Let’s face it, weight loss isn’t easy. It’s even harder when you have an intense goal – such as losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Whether you need to drop these pounds for medical reasons, or to look good for a special occasion, it all comes down to how practical your plan is and how disciplined you can be. To be clear, fast weight loss is rarely ever sustainable. Your body can’t handle extreme changes without “fighting back”. You’ll have to deal with lots of cravings, and you may eventually hit a plateau. If your overall plan isn’t very sustainable, the plateau will be your cue to give up on weight loss altogether. You might end up regaining lost weight, not to mention the toll this process might take on your mental health. That said, let’s review the 10 pounds in 2 weeks goal – is it safe? Which lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks workout and diet combination will help you achieve it?
What Is Safe Weight Loss?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is healthy and sustainable (3). The reason for this recommendation is simple – healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. So people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.
Technically, losing 1 pound of fat requires a deficit of 3,500 calories through diet, exercise or both (2).
For example, if you maintain your current weight eating 2500 calories per day, and you went on a diet that requires you to eat 2000 calories per day (or kept eating 2500 but started exercising to burn 500 calories per day), you’d end up with a total weekly caloric deficit of 3500 calories i.e. 500 calorie deficit per day x 7 days in a week = 3500 calorie deficit. You’d lose exactly 1lb per week. Over 2 weeks of consistent diet and exercise, you’d lose 2lbs.
On the other hand, if you wanted to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks you’d have to create a much larger deficit. In order to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, you’ll likely need to lose 5 pounds in one week. That’s 17,500 calories less than your maintenance amount per week. This translates to a daily deficit of 2500 calories instead of the recommended 500 from before.
Assume you need to consume 2,500 calories a day to maintain your current weight. Losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks through diet alone means you don’t eat alone – a 2 week fast is dangerous and you shouldn’t consider that at all. You can try to meet the weight loss target with a combination of diet and exercise.
No matter how solid your loss of 10 pounds in 2 weeks diet and workout plan is – this rate of weight loss is neither safe nor sustainable. But if after doing the math, you’re still convinced that you need to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, here is what you need to know.
How To Lose 10 Pounds In 2 Weeks Workout
This is done by increasing the number of calories that you burn during your workout session, and reducing the total amount of calories that you consume (11). First, calculate your maintenance calories. Set a calorie goal with a deficit of 500-1000 calories. If you’re above average weight you’re able to cut more calories.
For example, someone who is maintaining their current weight eating 3000 calories per day can reduce the calories they eat by slightly more than 1000, and have enough energy for daily workouts. However, someone who is maintaining their current weight with 2,200 calories may not have the same allowance.
Once you’ve set your calorie deficit, add in exercise to burn more calories per day. To lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, you can cut 500 calories from diet, and burn an additional 2,000 calories through exercise. You’re going to do a lot of exercise to burn 2,000 calories. To put things into perspective, here is a list of calories burned by a 155-pound person per 1 hour of each exercise according to Harvard Health (1):
- Lifting weights – 216 – 432 calories
- Low impact aerobics (walking, yoga, elliptical) – 396 calories
- High impact aerobics (jumping rope, jumping jacks, knee highs) – 504 calories
- Swimming – 720 calories
- Running – 600 calories
- Cycling – 850 calories
The best exercises to lose weight require intense bursts of energy. A workout plan to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks may involve:
- 30 minutes of running to burn 300 calories
- 15 minutes of rope jumping to burn 200 calories
- 30 minutes of HIIT to burn 400 calories
- 30 minutes of swimming to burn 350 calories
- 1 hour of cycling to burn 850 calories
- Total calories burned per day – 2,100
These exercises can be spread throughout the day to fit into your schedule. You can vary the specific exercises each day to keep things exciting. On certain days of the week, you can include 3 sets of 10-12 reps of the following exercises to build muscle:
- Weighted squats
- Bench press
- Tricep dips
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How To Lose 10 Pounds In 2 Weeks Diet
To start, make sure you have a good grasp on how many calories you eat per day. Now subtract 500-1,000 calories from it to create a calorie deficit. Here’s what to eat to lose weight:
A protein-rich diet is essential for weight loss. Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish can help you feel full while keeping calories low. You should eat at least one protein-rich meal per day.
A diet with a large proportion of protein has been shown to reduce appetite, which helps to control calorie intake (10).
High Fiber Foods
Including enough high fiber vegetables in your diet can also help reduce energy intake and total caloric intake throughout the day. This is because high fiber foods are more satiating (meaning they keep you fuller for longer).
High fiber foods also help slow down digestion so that you feel fuller for longer after eating them. They contain a high amount of water, which fills your stomach and makes you feel full. They’re also chock-full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, potassium and magnesium (9).
Try to eat 5 servings or per day of fruits and vegetables. Include berries and citrus fruits as often as possible – these have natural fruit sugars that won’t spike insulin levels in the body, making them both filling and delicious.
Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, beans, and legumes are a great way to fuel your workouts. Whole grain breads and pastas contain more calories than their refined counterparts, but don’t be afraid of them – they are full of nutrients that boost metabolism (6).
It’s important to eat complex carbs in moderation throughout the day because they have high caloric content. However, if you’re planning a workout or spending some time outside, having some additional energy without feeling weighed down can help you push yourself even further.
It might seem strange to eat fat when trying to lose weight, but healthy fats, such as those contained in olive oil and nuts, are an essential part of any weight loss plan that involves exercise. Healthy fats contain omega-3 fatty acids, which boost muscle recovery after a workout.
Saturated fat is not good for weight loss because it can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and contribute to heart disease (5). But there are plenty of healthy foods that do contain saturated fat. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible, but don’t cut them out completely from your diet because they are both essential and hard to find in nature.
Water is essential for helping the body metabolize fats for energy instead of carbs. You should drink 8 glasses of water every day. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices because they have empty calories without any nutrients or fiber. Try water with lemon or unsweetened tea instead.
Tips To Help You Lose 10 Pounds In 2 Weeks
These tips should help you stick to whichever workout and diet plan you chose:
Do Circuit Training Workouts
The better way to exercise for weight and fat loss is to do interval style resistance training workouts. This will also help boost your metabolism. Studies show that circuit training burns calories during and after the workout (8). It’s also better at burning abdominal fat than cardio exercises.
Don’t Burn Out – Rest And Get Enough Sleep
The goal of weight loss is to improve your health, not to run yourself into the ground. It’s important that you take care of yourself and get enough sleep every night.
The quality of sleep you get can influence how fast or slow you lose weight. While sleeping, your body releases hormones that help regulate energy and metabolism. Getting a better quality of sleep can also decrease cortisol in the body which is known as the stress hormone and this increases belly fat storage (7).
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Keep A Food Journal
It’s important to keep track of what you’re eating while you’re on your weight loss journey. You can come up with ideas and plans of what to eat next by writing a food journal. This will also help you stick to your diet plan, because if you’re not aware of the kinds and quantity of foods you’re eating every day, it’ll be harder for you to make other wise choices.
Avoid Mindless Eating
Overeating is often the result of eating mindlessly, i.e. eating while distracted and not being able to stop when you’re full. In some cases, people eat when they are bored.
To overcome mindless eating, it is important to avoid distractions when you eat. When you eat, focus on your food and the flavors that it offers. Continuously check in with your body and listen to your fullness cues while you eat (4).
Be sure to eat only when you’re hungry and avoid eating based on your emotional state – find other outlets for your emotions other than food.
You can do this “lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks” workout and diet plan without sacrificing your health or harming yourself. By following a combination of diet and exercise, you can lose weight quickly with minimal negative effects to your health.
Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
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!
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights (2021, health.harvard.edu)
- I want to lose a pound of weight. How many calories do I need to burn? | Food and Nutrition Information Center| NAL | USDA (n.d., nal.usda.gov)
- Losing Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity (2020, cdc.gov)
- Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Saturated Fat Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Ischemic Stroke: A Science Update (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrate Dietary Patterns and the Global Overweight and Obesity Pandemic (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Sleep deprivation and obesity in adults: a brief narrative review (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Speed- and Circuit-Based High-Intensity Interval Training on Recovery Oxygen Consumption (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, academic.oup.com)
- Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies – Weight Management – NCBI Bookshelf (2003, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)