You’ve heard it all when it comes to weight loss — from fad diets that work for a while but then fail miserably to exercise routines that are too hard on your joints and tendons. What if you could lose two pounds a week without starving or seeing your life flash in front of your eyes during your 2nd hour on the treadmill? It sounds impossible, but it’s not! All it takes is some knowledge about how the body really works.
Creating A Calorie Deficit Is The Only Way To Lose Weight
The body maintains its weight by adjusting itself based on what goes into it — when you consume more calories than you burn, the body stores these extra calories to use later. The same concept applies when you consume fewer calories than used each day; stored fat is used as fuel instead of food.
When creating a calorie deficit, the ultimate goal is that it’s large enough that it causes your current fat stores to be completely used up. The calorie deficit to lose 2 pounds a week is 7000 calories. This translates to a calorie deficit of 1000kcal per day (1).
There are two ways to create a calorie deficit. You can either spend more time exercising or eat less. Changing your habits so that you’re eating less and moving more can be a challenge, so here are some strategies you can try:
Change Your Way Of Eating
Diet is the biggest struggle for people trying to lose weight. Try these tricks for lowering your calorie intake to lose 2 pounds a week (5).
Be Wary Of Diets
Many people are frustrated by the dieting process. They want to enjoy a leaner body but get tired of using fad diets that don’t really work in the long run. The problem with most diets is that they are too restrictive.
Everyone should avoid starving themselves while dieting. This usually leads them to binge later on or overeat when they finally get a chance to compensate for their earlier deprivation.
If you’re trying to cut calories from your diet, don’t cut so much that your body is constantly craving food. You lose 2 pounds a week diet plan with at least 1200 calories per day (1). This will help your body burn calories faster even while resting; any less will slow down your metabolism, making it hard for you to lose weight.
Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Instead of thinking “how much” or “how little” you’re allowed at each meal, focus on what it’s made of. Healthy foods contain plenty of nutrients that will help keep your body strong and hinder further weight gain, while unhealthy foods lack nutritional variety besides fats or carbs.
You should avoid a few different things, just as many things you can add to your diet to keep it nutritious while still giving you ample amounts of food!
Avoid foods with a high level of unhealthy fats and sugars such as fried foods, refined sugar, candy bars, fast food, margarine, ice cream, etc. These foods tend to be highly processed and cause unhealthy spikes in blood glucose levels, followed by equally unhealthy crashes (2).
This pattern contributes to overeating because your body’s natural reaction is hunger once it gets used to the quick surges from certain types of food. If you want to eat more without gaining weight, try making better choices during each meal.
Try Eating More Food To Lose Weight
It sounds counterproductive; how can eating more result in weight loss? One solution many have found is volume eating, which involves eating more food at each meal without upping your caloric intake. This allows you to consume enough calories while still enjoying an abundant and filling meal.
Volume eating involves eating more food at each meal but not increasing the total amount of calories you consume per day (or per week). It is one of the most effective methods for creating a calorie deficit.
The idea behind volume eating is simple; eat a large amount of low-calorie, high fiber foods, and other nutrient-rich foods at each meal instead of higher-calorie but less filling options like junk food or sweets. Since this will fill you up with fewer calories, you can consume more at every meal and end up getting as much or more than someone who eats smaller portions yet consumes the same number of total calories.
Volume eating works on many different levels. First, by increasing the amount of food you eat at each meal, you can take advantage of a concept known as caloric density. This term refers to how much energy (calories) is packed into a certain amount of food.
A high caloric density food such as olive oil has 100 calories in two tablespoons compared to the same number of calories from other foods like ice cream or steak, which may have 50% more volume but only 50% more calories (5). Increasing the volume and decreasing the calorie content allows you to eat more!
Another critical aspect is fiber. Fiber fills you up without adding any additional calories, and it helps slow down digestion so that your body will feel full longer (5). The best part? Fibers are abundant in many common fruits and veggies, especially ones with a high water content like tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. If you can eat plenty of these foods while keeping your calorie intake down, then you’ll feel full with fewer calories!
Get More Active
Being physically active helps you achieve a calorie deficit without having to eat too few calories. Here’s how to switch up your exercise routine and reach your target of calories to burn to lose 2 pounds a week.
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Strength training is a great way to lose weight for both men and women. It burns calories by building lean muscle mass.
Lean muscle tissue relies on calories even when they’re not active. This means that having more lean muscle will burn up extra calories while at rest. An interesting thing about strength training is the fact that it creates an after-burn effect. You see, we have something called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption); this is what happens after you train. Your body works harder to recover from the workout, takes longer than regular exercise, and requires more energy (4).
Keep in mind that strength training isn’t just for men; women can benefit greatly from strength training because it creates a leaner physique with less body fat. Plus, women often have difficulty building muscle due to hormonal balance. Although they may find it challenging to gain muscle, they’ll notice that the more lean muscle mass they have, the more calories they burn.
You can focus on one area of strength training or do various exercises to include almost all your major muscles. For example, you could choose to do shoulder presses and push-ups for your upper body, lunges, and squats for your lower body. The most important thing is consistency. You’re not going to see results if you don’t work out often and regularly. It’s best to do at least three strength training sessions per week (splitting up each session) (4).
Walk 10,000 Steps A Day
There is no set time when people start counting their steps. A good time is after work or after school where you can take a stroll and enjoy nature as you walk. Or, if your job involves a lot of walking, know that every step you take matters and should be factored into your daily activity levels.
There are several ways to keep track of your daily step count. If you have the money, purchasing a step counter watch would be ideal. They will count for you, so there will be no need for manual tallying of how many steps you have walked every day. In times when money matters, try using an app on your smartphone instead. It’s free, and it does the job just fine!
Sample 7-Day Healthy Meal Plan For Weight Loss
To lose weight, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit in your dietary plans. However, you should also ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs like macros, vitamins, and minerals. Here’s how a healthy and effective 1200 calorie meal plan will look like:
Day One (3)
- Breakfast: Take 1 serving of 1 link sausage, 1 large egg, and cheese scramble- 21.8g fat, 8.9g carbs, 22.1g protein, and 322.6 calories.
- Snack: Take 2 slices of cantaloupe served with nonfat greek yogurt- 19.9g carbs, 1.2g fat, 25.7g protein, and 333 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 turkey sandwich alongside carrots with hummus- 49.6g carbs, 10.6g fat, 17.6g of protein, and 351 calories.
- Dinner: Take 1 bowl of macaroni goulash- 53.8g carbs, 3.5g fat, 24.9g protein, and 332.5 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1195
Day Two (3)
- Breakfast: Take 2oz honey ham, 3 large scrambled eggs seasoned with 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric- 5.5g carbs, 16.2g fat, 29g protein, and 291.3 calories.
- Snack: Take 1-ounce of granola- 15.1g carbs, 6.8g fat, 4.2g protein, and 139 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 mango protein shake- 44.3g carbs, 6.1g fat, 32.8g protein, and 355.3 calories.
- Dinner: Take 1 BLT sandwich served with easy hard-boiled eggs- 29.7g carbs, 21.5 fat, 25.2g protein, and 415 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1200
Day Three (3)
- Breakfast: Take an 8oz breakfast fruit smoothie (½ cup halved strawberries, ½ medium banana, and ½ cup orange juice). Throw in 4 strips of bacon to complete the combo- 33.6g carbs, 19.7g fat, 8.1g protein, and 336 calories.
- Snack: Take 2 servings of cinnamon apple bites- 43.2g carbs, 0.5g fat, 1g protein, and 161 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 serving of cucumber tomato salad with tuna, alongside 1 serving of cheese slices- 21.9g carbs, 12.1g fat, 43.5g protein, and 352 calories.
- Dinner: Have one serving of shrimp and corn with basil- 32.7g carbs, 13.7g fat, 20.3g protein, and 315.1 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1163
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Day Four (3)
- Breakfast: Take 2 ounces of pecans- 7.9g carbs, 40.8g fat, 5.2g protein, and 391.8 calories.
- Snack: Take 8oz nonfat Greek yogurt alongside 1 cup of halved strawberries- 19.8g carbs, 1.3g fat, 24.1g protein, and 182.4 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 serving of lemon avocado salad- 20g carbs, 29,6g fat, 4.6g protein, and 333.9 calories.
- Dinner: Take 1 bowl of macaroni goulash, served with ½ can of tuna and corn- 53.8g carbs, 3.5g fat, 24.9g protein, and 332.5 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1241
Day Five (3)
- Breakfast: Take 2 medium apples- 50.3g carbs, 0.6g fat, 0.9g protein, and 189.3 calories.
- Snack: Take 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt- 8.6g carbs, 0.9g fat, 24.5g protein, and 141.6 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract- 16.3g carbs, 17.4g fat, 31.5g protein, and 345.1 calories.
- Dinner: Take 2 servings of chicken kabobs- 66.7g carbs, 7.4g fat, 56.5g protein, and 570 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1246
Day Six (3)
- Breakfast: Take 1 bowl of corn flakes and 1 medium apple- 60.4g carbs, 5.3g fat, 10.6g protein, and 317 calories.
- Snack: Take 1oz granola- 15.1g carbs, 6.8g fat, 4.2g protein, and 138.6 calories.
- Lunch: Take 1 serving tuna stuffed with pepper alongside 1-ounce almonds- 18.5g carbs, 17.0g fat, 41.1g protein, and 376 calories.
- Dinner: Take 1 BLT sandwich- 29.3g carbs, 16.7g fat, 18.9g protein, and 343.3 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1175
Day Seven (3)
- Breakfast: Take 1 serving watermelon cooler smoothie and 2 medium apples- 80.1g carbs, 1.1g fat, 3.0g protein, and 306 calories.
- Snack: Take 1 serving fruit salad made from 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup halved strawberries- 33.1g carbs, 0.9g fat, 2.1g protein, and 133 calories.
- Lunch: Take 2 servings of turkey lettuce roll ups with 2 dashes of pepper and 1oz almonds- 11.4g carbs, 16.8g fat, 24.3 protein, and 283 calories.
- Dinner: Take 1 serving tomato mozzarella tuna melt- 31.6g carbs, 15.8g fat 51.1g protein, and 461.2 calories.
- Total daily calories: 1183
This 1200-calorie diet meal plan is courtesy of eatthismuch.com.
The Bottom Line
Losing weight is quite simple once you understand the way your body works. The key is knowing how much you should be eating and what your body needs to get healthy. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, these excellent tips and tricks on reducing your caloric intake without feeling hungry or deprived of the foods you love can help. Don’t forget to get active and move more. By following these simple guidelines, you will be well on your way to losing 2 pounds per week!
Take up 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!
- Dietary intakes associated with successful weight loss and maintenance during the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial (2012, nih.gov)
- Obesity Prevention Source (n.d., harvard.edu)
- Put your diet on autopilot (n.d., eatthismuch.com)
- The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial (2012, biomedcentral.com)
- Weight loss: 6 strategies for success (2019, mayoclinic.org)