What Is a Safe Amount of Pounds to Lose in a Week?

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You might have aspirations of dropping a significant number of pounds over your summer vacation and shocking your colleagues when you return to work, but excessively rapid weight loss isn't often realistic or safe. Instead of trying to lose weight quickly, adopt a consistent approach, and you'll steadily see progress when you step on the bathroom scale at the end of the week.

Recommended Weight

  • Although the ideal amount of weight to lose in a week varies according to your body type, setting a goal of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is realistic, advises MayoClinic.com. The site notes you might see a more rapid weight loss early upon adopting a healthier lifestyle, but sticking with a goal of 1 to 2 pounds is attainable and safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week are more likely to keep the weight off.

Calorie Deficit

  • Losing weight safely is only possible through consistently putting your body in a calorie deficit, which means regularly burning more calories than you consume. Attaining a calorie deficit is possible through regular exercise and closely monitoring your calorie consumption. Because 1 pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, creating a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories will help you lose 1 pound of fat per week. A daily deficit of 1,000 calories will result in the loss of 2 pounds of fat.

Exercises to Consider

  • When you've set a goal of losing 1 or 2 pounds per week, exercising regularly can help you reach your goal. Aerobic exercises are effective ways to burn calories, and an hourlong workout can result in several hundred calories burned. Consider such exercises as bicycling, in-line skating, swimming, running and using gym equipment such as the rowing machine and elliptical trainer to help create a daily calorie deficit. If you're short on time, avoid exercises that burn calories slowly, such as walking.

Unsafe Weight Loss

  • If you're excessively overweight, losing 1 to 2 pounds per week might feel too slow, but MayoClinic.com warns against trying to lose weight at a faster pace. The clinic notes faster weight loss can not only be unhealthy, but can also be difficult to sustain. Avoid exercises such as working out while wearing a sauna suit to sweat profusely. Although you'll notice rapid weight loss through this method, you're losing water weight rather than fat. Losing excessive water weight can lead to dehydration and even overheating.

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