We live in a generation that wants instant results. That is why topics like how to lose 2 pounds a day will undoubtedly hook anyone’s attention. If you add expert opinions to the mix or healthy ways to lose 2 pounds a day, you’ve won the crowd. ‘How to lose 2 pounds a day without exercising’, ’how to lose 2 pounds of fat a day’, ‘how long do you need to work out to lose 2 pounds a day’ – here are some examples of the topics we find ourselves googling when summer is drawing near and our bodies are nowhere close to the picture-perfect beach-ready bodies we would like to have.
Is it actually possible to lose 2 pounds a day? Do you think there is any amount of exercises you can do to lose 2 pounds a day? What about dieting, is there any diet that can help you lose this much weight over such a short period of time? Well, you can stop racking your brain now, as today we will get to the bottom of these questions once and for all.
What Losing Two Pounds A Day Means
Two pounds are equivalent to about 7000 calories. To lose two pounds a day means that you have to lose 7000 calories in one day (14). On average we humans need about 2000 to 3000 calories a day (3000 calories is even on the higher side). Being very realistic, it is impossible to lose that many calories in a given day. Even if it was possible, the means used would be very harmful to a person.
The difference between safe and unsafe weight loss is not in how much you lose but in the means you use to lose that weight. What does this mean? Adapting a liquid diet made of lemon juice and maple syrup with a dash of cayenne pepper to lose 10 lbs in a week is quite unsafe. Doing your cardio, reducing the number of calories you eat, doing resistance training and losing two pounds in a week is what you should be shooting for.
How Many Pounds Per Week Should An Individual Lose?
It is recommended that an individual should lose no more than one or two pounds per week. That is considered a healthy weight loss and is also quite manageable. Experts say that the best approach to weight loss should be one that is enjoyable and can be maintained over the long term (7). With that in mind, can you drink lemon juice and maple syrup with a dash of cayenne pepper everyday for a month? That is wildly unhealthy and cannot sustain a person. Once you bounce back to your normal eating style, you are likely to gain back all the weight you had shed. This then defeats the whole purpose of weight loss.
We have all seen shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ where people lose about ten pounds in a week. This is what makes most people think it is possible to lose this much weight in such a short period of time. There are many factors that go in to play for you to be able to lose this amount of weight. Factors like how much you weigh, how much time you have, the environment you live in and your fitness level.
How Much Weight You Have To Lose
If you are 170 pounds and you want to lose twenty pounds in a week, that is plain impossible and quite frankly dangerous. No expert would ever or should ever recommend any weight loss program with the aim of achieving these results in such a short period of time. If on the other hand you are 400 lbs, you could actually lose 20 lbs in a week. This is because of the water weight you have. It is important to note that this is not actual fat loss (1). Water weight can make a person’s weight fluctuate by two to four pounds in a day (5). The higher the number on your scale, the more water weight you are likely to have.
How Much Time Do You Have To Focus On Weight Loss
The people on shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ have nothing but time. Their whole purpose of being there is to lose weight. Do you have 24 hours per day to focus on weight loss? You’re most likely shaking your head right now and it’s understandable. You have school, work, friends, and other responsibilities, so your life can’t solely revolve around weight loss.
How Fit Are You And What Is Your Experience With Working Out
This looks into your safety. You are likely to injure yourself if you set aggressive weight loss goals yet you are not used to working out. Losing 10 lbs in a week is a very aggressive weight goal (1). This will make you try extremely dangerous weight loss routines in order to achieve this impossible goal. Do you think it is by coincidence that shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ usually have medics on standby? No, it is not. So don’t take this unnecessary risk just to end up hurting yourself.
Effects Of Rapid Weight Loss
Losing 2 lbs in a day or 10 lbs in a week can be considered as rapid weight loss. Before we talk about the effects of losing weight rapidly, how do you think one would be able to lose weight rapidly? The question that actually matters is are these methods safe? It all goes down to that. Here are some methods you are likely to be advised by ‘experts’ in order to lose weight quickly. Sidenote, there is a reason the word ‘experts’ is in quotes! Here are some of the best examples about what you should not do to lose weight:
These are extreme diets that do not support the body’s normal functioning and put you on a slippery slope to nutrient deficiency. An example would be taking water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. When you read that, does it even seem safe to you? Where will you get the nutrients your body needs (8)?
Diet Pills And Supplements
There are so many diet pills and supplements on the market today. These pills and supplements promise rapid weight loss. They either claim to block absorption of nutrients, to increase metabolism or to burn fat (8).
Bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate claims made by over-the-counter weight loss products. This means that the makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before flooding the market with them (4, 8). With that information, do you think the supplements and diet pills are safe? Do you think they are effective or will you just be popping pills for no results?
Creams, Devices And Black Magic
Promoters of rapid weight loss go far and beyond to make sure you join their bandwagon. They will do everything to make sure they have you where they want. They will even introduce methods of losing weight without dieting or exercising. That is how far they are willing to go. Frankly speaking, in what world can you lose weight without proper exercising and proper dieting (8)?
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What Are The Effects Of Rapid Weight Loss?
Let us assume, you’ve gone ahead and actually lost a lot of weight quickly. Here are some of the side effects to expect:
Rapid weight loss often leaves you with loose skin. You are likely to experience loose skin on your abdomen, your hands and your legs. This usually happens because the skin has lost some of its elasticity as it did not have time to shrink with the rest of the body. While this may not have long-term health consequences, it can cause mental distress, as well as uncomfortable chafing. If after two years your skin has not gone back to how it was, the only way to fix it would be through surgery (9).
What are gallstones? Gallstones are hard deposits of cholesterol that usually form in the gallbladder. The development of gallstones is one of the most common side effects of rapid weight loss. Gallstones are said to be harmless, but they cause most of the people who have them to experience nausea and serious abdominal pain to the extent that the gallbladder may need to be removed. When you are overweight or obese, it is likely that you will develop gallstones, so losing weight is beneficial (12). However, doing it very quickly actually increases your risk of developing them.
Loss Of Lean Muscle
When you lose weight very quickly, it’s not necessarily just fat that goes away. Rapid weight loss can also result in a significant reduction in fat-free mass, this is lean muscle tissue and bone. This reduction in muscle mass can lead to slowing of the metabolism, which can cause a rebound effect when you stop restricting calories or exercising (9).
While fatty liver disease is commonly associated with obesity, rapid weight loss is a risk factor for developing liver damage. This may be due to the sudden changes in your fatty acid profile after your weight loss, or as a residual effect of being overweight (9).
Decline In Your Metabolism Rate
Losing a lot of weight quickly makes your body adapt in certain ways. One way your body adapts is by slowing down its energy use. When you lose a lot of weight quickly you may experience a decline in your resting metabolic rate. Your resting metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn while you are at rest or not doing anything. This decline in your metabolism can result in you regaining the weight you lost.
Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes is very important to your health. When you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, most of the weight lost is usually water. Quick loss of fluids can disrupt the balance of minerals since the body excretes sodium so that it can get rid of water. All your muscles including your heart muscles depend on proper electrolyte balance. Electrolytes carry an electric charge that plays a role in helping your muscles contract. Electrolytes also help your heart to beat properly.
Other effects of rapid weight loss include:
- Headaches (4)
- Irritability (4)
- Fatigue (4)
- Dizziness (4)
- Constipation (4)
- Menstrual irregularities (4)
- Hair loss (4)
Those are some of the risks associated with rapid weight loss. Is it really worth it, especially when there are a slew of healthy ways to lose weight? These methods are sustainable and recommended by experts across the board. Remember the best approach for weight loss should be one that is enjoyable and can be maintained over the long term. These methods include proper dieting as well as proper exercising. It is important to remember that the recommended weight to lose is one to two pounds weekly.
Healthy Weight Loss
What is healthy weight loss? This is a gradual loss of weight. The chances of keeping off the weight you lose are higher when you do it gradually and steadily (6). It is important to note that weight loss is not just about sticking to a certain diet or workout plan. Weight loss involves adopting a certain lifestyle. This means making long term changes in terms of what you eat on a daily basis, regular exercising and incorporating small changes like always being active and the likes. Losing weight is not easy nor is it impossible. It just needs time and commitment. The results of losing weight are certainly sweeter and worth it.
When you are using dieting to lose weight, you need to know that weight loss is not about deprivation because diets that deprive people of their favorite foods tend to be short-lived. Here are some ways you can lose weight in a healthy manner.
Weight Loss Through Cutting Calories
When it comes to this, the principle is pretty simple, you need to consume less calories than your body burns in a day. While doing this, you should make sure not to cut so many calories in your diet that you end up starving. Cutting five hundred calories per day is usually recommended. If you are used to eating 2000 calories everyday, now you can start eating 1500 calories instead. You also need to make sure your body is getting the required nutrients. This ensures healthy weight loss. Here are some ways you can cut your calories:
Cutting High-Calorie, Low-Nutrition Items
It is always good to start small after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Skipping one or two high-calorie items is a good place to start when cutting calories. For example, you could skip your morning latte, soda at lunch or that bowl of ice cream you always have after dinner (2).
Think about what you eat and drink each day and identify items you could cut out. If you think that skipping your indulgence will leave you with a craving, try a low-calorie substitution. This is, instead of taking your flavored latte which has 250 calories, you can substitute it with a black coffee which is only 4 calories. Instead of taking that one cup of ice cream you always eat that is 285 calories, you could go for one and a ½ cup of strawberries which are 69 calories. It is important to note that the calories stated above may vary depending on the brands you go for (2).
Reducing Your Portion Sizes
The more food you eat the more calories you take in. If you eat twice as much as you usually eat, you get twice as much calories. It is as simple as that. Controlling your food portions is a good way to control your calories. Here are some tips on how you can control the amount of food you eat.
- It is good to start small. When pile food onto your plate, put slightly less than you would normally eat. If after eating you still feel hungry, eat a fruit or a vegetable (2).
- Eat from plates not packages. Eating directly from a container gives you no sense of how much you’re eating. Seeing food on a plate or in a bowl keeps you aware of how much you’re eating. Consider using a smaller plate or bowl (2).
- Check food labels. Food usually has labels that show you the number of calories per serving. This helps you keep track of what you are eating and keep you in your desired calorie intake per day (2).
- Use a calorie counter. Check out reputable resources that offer tools to count calories, such as websites or smartphone applications (2).
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Foods You Should Eat To Lose Weight
- Whole Eggs
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
- Boiled Potatoes
- Beans and Legumes
- Cottage Cheese
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Whole Grains
- Chili Pepper
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Greek Yogurt
Weight Loss Through Exercising
Exercises are crucial for weight loss. Exercises help you burn those extra calories you consumed. The best thing about exercises is that some are easy to do and do not require any equipment. Here are examples of exercises that are very effective when it comes to weight loss.
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss — and for good reason.
It’s a convenient and easy way for beginners to start exercising without feeling overwhelmed or needing to purchase equipment. Also, it’s a lower-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints (10).
2. Jogging Or Running
Great exercises to help you lose weight are jogging and running. These exercises can help burn belly fat. This type of fat wraps around your internal organs and has been linked to various chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes (10).
Both jogging and running are great exercises that can be done anywhere and are easy to incorporate into your weekly routine.
This is a popular exercise that improves your fitness and can help you lose weight.
Cycling is great for weight loss. People who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, compared with those who don’t cycle regularly (10).
4. Weight Training
This is a popular choice for people looking to lose weight. Weight training can help you build strength and promote muscle growth, which can raise your resting metabolic rate (10).
5. Interval Training
Interval training, more commonly known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a broad term that refers to short bursts of intense exercise that alternate with recovery periods. Typically, a HIIT workout lasts 10–30 minutes and can burn a lot of calories (10).
Swimming is a fun way to lose weight and get in shape (10).
Yoga is a popular way to exercise and relieve stress (10).
While it’s not commonly thought of as a weight loss exercise, it burns a fair amount of calories and offers many additional health benefits that can promote weight loss.
Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that may help you lose weight (10).
The Bottom Line
The answer as to how to lose 2 pounds a day has been answered. Losing that much weight in a day is not recommended. What is the hurry for? How about you work to lose 2 pounds weekly. This is sustainable and recommended by experts across the board. You can safely lose weight using the methods highlighted in this article. Keep in mind that you will most likely get better long term results with a healthier weight loss.
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. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this
- Ask the Diet Doctor: Is Losing 10 Pounds a Week Safe? (n.d., shape.com)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (n.d., mayoclinic.org)
- DANGERS OF QUICK WEIGHT LOSS (n.d., gaiam.com)
- How long will it take me to lose 10 pounds? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to lose water weight naturally (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Losing Weight (n.d., cdc.gov)
- Pros and Cons of Rapid Weight Loss (n.d., medium.com)
- Rapid Weight Loss (n.d., webmd.com)
- Risks of Losing Too Much Weight Too Quickly (n.d., livestrong.com)
- The 8 Best Exercises for Weight Loss (2018, healthline.com)
- The 20 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on The Planet (2018, healthline.com)
- The Best Way to Lose Weight Safely (2015, livescience.com)
- What are the best foods for weight loss? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fast weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)