I get it ... when you're following a fitness plan, you want results as fast as possible.
We all do, and there's nothing wrong with feeling that way.
You do have to understand though, that in most cases ... consistent fitness results take time.
But ... how much time does it actually take?
And what can you do to help speed up the process?
Let's take a look at this in terms of goals like losing weight, building muscle ... and getting healthier overall.
How long does it take to lose weight?
Well ... like many things with health & fitness, the answer to this question depends.
The biggest determining factor is making sure you have a plan that's properly set up for consistent weight loss.
But from there, here's what you need to consider when it comes to how long it takes to lose weight:
1) Everyone's body is different ... so the rate at which you lose weight compared to someone else is going to be different.
You probably have friends who started their fitness journey around the same time you did ... and maybe they saw faster results than you. That's ok! That doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong ... it just means that everyone's body is different. Some of us start to see results faster than others ... and that's just how it goes.
Instead of focusing on someone else's results, stay focused on your own plan ... and I promise you'll start moving in the right direction.
2) How much weight do you have to lose?
If you have a little more weight to drop, you're probably going to see results a little quicker compared to someone who only has a few pounds to lose.
3) What's your current fitness level?
If you're new to fitness, and it's your first time trying to drop some weight ... you'll also tend to see results a little faster. Your body isn't used to you working out & eating better ... so that change initiates faster results in most cases.
Someone who's already been working out & dieting, will most likely not see super quick results ... simply because it's not a drastic change for them.
4) How consistent are you being with your plan?
If you're not consistently following your plan, and creating what's needed to lose weight (calorie deficit, high protein intake, exercise, etc) ... then you're not going to see consistent results.
You have to stick with your plan, even when you feel like the results aren't there ... continue to trust the process. It will happen.
5) Results take time.
Like we already talked about, everyone is different ... but if I had to give you a number, you may start noticing a difference in just 2 weeks' time.
But truly noticing some changes is probably going to take anywhere from 5 weeks at the earliest, to 12 weeks at the latest.
Also, remember that losing just 1 pound per week on average is considered fantastic weight loss. You don't need to be losing more than that in most cases.
So, don't be discouraged if your weight loss progress it taking longer than you'd like ... just stay consistent with your plan. You'll get there!
How long does it take to build muscle?
You may not like to hear this, but building muscle tends to be a lot harder than losing weight ... and it can also take a lot more time.
And like losing weight, you need to make sure you have a plan that's set up properly for muscle building.
Again, there's multiple factors that play a role in how fast you build muscle:
1) Are you lifting weights/resistance training?
If not ... you're going to have a VERY hard time building any muscle at all. Lifting weights is one of the biggest keys to muscle building. So, if you want to stack on some muscle ... you're going to have to pick up the weights.
2) Have you lifted weights or tried to build muscle in the past?
Similar to losing weight, if you've never lifted weights or attempted to build muscle ... you'll see results a lot faster than someone who's been lifting weights for years.
3) Are you practicing progressive overload?
With your workouts ... are you trying to progress in weight, reps, sets, etc? You have to get stronger in one way or another to build muscle ... and tracking your weights and making sure you're progressing is a huge key in doing so. Without doing this ... you'll struggle to build muscle.
4) Are you recovering properly?
Nutrition, post workout recovery, sleep, stress management ... all play a huge role in muscle building. So, make sure you have a handle on these factors as well.
5) Again ... results take time.
Unlike weight loss, you're probably not going to gain a pound of muscle per week ... you may not even gain 5 pounds of muscle in a year. That's how long this process can take. Remember that everyone is different, but if you stay consistent & trust the process ... you'll see the results.
How long does it take to feel better & healthier?
You'll be happy to hear that once you start following a new fitness plan consistently ... you'll typically start feeling better fast. You may even start feeling better in just a few days.
But if I had to give you a number again, most likely at the 2-week point of following a new plan ... you'll start to feel some positive changes in your mood & energy levels.
When you do start to feel a difference ... know that it's a sign you're doing the right things. Stay the course, and the physical progress will follow.
How can you speed up your fitness results?
Once you understand that results take time ... you can take some steps to speed up the process just a bit.
1) If working on a weight loss goal, consider adding in cardio to boost your progress.
Cardio helps contribute to how many calories you burn throughout the day ... and can help you drop some weight a little faster.
2) If working on building muscle ... up the intensity of your weight lifting.
Work on slowing down your movements, focusing on form & contracting the muscle ... and pushing yourself a little more each workout. This can help boost the muscle building process.
3) Supplement for your goals.
If working on losing weight ... try throwing in a supplement that helps you actually burn more calories. Fat burners, metabolism boosting systems ... and even simple ingredients like L-Carnitine can help you burn fat a little faster.
If you're wanting to build more muscle, make sure you're using proper post workout recovery drinks ... and you can also use supplements like creatine. Both can help amplify & speed up the muscle building process.
And these are just a few supplements that can help you see faster results.
This is a broad overview of how long it takes to make progress, and it certainly doesn't cover everything that's involved in seeing the best results possible ... but hopefully you now have a better understanding what to expect on your own fitness journey.
And when it comes to making sure you have the best plan for you personal goals, always know that we're here to help. You can stop into any Supplement Superstores location ... and we'll customize a plan for you 100% FREE of charge, and make sure you get to where you want to be.
*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics. He's also a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and N.A.S.M. Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.