Timeframe And Weight Loss
Many people aim at slimming down for a certain event, which means they have a precise time frame. But even so, the most important thing is your health. That said, you should always prioritize the safest weight loss. Numerous fad diets state that they can help you shed an enormous number of pounds in a short term. However, rapid weight loss is almost never a great idea. Methods that those diets use often bear lots of risks and are accompanied by many side effects. With this in mind, instead of looking for a diet that, as it claims, can help you shed an extreme number of pounds in a short time, start from the opposite end of the equation and ask for example “How much weight can I lose in 8 weeks?”. In this article, you will find out why rapid weight loss is not a good choice, what is a healthy weight loss pace and how many pounds can you safely shed in 8 weeks. Buckle up and let’s get started!
Basics Of A Healthy Weight Loss
“Lose 5 pounds in a week”, “Lose 10 lbs in a week”, “Lose 1 pound in a day” – these are some of the promises that many popular diets feed you. Unfortunately, a number of people tend to believe the claims that those fad diets make, and hope that their excess pounds will miraculously disappear once they start dieting. But then reality hits hard: it is impossible to lose that much weight in such terms in a healthy way. Nutritional plans that claim to have such an “unbelievable result” are either too restrictive, and poorly balanced, or simply ineffective. Therefore, before starting to plan your weight loss journey, you need to find out how many pounds you can lose in a week in a healthy way, and how many calories you will have to cut to reach such results.
When you consume fewer calories than you burn, your body begins to use its stored fat as an energy source. That is how you lose weight (14). This means, to slim down you need to create a caloric deficit, in other words, eat fewer calories and work out more (10). Even though a combination of these two methods is the best choice if you want to reach sustainable and healthy results, you can slim down solely with the help of a proper diet.
How Much Weight Can I Lose In 8 Weeks?
If you have set your mind on spending 8 weeks for weight loss, you should know which result to expect, in order to track your progress and stay motivated. Now, let’s calculate how many pounds you can shed while following a healthy diet that creates an adequate caloric deficit. Experts recommend reducing your daily energy intake by 500-1,000 calories (2). And one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. This means that you can lose about 1-2 pounds in a week (16). Next multiply this by 8, and you will get 8-16 pounds. So, that is the answer to your question “How much weight can I lose healthily in 8 weeks”.
Rapid Weight Loss Risks
After learning how weight loss works and how many calories you should reduce to shed 1-2 pounds, you may think: “But what if I reduce my caloric intake even more?”. Creating an extreme caloric deficit is what many fad diets are based on. Following such diets may result in rapid weight loss, which brings along numerous health issues.
You need to keep in mind that if a diet requires you to eat a very limited variety or quantity of foods, it can’t be a healthy diet. The human body is a complicated system, which requires lots of different nutrients to perform its functions properly. If you consistently fail to provide your body with vital nutrients, nutritional deficiency occurs. Many diets that require you to extremely reduce your caloric intake lead to rapid weight loss, which is often accompanied by the following side effects (5):
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Menstrual irregularities
- Hair and muscle loss
Although in some cases doctors prescribe very-low-calorie diets which lead to weight loss, such nutritional plans should be followed only under medical supervision (16). Never attempt to extremely limit your caloric intake simply because you want to lose weight fast. Always consult a health care provider before making any major changes in your current diet.
Healthy Weight Loss Recommendations
It is impossible to slim down if you don’t make any changes in your life. Those who are not new to fitness and a healthy lifestyle know that nothing comes free, and you have to spend a lot of time and effort to reach your body goals. Of course, you can understand those people who wish their excess fat would just vanish while they keep on munching on sweets, French fries, burgers, pizza, and salty snacks. However, that is not how weight loss works. So, if your goal is to put on a dress that is a couple of sizes smaller, show off your flat belly, or flex your impressive biceps, then you need to adjust your current dietary and workout routine. Here are some recommendations that will ensure a successful weight loss:
Even little kids know that there are foods that are good for you and those that are bad for you. You don’t need to be a nutritionist to understand that there is a great difference between the modern diet rich in junk food, added sugars, saturated fats, and refined carbs, and a healthy diet packed with lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Now, let’s take a closer look at what your meal plan should include, and what should be banned from your diet if you want to successfully burn excess fat.
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What To Eat?
Fruits And Vegetables
The basis of any healthy diet, fruits and vegetables are some of the relatively least caloric foods. Besides that, they are filled with a great plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of fiber, which adds to your feeling of fullness, and aids digestion. Following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and weight loss (7). Make sure to eat those fruits and veggies every day.
Lean Meats, Eggs, And Dairy
Lean meats, eggs, and dairy are filled with protein. This dietary component is essential for the proper functioning of your body (4). It is especially beneficial for those who try to slim down or build muscle since it promotes muscle growth and adds to the feeling of fullness. Besides that, lean meats and dairy can provide you with various micronutrients.
Fatty Fish, Nuts, And Seeds
Fatty fish is not only packed with protein and vital micronutrients but also is a great source of healthy unsaturated fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are known to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health. Nuts and seeds are also rich in unsaturated fats (6), and so should be included in your diet.
Beans And Legumes
Irreplaceable in vegetarian and vegan diets, beans and legumes are some of the richest sources of plant protein. They are low in fat and rich in fiber, which makes them a great option for your weight loss menu. They can also provide you with such micronutrients as potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium (1).
The healthiest of all grains, whole grains are filled to the brim with complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. They can help you stay full while lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems. The best whole grains to include in your diet are barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole-wheat foods (15).
What To Avoid?
Unlike healthy fats, their antipodes, unhealthy fats have no benefits to offer you. On the contrary, regular consumption of saturated and trans fats leads to increased levels of LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Saturated fats can be found in lard, butter, high-fat and processed meat, and full-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese (3). Trans (or hydrogenated) fats are most likely to be found in highly processed foods.
Although refined carbs provide you with energy, it doesn’t last long, so you feel the need to eat something more to get more energy, and this results in weight gain. Refined carbs are also not as nutritionally rich as unrefined carbs. They lack fiber, which helps you stay full and promotes digestive health. Refined carbs are found in baked goods made of white flour, waffles, and pastries, breakfast cereals, white rice, pizza, and sweets (12).
Sugary drinks and alcohol are great examples of liquid empty calories since they increase your energy intake without providing you with any essential nutrients. Salty snacks, sweets, and junk food are also filled with empty calories, so their consumption does you no good. Try to keep these foods at bay to avoid adding extra calories to your to-burn list.
Processed Foods And Added Sugars
Added sugars can be found in almost every ready-to-eat and highly processed food. These are some of the worst types of food that you can eat, since they went through so many processes that their original value has been lost. Try to avoid the above-mentioned foods and focus on whole foods that went through minimal processing.
It is only natural that if you want to shed a couple of pounds of excess fat, you need to increase your physical activity level. It will not only make you burn calories while you train but also help increase your muscle mass, which in turn boosts your metabolism, making you burn more energy even at rest. Some of the best calorie-busters are cardio and HIIT. If you aim at muscle growth, then weight training is what you need.
The most important thing about working out is enjoying not only the results but also the process. Therefore, you should choose something that you like personally. Whether it is swimming, walking, mountain climbing, cycling, Pilates, yoga, tennis, baseball, football, or any other type of physical activity, if it brings you joy, you should include it in your training routine.
If you are too busy and don’t have time for a full-on workout, try to increase your day-to-day physical activity. Take the stairs instead of an elevator, go for a walk in the park during your lunch break, ride a bike instead of a car, etc.
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How Much Weight Can I Lose In 8 Weeks On Keto?
Any weight loss eventually comes down to counting calories and reducing your energy intake, so that you burn more than you eat (11). Therefore, no matter which nutritional plan you choose as long as they create an adequate caloric deficit. So, answers to such questions as “How much weight can I lose in 8 weeks on keto?”, “How much weight can I lose in 8 weeks on a low carb diet?” and “How many pounds can I shed in 8 weeks on Paleo?” all depend on which caloric deficit you create.
Can I Lose 10 Pounds In A Week?
To answer this question, let’s do some math. Since 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, in order to shed 10 pounds in a week a person needs to burn 35,000 additional calories in a week, or 5,000 calories a day. Now, since an average adult man requires (i.e. burns) 2,500 calories a day, and an average adult woman burns 2,000 calories a day (13), it is highly unlikely for them to burn an extra 5,000 calories a day on top of that.
Now, it may be possible for a person to shed this amount of weight in only 7 days. If a person is obese or extremely overweight and requires a certain surgical procedure, their doctor may prescribe them a very low-calorie diet for a short period leading up to the procedure, which they will follow under medical supervision (9, 8).
Every process should go at its own pace. The pace is especially important when it comes to weight loss. Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds a week. This result is sustainable and healthy. If you are wondering: “How much weight can I lose in 8 weeks?”, then if you stick to a safe and gradual weight loss, your result will be 8-16 pounds. If you slim down too rapidly, you may not only get an unsustainable result, but also experience many negative side effects, including malnutrition, dehydration, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, hair and muscle loss, and others.
As you can see, it is best to cut your daily caloric intake by 500-1,000 and enjoy a healthy result. You can create a caloric deficit with the help of a balanced diet and regular exercise. To make sure that your body gets all it needs from food, try to eat up on such foods as fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fatty fish, whole grains, dairy products, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds. You should also keep at bay unhealthy foods and components, such as highly processed foods, added sugars, empty calories, saturated and trans fats, refined carbs, and others.
Besides your dietary plan, you should also change up your workout routine. Increase your levels of physical activity and try some cardio, HIIT, weightlifting, or whatever feels right for you. Try to find something that you truly like so that you would anticipate and enjoy your every workout.
To make sure that you have planned everything correctly, before starting to follow your new healthy lifestyle, please, consult with a health care provider.
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!
- Beans and other legumes: Cooking tips (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Dietary fat: Know which to choose (2021, mayoclinic.org)
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- Vegetables and Fruits (n.d., hsph.harvard.edu)
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- Very Low-Calorie Diets: What You Need to Know (2020, webmd.com)
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- What should my daily intake of calories be? (2019, nhs.uk)
- Where Does Body Fat Go When You Lose Weight? (2019, health.clevelandclinic.org)
- Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fast weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)