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Healthy Weight Loss: Shed One Pound Per Week

If you're working on losing weight, slow and steady wins the race. Losing about one pound, and no more than two pounds, a week is the best way to shed the weight and keep it off. A combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise is the best way to get there. Does that sound familiar?

Since one pound of body fat is equal to about 3,500 calories, you need to focus on eliminating 500 calories a day (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Please don't think I mean you should starve yourself and skip eating. Instead do a combination of eating healthier, nutrient dense foods and exercising to burn those 500 calories per day. Include 30 minutes of cardio, which can burn 250 calories, and for the rest, adjust your diet so you are consuming 250 fewer calories. You can do this by including whole grains instead of refined carbs, healthy sources of lean protein instead of ones high in saturated fat, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Choose foods that are low in calories and high in fiber, since they'll fill you up, and give you energy to work out without feeling famished. Generally foods that are high in sugar and fat are also higher in calories, so try to limit these foods as well. If you can do this for 7 days, you'll burn one pound a week.

Fit's Tips: Losing more than two pounds a week isn't recommended since it may mean that you're losing water weight or muscle instead of fat. So stick to one to two pounds per week.


Join The Conversation
Allytta Allytta 9 years
1 pound a week? if i work out and eat only salads for lunch i shed 8 pounds the first week.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
When I lost weight, it came off faster at first...2-3 lbs or so per week. When you're really overweight (like I was), your metabolism is higher and your body uses a lot of fuel just to keep itself going. But as you drop the weight, your weight loss does slow down to about 1-2 lbs a week.
kia kia 9 years
slow and steady wins the reace
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I agree, Sugar_Rush. My mom did the simplest thing in the world: she gave up Pepsi. The weight MELTED off of her. Her first two weeks she'd lost 10 pounds. It was ridiculous. But that doesn't mean it's unhealthy.
The-FBGs The-FBGs 9 years
I'm not a huge fan of counting calories, but I do try to get at least 30 minutes a day of activity. I'm more of the intuitive eating long as you're mindful and stop eating when you're full and choose healthy foods, you're usually pretty good. Counting calories stresses me out. Too many numbers. :)
jdeprima jdeprima 9 years
This is generally sound advice but not necessarily accurate. The cutting (or burning extra) 500 cal/day assumes you're currently consuming a maintenance level of calories, neither gaining nor losing. Many people consume a lot more than that--a single dinner at Olive Garden is about a day's worth of calories!--and thus would have to cut a lot more from their diets.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 9 years
Cvandoorn -- I know! I feel your pain! I've been working out 3 times a week religiously for a month now, and it's so frustrating to get on the scale and see myself a pound or two heavier than the day before. I try to think of it in terms of my fitness level. My arms are definitely getting more definition, I'm way more flexible, and I'm in a much better mood these days. Now if I could just get on the whole grain bandwagon....
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I'm on track! I've lost 22 lbs and have been working out since January. I'd like to bump it up a little as I have a goal of losing 40 lbs by August so we'll see. But it IS possible! It's just hard work!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
You know what I hate? Water weight. One day you weigh a certain amount, the next you've gained 3 lbs. And you know it can't be fat. It is just so discouraging! Oh how I would love to lose 1-2 lbs a week!
syako syako 9 years
It really is easy! I did the Self Challenge three years ago and lost a total of 25 pounds. It took dedication and some minor changes in my lifestyle, but it was so worth it - especially since those habits have stuck with me and I'm living an overall healthier life now.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
hahaha sounds easy...but is it?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
This sounds easy enough...
Sugar_Rush Sugar_Rush 9 years
Whilst this may be (and for the most part is) sound advice/information for most people I have to comment on the fact that 'normal rules' don't necessarily apply for those who are obese/massively overweight. The guys over on the 3fc forum have threads on this thing and it's widely experienced (as with myself) that it IS possible to lose more than two pounds a week healthily whilst working out etc. I think it's a statement that should be considered comparatively to the weight that someone has to lose. Sorry it's just a gripe of mine; people think that they can comment that I've been doing this the 'wrong' way because I lost a certain amount of it fast? No... I was just morbidly obese so fast loss was bound to happen.
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