I’m not going to talk about how to eat.
I’m not going to talk about what to eat.
I’m just going to talk about what someone has to do in order to lose TWO POUNDS every single week.
Losing two pounds a week is not incredibly difficult, but the composition of this weight loss is not always healthy. All the fad diets and weight loss products catching on in the mainstream are supposedly offering similar incredible results. The problem is much of the weight that’s lost is in the form of water and muscle. It will come back. It’s just a matter of time.
With that said, while illustrating how to lose two pounds a week, I will try to influence the best weight loss composition. This means the most fat loss possible, with minimal muscle and water weight loss. Even if most aspects are solid, it’s still expected that water weight will be lost, but being cautious as to how to follow up the weight loss diet can help minimize its return.
What Needs to Be Done
There is no scientifically proven explanation for how weight loss can be calculated at a mathematical level. However, there are a few theories that have gained traction and sit as ‘fact’ because the formula tends to work most of the time.
The main theory is 3,500 calories equals one pound. Based on this theory, anyone that takes in 3,500 calories more or less than required will see a one pound shift in body weight.
With that said, the way to lose a pound has now been exposed. If that method works, it makes sense to just double it to lose two pounds. So, a total deficit in a single week of 7,000 calories is needed to trigger a weekly two pound weight loss.
1,000 Calories a Day!
No, 1,000 calories is not what the person will be eating in a given day. It’s what the person will NOT be eating!
That should send off some alarms. A caloric deficit of 1,000 would put some people’s caloric intake to around 750, or even less!
So it’s easy to say that a deficit of 1,000 calories is not really suggested. It may be accomplished by some men with a high focus on macronutrient intake, but it almost never supports a healthy weight loss.
Instead, it’s a good idea to supplement dietary weight loss with weight loss from exercise. 500 calories is a healthy caloric deficit for moderate weight loss, pitting an individual’s dietary weight loss at one pound per week. Another 500 calories can be added to this deficit through the individual’s diet. This will create a total caloric deficit of 1,000 calories each day, triggering a weight loss of two pounds per week.
Burning 500 Calories a Day
This is the tough part. 500 calories burnt from exercise on a diet made for weight loss is not easy. In fact, it’s going to be very physically and mentally challenging.
To put it into perspective, 500 calories equates to a 45-minute aquatics workout routine, a 35-minute high intensity cycling session, or a 30-minute high intensity interval training routine. Just imagine how much walking one would have to do to burn 500 calories each day!
Of course, the actual time required may vary depending on the activity and intensity levels. As the body is in cutting mode, the weight loss composition from these burnt calories may not be ideal. This is why minimizing the cardio time is best. Many find that high intensity interval training works best for this.
Further, breaking down cardio into two separate workouts – one in the morning and one at night – may make things easier. Many have trouble getting through the sessions as energy levels are less than ideal due to limited dietary intake. While the caloric deficit does play a role, a lot of the time it’s actually the lack of carbohydrates being taken in that makes the cardio so difficult.
Conclusion: Two Pounds a Week, Doable?
A weight loss of two pounds per week is usually just suggested for individuals who have an excessive amount of body fat to lose. It is too fast of a weight loss to safely eliminate the risk of losing muscle.
While it is doable, it’s also difficult. This post outlines how an individual will need to both lower food intake and increase physical activity in order to have a chance to hit the targeted weight loss of two pounds per week. Still, keep in mind that these results are only ideal for those that can lose a bunch of weight then worry about body composition.