Weight loss is so far from being easy, but that isn’t to say that you cannot transform your physique however you like. It is not about breaking your back in the gym. Weight loss is maintaining a calorie deficit, eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, and keeping a positive attitude.
If you are the kind of person who wants it fast and wants it now, you might be interested in how to lose 5 pounds in a day. In this article, we will evaluate the best weight loss practices and discuss if you can truly lose 5 pounds in 1 day in the first place. We have compiled the latest research and commentary from health experts in this post, so keep on reading.
Can You Lose 5 Pounds In 1 Day?
The idea of losing 5 pounds in 1 day seems quite realistic and achievable on paper. After all, you may think it will only require you to perform a killer workout, eat right, and burn more calories than you did before you embarked on this journey. Unfortunately, you cannot lose this many pounds in such a limited timeline no matter how hard you try.
Even if you incorporate practices such as intermittent fasting, the fact remains that you cannot lose 5 pounds in a day. It is all because of the concept of calories. Calories are the unit of measurement used to determine how much fat you need to burn.
If you eat fewer calories, your body tends to burn more calories through other weight loss practices such as exercise. Let us dive deeper into this concept. If you reduce your daily calorie intake from 2000 to 1500, you will end up losing approximately 1 pound a week (1). One pound is equivalent to 0.5 kilograms. In light of this, you can see that it is close to impossible to lose 5 pounds in 24 hours.
Experts acknowledge that a more realistic goal would be aiming to lose 5 % of your current body weight (12). Ideally, you should stop not trying to lose this much weight in a day but instead phase it out over a couple of weeks to months, depending on how much weight that is for you. It means that if you weigh 180 pounds, your long-term goal would be losing 5 % of this, which is 9 pounds. And seeing as it is recommended to lose 1 pound a week, you should expect to drop 9 pounds over approximately 9 weeks time. With this in mind, you will avoid disappointments and health complications.
How Much Weight Can You Safely Lose In 1 Day?
People hardly ever consider the safety aspect of weight loss, especially when they need to lose weight fast.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that you need to focus on healthy weight loss. Healthy weight loss pace is losing either 1 or 2 pounds within a week (8). The key here is that gradual weight loss can guarantee steady and sustainable results.
By looking at this information, you can see that losing 5 pounds in 1 day is extremely unhealthy. The effects of such rapid and unhealthy weight loss range from muscle loss to an increased risk for gallstones to malnutrition (2).
Can You Lose 5 Pounds In A Week?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The safe and healthy weight loss recommendation that is recommended by experts is no more than one or two pounds a week (4). Our target of 5 pounds is way over this recommended limit. Even if you were to focus on a very low-calorie diet, this still would be impossible and very unhealthy.
One pound has 3, 500 calories (14). So, if you were to lose 5 pounds, it would entail burning 17, 500 calories (5 pounds x 3, 500 calories). To lose one pound, you would be needed to burn 500 extra calories each day within the week. To lose 5 pounds, it would mean burning an extra 2, 500 calories every day (5 pounds x 500 calories).
Even if it were possible, this is extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Again, you can only safely lose one or two pounds a week. It means that you can safely burn either 3, 500 or 7, 000 extra calories in a week.
How To Lose 5 Pounds Fast And Safe?
As discussed earlier on, you cannot lose 5 pounds within 24 hours. Such rapid weight loss gimmicks only jeopardize your health. Similarly, fad diets cause you to lose water weight instead of body fat. However, just because it is not attainable in 1 day does not mean that you cannot lose 5 pounds. It will simply take a little more time than you’d like.
You can certainly make some lifestyle changes that can promote weight loss and help you drop these 5 pounds. However, before you try any of these practices, be sure to talk to a licensed nutritionist and health care provider.
Again, it is all about safe and healthy weight loss for sustainable results. Without further ado, some practices that can help you lose 5 pounds include:
Creating A Deficit Of Your Daily Calories
Creating a calorie deficit merely entails consuming fewer calories than your body burns. For this process to promote weight loss, you have to remain consistent with this practice. However, the problem is that you may be consuming more calories than your body requires.
It happens when you do not know how to calculate your required daily calorie intake. It varies from person to person, depending on factors such as age, height, weight, sex, physical activity, and body weight.
So, if you were consuming calories similar to your friend also on a weight loss journey, stop and backtrack. You must first determine the calories your body requires to then count how many calories you will have to reduce in order to ensure weight loss.
There is a manual calculation technique that you can use to determine your daily calorie intake. It entails multiplying your current body weight by 15 (6). So, if you weigh 154 pounds, it means that your daily calorie requirement is 2, 310 calories (154 pounds x 15).
For a healthy calorie deficit, experts recommend you subtract 500 calories from the daily calorie intake (figure you acquire after multiplying) (6). So, from our example, a healthful calorie deficit would mean consuming 1, 810 calories (2, 310 calories-500 calories).
Creating A Calorie Deficit
You will need the help of either a nutritionist or dietitian to create a calorie deficit. It is because one expert-approved method of creating a calorie deficit entails changing what you eat and drink. In this case, you are asked to focus more on low-calorie foods.
Low-calorie meals tend to limit your calorie intake to 1, 200 to 1, 500 calories daily (13). This may or may not be enough for you, depending on your individual needs as discussed above, so always adjust as needed. They entail foods from all food groups. The only difference is that they target the foods in these groups that are low in calories. Such foods include leafy green vegetables, whole grains, whole fruits, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and healthy oils like olive oil.
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Low-Calorie Meal Plan Idea
- One medium slice of whole-wheat bread spread with two teaspoons of regular jelly, half a cup of shredded wheat with a cup of 1% fat milk, a three-quarter cup of orange juice, and one cup of regular coffee.
- A roast beef sandwich prepared with medium slices of whole-wheat bread, two ounces of lean, unseasoned roast beef, one lettuce leaf, three slices of tomato, and one teaspoon of low-calorie mayonnaise, one medium apple, and one cup of water.
- Two ounces of salmon cooked in one and a half teaspoons of vegetable oil, three-quarter of a medium baked potato topped with one teaspoon of margarine, half a cup of green beans, half a cup of carrots, one small white dinner roll, one cup of unsweetened iced tea, and two cups of water.
- Two and a half cups of popcorn made with three-quarter teaspoons of margarine.
Low-Calorie Meal Plan Idea 2
- Three-quarter cup hot whole-grain cereal, one small banana, and a calorie-free beverage.
- Tossed salad (prepared with two cups romaine lettuce, quarter onion, quarter mushrooms, one medium tomato, one hard-boiled egg, and half a cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese), one whole-wheat dinner roll, one and a half teaspoons butter, half a cup cubed pineapple, and a calorie-free drink.
- Three ounces seared scallops in one teaspoon olive oil, garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes, half cup beets, and a calorie-free beverage.
- Two plums and/or eight wheat crackers.
These are just low-calorie meal plan ideas to help you lose 5 pounds. Before you implement either, talk to your nutritionist to get their go-ahead.
You can also lose 5 pounds by fasting to lose weight. You cannot lose 5 pounds in 1 day through fasting. It only causes detrimental health effects. To lose 5 pounds, you can try intermittent fasting as it has been linked to promoting weight loss.
Experts acknowledge that intermittent fasting may aid in weight loss by helping you consume fewer calories overall (11). There are different intermittent fasting methods, all containing different fasting and feeding windows.
Some of the most popular ones include:
- Fasting for 12 hours daily. This approach requires that you abstain from food consumption for a 12-hour window. During this period, your body is forced to burn stored fat into energy. The process encourages weight loss.
- Fasting for 16 hours. This method is also known as the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet. You are required to fast for 16 hours and then eat during the 8-hour window. However, women are asked to fast for 14 hours. The 16-hour fasting window will also make your body convert stored fat into energy, promoting fat loss. This method is more suitable and recommended for people who have tried fasting for 12 hours. Nonetheless, you still need medical supervision and it is not safe for everyone.
- The 5:2 diet. This approach requires you to eat regularly for five days of the week but drastically limits your calorie intake for the other two (nonconsecutive) days. This diet helps in weight loss as it helps you cut calories, making your body burn more fat (5).
- Alternate day fasting. This fasting method tends to have various variations. The first one entails complete avoidance of solid foods on the fasting days. However, in another variation, you can eat 500 calorie meals on the fasting days. Since you are consuming fewer calories than your body requires, your body burns extra fat for energy provision. The process can be effective for weight loss.
If you are considering losing 5 pounds using any of these or another fasting method, remember to seek professional help. Some methods are extreme and may not be suitable if you have certain health conditions or are a beginner.
Exercising: How Can It Fast-Track Weight Loss?
You can also lose 5 pounds quickly and safely by exercising. This method allows you to maintain healthy body weight and weight loss without compromising your health. For faster results, you will need to combine regular exercise with other lifestyle changes.
It is the fastest and best way to lose weight. For example, try to go on a calorie deficit and eat healthy while still exercising. Coupling all these factors will most likely help you shed these 5 pounds both quickly and safely.
The reasoning behind this is that your body gets to burn more calories due to increased activity levels. Remember that you have reduced the calories in your diet by going on a calorie deficit. Therefore, you are further triggering your body to burn more calories.
To lose these 5 pounds and maintain a healthy weight, you need to consider either a moderate or vigorous physical activity. Moderate exercises entail activities such as walking and biking at a casual pace.
On the other hand, vigorous exercises include activities such as running, skipping rope, or cross-country skiing. Each exercise will burn different calories. The CDC acknowledges that you can burn the following calories through the following exercises (10):
Moderate-Intensity Level Exercises
If you weigh 154 pounds, you are most likely to burn these calories when you perform these activities for 30 minutes:
- Dancing: 165 calories
- Hiking: 185 calories
- Bicycling at less than 10 mph: 145 calories
- Stretching: 90 calories
- Walking at 3.5 mph: 140 calories
- Weight lifting following a light workout: 110 calories
High-Intensity Level Exercises
If you weigh 154 pounds and exercise using these activities for 30 minutes, you will lose the following calories:
- Running or jogging at 5 mph: 295 calories
- Swimming involving slow freestyle laps: 255 calories
- Aerobics: 240 calories
- Bicycling at a speed higher than 10 mph: 295 calories
- Walking at 4.5 mph: 230 calories
- Playing basketball: 220 calories
Remember that you will burn more calories if you increase your workout duration. So, if you were to increase your workout duration to one hour, the calories you burn would also increase. For example, doing vigorous aerobics for one hour will help you burn 480 calories.
This is double the calories you would burn than when you do aerobics for thirty minutes. But before you consider increasing your workout duration, make sure you talk to your fitness trainer. They will guide you and help you create a safe workout plan that meets your needs.
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Focusing On Healthy Eating
Developing a healthy eating plan will also help you lose 5 pounds quickly and effortlessly. The key to eating healthy is not only eating within the recommended calorie allowance. It also entails portion control, eating mindfully, and eating foods from all food groups. So, take note of these elements for faster weight loss. Similarly, if you create a diet plan, make sure it meets the following criteria (3):
- Includes lean proteins. Lean proteins tend to reduce ghrelin levels (your hunger hormone) and increase your satiety. As a result, you eat fewer calories but your body burns more, which is the concept behind weight loss. Protein is also important to help maintain muscle mass while losing weight.
- Emphasizes the use of healthy fats. Despite its bad rap, you do need fat in your diet. So, do not cut out fat from your diet plan. Instead, focus on healthy fats and those with low saturated fat levels. They will reduce your risk of high cholesterol and promote weight loss. Examples include olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
- Emphasizes on fruits and vegetable consumption. Most fruits and vegetables have low fat and calories and are filling (7). They will, therefore, help in regulating the number of calories you consume.
- Advocates for healthy snacking. To lose 5 pounds safely and healthily, you will have to eat smart and healthy snacks. Most weight loss diet plans will accommodate either one or two snacks daily. Whatever the case is, the goal is choosing healthy snacks that have 100 calories or less. Here are examples of healthy snacks you can consider (7):
- One medium-sized apple: 72 calories
- One cup of grapes: 100 calories
- One cup carrots: 45 calories
- One cup broccoli: 30 calories
- One cup steamed green beans: 44 calories
- One cup blueberries: 83 calories
- One cup bell peppers: 30 calories
Talk to a dietitian if you need help creating a healthy weight loss diet plan. Their advice and help may help you in sustaining the meal plan, even after you lose these intended 5 pounds.
The Bottom Line
Most methods on how to lose 5 pounds in 1 day are, sadly, unsafe and unhealthy. Not only is it impossible to lose 5 pounds within 24 hours, but also very dangerous to your health. Instead of looking for such methods, try to aim at losing 5 pounds gradually and healthily.
All it takes is focusing on a calorie deficit, exercising regularly, eating healthy, and perhaps, trying a fast. These practices will help you lose these 5 pounds effortlessly, safely, and healthily. Most importantly, remember to seek professional and medical help before you start any weight loss program.
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!
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020,mayoclinic.org)
- Faster weight loss no better than slow weight loss for health benefits (2019, sciencedaily.com)
- Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight (2021, cdc.gov)
- How long will it take me to lose 10 pounds? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to do the 5:2 diet (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to safely and effectively create a calorie deficit for weight loss (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight (2020, cdc.gov)
- Losing weight (2020, cdc.gov)
- Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid: A sample menu (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight (2020, cdc.gov)
- Seven Ways to do Intermittent Fasting (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Weight loss: 6 strategies for success (2019,mayoclinic.org)
- What to know about low calorie meal plans (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fat weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)