Losing a Pound a Week is Very Doable and Easy To Keep Off
It’s also the healthy suggested amount to lose by top health officials
And since I’m a serial dieter and have made it my business to know just about everything there is to know about losing weight over the last twenty years, here’s my take on how to lose a pound a week.
The ‘Science’ Behind Losing One Pound Per Week
So this is what I learnt and picked up from many years of bobbing between Weight Watchers, Slimming World and various other dozens of weight loss books. As well as reading probably hundreds of blog posts on losing weight too.
So here’s the math(s).
One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.
To lose one pound a week, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories per week.
The recommended calorie intake for women is approximately 2,000 calories a day. This is to maintain your current weight.
So to lose one pound a week you need to eat around 1,600 calories a day.
2,000 calories a day x 7 days = 14,000 calories a week [weight maintenance].
14,000 – 3,500 = 10,500.
10,500 divided by 7 = 1,500
Did you get that?
The 14,000 weekly calories are for weight maintenance.
Take the 3,500 calories (which equals to one pound of fat loss) away from the 14,000 and you get 10,500 calories you need to consume over the course of 7 days to lose a pound.
So breaking it down further, 10,500 weekly calories is equal to 1,500 calories per day [10,500 / 7 = 1,500]
However, for great flexibility, you can go slightly over or under the 1,500 calories per day as long as you stick to 10,500 each week.
This is why I love this little math(s) calculation, because it releases the strictness of a diet which makes it much more likely for anyone to stick to this rule.
How To Lose a Pound a Week With Food
This is where counting calories come into play.
Yes, the good old fashioned calorie counting weight loss system.
For me personally, this is easiest and best way for me to lose weight. I’ve tried loads of other diets and I always revert back to counting calories and it works each time.
There are many ways to count calories with free apps such as My Fitness Pal and track your food this way, maybe in combination with a good weight loss book for professional guidance.
Weight Watchers is another great way to count calories with their unique points system. WW is actually a great way to lose weight as their points are based on the overall nutritional value of each food as well as calories.
So for example, you could eat two foods which are 250 calories each, but one food will high higher points than the other because of nutritional value.
A sugar doughnut
A ham salad sandwich thin with fat-free yoghurt
Both are 250 calories but the doughnut has 10 pts and the sandwich meal has 7 pts.
So with the WW system, they encourage you to eat more healthy within the daily points [calories] you consume each day.
Personally I think this is great because it really makes you think and be mindful about the type of food you are eating and this helps you to slowly change your eating habits and ‘rewire’ your brain to make healthier choices over time.
Other Weight Loss Diet Plans
But of course, there are literally dozens of other weight loss diet plans available of which I outline here:
This articles explains that all diets work, you just need to find a one which suits you and I hope that the above article helps you out to find a weight loss system and a plan which fits in with your preferences and lifestyle.
The 80/20 Rule
Experts say that weight loss is 80% being healthy, and 20% of the reaming time less healthy.
Which is known as the 80/20 rule.
The great thing about this 80/20 ratio rule is that you don’t have to be 100% healthy all of the time. You can still plan in (or not plan!) the odd glass of wine or a little pizza or cake.
Related Reading: How The 80/20 Rule Helped This Woman Lose Weight
So don’t think that no matter which meal plan you choose, you don’t have to be 100% restricted to healthy food.
This why it’s so important to choose a weight loss plan to fit into your lifestyle, so you’ll stick to it for the long-term.
How To Lose a Pound With Exercise
The other way to lose a pound a week is with exercise to shed those 3,500 calories over the course of a week.
But be warned, you’ll have to exercise a lot to get rid of 3,500 calories.
Here’s an example:
3,500 calories / 7 days = 500 calories to burn a day over seven days.
3,500 calories / 5 days = 700 calories to burn a day over five days.
Ways to burn calories:
Tip: Use a fitness tracker watch to keep track of calories burned.
I cannot tell you exactly how many calories you’ll lose doing a certain exercise for a certain amount of time because it all depends on how much you currently weigh and how hard you exercise.
But to give you a rough estimate:
Image courteous of Breaking Muscle
So as you can see from this table, the average-weight woman will have to do over an hour of fast-paced walking to lose 500 calories, or just under an hour of Zumba.
And this is either five or seven times a week.
This level of intensity and length of exercise isn’t for everyone. So you need to ask yourself, how much
Lose Weight With Both Food & Fitness Goals
This is the best way to lose weight, especially if you need to lose a lot of weight and this is a long-term project for you.
Combine healthy meals and some kind of exercise routine.
What Percentage of Weight Loss is Diet V Exercise?
Another ratio rule you should be aware of is the healthy eating v exercise combination.
Again, experts say that your eating v exercise combination should aim to be at 90% diet and 10% exercise (90/10) for light to moderate active people.
This is because it’s much easier to cut down on calories than it is to burn them off (see chart above).
Obviously those numbers will change if you’re a fitness geek and exercise a lot, but I’m just talking about the average, busy woman here.
So don’t take these numbers as ‘literal’, just use them as a guide to understand that your eating habits are more important as they will get you the results faster, but exercise/movement is still very important.
So take these figures and devise your diet plan around those, i.e. focus and stick to your 1,500 calories a day and combine this with light to moderate exercise a few times a week.
Obviously if you enjoy exercise then by all means keep that up to your enjoyment level and you may end up losing more than one pound a week because of your additional fat burning exercising.
Need Help in Losing Weight?
I’ve written a blog post on what 7 steps I now follow to become successful in my own weight loss journey – you can read these 7 weight loss tips here. Hopefully you’ll find one or two little take-aways from this post to help you with your weight loss goals.
If you’re looking for a specific diet plan to follow, then I’ve already mentioned above that I’ve also written about the 8 different types of weight loss plans there are and how to choose one which suits you. I’ve divided them up into eight different categories to make it easier for you to see the differences.
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