Losing weight can be challenging. In addition to shedding the pounds, you also need to be able to do it in a healthy way.
Losing weight slowly is never healthy.
That’s because you’re likely to get demoralized after a while, especially after seeing you’ve only lost a few pounds after two months.
In the same way, losing too much weight too soon can be harmful to health. It forces your body to make drastic changes, often resulting in mood changes, disordered eating, and sometimes insufficient nutrition.
More importantly, drastic weight loss often results in you gaining that weight back later.
For most people, losing a pound a week not works well, it’s also practical. It’s something you can do without making significant changes in your lifestyle.
And, it’s something that you’ll be able to keep up over the long term consistently.
How Many Calories Do I Need to Lose One Pound A Week?
Three thousand five hundred calories equate to about one pound of fat.
So, to lose a pound a week, you need to achieve a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. That’s because 500 calories a day multiplied by seven days is 3,500 calories.
Simply put, consuming 500 fewer calories than the total calories your body needs each day lets you shed 1 pound of weight per week.
Cutting Down on Calories to Achieve A Caloric Deficit
The best way to do this is to eat less.
Also, choosing foods that contain fewer calories also works very well. In fact, the latter works well for many people because you don’t reduce the volume of food you eat. Thus, giving you a better chance of feeling satisfied after meals.
The difference is because you’re eating foods that contain fewer calories, your total calories at the end of the day still come out to less than what your body needs.
8 Simple Ways to Lose One Pound a Week
Controlling calories is a straight-forward way of losing weight. But, it isn’t the only way. Below we take a look at other things you can do to lose one pound every week.
1. Be More Active
Another option to eating less is to burn more calories. By burning 500 calories more per day through physical activity, you’re able to lose 1 pound each week without changing how much you eat.
That’s because it produces the same 3,500 calorie deficit that’s needed to drop one pound.
So, you basically get the same result but taking a different approach.
Whenever we hear the words physical activity, the first thing that comes to mind is exercise or going to the gym. While those are popular ways to be active, they aren’t the only ways.
Most importantly, keep on moving.
Here are other ways to exercise along with how many calories they burn in an hour.
- Slow pace: 255 calories
- Brisk walking (3 mph): 390 calories
- Moderate pace (5 mph): 755 calories
- Fast pace (8 mph): 1,074 calories
- Stairs: 819 calories
- On elliptical: 455 calories
- Light to moderate pace: 530 calories
- Fast pace: 890 calories
Other Physical Activities
- Jumping rope: 1,074 calories
- Hiking: 545 calories
- Cycling: 365 calories
- Weightlifting: 455 calories
- Ballroom dancing: 275 calories
2. Use Smaller Plates
We’re used to large plates. That’s because over the past two decades portion sizes have continued to grow.
This is one of the reasons why everyone is getting fat.
Instead of using the ‘regular’ size 12-inch plates, enjoy your meals with smaller ones. You can try going with a 10 inch or 8-inch plate depending on what suits you better.
Research shows that doing this works. Whenever people are given smaller plates, they tend to eat less. Scientists say that is because we perceive portion sizes differently. Smaller plate sizes somehow trick the brain into thinking you’re eating more than are.
No matter how big your plate, we tend to fill our plates. This causes us to each much less food when we eat using smaller plates.
3. Eat Slowly and Chew Properly
In today’s fast-paced world, everyone’s in a hurry. This is true even when we eat.
The problem is, it takes around 20 minutes for our stomach to realize that it’s full.
So, if you eat fast, you’re more likely to overeat. That’s because, by the time your brain registers the feeling of being full, you would have already eaten too many calories.
A 2008 study in published in the American Dietetic Association found that eating slowly reduces the amount of food you eat. In their experiment, taking time to properly chew food made the participants consumed 10% fewer calories.
In addition to eating less, eating slowly not only lets you savor the food’s flavor, but it also improves digestion.
That’s because you chew your food properly.
Chewing releases enzymes that promotes digestion. Also, the more you chew, the less work your stomach needs to do to break down the food for absorption.
4. Cut Out Added Sugar
Each teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. That may not seem much.
But, if you put two teaspoons of sugar in your coffee and drink 2 cups of coffee daily, that itself adds 64 calories to your day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans consume an average of 19.5 teaspoons of sugar per day. That equates to over 300 calories from sugar alone.
Among the biggest culprits are sodas and sugary drinks which contain 8-9 grams of sugar each for every 8 ounces.
Additionally, sugar is often hidden in processed foods.
Breakfast cereals, often thought to be as healthy, contain a lot of sugar. Although, there are a few exceptions.
Eliminating the extra sugar from your diet can instantly cut 200-500 calories off from your daily total.
5. Reduce Refined Carbs
Refined carbs include white bread, pasta, and rice. Also, white sugar and pastries also belong in the bunch.
The problem with these foods is they don’t contain many nutrients. This means they don’t have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber their unrefined counterparts have.
That’s because the refining process removes almost all their original nutrients. Thus, leaving you with the carbs that digest quickly.
As a result, refined carbs may taste better. But, they also make your blood sugar to spike soon after eating.
And what you get are foods that contain a lot of calories without much of their original health benefits.
A better alternative is to choose unrefined carbs. Foods like whole grains, oats, quinoa, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are also good options for weight loss.
6. Eat Whole Foods Instead of Processed Foods
Processed foods along with junk food contain a lot of calories. Also, they are full of sugar and fats.
All of these ingredients work towards making the products sell better.
The sugar and sodium in these foods give them longer shelf lives. They also make them taste better. That’s why you almost never stop at one piece.
Instead, go from fresh, whole foods instead. These are just as filling. But, they contain much fewer calories. They also don’t make you feel like you want more.
7. Eat Most of Your Meals at Home (or Bring Your Own Lunch to Work)
Cooking your own food significantly reduces the number of calories in each meal.
That’s because you’re entirely aware of what’s going into your food. Doing this lets you control how much salt, sugar, and oil goes into what you and your family eat. Over time, you’ll also learn about healthier substitutes for certain condiments and ingredients.
For this reason, making your own meals helps you lose weight without having to eat less. And, it also makes you healthier.
8. Try Intermittent Fasting
If you want to take things up a notch, you can try intermittent fasting (IF). IF has been proven to be very effective in helping people lose weight.
Do note that it isn’t for the faint-hearted. And, overdoing it may cause you to end up binge eating later, so tread carefully.
Intermittent fasting is a method of eating that alternates between cycles of eating and fasting. While there are many ways to do IF, most require long periods (4-16 hours) of not eating.
Doing so, allows you to reduce the total number of calories you consume per day. Also, it teaches your body to use food more efficiently while learning to burn fat as fuel.
Because it isn’t easy to do, intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone.