Want to lose a pound each day for a week or 30 days? According to the CDC, even losing 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight can produce excellent health benefits. But most people find they struggle even losing one percent. They’ll get on the scale one day, have lost a pound or two only to find they’ve regained those pounds the next day.
Weight loss is one of the most talked about subjects in fitness and it’s also one of the most difficult to accomplish. But it’s not impossible.
The problem is twofold: information overload and lack of motivation.
The two feed into each other and create a vicious cycle.
The Vicious Weight-Loss De-motivation Cycle:
- Decide You Want to Lose Weight
- Google “Weight Loss”
- Get Overwhelmed by Information Overload (or buy shady weight loss pills!?)
- Give Up
- Wait a Few Months
If this is you, it’s time to cut the B.S. and break the cycle. You can learn how to lose a pound a day without spinning your wheels online or spending money on quick fixes that are doomed to fail. The trick is to create small changes in your lifestyle that add up to quick weight loss.
Want to lose a pound a day for a week, or even 30 days? More important than hitting a lofty weight loss goal like that is sustainable weight loss. Skip the diet pills and make healthy changes to your lifestyle.
Here are a few changes you can make right now that may result in an initial pound-a-day weight loss.
1. How to Lose a Pound a Day: Fewer Calories in than Out
Formula: Calories consumed – calories burned = weight loss (or gain)
There are 3500 calories in a pound, so losing a pound in one day ultimately means that you need a combination of eating less and exercise to hit that goal.
Popular programs like Nutrisystem (coupons here) and Noom (try it free) are based on this simple math of keeping your calorie intake lower than the number of calories you burn but usually aim for closer to 1-2 pounds per week of weight loss.
All these diets stop short of promising a pound a day of weight loss because that high rate of weight loss may be unsustainable. However, they do offer quick starts to their programs like, “Drop 18 Now!” and “FreshStart®” (Nutrisystem) promising you’ll lose up to 18 pounds in 30 days.
With Nutrisystem, they send you the meals (totaling 1200-1500 calories per day) and give you the tracking tools. Weight Watchers assign points to each food and cap the number of points you can eat.
But even if you plan on starting a diet program, you don’t have to wait to lower your calorie intake. Almost any fitness app on the market right now lets you keep track of your calorie intake. Many of them are free.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, on average you’ll burn about 1620 calories a day. To lose a full pound in a day (another 1880 calories) you must either increase calories burned or decrease calories added. (Do both for maximum effect.)
The math is fairly simple. If you decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories and maintain your current lifestyle, your body must find sources outside of food for energy. This means your body breaks down fat instead of carbs, and you will lose weight.
The problem arises when you begin to feel hungry. The next few tricks will help curb your hunger while you decrease your calorie intake.
2. Fiber: It Does the Body Good
If you want to lose weight fast and continue to feel satiated at each meal, add fiber to your diet; it keeps you feeling “full” longer, and curbs those cravings in between meals. This doesn’t mean going out and getting Metamucil, it means finding whole foods that are high in fiber like lentils, Brussel sprouts, almonds, and raspberries.
Consequently, high-fiber foods contain many nutrients. Oranges contain vitamin C (great for winter dieting). Bananas contain Potassium (great for your muscles when working out and great for sleep regulation).
Change out all your white and processed carbs for whole wheat options. Whole wheat options contain more fiber, and more protein, and keep you full longer. Plus, you’ll get full faster on whole wheat foods, making it easier to cut those calories.
3. Eat Snacks
The three square meals a day concept isn’t natural. Society conceived this idea to fit the workday schedule, but 5-6 smaller meals each day are much better for you. To make things worse, because of time constraints during the rest of the day, Americans have adopted the unhealthy habit of eating our largest meal at dinner time.
Your body burns fuel faster if you’re constantly feeding it. If you want to know how to lose a pound a day, look no further than healthy snacking. It will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories.
But you must choose healthy foods. Snacking on high-calorie, low-quality items defeats the purpose. Instead of opening that Little Debbie box, reach for a Kashi bar.
If you work in an office, have a bowl of almonds or dried fruit within arm’s reach. Or even better, plan to eat a piece of fruit or two between meals.
Diet programs often provide healthy shakes full of fiber and nutrients to help you snack between meals. And you’ll often find they provide dry snacks like fiber bars to help you feel full throughout the day.
4. Incorporate Healthy Fats and SuperFoods
Just like snacking, the concept that you need to eat fat to burn fat seems counter-intuitive. But it’s true. Your body needs fat.
Good fat protects your organs, cleans your arteries, and helps you fuel your body.
But how do you determine good fat from bad fat?
You just eat the right foods. Most superfoods (moringa, chia seeds, barley grass) contain good fat. Avocado, olive oil, fish, all of these things have good fats. They often contain antioxidants like Omega-3 that keep you healthy and slow the aging process.
5. Drink Lots of Water:
Your body can’t function well when it’s dehydrated. And keeping your blood volume at a healthy level will speed up the process by which your body burns calories (metabolism).
You should be drinking at least 8 cups a day already. And if you’re exercising, you should be drinking 8-10 cups per day to replenish your body’s water.
6. Eat Nothing After 7 P.M.
Your metabolism slows down when you go to bed. And if you eat too soon before you go to bed, your body will just store the calories in fat cells rather than burn them.
Depending on when you go to bed, be sure to eat nothing in the two hours beforehand. If you feel hungry, drink some calming tea or drink water.
You can also chew calorie-free gum to curb your appetite after dinner. You’ll clean your teeth this way and burn a couple of extra calories from the chewing effort.
7. Stay Active:
While exercise alone isn’t how to lose a pound a day, it can be the capstone of your efforts. Remember, that the more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose.
And staying active doesn’t have to mean running on a treadmill or lifting weights. Just getting your body moving every day can have an impact on how many calories you burn.
Try going for a short walk around the block every day. Or even better, take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
As you make these small changes in your routine, you’ll feel more energetic. As you lose weight and become more fit, you can eventually add more intense exercise to your routine. Not only will you maintain a healthy weight this way, but you’ll also improve your heart’s health.
Want to lose a pound a day? It All Boils Down to Food:
If you want to learn how to lose a pound a day, always start with a diet. Where can you improve? What unhealthy things can you cut? What kinds of healthy snacks can you incorporate?
You must be disciplined to keep your calorie intake down and you must make lifestyle changes. But neither of these things has to happen overnight. Make changes incrementally and you’ll eventually start losing weight as fast as you want or need.
Don’t try to lose a pound a day for 30 days if you’re only 30 pounds overweight! Like the major diets, you may want to aim for a more sustainable half-pound a day. Remember, you’re going for a healthy lifestyle change and want to avoid yo-yo dieting.
What are some methods that helped you lose weight? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our diet reviews on Pretty Sweet.