Do you want to lose weight and shrink your waistline quickly?
Looking for a miracle cure to help you drop that weight gain, fit into the cute dress you bought, and boost self-esteem?
Unfortunately, while it is possible to lose a significant amount of weight over a short period of time, it is not recommended and a healthy option.
Diets that promise quick weight loss tend to be fad diets.
They will cause you to lose water weight and regain any weight lost during that short amount of time as soon as you stop the diet.
What’s more, they’ll likely leave you with more of a slow metabolism.
This the only thing a fad diet is going to provide is short term weight loss and not the benefits of what a long term healthier lifestyle would.
Reducing your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and hypertension, obesity, or improving insulin levels, for example.
While this might be disappointing to hear, we do have some good news!
There is a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. So if you’re looking for tips on how to reach a healthy weight and get a better body, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll explore some different ways to reduce your current weight without resorting to fad diets or quick fixes.
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Is It Possible to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week
The bottom line is: no.
While some fad diets may promise the instant gratification of rapid weight loss and fast-paced progress, this simply is not a realistic goal for the average person.
The first thing to consider is that to lose 10 pounds in a single week, you would need to eat an extremely restricted amount of calories daily.
It may even restrict how much water you drink.
Any diet plan that recommends these habits is not sustainable long term, let alone healthy.
Also, a quick disclaimer, these fad diets tend to cause digestive issues, like constipation, fatigue, lack of sleep, and even hormone imbalance in some cases.
Any health expert will tell you that a weight loss plan that promises 10 pounds of weight loss over a single week will not lead to sustainable weight loss. It could even lead to negative side effects.
For example, severely restricting total calorie intake, beverages, and overexercising will mean that your body is not getting the nutrients it needs.
This can lead to fatigue, mood swings, headaches, and poor digestion.
It could also lead to yo-yo dieting, which usually results in more weight gain and can impact your metabolism.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In a Week
As a nutrition expert, my recommendation for a realistic goal is to aim to lose 1-2 pounds on a weekly basis.
This is a great number for long-term, sustainable weight loss that can be accomplished by making small changes to your daily routine.
It is possible to lose a little more weight than this during the first few weeks of a diet plan, however.
For example, if you decide to do a keto diet, you will likely lose a significant amount of excess water weight during your first week while going through the transition to ketosis.
However, keep in mind that just because you lose a larger amount of weight during your first week or two of a diet plan, does not mean that that is a realistic goal for the long term.
Even while following keto, you should not expect to lose 10 pounds per week the entire time you are in ketosis.
Once you lose that water weight, your weight loss will be slower, but more of the weight loss will likely be coming from body fat.
How Long Does It Take to Lose 10 Pounds?
Based on the long term goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week and accounting for about 2-5 extra pounds of water weight lost during the first week.
It should take about 3-5 weeks to lose 10 pounds of body weight.
Know that everyone’s body moves at their own pace, and it may take some people a shorter or longer amount of time to reach this goal.
The important thing is that you are achieving your weight loss goal through sustainable habits that lead to long-term weight loss.
How to Lose 10 Pounds Fast and Safely
The most effective way to achieve healthy weight loss is to focus on small changes to your eating habits and exercise routine.
The best way to drop the extra pounds is to focus on healthy meals, eating with a caloric deficit, and increasing your physical activity.
The amount of weight you lose can also be dependent on your starting weight.
For example, if you only have a little weight to lose in the first place, your weight loss may be a little bit slower than overweight people, obese people, or someone who has a lot of weight to lose.
Weight loss can also be impacted by genetics, hormones, stress and cortisol levels, body composition and body type, and individual sleep pattern.
So know that the same diet plan won’t have the same results for everyone.
10 Dietitian Tips to Lose 10 Pounds Fast
1. Eat Fewer Calories
Eating in a calorie deficit is the first step towards your reaching a healthy weight goal.
The basics of body weight are a balance between the total calories you eat and the total calories you burn on a daily basis.
By reducing the number of calories you consume, it will lead to loss of body fat.
However, it is still important to eat an amount of calories that allows your body to get the nutrients it needs.
Many crash diets will ask you to cut out tons of calories, which will just lead to decreased energy and excessive hunger pangs.
Try using an app or calculator that tracks your total calories, like myfitnesspal. You can input your start weight, as well as your goal weight and how many pounds per week you’d like to lose.
The app will give you a recommended daily calorie intake and can provide a good tool for accountability.
This also allows you to look at your macros and total calories to make sure you are getting what you need to lose weight while still nourishing your body.
2. Eat Real Foods
The easiest way to make sure you’re getting healthy choices is to focus on real foods. Eating real food is a key factor for sustainable and healthy weight loss.
Not only should you focus on the amount of calories in your food choices, but the nutrients as well.
Healthy eating means getting enough calories while making food choices that have not been overly processed.
That means that instead of focusing on supplements and “diet foods” like 100 calorie packs or lean cuisines, you should focus on things like fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, grains, and healthy fats.
A great way to start making this change is by looking at your current food intake and finding healthy alternatives.
For example, instead of a packaged protein drink, try a green smoothie with fresh fruits, greens, and chia seeds to add protein and healthy fat.
Have walnuts or hard-boiled eggs for a snack, instead of sugar-free jello or a100 calorie pack snack.
Making healthy food choices that focus on real foods will help make sure that your body is getting the macros that it needs, plus they will leave you feeling more full and satisfied.
While real food is very important, it is sometimes necessary to use supplements if you have specific medical conditions or are unable to meet your nutritional needs.
Make sure to speak with a healthcare provider or nutrition expert if you feel like supplements are something you would like to include.
3. Eat More Veggies
Veggies are an important part of any healthy mealtime.
Not only do vegetables provide our bodies with essential vitamins and nutrients, but they can aid with weight loss as well!
Veggies are the perfect low-calorie foods that pack tons of health benefits.
In addition to being low calorie, they are high in fiber, which helps increase satiety and keep us feeling full for a longer amount of time.
Fiber also helps you avoid spikes in blood sugar and helps with digestion and flushing your bodies of excess water weight.
Greens like spinach, lettuce, kale, and other leafy greens are packed full of antioxidants (also present in things like berries, grapefruit, mushrooms, and green tea), which help boost our immune systems, reduce inflammation, and inhibit oxidation, which can cause cell damage to our bodies.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower also contain tons of vitamins like folate and vitamin K.
Some green cruciferous veggies also contain vitamin A and vitamin C, which can help lower inflammation in the body.
Asparagus, onions, green beans, and zucchini are packed with folate, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy and make DNA!
Eating a rainbow of colors will also help ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrients.
Even when eating higher carb foods like pasta, bagels, or sweets, switching to whole grains, which are less processed, can add a ton of fiber to your meal plan, making the meal more balanced and nutritious.
We always recommend adding some olive oil and plenty of spices to pack a punch of flavor to your vegetables.
Loving how your food tastes is a game-changer and will help you still with these lifestyle changes.
While we encourage adding flavor to your vegetables, keep an eye out for condiments or sauces that have an excessive amount of sugar.
These can add hidden calories and carbs to your daily intake.
4. Watch Your Carb Intake
Speaking of pasta, reducing your carbohydrate intake can be beneficial as well.
This is specifically true if you are following keto. The most important area to watch is processed carbs and starches like white bread, pasta, snacks like pretzels, and sweets.
These foods tend to be higher in sugar and calories, without really providing any other nutritional benefits to the body.
An easy way to start watching your carb intake is to replace that junk food with healthier versions. Try to make the majority of your carbohydrates come from starchy vegetables or whole grains.
For example, go for whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, or oats.
Vegetables with starch include things like sweet potato, butternut squash, and even legumes like chickpeas, beans, or lentils.
Some easy swaps to start with are having oatmeal with apple, nuts, and cinnamon for breakfast instead of cereal, or swapping a fruit bowl with your typical sugary dessert.
Having a glass of unsweet tea can also be a comforting alternative to dessert.
Focusing on these healthy food choices will help add fiber to your meals, increase satiety, and have a significant impact on weight loss.
5. Portion Control
Eating small portions is always a good habit to practice, and will definitely help you lose a significant amount of weight.
If you don’t know, portion sizes describe the amount of food that you are eating at a given mealtime.
A lot of people have the mentality that they need to clear their plates, or are used to having a big meal based on restaurant servings.
The reality is that we have gotten used to eating much larger portion sizes, even when we aren’t really hungry, which leads to a lot of extra calories.
In fact, the CDC showed that the average fast-food burger has tripled in size over the last 50 years (1).
Started at 3.9 ounces in the 1950s, today’s average restaurant burger is 12 ounces!
A new way to practice portion control is to try pausing during your meal to rate your hunger, rather than relying on clearing your plate.
Eating on a smaller plate is also a great option.
If you find second helpings to be a big temptation, trying serving yourself and then putting leftovers in the fridge right away at your next meal.
6. Eat Quality High-Protein
Eating enough protein is a key factor for losing weight, building lean tissue, and increasing satiety.
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, so adding more protein to your eating plan can be helpful in more ways than one.
Good quality protein is also known as lean protein. This means it comes with plenty of grams of protein, without excess fat and cholesterol.
A great way to get good quality protein is lean meat, like chicken breast and other poultry, tuna and other fatty fish, and even some lower-fat cuts of red meat.
We also recommend cooking these lean meats in olive oil to help boost your healthy fat intake.
Besides lean meat, foods like a large egg, yogurt, legumes, nuts, and seeds (like sunflower seeds), and protein powder are great ways to add more protein to your eating plan.
Flavor your protein with things like lemon juice, herbs, and veggies like onions to add a burst of flavor without added calories.
7. Snack On healthy Foods
Snacks tend to be an area of our diet plans that are full of processed or sugar-packed options.
Many of us are snacking in a hurry, which leads to grabbing convenience foods.
However, healthy snacks can make a huge difference to both your weight loss and appetite throughout the day.
Choosing snacks that are high in protein or healthy fats, and low in sugar and empty calories can keep you full for longer and help reduce cravings.
Next time, try options that combine protein and healthy fats like almonds, or an apple or celery with peanut butter.
You could also combine healthy fats and whole grains by eating a piece of avocado toast.
Cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers with yogurt dip or hummus is another great option for combining vegetables with protein.
8. Try Intermittent Fasting
I know breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. But on intermittent fasting, it’s the first meal you skip in order to fast.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to help shed excess weight over a shorter amount of time.
If you don’t know, intermittent fasting involves eating during a shorter window of the day and fasting for 12-16 hours.
Not only does this typically help you stick to a calorie deficit, but it can also help control glucose and blood sugar levels, reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, and increase your metabolic rate.
Intermittent fasting is also often paired with a low-carb diet or keto diet, which helps reduce your body’s fat stores.
The keto diet is a very low carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet that involves going into ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat and fat storage for fuel.
This can cause an increased fat loss because your body is using those fat cells for energy throughout the day.
9. Resistance Training
Having a good exercise routine can be a game-changer when it comes to your weight loss journey.
Resistance training is an important form of physical activity to add to your routine because it provides countless health benefits.
Strength training helps you increase your muscle mass, which also increases your basal metabolic rate.
This means that a pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a pound of fat.
If you need another good reason, adding strength training to your workout routine has benefits for overall health and wellness, as well.
Having more lean muscle mass can help increase your energy, increase fat burning, and reduce insulin resistance.
The American Heart Association recommends adding moderate to high-intensity weight training at least two days per week to reduce the risk for chronic disease and heart attack (2).
Building muscle is not only about having six-pack abs, it can be a variety of different options focusing on the entire body.
An example of a resistance training workout could be anything from lifting heavy weights to doing body weight workout circuits.
Exercises like Pilates or yoga that involve holding challenging positions for a longer period of time.
If you’re a beginner and are not sure how to start adding strength training to your exercise habits, we recommend seeing a personal trainer. An exercise professional can help tailor a workout to your personal needs.
As you add more strength training to your routine, don’t forget to increase the grams of protein you are eating to your caloric intake, and drink water as much as you can!
Don’t let some soreness the next day serve as a setback, as your body adjusts you will experience less soreness and more and more strength!
Drinking enough water will help you refuel, avoid dehydration, flush out toxins, and quench your thirst.
Adding cardio workouts is another great way to get to your ideal weight in less time.
Cardio workouts are any workout that increases your heart rate.
This can be anything from a long run, or a brisk walk, to interval training or shaking your hips in a dance class.
Cardio has been shown to have many health benefits. Some of these are:
- increased energy levels
- reduction in cholesterol levels
- reduced insulin resistance
- decreased blood pressure
- reduced belly fat
- increased stamina
and overall better health…
Like I mentioned above, adding cardio to your weight loss program can look different depending on your current activity level.
You can start by adding a brisk walk to your exercise plan. Increase the speed, length, or incline if you want to take it to the next level.
You could also work on doing some regular intervals (whether that be speed or incline intervals) on the treadmill to boost your fitness.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great option for getting an intense workout over a short period of time, as well.
Like any workout, make sure you are refueling your body for the rest of the day by drinking lots of water to avoid dehydration.
You may even want to add some sodium or make lemon water to help replete your electrolytes.
Talk to a nutritionist about increasing your calorie count on days when you do more intense exercise.
Like I mentioned above, keto can be one lifestyle change that can help with fast weight loss.
However, weight loss results on keto still vary from person to person based on metabolic rate, genetics, medical conditions, and how much fat you have to lose.
With that said, the first week on the keto diet can often bring the loss of a significant amount of weight.
This is because your body enters ketosis, which allows your body to burn its glycogen stores, product ketones, and switch to burning fat for fuel.
This can result in the loss of both water weight and fat during the first week.
In a more conventional weight loss plan with a healthy exercise routine, losing 1-2 lbs a week is the norm.
On a keto diet, dieters can see up to a 10-pound weight loss within the first week.
However, this progress will likely slow down during the next week or so once your body has adjusted to the keto diet.
As a reminder, while the start of keto can lead to a large amount of weight loss, it does come with some symptoms while making the transition to ketosis as well.
The best thing to do is to make sure you are eating enough fat, protein, and calories, and your symptoms should resolve by the end of the week!
Make sure to check out some of the similar content on our web site that goes more in-depth about the keto diet.
The Final Take
While losing 10 pounds in one week is not recommended, the good news is that there are still plenty of ways to accomplish fast weight loss with a little bit of hard work, while still following a healthy diet plan.
Long-term lifestyle changes like healthy eating habits, physical activity, and getting enough sleep are an important part of this weight loss process.
Things like keeping a food diary to make sure you have a good energy balance (calorie intake vs calorie output), or working with a personal trainer or registered dietitian can also help you make changes to your daily habits.
Whether you’re trying to lose the baby weight, reduce your waist and BMI, or just live a healthier lifestyle, taking this weight loss process a little bit slower by making these long-lasting changes have also been shown to be beneficial for many health issues, which is not the case for more quick-fix diets.
We also recommend focusing on your mental health throughout this weight loss journey.
If you have a history of disordered eating, pursuing weight loss might not be a healthy choice for you.
If you do have other medical concerns, we recommend speaking with a health expert as well.
- Torrisi, L., 2021. CDC Shows Burger Size Has Tripled In Last 50 Years. [online] ABC News. Available at: <https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/cdc-shows-burger-size-tripled-50-years/story?id=16421362> [Accessed 7 January 2021].
- “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.” Www.heart.org, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults.