Ah, it’s THIS question again… “How much weight can you lose in a week?“, as if a week is long enough to lose any substantial amount of weight. Yeah right.
Well, since you did come here looking for an answer, I suppose the least I can do is attempt to put an end to this god forsaken question once and for all. But I won’t enjoy it. Let’s do the thing.
How much weight can you lose in a week?
The answer to this question, like most good answers, is that it depends. It depends on a whole host of factors.
Before you even think about how much weight you can lose in a week, you need to be able to answer these four questions: How fat are you? How motivated are you? How good will your weight-loss diet be? How much will you exercise?
Because the fatter you are, the more motivated you are, and the better your diet and exercise program are, the more fat you’ll be able to burn in a single week.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to make a few assumptions about you.
- You’re slightly overweight, but you’re not obese.
- You’re decently motivated, but you’re not obsessed or addicted to losing weight.
- You have an “ok” diet you’re going to follow.
- You have an “alright” exercise program you’re going to follow.
Does that sound like you? (It should, because it’s the profile of the average person who comes to this website!)
Anyway, if the dot points above do describe you, you’ll be able to lose between 1 and 2 pounds of fat (or 0.5 and 1 kg of fat) per week.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t sound like a lot of weight, and it isn’t. People on The Biggest Loser routinely lose upwards of 10 pounds per week, but guess what? Real life isn’t an episode of The Biggest Loser.
You don’t have a team of personal trainers, dietitians, and doctors watching and coaching you 24/7, so of course you aren’t going to be able to lose as much weight as they are. It’s common sense.
But you know what? You don’t need the trainers, the dietitians or the doctors. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for good, all you need to do is aim to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week.
And it’s not even that hard. All you have to do is:
- Build (and maintain) a high level of motivation.
- Stick to a good diet. (Reduce calories, and eat healthier foods.)
- Start exercising regularly. (Preferably 3-5 times a week!)
If you can do these three things, and keep doing them over a long period of time, you will lose weight.
Now that the question of “how much weight can you lose in a week?” has been answered, let’s get on with learning HOW to go about losing the weight in the first place!
Step 1: Getting properly motivated.
When I teach people how to lose weight, I always start with motivation, as I believe it’s much more important that diet or exercise. Why? Because even if you have the best diet and the best exercise program in the world, you’re not going to put it to use unless you’re properly motivated.
So, instead of listing off 100 different ways to build motivation, (because there are a lot of different ways), I’m instead going to link you to some articles I’ve already written on the topic of motivation. Each one contains different methods of building motivation, and each one should be skimmed through to give you an idea of what is required of you for successful weight loss.
The best article I’ve written on weight-loss motivation is simply titled “Weight Loss Motivation“. It contains a bunch of motivational quotes, motivational stories, motivational pictures, and motivational tips, all with the aim of getting you fired up and ready to lose weight.
Aside from the all-in-one motivational article, I’ve also written some more specific articles on weight-loss motivation. For example, if you’re just looking for some motivational quotes, there’s an article that contains 7 of my all-time-favourite quotes, called “Weight Loss Motivation Quotes“.
Or, if you’re looking for some motivational tips, my article titled “How To Motivate Yourself To Lose Weight” contains a bunch of awesome tips designed to help you find your motivation.
If they don’t tickle your fancy, you can head to YouTube and watch some motivational videos. They always get me fired up and ready to hit the gym. Let’s move on to diet, now.
Step 2: Sorting out your diet.
After you’ve become fully motivated, diet comes next. There are two major branches when it comes to diet, and you need to focus on both of them if you want to lose weight. They are:
- Calories. (Eating less food in total).
- Healthiness. (Eating food that is healthier and better for you.)
For your diet to succeed, and for you to be able to lose weight, you need to be able to fulfill the requirements of both of these branches. That is, you need to consume fewer calories, and you need to eat healthier foods.
Again, like with motivation, I’m not going to write an essay on which foods are healthy and which foods are not. Instead, I’m going to give you a few helpful links to diet-related articles I’ve already written, that will outline some healthy foods you can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack:
- For three delicious weight-loss breakfast recipes, see “Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Weight Loss“.
- For seven delectable and healthy lunch recipes, see “Healthy Lunch Ideas For Weight Loss“.
- For five awesomely healthy dinner recipes, see “Healthy Dinner Ideas For Weight Loss“.
- And finally, for six super duper healthy snack recipes, see “Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss“.
As for the calories side of things, I’ve written a mega-guide that will teach you all about calories, how to track them, and how to ensure you are staying on target to lose weight. You can find it here: “Counting Calories“.
One thing you will notice when you start eating healthier food, is that you naturally consume fewer calories. This isn’t random. Healthy foods contain less calories than unhealthy foods, so it’s like killing 2 birds with 1 stone, and it’s awesome.
Pro tip: If you’re after something a little more explosive, I’d recommend taking a look at “The Paleo Recipe Book“. It’s an awesome cookbook with over 370 healthy recipes, all with the sole purpose of helping you lose weight. I used it when I tried to lose weight, and I still use it for every meal now. Hell, most of the healthy meals I listed above I’ve taken from the cookbook. If you want to check it out, do so by clicking here: “The Paleo Recipe Book“.
By eating less, and eating healthier, you’ll start losing weight instantly. Hell, you’ll almost get to that 1-2 pounds of fat per week figure with diet alone. But not quite all the way. That’s where exercise comes in.
Step 3: Beginning an exercise program.
When it comes to exercise, just like with diet, there are two main branches you need to consider. Resistance training, and Cardio. Everyone knows what cardio is; it’s exercise that gets your heart rate up and your cardiovascular system working. Exercises such as running, swimming, cycling, etc, are cardio. Resistance training is any exercise that involves a resistance being applied to a movement; lifting weights and body-weight exercises are both examples.
Which should you do? Ideally, you’d do both. Studies have shown time and time again that the best way to lose weight through exercise, is to do both cardio and resistance training. (The cardio burns the fat, and the resistance training builds muscle, which makes you appear even slimmer!)
But I’ve been overweight, and I’ve been lazy. (Hell, I still AM lazy.) So I know exactly what it’s like to want to do the least amount of work, and get the best results. If you’re the same, focus on cardio to begin with. Cardio burns more calories, in a shorter amount of time, and it’s much safer, too. (Less likely to injure yourself as a beginner.)
So, what type of cardio is best? In my opinion, it’s running. But I’m definitely biased. (I love to run, and have been running 3-4 times a week for the last 4 years. Weird, I know.)
Anyway, you can do any cardio you want, as long as it:
- Gets your heart rate up. (You can’t slack off!)
- Lasts for at least 15 minutes.
- Is fun! (Otherwise you’ll just quit from boredom.)
If it fulfills all three of my rules, you have my blessing to go forth and exercise.
But hey, if you think you might be interested in running… I’ve written a HUGE beginner’s guide on the topic. If you’ve never been for a run before, it’s definitely worth checking out. I really put a lot of effort cramming as much info into it as possible. You can read it here: “Running For Weight Loss“.
Other than that, I think we’ve covered pretty much all of the basics of weight loss!
So the next time you’re wondering to yourself “how much weight can you lose in a week?“, you’ll remember the answer is “about 1-2 pounds”.
And the next time a mate asks “how are you going to go about losing this weight?” you’ll reply with “by being properly motivated, following a good diet, and exercising regularly.
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