Wishing for fast weight loss is completely natural, but it’s not necessarily the best option. There are literally dozens of fad diets and extreme exercise programs that promise several pounds of weight loss per week. The problem with these options is that they’re not sustainable. So, what is a healthy amount of weight to lose per week?
According to the CDC, people that lose weight at a rate of just 1-2 pounds weekly are much more successful at keeping it off. In other words, a slow and steady approach is not only safer, but it’s also more sustainable.
It’s important for you to understand that weight loss is about more than diet and exercise: it’s a complete and total lifestyle change. What do we mean by this? You shouldn’t look at your plan and see an end date. Deciding to get healthy should be a permanent decision. Remember, reverting back to your old, unhealthy habits will cause you to regain the weight, losing all the incredible progress that you’ve made!
How to Lose Weight Safely and Steadily
We begin by answering the basic question: “Why do our bodies require food?” We need food to maintain our health and keep our energy levels high. Each person requires a different amount of calories to accomplish this each day. The amount of calories that you need daily largely depends on your age, weight, and activity level.
The food that you eat is made up of macronutrients, which includes protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Each macronutrient contains calories. In the end, weight loss comes down to calories in, calories out. It’s pretty simple, actually. If you expend more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.
How Many Calories Do You Need Daily?
One of the first things you need to determine is how many calories your body needs each day. Check out our guide for How Many Calories Should You be Eating Daily to Lose Weight? Once you know this, you can create a plan of attack.
Remember that you shouldn’t decrease your daily caloric intake by more than 500 calories each day. This will keep your body from going into “starvation mode” and ensure that your metabolism continues functioning properly.
We usually recommend decreasing caloric intake by about 300 calories a day and making up the difference with exercise. Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound, you can lose one pound per week by sitting at a daily deficit of 500 calories: 300 from diet and 200 from exercise.
If you want to aim for two pounds per week, you’ll need a deficit of 7,000 calories. The best way to achieve this is to increase the amount of exercise you perform. In order to burn 7,000 calories in one week, you need a 1000 calorie deficit each day. So, you can decrease your caloric intake by 300-500 calories and burn 500-700 through exercise.
Eat Right, Exercise Often
No matter what your dietary preferences are, we have a healthy meal plan for everyone! If you want to be healthy and lose weight, you must provide your body with essential nutrients. Each of the meal plans below will not only allow you to lose weight, but they will also ensure that you do it safely!
- 28-Day Vegetarian Weight Watchers Meal Plan
- 14-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan
- 7-Day Whole30 Meal Plan
- 30-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan
Once you choose an eating plan, we need to get you into an exercise program! Along with meal plans, we have dozens of fun and effective workout routines to choose from. Try out one of these awesome workout regimens in combination with a clean diet and begin losing weight today!
- Ultimate Fat-Burning Workout Plan to Shed Pounds & Inches
- 7-Day Gym Free Workout Plan
- 6-Week Fat-Melting Workout Plan
- 30-Day Walk Your Way to Weight Loss Challenge
Healthy Living Tips for Long Term Weight Loss
As we said earlier, weight loss is about more than just diet and exercise. Successful weight loss requires you to make healthy choices, day in and day out. For this reason, we’ve also compiled a list of healthy habits you should adopt as soon as possible.
Drink more water and avoid soda, juices, and other sugary beverages. This will boost metabolism and fat loss, as well as help you consume fewer empty calories.
Get more sleep by heading to bed earlier each night. Sleeping for at least 6 hours a night has been proven to help you make healthier choices the next day!
Increase protein and fiber intake. Eating more protein (chicken, fish, legumes, and dairy) and fiber (beans, lentils, and broccoli,) will keep you feeling fuller for longer, so you won’t get the urge to overeat.
Set goals and plan rewards. Choose goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals greatly increase your chances of successful weight loss. Furthermore, you should also choose healthy rewards for when you meet these goals, such as a new bikini or a trip with your girlfriends.
Get yourself a workout partner! Having an exercise buddy can boost motivation, along with holding you accountable for showing up!
While losing one or two pounds per week may seem like it’ll be too slow, you’ll find it adds up to huge results! I mean, in three months you can lose up to 24 pounds! Better yet, losing weight slowly and safely will ensure that you actually keep it off!
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely going to be worth it. Take it one day at a time, and focus on making healthy choices consistently. You can do this!