If you’re working on losing a few extra pounds these days or just being healthier in general, you’re likely aware that, in addition to the exercise endorphins, new fondness of fresh, good-for-you foods, and general HBIC vibes you draw from taking care of yourself, there’s a totally superficial fringe benefit: Duh, you’ll look even hotter. Recently, University of Toronto researchers took on a question we never thought to ask: Exactly how much weight does one have to lose to look quote-unquote better? You’re obviously gorge already, but their results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science put some science behind when people will actually* notic*e all those trips to the gym.

The scientists started with photos of the faces of men and women ages 20 to 40 and digitally altered them to put on a few pounds. (Apparently “facial adiposity” is a great proxy for overall body mass index, or BMI—who knew?) Then, by having study participants draw headshot pairs and note which face looked heavier to them, the researchers calculated the magic number when weight loss becomes visible in the face: It’s when your BMI drops by 2.93. (That’s 2.93 lbs./m2, the units for BMI; you can calculate your own BMI here.)

Next, researchers sussed out the threshold at which a change in facial adiposity cued a change in their perceived attractiveness. Turns out women’s BMI had to shift by 5.24, and men’s had to shift by 5.7, for anyone to rate their beauty differently. To put that in human terms, this translates to about 13.9 pounds for the average woman and 18.1 pounds for the average man.

To put it bluntly: “Women and men of average height need to gain or lose about about 8 and 9 pounds, respectively, for anyone to see it in their face, but they need to lose about twice as much for anyone to find them more attractive,” lead author Nicholas Rule told Medical News Today.

The upshot? One, men have to lose more weight than women to get the attractiveness boost, so there’s that. Two, you probably don’t have to hit your goal weight to start noticing a difference. And three, you likely can gain 10+ pounds and not look one iota less hot. This study is fun and interesting, but let’s be real: None of us really need to care about what strangers in a Canadian research lab think about our looks. So drop the mike…and pass the Christmas cookies.

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Contents

13 Things That Happen to Your Body After You Lose 5 Pounds

Let’s be real: Losing weight is hard. And sometimes, it can feel like you don’t see any results, no matter how hard you try. But the truth is that even if you don’t see the fruits of your efforts in the mirror (yet!), subtle changes are starting to happen in your body—even if you just lose 5 pounds!

That’s right: you don’t need to lose a dramatic number of pounds for your body to start to transform. Here are 13 things that happen to your body when you start shedding weight—some are surprising. And as you continue to lose weight, you’ll rack up the health benefits and see more noticeable differences.

1

Your Fat Cells Shrink

To lose weight, you take in fewer calories than you expend. But where does your body get the extra energy it needs? Your fat cells. “As your body starts to pull energy from your fat cells to make up for the energy from the food you’re not eating, your fat cells will shrink,” says Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, and co-founder of Neuro Coffee. And if you need more incentive to keep the weight off, Rousell says that rapidly regaining weight can hyper-inflate your fat cells. “They become bigger than they were before you lost weight,” he says.

2

You’ll Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check

Shedding a few pounds may improve your body’s ability to dial into your blood sugar. “Eating less and exerting yourself more will lead to greater insulin sensitivity, which allows your body to better control and stabilize blood sugar levels,” says Roussell. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced can not only help you avoid hunger pains but curb chronic diseases too.

3

You May Feel Hungrier

And it’s not just your imagination. “When you reduce your calories to lose weight, your body will release higher amounts of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin tells your brain that you are hungry and could eat,” says Rousell. No wonder you’re always hungry when you try to lose weight!

4

You’ll Tame Inflammation

While inflammation is part of your body’s natural defense system, carrying extra weight can cause it to go into overdrive, leading to chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But researchers found that losing an average of six pounds decreased inflammation by tamping down the production of pro-inflammatory proteins. It also improved immune system function.

5

Your Metabolic Rate Changes

You know that your metabolism is the engine that drives calorie burn. When you start to lose weight, your metabolic rate will decrease because your body will need fewer calories per day to keep your body running. But those changes can be relative. “A 200-pound person who loses 5 pounds will have less of a metabolic impact than a 115-pound person who loses 5 pounds,” Roussell explains. “The severity in which you cut calories and increase exercise will also have an impact. Slower, more gradual changes will have less of a negative impact .”

6

Your Joints Will Ache Less

It makes sense: The more you weigh, the more force you exert on your bones and joints when you move—approximately four pounds of extra pressure on your knees for every pound of extra weight, according to the Arthritis Foundation. And over time, that additional strain may lead to joint damage and osteoarthritis. Losing five pounds of excess weight could mean 20 fewer pounds of pressure on your precious joints.

7

You’ll Decreases “Bad” Fat

According to a study in Cell Metabolism, dropping a few pounds was enough to decrease not only liver fat but also intra-abdominal fat. That’s the “bad” fat that clings to your organs and can trigger the release of molecules linked to a variety of health conditions. Reducing the amount of intra-abdominal fat may lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

8

Your Heart Will Be Healthier

Slimming down boosts HDL cholesterol—the good-for-you kind—and lowered triglycerides (which increases your risk for heart disease), decreasing your risk for heart disease. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, overweight and obese women who lost weight over two years dropped their total cholesterol levels, regardless of the number of pounds dropped.

9

You’ll Be More Efficient

Your body that is. When you begin to exercise as part of your weight loss plan, your body has to work hard to keep up with the new activity. But once you get the hang of it, your body requires less effort (and calories) to maintain the same level of activity, says Roussell. “Your muscles will start to become more efficient, meaning that you will burn fewer calories the more your run, even if you’re running the same distance,” he says.

10

You’ll Sleep Better

Who couldn’t use some more quality zzzs? (Raises hand!) One study from the University of Pennsylvania found that a small amount of weight loss improves sleep, adding roughly 22 minutes of shut-eye. That means more energy and a better mood, too!

11

You May Lose Water Weight First

But it depends on how you change your diet. “If you cut carbs significantly, then some of the weight that you will lose will be water weight as your body stores carbohydrates in your muscles along with water. When those carbohydrates are used up and not replaced (since you’re eating a lower carb diet), you will lose the water that was also stored there,” says Roussell. However, if you adjust your diet moderately and don’t severely restrict calories or carbs, you’re more likely to lose body fat, according to Roussell.

12

Your Blood Pressure May Drop

When you’re carrying around extra weight, your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can mean higher blood pressure. Lowering the number of the scale can drop systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese and had type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

13

You May Boost Your Mood

Losing five pounds may make you feel happier, even if it’s just the kick-off to your weight loss journey. One review of published research found that people experienced positive mental health benefits such as higher measures of self-esteem when they shed a few pounds and sometimes when they didn’t lose any weight at all.

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When you’re setting out to lose 20 pounds or more, the temptation is to make significant changes, but you don’t have to completely switch up your routine or reshape your personality to achieve lasting weight loss.

“The reality is we have to take a step back and not try to fit the mold of something, but try to make small changes along the way,” says Renee Rogers, Ph.D., FACSM, an exercise physiologist with the University of Pittsburgh.

Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, agrees that small steps are the way to go.

“The biggest barrier with weight loss is the whole idea of feeling like you just aren’t motivated or thinking that everything is beyond your reach,” she says. “Shifting your habits to be similar but just slightly more difficult than your current routine can help get you right on track to making changes that stick.”

Here’s how to make those small tweaks and see a big pay-off. But first, remember to contact your physician before beginning any diet or fitness program. “We all have different metabolisms, and some of us should never lose two — not to mention, 20 pounds — depending on where we’re at,” London says.

Don’t lose more than 1-2 pounds per week.

When you’re starting out, it’s tempting to ditch weight as fast as possible – we’re human, after all. But when it comes to people dieting on their own (e.g., without medical supervision), research supports a steadier approach.

“One to two pounds a week is what’s recommended and is considered a safe amount of weight loss,” Dr. Rogers says. “It’s a more feasible and healthier approach, mentally and physically on your body, too.” Following that rule of thumb, two to four months is a reasonable time frame to lose about 20 pounds.

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London prefers looking at it as a percentage: “I wouldn’t recommend losing any more than 7-10% of your current weight in less than a three to six month range,” she says. “Weight that comes off too fast for some may be impossible to keep off.”

While you can lose weight quickly following a fad diet, strict rules can make it difficult to follow an extreme eating plan well into the future, not to mention make life harder to live right now.

“Absolutely people are going to lose weight when they do that, but the reality is that they’re probably going to be hungry, they may not enjoy the way that they feel, and all of those barriers down the line are going to creep back up,” Dr. Rogers says. “The yo-yo dieting and the issues that we face with gaining and losing often are because we’re taking on strategies that just aren’t sustainable.”

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Eat something every 3-4 hours.

Have you ever dived into late-night snacks the day you skipped breakfast? Trying to “cut back” — especially earlier in the day — backfires every time, London says.

“It’s usually because we either skipped a meal or didn’t eat enough at any given meal —particularly of the combo of protein and fiber,” she explains. Prevent that from happening by grabbing a snack or sitting down for a meal every four hours or so. Getting a mix of protein, fiber, and fat will fill you up and circumvent grazing later on.

Go big at breakfast.

Fueling yourself for the day starts with filling breakfast, whether it’s peanut butter toast, a banana, and latté at the office, or whipping up a quick egg to go with last night’s leftover veggies at home.

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While it won’t necessarily help you lose weight, there’s also no concrete evidence that starting to eat breakfast will make you gain weight, London says. If you’re already getting in your morning meal, consider doubling the produce portion or adding an extra heap of protein to the mix, she advises.

“You won’t ‘overdo it’ for the whole day simply because you’ll find yourself naturally cutting back at dinner and not wanting to snack nearly in the same way later on at night,” she explains. “I’ve seen countless patients who lose weight simply by making breakfast a ‘must-eat’ and by making it more nutrient-dense every single day.”

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Think more produce, more often.

“When it comes to vegetables and fruit, the bottom line is that more is more (a.k.a. better),” London says. “Eat more of these foods, and no matter what else you’re doing, you’re going to lose weight.”

Her rule of thumb: Make your plate at least half veggies. Stir them into your omelette, stuff ’em into a sandwich, start dinner with a salad, you name it. This can apply to your midday snacks too.

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“Add a piece of fruit or an extra serving of veggies to any snack you’re making,” London advises. “Swap crispy radishes, carrots, and jicama slices for chips with dip; choose apple slices instead of crackers as the vehicle for your peanut butter; choose any bar or packaged snack that has a real vegetable or fruit as the first ingredient; or keep a piece of produce (apple, pear, orange — ones that come in their own little ‘packaging’) in your bag.”

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Instead of eliminating carbs or sugar, choose more “whole” foods.

No, we’re not talking about the grocery store chain. “Whole describes the best form in which to eat fiber-filled fruit and veggies,” London says. “Eating more food in its natural state helps you replace less nutritious foods, and all of the nutrient-poor additives that they bring with them.” That means choosing fruit instead of fruit juice; vegetables instead of veggie chips; whole-grain bread instead of burger buns; or a baked sweet potato instead of sweet potato fries.

“This does not mean completely eliminating these ingredients, meals and snacks from your diet, but choosing whole foods more often,” London explains. “It create eating patterns that will make your body feel great and give you confidence in your ability to stay in the driver’s seat.”

Skip sugary drinks.

Sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks, soda, alcohol mixers, and even 100% juice are all sugar-containing beverages that provide calories without really filling you up. One of the simplest (and most efficient) ways to cut back in general is to replace them with calorie-free water, seltzer, unsweetened coffee and tea, and the occasional diet soda.

“If you’re looking to lose quickly and keep booze in your life, that’s okay, too,” London says. “Go with spirits on the rocks, and just pull in the reins on the other beverages.”

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Work your way into exercising 5 minutes at a time.

Adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Getting active can provide immediate benefits like reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality, but also benefit your health long after you leave the gym. Exercise will help prevent excessive weight gain and maintain a healthy one, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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“Diet really drives weight loss, but exercise ends up being a very important behavior for assisting,” Dr. Roger explains. She advises establishing a pattern of working out now so your fitness routine can help keep weight off later on. The first week, try doing 10 minutes of activity for five days. The next week, go for 15 minutes, and slowly ramp up from there. The more minutes you do, the more calories you burn, and the more it’s going to help with your weight loss.

“I like to tell my patients, ‘Give me five,'” Dr. Rogers says. “‘Give me five days and let’s start to build up the minutes on those days so you develop a positive pattern.’ Eventually when they’re feeling good and starting to lose weight and the body’s stronger and becoming acclimated, they find very quickly they’re able to do more and more minutes.”

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Focus on aerobic workouts.

Dr. Rogers defines aerobic exercise as anything that gets you to break a sweat and raise your heart rate. While weight training can help you build muscle strength and support bone health, it’s not going to burn as many calories as aerobic exercise, so if you’re short on time and prioritizing weight loss, put the emphasis on moving more instead, she advises.

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Even moderate activity can make a big impact. “As a novice to getting moving, brisk walking is still up there as one of the number one things you can do,” Rogers says. “The idea of ‘no pain, no gain,’ that’s old-school thinking.”

It’s more important to find what you like to do than focusing on the perfect thing to do, she adds. Choosing an activity that you’re willing do five days per week will get you a lot farther than forcing yourself into something you’re not a fan of.

“If you love to dance, forget about going to the gym and getting on the treadmill — find a fun dance class that you like,” Dr. Rogers says. “At the end of the day, it really comes down to being passionate about what you’re trying to do.”

Increase how much you move throughout the day.

When you’re trying to get more active, scheduling regular breaks throughout your day can help. Set a timer on your phone reminding you to get up once per hour while you’re at work, either to march in place for a bit or take a brisk two-minute walk around the office, Dr. Rogers suggests.

If you’re hard-pressed to find 30-minute chunks in your schedule for working out, you can also build active minutes into your day, she says. Start by doing 10 minutes in the morning before the kids get up, sneak in another 10 on your lunch break, and then get the last 10 by walking around the building or the block when you leave the office.

Caroline Picard Health Editor Caroline is the Health Editor at GoodHousekeeping.com covering nutrition, fitness, wellness, and other lifestyle news.

How to Lose 20 Pounds in 10 Days

Trying to lose 20 pounds in 10 days will require extreme consistency in diet and exercise 2. Exercise and healthy eating are key in losing your desired weight. This is not an easy task and will take hard work and discipline. Do not be disappointed if you don’t see your desired results after 10 days. Remember, you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so losing it will take some time. You will need to dedicate yourself to changing your lifestyle if you want to reach your weight loss goals.

Trying to lose 20 pounds in 10 days will require extreme consistency in diet and exercise 2. Exercise and healthy eating are key in losing your desired weight. This is not an easy task and will take hard work and discipline. Do not be disappointed if you don’t see your desired results after 10 days. Remember, you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so losing it will take some time. You will need to dedicate yourself to changing your lifestyle if you want to reach your weight loss goals.

Replace junk foods with healthy foods that are low in salt and sugar.

Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to get rid of toxins in your body that cause you to gain excess weight.

Eat six small meals per day, including breakfast.

Immediately start a cardio workout. Jogging, running or swimming for 45 minutes per day burns calories and gets your heart rate up.

Tips

Avoid fried foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages, because they are high in calories. Do not snack between meals unless it is fruits or vegetables.

Warnings

Consult your physician before starting any exercise or diet plan.

The Wrap Up

Trying to lose 20 pounds in 10 days will require extreme consistency in diet and exercise 2 goals. Jogging, running or swimming for 45 minutes per day burns calories and gets your heart rate up.

You want to lose: The last 5 pounds

Photo, Getty Images.

161 calories: How much you can burn by watching a 90-minute horror film like Jaws.

Stop mindless eating: It’s easy to underestimate how much we eat — a handful of chips here, a latte there — so it’s no wonder we lose track.
The fix: “You become much more aware when you write it down,” says personal trainer Ashley Dale Roy. Researchers say keeping a food journal could help you lose up to six extra pounds this year!

Keep moving all day long: Sneak workouts in wherever you can.
The fix: Stuck in the office? Try this move from trainer Kathleen Trotter: Stand in front of your desk chair with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat, hovering just above chair for one count. Pulse five times. Rise onto toes. Hold for five counts. Return to start. Do it every time you take a seat.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Water flushes toxins from the body and also speeds up weight loss. Even mild dehydration can slow down the fat-burning process and sap energy levels.
The fix: Refill your glass often (aim for 2 L every day) and flavour with sliced citrus. Get a homemade vitamin water recipe here.

Add these tips to lose 10 pounds

Make intervals part of your workout: High-intensity interval training can be the best way to switch up your routine to help you shed stubborn pounds. Research shows it leads to higher energy levels, improved cardiovascular fitness and extra fat burning. One Canadian study found that when women in their 20s cycled for 10 sets of four minutes at high intensity followed by two minutes of rest, they increased the amount of fat they burned by a whopping 36 percent.
The fix: On your next morning walk, plan to jog for one block every other block. Or the next time you’re cycling at the gym, kick it up a notch for five minutes in the middle. We promise you’ll see results!

Cut out empty calories: Subtracting 500 calories from your daily intake can help you lose an extra pound per week, says personal trainer Cat Smiley.
The fix: Planning your snacks in advance significantly contributes to losing weight. Keep high-fibre, high-protein fuel at the office. We love oatmeal or Greek yogurt sprinkled with chia seeds.

Fill up with protein: Getting plenty of this essential nutrient is key to keeping weight-loss goals on track. “Missing a macronutrient like protein often leads to cravings for empty calories, like fries, doughnuts, bagels — whatever it takes to fill that void,” says Smiley.
The fix: Include protein powerhouses like fish, meat, lentils or tofu at every meal. Single-serving cups of cottage cheese are tasty, easy-to-pack snacks.

Add these tips to lose 20 pounds

Step away from the scale: Weighing in every day is not always the best indicator of success. If you’re working out more, you may be building muscle, which weighs more than fat.
The fix: Gauge your progress by your increased energy levels and how well your clothes fit.

Use the buddy system: Stay motivated by enlisting a pal as your workout buddy. Studies show your chances of weight loss increase significantly with a little help from your friends.
The fix: Sign up for a Zumba class with a co-worker or commit to jogging every morning with a neighbour.

Hit the snooze button: When people get even an hour and 20 minutes less sleep at night, they eat an average of 550 extra calories the next day.
The fix: “Get eight hours of sleep to rev up your metabolism and maximize fat-burning,” says Smiley.

-Article originally published January 2013.

7 Day Lose 10 Pounds Diet/Exercise Action Plan

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Is it possible to lose 10 pounds in a week? The answer is YES if you put your mind and effort into it.

Is it safe to lose 10 pounds in a week? The answer is YES if you eat right and exercise properly.

If you have strong willpower and want to give it a shot, this post provides you hand holding , step by step action plan on how to lose 10 pounds in a week.

It worked for myself when I so desperately wanted to lose my baby weight and fit back into my normal size dresses, it works for many others who committed to do whatever they can to look better and feel better.

It will work for you if you have 20+ pounds to lose and is willing to take the leap and follow the plan.

What is the plan about? It’s a day by day, meal by meal plan you can follow and lose 10 lbs in a week. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

The first step is to know where you can start with- how much weight you should lose?

Here is the Ideal Height Weight Chart for Adults:

Height Weight chart for adult women

Use your height, find your ideal weight. If your weight is over the ideal weight 20+ plus lbs, the more you have, the better results you will get by following this weight loss diet / exercise plan.

Let’s dive into the plan.

Choose Sunday to Start The 7 day 10 Pounds Weight Loss Plan

Table of Contents

Why Sunday?

If you are like me, busy mom with two young kids, Sunday is the best time to hit the reset button. I get some rest and prepare for a new working week on Sundays. I like to schedule my week out on Sundays to keep everything on track. You will do nothing if it’s not scheduled. Since we have the 10 pounds weight loss goal in mind, we better put it down on our weekly long calendar to make it happen instead of just thinking about it and move on with our comfort life. I also created a 7 day weight loss planner you can print out and put it on your fridge to monitor your progress.

Start with drinking green tea to detox your body after Sunday dinner.

Just so you know, we start with green tea detox is because green tea is full of antioxidants that will help clean out your system. By speeding up your metabolism, green tea will help your body burn fat while you are sleeping. Sounds cool?

How much should you drink? I like to drink 2 cups(8 ounces per cup with 1-2 bags ) at least. See how much your body can take, over drinking may cause more bathroom visits during the night which will adversely impact your weight loss plan. Find your own ideal amount ( 2-6 cups are the normal range) go with it.

Choose the decaf version of the green tea if you are sensitive to caffeine.

This is a good start of your week long 10 lbs weight loss plan.

Monday – 1st Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

The first thing after you get out of bed on Monday morning is to drink a glass of lemon water. Squeeze a lemon into a glass of cold/warm water and drink it. Do it before you get any actual food in your body, hold out of eating anything for about 30 minutes after finishing the drink.

This drink is a kick start that will get your body ready for the rest of your day.

And you can prepare your breakfast. Here is what’s on the menu.

Breakfast: Black coffee + fruit bowl + hard boiled egg

Coffee can boost your metabolic rate and increase fat burning, it also blunts your appetite and help you eat less. Drink the black coffee is the best, if you really want extra taste, add 1 tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil and a couple dashes of cinnamon.

Fruit bowl should have blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. They are all very rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, making the fruit bowl a nutritional powerhouse.

One large egg contains only 80 calories, but it’s rich in high quality protein, healthy fats and many essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a killer weight loss food.

Lunch : Chicken breast + Romaine lettuce + Crispy, crumbled bacon

Chicken breast, without breading or skin, helps you eat fewer calories. It’s packed with lean protein, which increases your body’s energy level, as a result, burn extra calories for effective weight-loss.

A single serving of chicken breast (102 calories) is about three ounces or the size of the palm of your hand.

Lettuce is crunchy and delicious, 100 g serving of lettuce contains a mere 15 calories, zero cholesterol, the ingredient – lactucaxanthin, which is an anti-diabetic carotenoid, can successfully control cravings and hunger pangs by preventing spikes or fall of blood sugar levels.

High quality organic bacon – contains no antibiotics or hormones, is full of nutrients such as antioxidants, selenium, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, zinc etc. It is a delicious way to keep your brain and body healthy and functional. So you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight.

Dinner : Grilled Salmon + Broccoli + Carrots

7 day 10 lbs weight loss dinner

This is going to be your last meal. Try and have this meal between 2-4 hours before you go to bed. Or it will throw off your sleep pattern and cause your body to retain much of what you ate.

This dinner will give you the bit of protein and minerals that will help you shed those pounds.

If you have the urge to snack before go to bed, don’t give in to this temptation. You don’t need that snack. Instead, drinking the green tea and go to sleep before 11 pm. You will be happier a week later when you see the scale.

Recommended Exercise: Brisk Walking for 0.5- 1 hour

A brisk walking can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. Why 1 hour? Your body burns sugars in the first 30 minutes walk, as you keep walking, your body releases fat from your fat cells and burns it for fuel, that’s where the weight loss takes place.

Also keep yourself active during the day, don’t sit too long, walk out of your cubical or office to talk or walk with other colleges, it will help burn more calories.

Tuesday – 2nd Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

Start with Lemon water like Monday.

Today we are going to do a vegetable day. Vegetables are known diet-friendly foods that will help you lose 10 pounds with this 7-day plan. And there is plenty to choose from.

Eat them raw or boiled, in a salad or otherwise, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving the desired 10 lbs weight loss plan.

Breakfast: Beet and carrot smoothie

Beet and carrot smoothie

Add a dash of lemon to get rid of the “earthy” kick. You can also have any other type of vegetable smoothies that will keep you energized and hydrated throughout the day. Kale is another great option for this “veggie day”.

Lunch: Spinach + zucchinis + cabbage salad

A bowl of spinach salad with zucchinis and cabbage strips added in. Raw spinach will do wonders for your health and weight loss. Season it with coconut oil and 1 to 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. The good thing about veggies is that they are healthy and low-cal. Coconut oil is high in Fatty Acids which boost your metabolism to burn more calories. Apple cider vinegar helps your body block enzymes so fewer carbs will be absorbed into your system, and you will fell more satiated to stop food craving.

Dinner: Avocado + Halloumi cheese Plate

Avocado + Halloumi cheese

You can replace the cucumber with other crunchy veggie, such as celery, radishes or just go with romaine lettuce.

This should be the end of second day meal.

Drink some green tea after dinner and before going to bed. No snack after dinner.

Recommended exercise : Walking for 0.5-1 hour. To be more creative, I found doing the laundry, cleaning the house, are very calorie burning exercise. Think outside of box and keep yourself active.

How do you feel after the two days? Feel the body changes? Let’s move on.

Wednesday – 3rd Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

The first thing in the morning after getting out of your bed? You are right, drinking lemon water!

Breakfast : Bullet proof coffee.

Today, instead of having the full breakfast, we will just drink coffee and be done with it!

You are like, no way! A cup of coffee will not hold you full through lunch time!

Well, not all coffee can do that, but some coffee does have the power to keep you satiated. It is Bullet Proof coffee.

BulletProof Coffee

The bulletproof coffee is mixed with grass-fed, unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.

MCT oil can increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin, which makes it an effective weight loss tool.

Plus, grass-fed butter contains high levels of omega-3s, anti-inflammatory properties can improve gut health, brain function, and energy levels and triggers fat loss.

It’s a good substitute for breakfast and can save you some sleep time in the morning. And it tastes really good!

Lunch: Orange + Beet Sesame Salad

Orange + beet salad

Add two handful of arugula to your salad. The extra benefit of arugula is that two cups contain only 80 calories, making it a good choice for weight loss diet.

Dinner: Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole

Add crushed pork rinds for a crispy casserole top.

End your day with 1-2 cup of green tea.

Recommended exercise: Hot yoga class.

You don’t even have to do all of the moves, just go to the class and follow the instruction and do your best. The high temperature in the room will make you sweat like hell. That will help you burn up to 800 calories and lose the extra water weight.

If that’s not an option in your area, find something fun to do, like playing basketball with your kids, go hiking or running together, or hop on those bikes that have been gathering dust in the basement and go for a ride. The possibilities are literally endless.

We are half way done! Good work if you are still keep up with the plan!

Thursday – 4th Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

Here is how the 4th day plan works:

As always, start with a cup of lemon water.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs + Black coffee

Lunch: Tuna Avocado Salad

Tuna + avocado salad

Dinner: Shrimp Mushroom Zoodles

Shrimp + mushroom + zoodles

Exercise: 1 hour brisk walking

Or pick your favorite activity and get yourself moving, sitting on the couch watching TV does not count!

Friday – 5th Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

Last day of working day for this week.

Let’s have some chai seed power breakfast after our lemon water routine.

Soak the chai seed in almond milk overnight, add chocolate powder protein to give you a energy boost for a productive day.

Chai Seed + chocolate powder protein

Lunch: Pecan + Pomegranate salad

Pecan + pomegranate salad

Dinner: Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

Exercise: Walking or your pick of favorite activity

Saturday – 6th Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

Finally we come closer to the end of the week, and the 7 day 10 lbs weight loss plan.

How’s your progress on weight loss? Did you check mark your TRACKER?

Let’s give it a push if you desire – intermittent fasting.

Because you don’t have to get up early like the work day so it’s an excellent day to do the 16-8 gentle intermittent fasting. I am still doing it almost every weekend.

The intermittent fasting is an effective and proven tool for weight loss.

Limit your eating to a short window of time to reduce your calorie intake.

Try a 16-hour fast with an 8-hour feeding window, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. I stop eating after dinner around 7 pm on Friday until 11am next morning. You can just have a long beauty sleep-in till the next brunch time. Voila! That’s 16 hour fast. You can also speed up the weight loss by doing 20-hour fast with a 4-hour feeding window. Drink water instead when you feel hungry during the fasting time.

Continue walking and keep yourself active, so your body burns more fat to lose weight.

Sunday – 7th Day 10 Lbs Weight Loss Plan

Woo-hoo! Last day of 7 day weight loss plan. Don’t go on the scale in the morning just yet, you still have 10-12 hours to work on it. Let’s capitalize it at the end. You might lose another 1-2 pounds by following the steps below:

Continue the 16-8 intermittent fasting.

When it’s lunch time, don’t overeat, keep your meal moderate, I would make the Canjun chicken lettuce wrap with olive oil, garnished with shredded carrots, green onion and sesame seeds.

Canjun chicken lettuce wrap

Go for a walking with your dog, kids or friends. Try to walk 1 hour. Your friend might already notice your changes. Share with them what you did and what they can learn from you.

For dinner on Sunday, let’s have some brown rice with vegetable soup.

Brown rice with veggie soup

Drink enough water and green tea through out the day.

After dinner, about the same time 7 days before, you can hop on the scale to see that your commitment were not in vain.

Leave a comment below and let me know how much you lose! We normally don’t like to lose, but for the weight loss you’ve achieved, let’s high five it!

Tips and Tricks on Following the 7 day 10 lbs weight loss plan.

  1. You want to be aware of calories.

If you are new to weight loss diet. You might not have the habit of calculating the calories. This diet plan does not require you to precisely count the calories in and out amount, but you should understand the principal of what you take in should be less than what your body needs to lose weight.

For example, you are 180 lbs, female, 5’5″ tall, to maintain your current weight, your should take in around 2280 calories. To lose weight, you should take in 1820 calories, to lose weight faster, you only can take in 1370 calories. That’s pretty straight forward.

Use this calculator to find out how much calories you can take in:

CALORIE CALCULATOR

Plus, counting calories becomes super easy these days. There are many useful website and apps that help you log your meals and track your intake.

One of my favorite is called MyFitnessPal. It is one of the most popular calorie counter right now. It tracks your weight and calculates a recommended daily calorie intake. It also contains a well designed food diary and exercise log. You can go to their website – www.myfitnesspal.com to learn more and try it for free.

You can also get a kitchen food scale. It will be your best friend and can give you an accurate weight of what’s on your plate, so you can easily calculate calories, carbs and proteins.

2. Don’t underestimate the importance of exercising.

It is very important to exercise while you are trying to lose weight.

Study shows moderately active people burned about 200 more calories per day than the most sedentary participants.

You don’t have to log miles on the treadmill and spend hours in cycling class in the hopes of torching more calories. Study also shows the most physically active people didn’t burn any more calories than those who were only moderately active.

Find some activities to move you around and enjoy it. Could be walking from home to work if your workplace is close enough, ditching the elevator and taking the stairs, shopping, dancing, just name a few.

3. Drink a lot of water.

Water will help your immune system stay healthy, keep your skin looking great, and keep you hydrated during your daily workout.

Drink at least 8 cups of water. Add slices of lemon or lime to your water for better taste and detoxing effect.

Drink green tea. green tea is well known for its antioxidant power, stimulating the natural detox function of your body’s cells to burn more fat.

If you don’t know which green tea to start with, try one of my favorite green tea Bigelow Classic Green Tea.

4. The plan after the 7 day weight loss plan.

Everyone is different, your body might have different reaction to this 7 day weight loss plan. But if your diet is like the typical American- high carb, high sugar. You should be able to lose 5-10 lbs depending on what weight you start with.

Celebrating your weight loss victory with a glass of wine at dinner among friends and family while eating a low sugar, no- processed food is allowed, but don’t make it often, Because your body has not fully adopted the new food groups so it probably goes into protective mode by lowering your metabolism and stimulating your appetite to preserve fat stores. As a result, you will put the lost weight back on your body faster than you think.

It’s better to use the 7-day weight loss plan as the kick start of the long term weight management plan. You see the results, you know you can lose the unwanted fat, you just need to stick to a longer, more sustainable weight management plan.

You can try out my FATTY TO SKINNY program. It is a well-designed weight loss plan. It is built around a well-balanced diet to help you lose 20, 30, 50 or even more lbs. It also helps you build sustainable life habits to keep the weight off!

You can check it out here :

FATTY TO SKINNY

Bottom Line

Research shows 68.7% of Americans are overweight. Losing 10 pounds in 7 days might not be easy for you. You have all the reasons to procrastinate the weight loss action plan and move on with your comfort life.

But think about this, imagine you successfully lose the weight and keep it off and transform your body from 68% group to the 32% group, you know it takes a lot of discipline.

But you also know you are mentally strong enough, you are able to push through those moments where you feel like you’re about to break down, you know you can lose the weight.

You know you can conquer anything.

To some, losing 10 pounds might sound like NBD. But it’s actually a BFD.

Acronyms aside, losing the weight necessary to fit back into your pants without having to unbutton them while sitting (struggle so real) is pretty hard, considering you’re probably not eating pizza three times a day and only walking from your bed to the couch seven days a week (and if you are, kudos).

The thing is, pinpointing the changes you need to make to lose 10 pounds can be a lot more challenging than adjusting your diet to lose, say, 50.

That’s why we asked six women to get super-specific about what they ate every day to drop 10 pounds and keep it off.

Allison Tibbs

“I struggled to get rid of the 10 pounds I gained in college and keep it off through my twenties until I changed my focus to clean eating, let go of calorie counting, and stopped restricting specific food groups from my diet. I started eating foods that I cooked myself and made sure I followed basic principles, like shopping from the perimeter of the grocery store, cooking and prepping most meals myself, and balancing my plate with proteins, healthy carbs, veggies, and healthy fats. I’ve been on this journey now for six years and haven’t gained the weight back. I have freedom and confidence around food now, and thoroughly enjoy it. I post many of my recipes on Instagram.”

Breakfast: A green smoothie: 2 cups kale, 1 cup coconut water, 1/2 cup water, 2 cups strawberries, 1/2 banana, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, a handful of ice
Midday Snack: 3 egg white muffins with goat cheese, chicken sausage, and spinach
Lunch: Kale salad with tuna, carrots, cabbage, and hard-boiled eggs
Mid Afternoon Snack: Apple with cashew butter
Dinner: Crockpot turkey and sweet potato chili
Post Dinner Snack: One to two squares of dark chocolate and handful of almonds

Related: The 8 Best Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss

Talia Koren

“I lost 10 pounds and maintained my weight loss by cooking 75 percent of my meals instead of eating out all the time, which I was doing a lot. I focused on eating only whole foods and doing mild exercise, like jogging and yoga, at least three times a week. I weighed 132 pounds in the fall and winter of 2015, and by late summer 2016, I weighed 122 pounds.”

Breakfast: 1 whole-grain waffle with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 sliced banana
Snack: A handful of almonds and dried cranberries
Lunch: 4 ounces of grilled salmon, 1 cup of chopped, grilled asparagus, 1/2 of a small roasted sweet potato with cayenne pepper
Snack: 1 green apple
Dinner: Two scrambled eggs with 1/2 chopped tomato, a handful of spinach, 1/4 cup of low-fat cheese, and Sriracha, wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla
Snack: 1/2 cup of berries with 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey

Ellen Yin

Ellen Yim

“I successfully lost 10 pounds over the course of a few years by counting macronutrients and tracking my daily intake of protein, carbs, and fat. I calculated my custom macro goals based on my resting metabolic rate, height, weight, age, and activity level. Then I planned to eat 15 percent less than my maintenance macros goal. The beauty of the ‘if it fits your macros’ plan is that it teaches you to have a healthy relationship with food. As long as I hit my allotted macro goals, I can eat whatever foods I want. However, I focus on nutrient-dense foods so that I can fit my favorite treats in moderation. This was a slow and steady weight loss—no crash diets, no food restrictions.”

Breakfast: 1/2 cup of Kodiak Waffle Mix (a high protein waffle mix), 20 grams of fat-free Reddi Wip, 2 slices of bacon, 100 grams of egg whites (and sometimes I throw some cheese on there)
Post-workout snack: Protein smoothie: 1/2 banana, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder, 2 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter; 1 cup of fat free milk, ice
Lunch: 150 grams of light tuna mixed with 2 tablespoons of Bolthouse Farms Ranch (a low-fat yogurt based dressing), lettuce or salad mix, 30 to 40 grams of avocado, 2 to 4 tablespoons of wonton crisps for extra crunch and flavor
Snack: Greek yogurt with raspberries
Dinner: 6 ounces grilled chicken or pacific cod, 150 grams rice, 1/2 cup edamame or black beans, 1 tablespoon Yumm sauce (from Cafe Yumm)
Dessert: Halo Top Ice Cream. My favorite flavor is birthday cake and it’s only 280 calories plus 24 grams of protein for the whole pint.

Related: 9 Women Share Exactly How Long it Took Them to Lose 20 Pounds or More

See some of the weirdest diets people have actually tried.

Megan Bauer

Megan Bauer

“For a long time, I thought it would be impossible to lose the extra weight I had gained over the years since college. I work a desk job 40-plus hours a week, so I have to be incredibly diligent about meal planning and prep. I started watching my portions and measuring out food as well as eating a balanced diet. I’ve realized that eating unhealthy food only gives me satisfaction for a few minutes and then it’s gone. Eating healthy is about realizing what your long-term goals are and sticking to those.”

Breakfast: 2 eggs and 1 piece of whole-wheat toast with 1/4 smashed avocado on it
Snack: A shake with 1 cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and a scoop of protein powder (I use hemp-seed protein)
Lunch: 3/4 cup of a protein (like chicken), 1/2 cup of a carbs (like quinoa), and 1 cup of steamed kale, bell peppers, and mushrooms. I like to make salsa chicken, which is two pounds of chicken breast cooked in a slow cooker with 1 cup of salsa. It makes delicious shredded chicken. I also season the breasts with red pepper flakes and cumin.
Snack: 1 cup of fruit (like strawberries), 1 cup of veggies (like sweet peppers)
Dinner: 3/4 cup of a protein (tuna, salmon or pork tenderloin) and one veggie (usually broccoli)

Related: 7 Things You Can Do in the Morning to Promote Weight Loss

Brandi Hamerstone

Brandi Hamerstone

“After two kids and a stressful divorce, I gained weight and my metabolism felt super slow. I decided I needed a change. So I started following a plan where I ate 18 to 21 grams of protein, five grams of fat, and 15 to 18 grams of carbohydrates every three hours. I ended up losing a little more than 10 pounds over the course of six months.” (Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women’s Health’s All in 18 DVD!)

7 a.m. 1 1/2 baked egg muffins (with egg whites and turkey sausage) and two mandarin oranges
10 a.m. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar
1 p.m. 1 can of tuna with 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise and 1 red apple or a turkey and spinach wrap with mayonnaise
4 p.m. A FlapJacked Cinnamon Apple Mighty Muffin
7 p.m. 4 to 5 ounces of salmon with Brussels sprouts or a salad with cheese, ground chicken, lettuce, and tortilla chips

How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week

Getting rid of stubborn fat isn’t easy and doing it in a short amount of time is even harder. No matter how many hours you spend in a gym or outdoor playing a sport, if you are not eating right then none of the workout will help you lose weight.

Most of the diet plans look promising to provide a quick weight loss process, but, most of the time they are not suitable for your health. The body type, metabolism rate, and overall health also play a vital role in making any diet plan effective.

However, if you follow a meal plan, that includes all the nutrition required for the body, it will help you lose weight quickly and at the same time keep you healthy and strong.

This is the meal plan that you need to follow, every day, for 7 days:

1 glass lemon water + 1 cup black coffee + 1 fruit bowl + 1 egg

Let’s start with breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. The first thing you should consume after you wake up, a glass of water with some lemon juice. Drinking this lemon water will help to give your metabolism a jump start. It also purifies your body and removes harmful toxins. Wait for 30 minutes, let the lemon water do its work and then you can have breakfast.

Coffee boosts your metabolic rate and increases fat burning, it also reduces your appetite and helps you eat less.

The best time to eat fruit is in the morning. Fruit bowl should have strawberries blueberries, and raspberries. They are all packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, making the fruit bowl a nutritional powerhouse. Dry fruits, like almonds, hazelnuts, etc. are also good additions to breakfast.

One large egg contains only 80 calories, but it’s rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats, and many essential vitamins and minerals. It’s an ultimate weight-loss food.

You will have good natural sugars to last you throughout the day, proteins to keep you full and vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning at a healthy level.

Chicken breast + 1/2 cup chickpeas + 1 cup raw spinach + Lettuce

A single serving of chicken breast (102 calories) is about three ounces or the size of the palm of your hand. Chicken breast, without breading or skin, helps you consume fewer calories. It contains lean protein, which increases your body’s energy level, as a result, burn extra calories for an effective weight-loss.

Chickpeas are ideal for weight loss since they are loaded with fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. A 2016 analysis of 21 previous research trials revealed that people who ate one serving of beans, lentils, chickpeas, per day lost about one pound after six weeks compared to those who didn’t include them at all whether they were dieting or not.

One cup of raw spinach contains just seven calories, almost one gram each of protein and fiber, and one gram of carbs. Fee studies suggest that thylakoids, the internal membrane system in green plants like spinach, facilitate the release of satiety hormones in the body.

Lettuce tastes great, and is light and crunchy. 100 g serving of lettuce contains only 15 calories, zero cholesterol, lactucaxanthin, which is an anti-diabetic carotenoid that successfully controls cravings and hunger pangs by preventing spikes or fall of blood sugar levels.

Grilled Salmon + 1/2 cup cauliflower

This dinner will give you a bit of protein and minerals that will help you shed those extra pounds.

In addition to being a great source of lean protein, salmon helps maintain your muscle mass when trying to lose weight, it is also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which your body can’t produce. One three-ounce fillet of salmon has 155 calories, 22 grams of protein, seven grams of fat, and zero carbs. According to nutritionist Krista Maguire, “Salmon is a great option as a dinner alongside some veggies and a whole grain or starch like quinoa or sweet potato.”

Eating veggie, such as cauliflower, decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

This is going to be your last meal of the day. Dinner should be consumed early, about 6-7 pm is best. Try and have this meal between 2-4 hours prior to bed. Or it will throw off your sleep pattern and cause your body to retain much of what you ate.

The nutrients you have eaten throughout the day are ample and your body doesn’t require anything more. You have to refrain from eating anything else until you go to bed. Try drinking green tea and go to sleep before 11 pm. You will be happier a week later when you see the scale.

This meal plan will give you a healthy dose of nutrients without starving you. And, you will be able to lose weight quickly. However, if you are taking some kind of medication or treatment, consult with your doctor before you change your diet plan.

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month?

In our tech-savvy society we’ve become even more used to getting results quickly. Demanding instant gratification is fine when you’re talking about a smartphone, but it’s not the best policy when it comes to weight loss.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fad diets that promise large amounts of weight loss leave you hungry at best, and at their worst they leave you with unhealthy habits and returned weight gain.

So what is the magic number to lose weight and keep it off? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s 1 to 2 pounds per week. That means, on average, that aiming for 4 to 8 pounds of weight loss per month is a healthy goal.

Just because it’s possible to lose a lot more, at least in the early months of a diet, doesn’t mean it’s healthy or that the weight will stay off in the long term.

Losing the healthy way

Losing weight can be incredibly simple and incredibly challenging at the same time.

Math tells us that if we take in fewer calories than we burn, we will end in burning stored fat for fuel. One pound equals 3,500 calories. If you want to lose 1 pound per week, you’ll need to take in about 500 to 1,000 fewer calories. But life isn’t so simple. There are social events, holidays, and celebrations that all revolve around food.

When trying to lose weight, a solid eating and exercise plan with a goal of getting healthier — not just fitting into a new outfit or looking good at an event — will help you lose the weight and keep it off. It’s important to focus on both improving your eating habits and getting more physical activity.

Strength training like lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises along with some high-intensity interval training can give your metabolism the boost it needs to shed extra pounds. Steady-state aerobic exercise can also help burn off some calories.

“Exercise increases your metabolic rate and builds more muscle mass, which allows you to continue to burn calories after the exercise session,” says Dr. Amy Siegel of Austin Regional Clinic.

The good news is that you don’t have to lose a lot of weight before you start seeing positive changes in your health. According to the CDC, if you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Why ‘dieting’ doesn’t do it

There’s a reason it’s called “yo-yo dieting.” Depriving yourself isn’t sustainable and will eventually lead to a return in familiar eating patterns.

There’s also some science behind why we gain weight back after quick weight loss programs, according to Dr. Peter LePort, medical director of Memorial Care Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

“The body reacts quickly when you lose weight that fast and you get hungry. If you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, the body will adjust and begin to feel this is the weight I should be at and then you won’t become extremely hungry because of a rapid weight loss,” he says.

The exception to the 1 to 2 pound recommendation is when people have gone through weight loss surgery. Dr. LePort says many of his bariatric surgery patients are 100 pounds overweight and might lose 20 pounds per month shortly after surgery, then about 10 pounds per month, and then 5 pounds per month.

“The surgery forces them to eat slowly and take in less food.”

Choosing a plan

In order to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll need a plan that you can stick to.

If you’re just starting your weight loss journey or have had struggles in the past with finding a plan to stick to, it’s a good idea to seek help. Your doctor can recommend a dietitian who can work with you to develop a healthy eating plan that’s right for your needs and long-term goals.

A dietitian can teach you healthy habits and ways to make sure you’re managing portion sizes and avoiding too much sugar, salt, and saturated fat, all of which contribute to health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

“Frequently a patient needs help and they need to get into a program. I have a program I put together in my office for patients that includes classes and dietary instruction,” says Dr. LePort.

Both Dr. LePort and Dr. Siegel recommend programs like Weight Watchers because they’re helpful for learning portion control without having to deprive yourself of certain foods.

Takeaway

In order to be truly successful, focus on creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Eating healthfully and exercising shouldn’t be a temporary means to an end — they should be regular habits.

“How long it takes for someone to get to their goal depends on how many pounds they need to lose. The weight didn’t come on overnight, and it isn’t going to come off overnight either,” says Dr. Siegel.

BMI Calculator

Because we’re consistently bombarded with exercise and diet plans that promise extravagant weight loss results, it’s hard to decipher what truly is a realistic and healthy rate of weight loss. There’s no doubting that those looking to losing weight are interested in the most effective weight loss program; the workout and nutrition plan that will have them losing the most weight as quickly as possible.

However, while it may be tempting to strive for quick, significant weight loss, it’s essential that body fat loss is thought of as a long-term objective that is obtained over time. Losing weight too quickly is dangerous as it places stress on your cardiovascular system and heart. Plus, weight loss that occurs quickly is more than likely to be short term because you’re unable to keep up with the extreme eating or exercise plan.

Rapid weight loss is commonly due to fluid loss or malnutrition, both of which are only short-term changes. A person will immediately gain the weight back once they take in fluids or return to their normal eating habits. Skipping meals or extremely limiting your food intake can be extremely dangerous, as it can cause a lack of protein, which is essential for building and maintaining new tissue cells, it can cause you to become calcium and vitamin D deficient, thus increasing your risk of brittle bones and osteoporosis, and it can place abnormal stress on your cardiovascular system.

Slow and steady weight loss that comes from an overall lifestyle change featuring consistent exercise and a healthy nutritional plan, however, will not only help ensure that adequate nutrients and energy are delivered to the body to maintain properly function, but because the change comes from healthy living habits, there is a better chance of maintaining the weight loss long-term.

Healthy Rate

A healthy rate of weight loss is 1 to 2-lbs. of fat per week. Remember that for every pound you lose, a caloric deficit of 3,500 must be created. A caloric deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than you burn over a period of time. Therefore, to lose 1 to 2-lbs of fat in a week, you must burn 3,500 to 7,000 more calories than you take in from food during that week. This equates to a 500 to 1,000 caloric deficit per day.

To create a 500 to 1,000 caloric deficit per day, you’ll want to shoot for cutting 250 to 500 calories by dietary means and the other 250 to 500 calories via exercise. Monitor and make adjustments to your eating and drinking habits. You don’t need to be incredibly anal about tracking your calories, but you should be aware of what foods and drinks are high in calories so that you can avoid those items. Plus, you want to have a good idea if what you’re eating and drinking is really the appropriate items that will set you up for weight loss success. Burn 250 to 500 calories most days by participating in high-calorie-burning exercise activities such as jogging, swimming, biking or riding an elliptical machine. You should try to get four to six workouts in per week.

If you’re making efforts to lose weight, but are not losing 1 to 2-lbs. per week, you should make efforts to increase your caloric deficit by making adjustments to your eating or exercise habits. On the contrary, if you’re losing significantly more than 1 to 2-lbs. per week, then you need to make sure you’re not making too drastic of changes to your eating habits.

Keep in mind that it’s likely you’ll burn more than 2-lbs. at the very beginning of your weight loss efforts. Plus, those who have a significant amount of weight to lose may see greater changes at the start because their new healthy habits will create a much larger caloric deficit. In both circumstances, the rate of weight loss should eventually level itself out to average to the recommended weekly loss of 1 to 2-lbs.

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How much exercise do you need?

You’ve worked on the calorie intake part of the equation. Now what about the “calories out?” Studies show that people who exercise while dieting lose more weight, and are better able to keep it off, than people who diet and do not exercise, said Wayne Miller, programs director at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Center for Rural and Community Health.

Miller and his colleagues reviewed 25 years’ worth of weight loss research and found that, during a typical 15-week weight loss program, people lost, on average, 23 lbs. (10.4 kg) by only dieting and 24 lbs. (10.9 kg) by dieting and exercising, they reported in 1997. That difference may seem small, but after one year, the people who only dieted kept off 14 lbs. (6.4 kg), on average, whereas those who dieted and exercised kept off 19 lbs. (8.6 kg).

As for how strenuous the exercise has to be, experts recommend that people who want to lose weight meet the government’s guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) every week, or about 30 minutes a day for five days a week.

But those who want to maintain weight loss over the long term may need to do more exercise. A 2008 study of the National Weight Control Registry involving 3,600 people who lost at least 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) and kept it off for a year or longer found that they reported at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day.

The National Institutes of Health also recommends resistance training to strengthen muscles at least twice a week. These activities include lifting weights and doing push-ups and crunches, which can help build muscle. Resistance training exercises are important for weight loss maintenance because muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain itself, meaning you will burn more calories just by having more muscle.

Do diet pills and supplements work?

If weight loss sounds like a lot of physical and mental work, that’s because it is. And there’s no magic pill: Dietary supplements that claim to help people lose weight have not been proven to work, and they have the potential to be dangerous, Cohen said. Many nutritionists and researchers agree that such supplements can do more harm than good. Supplements can contain drugs that are not listed on the label, and may have harmful side effects. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration identified more than 30 weight loss supplements that contained hidden drugs, but only seven of these were recalled by their manufacturers.

Weight loss supplements send more than 4,600 people to the emergency room every year, often due to heart symptoms, such as chest pain and a rapid heart rate, according to an estimate by a study published in October 2015.

The bottom line, many experts told Live Science, is that there is often no scientific evidence supporting a supplement’s claims. The makers of diet supplements do not need to prove that their supplements actually help people lose weight in order to sell them in stores.

In contrast, makers of prescription and over-the-counter weight loss drugs, such as orlistat (brand names: Alli and Xenical) and lorcaserin (brand name: Belviq), must conduct studies showing that the drugs can lead to weight loss before the pills are approved by the FDA for use in obese individuals and those considered overweight (BMI of 27 or greater) who also have obesity-related risk factors.

Generally, people who take weight loss drugs — which often work by decreasing appetite and increasing feelings of satiety — can lose an average of 5 to 10 percent of their body weight in a year, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, these drugs still need to be used along with diet and exercise for people to achieve this level of weight loss. (Studies of these drugs involve people who have also made changes to their diet and activity level.)

According to the 2013 guidelines, the drugs might be helpful for people who aren’t able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, but people should consider discontinuing the drugs if they don’t lose at least 5 percent of their body weight within 12 weeks of starting them.

However, Cohen cautioned that the long-term safety of weight loss drugs hasn’t been studied. Most of the studies look at these drugs’ safety after just one year, he said, and some earlier drugs that were approved by the FDA were later taken off the market because of their side effects. For example, in 2010, the weight loss drug sibutramine (sold under the brand name Meridia) was removed from the market — even though it had originally been approved — because it was later linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

In any case, weight loss drugs may not be a long-term method for keeping weight off, because people may regain the weight when they stop taking the drugs, Cohen said.

Lack of sleep increases the odds you’ll gain weight. Find out below how much shuteye you need. (Image credit: /Sabphoto)

Can a lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Here’s a bit of advice that may make a dieter smile, or yawn: Get more sleep. A growing body of evidence suggests that getting insufficient sleep increases the risk of obesity. However, most of these studies have been conducted at a single point in time, which makes it hard to determine whether a small amount of sleep was a cause or an effect of weight gain.

The longest-running study on the link between short sleep and weight gain followed about 68,000 women for 16 years. It found that women who slept 5 hours or less per night gained about 2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) more, on average, than those who slept at least 7 hours per night, over 16 years. In addition, those who got 5 hours or less were 15 percent more likely to become obese during the study period than those who got at least 7 hours of sleep.

Getting too little sleep, which most experts define as less than 7 hours of shut-eye per night, may increase levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin, and decrease levels of the hormone leptin, which makes you feel full, according to the NIH. This may lead to an increase in hunger. In addition, people who sleep less could have more time to eat. In a small study of 11 people who stayed in a sleep lab, participants ate more snacks when they slept for just 5.5 hours than when they slept for 8.5 hours. This increase in snacking occurred mostly during the late-night hours.

Still, it’s not clear if getting more sleep actually helps people lose weight. However, studies are now being conducted to answer that question. In one study, researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will look at whether obese people who usually sleep less than 6.5 hours a night see changes in their weight if they increase their sleep by an hour per night.

Should you consider bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery, an operation on the stomach and intestine used to treat obesity, may be an option for people who are still severely obese after attempting to lose weight through other methods, such as diet and exercise. People with a BMI of 40 or greater, or those with a BMI of 35 or greater who also have obesity-related health conditions (such as type 2 diabetes), are candidates for this invasive surgery, according to the NIH.

People who have bariatric surgery will still need to make lifestyle changes, including following a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise, to lose weight and keep it off.

A 2009 study that reviewed outcomes for more than 11,000 bariatric surgery patients found that patients typically lost about 56 percent of their excess body weight, or nearly 85 lbs. (38.5 kg), and maintained it for at least two years. Scientists who reviewed 89 studies on weight loss after bariatric surgery found that patients with a BMI of 40 or higher benefited most from the surgery, losing 44 to 66 lbs. (20 to 30 kg), on average, and maintained that weight loss for up to 10 years, they reported in 2005 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The operation has the following side effects:

  • The surgery alters the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients, so you may need to take vitamins and minerals, to prevent malnutrition.
  • You will not be able to eat large meals.
  • You will need to eat liquid or pureed foods for several weeks following the surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic.

How can you keep weight off?

It’s typically harder to keep weight off than it is to lose it, the experts agreed. Many studies show that people usually experience their maximum weight loss after about six months of a diet-and-exercise program. After that, the pounds come creeping back, although most people don’t regain all of the weight. For example, a 2007 review of 80 diet studies involving more than 26,000 people found that dieters lost about 11 to 19 lbs. (5 to 8.5 kg) after six months, but then their weight loss plateaued, and after four years, they maintained about 6.5 to 13 lbs. (3 to 6 kg) of weight loss.

Chart of the habits of those who successfully keep weight off. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics artist)

Participating in a program that focuses on maintaining weight loss — one that meets at least once per month for a year or more — can increase the chances that you’ll keep the weight off. A 2008 study of more than 1,000 people who lost about 19 lbs. found that people who participated in a weight loss maintenance program that met in-person once a month kept off about 3 lbs. (1.4 kg) more over a 2.5-year period than people who didn’t participate in the program.

To assist any weight loss effort, weigh yourself twice a week, continue the lower-calorie approach indefinitely and exercise at least 200 minutes per week, according to the 2013 guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you make a plan for how to keep up your healthy eating pattern, even on weekends, vacations and special occasions.

Eating breakfast may also stave off hunger later in the day. In a 2002 National Weight Control Registry study of nearly 3,000 people who kept off 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) for at least a year, researchers concluded that one habit that stood out was eating a morning meal: 78 percent of the participants ate breakfast every day.

Once you’ve lost weight, keeping it off can seem like a never-ending battle. But it’s a battle worth fighting, even if you slip sometimes. Trying, even if you don’t always succeed, is better than not doing so, scientists say. There’s no clear evidence that “yo-yo dieting” — or weight cycling, as researchers call it — is linked with an increased risk of early death or disease, compared with remaining obese, McManus noted. And very few studies report harmful effects of yo-yo dieting.

“Weight loss intervention should not be discouraged because of a person’s tendency to be a weight cycler,” McManus said.

In a nutshell, the bulk of the evidence says that maintaining your weight loss is achievable if you do the following: keep up your healthy diet, continue to exercise and monitor your weight so you notice when your regimen needs adjusting.

This article is part of a Live Science Special Report on the Science of Weight Loss. It will be updated whenever significant new research warrants. Note that any significant change in diet should be undertaken only after consultation with a physician.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

4 pounds a week

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