Have a special event coming up, and you want to shed some extra pounds quickly? Losing five pounds in a week sounds like a great goal — however, it does require a certain level of intensity.
And it’s not possible for everyone.
Individuals who have a higher body fat percentage are more likely to achieve this goal since the difference between their basal metabolic rate and total daily energy expenditure is larger.
Keep reading to learn what it takes to lose five pounds in a week and how you can use a keto diet to your advantage during the process.
Before you decide to aim for a weight loss of five pounds in one week, let’s talk about the nuances of this goal.
Not everyone is guaranteed to be able to lose five pounds in a single week. However, it’s possible in some cases.
But how does weight loss work in the first place?
The food you eat contains energy. There are three types of food molecules that provide energy:
Another name for this food energy is calories. And when you consume more calories (or energy) than your body needs, your body stores these extra calories as fat cells. If you do this regularly, you’ll probably notice some weight gain.
However, when you burn more energy than you consume, your body will use up energy storage from fat and muscle to keep you going.
This means that to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you’re spending.
As a general rule, you’d need to eat 17,500 fewer calories in one week than your body needs if you want to lose five pounds of fat.
For example, a 42-year-old woman, measuring 5 feet 4 inches, weighing 250 lbs, who does some light exercise needs the following to maintain her current weight:
2,446 calories per day X 7 days = 17,123 calories per week.
If you compare this number to how many calories she would need to cut for a 5 lb loss, a woman of this age, weight, and size would need to limit herself to a mere 377 calories a week (or 54 calories a day).
This general rule doesn’t take individual conditions into account.
Your body’s metabolism is unique. Therefore, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much weight you’ll lose in one week. Your best bet is to take a healthy and sustainable approach.
Additionally, weight loss during the first week of dieting is not 100% fat, water may make up a lot of it. It’s also possible to lose some muscle mass if you don’t eat enough protein.
To improve your chances of losing weight and getting life-changing results, try this test to get a customized meal plan.
To lose five pounds in one week, it’s important to avoid ‘liquid calories’. This means removing drinks such as juice, alcohol, blended coffee drinks, and sodas from your diet.
Instead, you should stick to drinking water, black coffee, tea, and other very low calorie drinks.
By avoiding liquid calories, you’ll allow yourself to consume your calories from satisfying foods that keep you full longer.
Now you know that drinking water is a good choice for weight loss. But drinking water should be a priority in any healthy diet.
It’s especially important because drinking water can help you lose weight. Studies show that drinking more water can help you increase your energy expenditure. In other words, you’ll burn more energy (or calories) by adding more water to your diet.
Drink at least 1.5 L of water daily to increase your chances of losing five pounds in a week. But feel free to drink more when you feel thirsty.
In addition to drinking water and eating well, there are other steps you should take to reach your goal of five pounds lost in a week. One way to reach your goal is to incorporate a walking routine. Let’s explore what else you can do to lose that weight.
Walking every day will allow you to expend more energy than if you were to remain sedentary. As you’re planning your week, consider how much you’ll be walking each day.
What does your schedule allow you to do? You can focus your walking goals around the time you have, but you should also consider how much your body can do.
If you currently don’t do any exercise and walk very little, don’t start walking for one to two hours per day. You’ll need to ease your body into your new exercise regimen. Keep in mind that you can start slow and progress quickly if you find it too easy.
Get high-quality walking shoes to avoid pain. Walking for long periods in inadequate shoes won’t just hurt your feet — it can cause pain in your knees and hips, too.
How much will walking help you burn? Your energy output during your walks will highly differ from person-to-person depending on:
To increase your chances of burning fat as you walk, aim to get your heart rate up to at least 130 bpm (beats per minute) throughout the walk.
If you’re more fit, you may need to walk more quickly to achieve this range. If you’re overweight, you may get to that heart rate by walking more slowly.
Make sure to breathe steadily as you walk. Inhale through your nose as much as you can. Taking steady breaths will help you keep your body oxygenated, which will help you upkeep your stamina as you walk.
Water doesn’t contain any calories, which means it provides no energy to the body.
However, water is still a crucial element that keeps your body functional. It also takes up room in your stomach before your body absorbs it.
Try drinking a glass of water before every meal. This will help curb your appetite and reduce your chances of overeating throughout your meal.
Keep in mind that a glass of water will only make you feel full in the short term. You’ll still need to eat a nutritious meal to keep your body satiated.
It seems logical to skip a meal or two if you’re trying to lose weight. Skipping meals can remove calories from your total daily intake.
And while some experts will say that intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, more research is needed for a conclusive answer.
Intermittent fasting or skipping meals can also make you hungrier. Some individuals find that they overeat at their next meal to compensate for the skipped one.
Instead of fasting, eat a moderate amount at every meal. If you get ravenous in between meals, try adding snacks high in protein and healthy fats, such as hard-boiled eggs or nuts.
Wondering what you should eat for weight loss? Consider creating a low-carb diet plan for your week.
Planning will help you avoid reaching for fast food, junk food, or convenience meals whenever you don’t know what to eat or don’t have time to prepare something. With meal planning, you take the stress out of dieting on a busy schedule by completing your grocery shopping and meal prep ahead of time. You’ll find it easier to make healthy food choices.
Why low-carb? A low-carb diet has several benefits, such as helping you avoid water retention. When your body retains less water, you’ll feel less bloated and carry less water weight.
Low-carb diets also help you focus on protein-rich foods. According to studies, protein-rich foods can:
If you need help coming up with a low-carb weight loss plan, take this test for free to get a customized meal plan that only includes foods you love.
Eating too much sodium can make your body retain more water. It can also increase your blood pressure, which can be a health risk.
You can retain as much as 1.5 extra liters of water when you add too much salt to your food. That’s 3.3 pounds on its own!
If you’ve been retaining water, you can lose more than half of that five pounds just on water weight alone.
To reduce your sodium intake, make sure to prepare your own meals as much as you can. By doing so, you control how much salt is added to your food.
You should also watch out for spice blends that come preloaded with salt. Read the labels so you season your meals without adding too much sodium.
It’s very difficult to overdo it on the veggies — especially low-carb varieties.
Low-carb veggies are full of fiber, which will help your digestion and keep you satiated for longer. But they also have a high volume with low caloric density. Low carb veggies usually grow above ground. Think broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, and leafy greens.
For example, 100g of spinach only has 23 calories. But it’s jam-packed with nutrients and takes up a lot of space in your stomach.
Contrast this with 100g of rice, which has 130 calories, and you’ll see why adding more veggies to every meal can help with weight loss. When you fill-up on veggies, you’ll have less room for calorie-dense foods. You’ll get the nutrients you need to maintain your health and feel full.
Weight loss isn’t all about diet and exercise. You also need to prioritize sleep.
Insufficient sleep is linked to obesity. That’s because sleep gives your body some of the energy it needs throughout the day.
When you get less sleep, your body tries to compensate for that missing energy by making you feel hungry. Hunger makes you increase your caloric intake, potentially leading to weight gain.
If you want to lose weight instead of gaining it, make sure to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per week.
Not everyone will be able to lose weight by implementing walking into their schedule.
For example, if you’re recovering from an injury, your physician may advise you to stay off your feet until you heal.
People who have a lot of excess weight may also struggle to walk until they reach a lower weight.
Another issue some people run into is time. If you work 12–14 hour shifts and need to cut into your sleep schedule to start walking, you’d be better off skipping the walk and getting adequate sleep instead.
If you can’t implement walking or other forms of exercise into your weight loss regimen, make sure to follow all the steps above, including:
As you lose weight, you may start experimenting with physical activity if your situation allows for it.
Losing five pounds in only one week is challenging, but it’s possible when done right. And a ketogenic diet is an effective way to approach this goal.
Take the free test today to get a low-carb weight loss plan that’s tailored to your lifestyle, food preferences, and weight loss goals.