your training and nutrition is making you smaller, and let’s be honest, that’s the goal for most people in addition to a better, healthier, and longer life.

9) If there is not progress in 2 weeks…

If you have 30lbs to lose, and nothing happened in 2 weeks. Then re-evaluate what you are doing. Are you cheating too much? Are you eating enough protein? Are you actually getting into the gym 3-5x/week consistently? 2 weeks is a good time frame because it eliminates any 1 or 2 day weight loss stalls and it is not uncommon to stall in weight for a week. That’s normal. your body is just adjusting to the weight. Slow steady and consistent wins the race in fat loss.

As an aside to this:

I have noticed with coaching clients that inconsistency kills results. Getting in the gym 5x on week 1, 2x on week 2, and 2x on week 3 is an average of 3 workouts per week. Which doesn’t mean you exercise 5x/week. My point is we are always exaggerating everything we do! STOP LYING TO YOURSELF! We think we eat more protein than we do. We think we eat more vegetables when we do. We think we eat less sugar when we do. Your body is the result of the decisions you make and good nutrition is honest and outcome based. Whether it be subconcious or concious lying. There is only one way to be honest with ourselves…

Because if you want to stay on top of this situation. I highly recommend getting a success journal and tracking how many workouts you are doing/week and writing down everything that you are eating. You will see where you need to make changes. Please read the post attached to the link on the success journal if you have not read this already. If you have read this already, do you have a success journal?

Committed to your success,

Josh Saunders
The Bootcamp Effect

P.s. Don’t weigh yourself after a bad day or a cheat day. No, you didn’t just gain 3lbs of fat loss in one day. That’s not how weight gain works. Just wipe the slate clean. All you can do is do great today and don’t let stepping on the scale ruin your day. Focus on a few good days of great habits and you will be happy what you see the next time you weigh in.