How nice would it be to lose all that weight you’ve been accumulating over the years in an instant! However, despite all those big claims fad diets make, that is simply impossible. Weight loss is not an easy process. It requires a lot of effort, determination, and time. Whether you like it or not, such a lifestyle change can’t happen without sacrifice. But when it comes to the choice of what exactly you should sacrifice in order to go down a couple of sizes, it should never be your health. That is why it is highly recommended that you choose the safest weight loss method, like a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Since there are lots of nutritional plans out there, it may be difficult to settle on just one, especially if you are new to dieting. So, let’s break down the most popular ones, starting with the 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds. Is it a healthy weight loss approach or should you keep looking? Read on to find out!
Basics Of A 7-Day Diet To Lose 10 Pounds
The name 7-day diet meal plan to lose 10 pounds speaks for itself. This nutritional plan promises to help you lose 10 pounds in a week with the help of caloric restriction and dietary limitations. Although this may sound great on paper, in reality losing 10 pounds in a week is extremely difficult and unhealthy.
A 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds restricts your caloric intake to 1,100–1,400 calories a day. The diet requires you to give up on all the fattening foods, such as junk food, added sugars, liquid calories, refined carbs, unhealthy fats, full-fat dairy, red meats, and others. Instead, it encourages the consumption of low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low- and no-fat dairy, legumes, and others. A 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds does not factor in exercising, since a caloric deficit that this diet creates doesn’t provide a person with enough energy for regular workouts.
Is A 7-Day Diet To Lose 10 Pounds Healthy?
Just about everyone wouldn’t mind knowing how to lose weight fast. Whenever we see ‘quick fix’ promises, our attention is immediately hooked and the health factor often slips our minds. But instead of looking up ‘how to lose 10 pounds in a week?’ or ‘how to lose 10 pounds in a month?’, why not prioritize your well-being and choose the healthiest way to reach your goal, even if it requires a bit more time and effort.
So, what is wrong with losing 10 pounds a week? you may ask. To understand why a 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds is unhealthy, you need to first understand how weight loss works. You see, weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you consume (13, 3). This creates a caloric deficit, which can be adequate or extreme. An extreme caloric deficit may have a negative impact on your health and can be created only in certain cases and ONLY under medical supervision (10, 11). So, which caloric deficit is adequate, and which does a 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds create?
Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds (0.45-1kg) a week (16, 7). Such a weight loss pace will reward you with healthy and sustainable results. Since 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, an adequate caloric deficit is 500-1000 calories a day (12, 9). Now, let’s do some math. In order to lose 10 pounds, you need to burn 35,000 calories a week, which is 5,000 calories a day. An average adult man requires 2,500 calories a day and an average woman 2,000 (15). Based on the information above, you can make a conclusion that it is impossible to shed 10 pounds of fat in a week for an average adult. What you may lose, however, is water weight, but that is not the result that you are anticipating.
A Healthy Weight Loss Diet To Lose 10 Pounds
How far would you go to reach your weight loss goals? People go as far as to neglect their health and safety by going on fad diets that promise rapid weight loss. But why put your health in danger if you can safely achieve all your goals? So, instead of sticking to a 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds, why not start a healthy diet to reach your weight loss goal over the recommended 5-10 weeks? Here are some recommendations on what your healthy nutritional plan should look like:
What To Eat To Lose Weight?
Proteins are essential for the proper functioning of your body. They are also vital for muscle building. So, if you want to burn through your fat stores and preserve your muscle mass at the same time, upping your protein intake is a must-do. You can find plenty of protein in lean meats, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish and seafood, nuts, beans, and legumes (8).
Fats are often considered a weight loss antagonist, but that is so not true. Of course, fats do contain more calories than carbs and protein, with 9 calories per gram of fat in comparison to 4 calories per gram of both carbs and proteins (5). However, you should never exclude fats from your diet completely, since they are essential for your body. What you do want is make sure that you consume healthy fats, which are found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds, avocadoes, olives, and others.
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Fiber, which belongs to complex carbs, is a great dietary choice if your goal is to slim down. It can prolong the feeling of fullness and improve your digestion. Fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts, whole grains and seeds are all packed with fiber, so make sure to include them in your daily menu.
Vitamins And Minerals
There is no need in explaining how important vitamins and minerals are for your body. If you want to avoid nutrient deficiencies and receive all the essential micronutrients from your diet, then make sure that your meals include fruits and vegetables, dairy, beans and legumes, organ meat, berries, nuts and seeds, and others.
People can live for some time without food, but they won’t be able to survive without water. You should pay special attention to your water intake when you are trying to slim down. Make sure that you drink enough water, whether it is plain water, unsweetened tea or coffee, lemon water, or other types of liquid without added sugars or salt.
What To Avoid To Lose Weight?
You already know that you need to up your healthy fats intake, but you should also remember to avoid unhealthy fats. Saturated and trans fats not only increase your caloric intake but can also add to the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases. Make sure that your intake of saturated fats is less than 10% of your daily calories, and try to substitute it with healthy unsaturated fats (4).
Simple And Refined Carbs
Low-carb diets have proven to be effective for weight loss (2), and there is a good reason for it. You should keep away from foods with added sugars, bread and tortillas containing white flour, bagels, waffles and pastries, breakfast cereals, white rice, and pizza (14).
What you drink is as important as what you eat when it comes to weight loss. Avoid liquid calories which are found in alcohol, and sugary drinks, such as store juices, sodas, energy drinks, and others. They provide you with little to no essential nutrients while increasing your caloric intake.
A Sample Of A Healthy Diet To Improve Your Eating Habits
Now that you know what to eat and what to avoid in order to lose weight safely, it is time to check how it all works together. Here is a sample of a healthy weight loss diet which you can use as a basis when creating your own diet plan (1):
- Breakfast: yogurt bowl (1 cup of full-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup of raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut)
- Calories: 457, carbs: 38.8g, fats: 21.5g, protein: 31.8g
- Snack: ½ avocado
- Calories: 114, carbs: 1g, fats: 11g, protein: 1g
- Lunch: Mozzarella wrap (2 ounces (46 grams) of fresh mozzarella, 1 cup of sweet red peppers, 2 slices of tomato, 1 tablespoon of pesto, 1 small, whole-grain wrap)
- Calories: 481, carbs: 45.2g, fats: 22.9g, protein: 25g
- Dinner: salmon with vegetables (1 medium sweet potato, 1 teaspoon of butter, 4 ounces (112 grams) of wild-caught salmon, 1 cup of roasted Brussels sprouts)
- Calories: 464, carbs: 30.6g, fats: 21.9g, protein: 33.5g
- Total calories: 1,516, carbs: 115.6g, fats: 77.3g, protein: 91.3g
- Breakfast: oatmeal with raspberries (1 cup of oatmeal cooked in 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of blueberries, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of natural almond butter)
- Calories: 492, carbs: 54g, fats: 25.3g, protein: 16.2g
- Lunch: tuna salad (5 ounces (140 grams) of canned tuna, 1 tablespoon of mayo, 1 chopped celery, 2 cups of mixed greens, 1/4 sliced avocado, 1/2 cup of sliced green apple)
- Calories: 514, carbs: 29.7g, fats: 26.4g, protein: 41.1g
- Dinner: chicken with vegetables (5 ounces (120 grams) of baked chicken, 1 ½ cup of roasted butternut squash cooked in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 cups roasted broccoli)
- Calories: 524, carbs: 43.2g, fats: 23.8g, protein: 41.8g
- Total calories: 1,530, carbs: 126.9g, fats: 75.5g, protein: 99.1g
- Breakfast: omelet (2 eggs, 1 ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of spinach cooked in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 cup of sautéed sweet potatoes)
- Calories: 556, carbs: 45.2g, fats: 32.4g, protein: 25.5g
- Snack: 1 medium apple
- Calories: 80, carbs: 22g, fats: 0g, protein: 1g
- Lunch: kale salad with grilled chicken (2 cups of kale, 4 ounces (112 grams) of grilled chicken, 1/2 cup of lentils, 1/2 cup of shredded carrots, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, 1 ounce (28 grams) of goat cheese, 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar)
- Calories: 424, carbs: 36.5g, fats: 13.5g, protein: 42.2g
- Dinner: whole-wheat pasta with pesto and beans (1 cup of whole-wheat pasta, 1 tablespoon of pesto, 1/4 cup of cannellini beans, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese)
- Calories: 450, carbs: 74g, fats: 9.2g, protein: 23.9g
- Total calories: 1,510, carbs: 175g, fats: 55.1g, protein: 92.6g
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Exercise Recommendations For Weight Loss
Two main staples of weight loss are a healthy diet and regular exercise, so if you want to boost your results, try to increase your level of physical activity. Here are some exercise recommendations for a successful weight loss:
Cardio is one of the most popular types of training. It increases your blood flow, burning calories and strengthening your cardiovascular health. It requires little to no equipment and can be performed anywhere and by anyone. You can try walking, jogging or running.
Weightlifting can be as effective at burning fat as regular aerobic training. Besides that, it promotes muscle growth and strengthening. By increasing muscle mass, you will boost your metabolism, so that your body will burn more calories even at rest. Full-body resistance training can lower your body’s carb stores and water weight, which will positively reflect on your scale (6).
Do Some HIIT
High-intensity interval training is extremely effective for burning extra calories and toning your body. Like the previous type of workout, HIIT can boost your metabolism and reduce muscle carb stores. You can perform HIIT 3-4 times a week, but make sure that you give it your all (6).
Be Active In Your Everyday Life
Your workout shouldn’t be the only time when you burn calories. Try to make your everyday life more active by increasing your physical activity here and there throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of using an elevator, walk to your destination instead of using a car, or simply go for a walk when you have some free time. Although all these activities won’t burn an enormous amount of calories, together they will increase your daily energy expenditure and add to your weight loss.
The Bottom Line
A 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds promises you miraculous results in only 1-week time, but there’s hardly any evidence to back up these claims. Although it encourages an overall healthy eating pattern, it creates an extreme caloric deficit and is still unlikely to bring you promised results. So, can a 7-day diet to lose 10 pounds help you slim down? Yes. Can it do so without harming your health? No. That is why you should stick to a healthy nutritional plan that will create an adequate caloric deficit and will provide you with all the necessary nutrients, and a successful and sustainable result.
Make sure to consume plenty of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Try to avoid unhealthy fats, simple and refined carbs, and liquid calories. This will not only help you reach your desired weight, but also improve your overall health. Remember, that before starting any new diet, it is required that you consult a dietitian.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Reviewed by: Soraya Ziou
- A 1,500-Calorie Diet: Food Lists, Meal Plan and More (2019, healthline.com)
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- What should my daily intake of calories be? (2019, nhs.uk)
- Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fast weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)