Weight loss in 1 week can mean a number of things; some people try to lose as much as 10 pounds in a week while others aim for a couple of pounds only. Although that is unrealistic for most people, losing a few pounds in one week can be done. It should be noted that the recommended healthy amount of weight to lose per week is 1-2 pounds.
Here are some steps and practical guidelines for losing weight in one week.
Weight loss basics
No matter how much weight you want to lose, there are some easy important steps to start with.
- Cut out sugar. Cut out sweets like candy, sweetened beverages, baked goods and processed foods with added sugar (check ingredient labels and food labels).
- Increase your movement throughout the day and do a variety of exercises.
- Eat fresh foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy, legumes and whole grains.
- Stop eating when you’re satisfied, not when your plate is empty.
- Drink enough water throughout the day so that your urine is very pale yellow to clear.
- Avoid spikes in blood sugar by eating balanced meals with fiber, healthy fats and protein.
To lose one pound in a week
If you like to focus on the numbers of weight loss, you can go off how many calories are in a pound. In order to lose a pound a week, aim for being in a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week because there are about 3,500 calories in 1 pound. If you divide 3,500 calories across 7 days, that translates to being in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day.
You can do this by looking at the calories of your food and subtracting 500 calories somewhere through the day, or you can just focus on having smaller portion sizes and cutting out junk food from your diet.
Some people like to focus on the numbers and some people don’t; you can have weight loss either way.
There are many fitness apps available that will track your food intake (our calorie counter is free), exercise and give you an estimate of how many calories you need per day during weight loss. You can also talk to a registered dietitian or other health professional to give you individual guidance for your calorie needs.
The 500 calorie deficit per day can come from reducing food intake, as mentioned, by increasing calorie expenditure by 500 calories (without simultaneously increasing calorie intake) or a combination of decreasing calories and increasing exercise.
To lose two pounds in a week
To lose two pounds a week, we can just double the numbers for losing one pound a week. So, now instead of being 3,500 calorie deficit per week you would want to be 7,000 calorie deficit per week. Over the course of 7 days, that means you need to have a 1,000 calorie deficit every day.
This would probably be best accomplished through a combination of cutting calories and increasing calorie expenditure. Just cutting calories and not exercising would be hard for 1,000 calorie loss; you would most likely feel very hungry. Also, the weight loss would most likely be some water and muscle weight if just done through diet.
If you want to lose two pounds in 1 week, this will take more effort and focus than losing one pound a week. Exercise will play a big role in your goal, and you will have to do a lot of it.
Here are some examples of what burning 1,000 calories during exercise looks like.
160 pound person:
-About 1 hour and 40 minutes of running at 5 mph
-A little over 3 hours of walking at 3.5 mph
-2 hours of high impact aerobics class
-A little over 3 hours of leisure bicycle riding
-2 hours of playing racquetball
200 pound person:
-About an hour and 20 minutes of running at 5 mph
-Two and a half hours of walking at 3.5 mph
-About an hour and a half of high impact aerobics
-An hour and a half of playing tennis singles
-Two hours of swimming laps
To lose more than 2 pounds a week
If you want to lose more than 2 pounds a week, it may be possible but it will take even more of a calorie deficit than 1,000 calories every day. Is it possible without starving yourself? Maybe. Just keep in mind sustainable weight loss is almost always longer than 1 week. See also: Is it possible to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks?
So, what I need to do to lose weight in 1 week?
Besides the basics of slimming your diet of extra sugar, junk food and increasing over all movement, there are some principles you can follow for weight loss in one week.
If you want to lose a pound, you need to be in a calorie deficit of about 500 calories every day.
If you want to lose 2 pounds a week, you need to be in a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories every day.
You can do this through a combination of diet and exercise, instead of trying to cut out 500-1,000 calories per day. If you want to lose more than 2 pounds a week, it will take a high amount of exercise.
References used in this article