How to lose 3 pounds in a week: 7 easy implementable steps

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You have an important life event coming up and you want to lose those 3 extra pounds of fat in a week i.e as quickly as possible to get a relatively fitter physique. But the problem is that you don’t know how can to achieve it and you are like.

“How fast can I lose my weight in a week?” Or “How to get a healthy weight loss per week?” More specifically, “How to lose 3 pounds in a week without starving myself?”.

The reality is weight loss is that it is not such an intimidating job to complete; you don’t necessarily have to starve yourself to lose your weight. In fact, losing your weight requires a simple change of diet and training routine that pays off in the form of healthy and sustainable weight loss.

In this post, you are going to get healthy and effective steps of losing fat up to 3 pounds a week without starving yourself, without wasting a lot of money, without over-supplementing yourself and without punishing your body in doing difficult exercises.

Read to get leaner and fitter before the weekend? Then don’t miss out on what is written below.

 

Step 1: Track and change your dieting

This is the first step for embarking on your journey of losing 3 pounds in a week. This is further divided into 3 more steps which are listed below

 

a) Creating a calorie deficit

Creating a calorie deficit is the most basic and most crucial step in making progress towards losing 3 pounds a week. A pound of fat contains 3500 calories, so you need a 3×3500= 10,500 calories deficit for a week to lose 3 pounds in seven days.

That translates into a deficit of approximately 1,500 calories per day.  So, if your daily intake of meals totals to about 3500 calories per day, you must either stick to 2000 calories which perfectly equal to 1500 calories deficit.

Or you can eat something more but that has to be burned back equally by intensive exercises/ training to bring the difference to daily 1500 calories.

Note please!

Please note these numbers are not set in stone but an average estimate of a men/woman having the same bodyweight, fitness level, metabolic rate levels, etc.

Since these factors differ in each woman and men, so every individual has its own math regarding how much calorie deficit they need to create. Also, not every man or woman is consuming the same type of diet.

Warning: few cautions to exercise

 
 
Warning no. 1:

Don’t try to get in rapid weight loss by extremely cutting back your calories need because according to National HeartLung and Blood Institute, the women shouldn’t eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day and men no fewer than 1,500 calories. 

Going too low, on the one hand, may impair your ability to get all the vital nutrients and on the other hand, a rapid calorie decline can swing your body in starvation mode which leads your body to believe that you are in starvation and it eats up lean mass and muscle.

So you might end up losing your precious lean mass while losing weight. This is just shooting in the foot.

Warning no. 2:

All calories are not equal. Creating a calorie deficit is half the puzzle, eating the right calories are another important puzzle. What matters less is a calorie deficit but what matters most is from where are you getting the calories i. Your food quality.

For example,

Calories of a turkey breast are not the same as the calories of french fries.  A one serving of turkey breast has about 150 calories but it also has the following vital nutrients like.

  • 1.8 grams of fat
  • 25 gm of lean protein
  • 13 percent of the DV (daily value) of zinc
  • 6 percent of the DV of magnesium
  • 16 percent of the DV of phosphorus
  • 47 percent of the DV of selenium
  • 14 percent of the DV of vitamin B12

French fries, on the other hand, contain 166 calories but it contains only the following nutrients.

  •  2.5 grams of protein, 
  • 5.1 grams of fat, 
  • 27.5 grams of carbs and 
  • 2.3 grams of fiber per serving (about 3 ounces).

Cleary, french fries lack in quality nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as compared to one serving of Turkey.  So all calories are not equal and your food choices matter.

 

b) Reducing your calorie intake

Read below on how to reduce your calorie intake and include healthy calories and boost your 3 pounds of losing efforts. 

 

1. Eat fewer carbs but more lean protein

Eating fewer carbs is at the heart of your weight loss journey but carbs are the nutrients that directly matter to your weight loss efforts because these are the extra carbs that are stored as glycogen in fatty tissues to make you obese.

You can lose a few pounds by following a low-carb diet for just a few days. Also, a carb intake decrease has been found to reduce water weight and bloating. That is why people can easily see the weight scale difference the very next morning they cut their carbs.

However, the choice of your carbs matters too. Completely remove starchy or processed carbs and sugars from your table and include healthy, nonstarch, healthy carbs.

 

Good and healthy sources of carbs

  • Vegetables: All of them. 
  • Whole fruits: Apples, bananas, strawberries, etc.
  • Legumes: Lentils, kidney beans, peas, etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc.
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.
  • Whole grains: pure oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.

Bad and unhealthy sources of carbs

  • Sugary drinks: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Vitaminwater, etc..
  • Fruit juices: White bread: Pastries, cookies, and cakes. These tend to be very high in sugar and refined wheat.
  • Ice cream
  • Candies and chocolates
  • French fries and potato chips 

A low-carb diet can benefit your health by

  1. Lowering your blood sugar levels
  2. Lowering your triglycerides levels
  3. Lowering your bad cholesterol levels
  4. Increasing your good types of cholesterol levels
  5. Improving your blood pressure
  6. low-carb diets appear to be just as easy to follow as low-fat diets.

This was all about good and bad carbs. But eating a healthy amount of protein matters too.

Eating a lot of healthy protein in your calorie deficit can suppress your appetite and also reduce the risk of the triggering of starvation mode by your body.

This happens when you drastically cut your carbs back and the inclusion of lean protein in your diet can keep you fuller for longer times which means fewer food cravings and less consumption of calories(which are basic of weight loss)  and supply crucial protein amino acids for your protein building and repair.

 

Good sources of lean protein

  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Beans, lentil, and peas
  • Whitefish
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Turkey 
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Lite tofu
  • Low-fat milk

step 2. Eat only whole Foods and avoid Processed ones

dieting to get skinny fast

Eating whole foods/plant-based foods are the foods that are minimally processed and hence are rich in their nutrient value. These have been found to be immensely helpful in reducing your weight by supplying you essential fiber and suppressing your hunger at the same time saving you from regular food craving. 

Research evidence

A study conducted for 1,000 people, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that people who consumed vegetarian and vegan diets, rich in whole grains, fruits, produce, nuts, and legumes, were able to shed more weight than dieters who were taking other types of types like Atkins(a type of low carb diet)

This led the researchers to believe that abstaining from animal products were more useful in reducing weight than those who only consumed plant-based foods because they contain loads of filling fiber and slow-to-digest complex carbs. 

 

Best sources of whole foods 

  • Fruits: like Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.
  • Vegetables: like Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: like Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • Whole grains: like Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
  • Healthy fats: like Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
  • Legumes: like Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butter: like Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.
  • Condiments: like Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
  • Plant-based protein: like Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.

 

 

Step 3. Avoid Sugary Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices

Another relatively easy change you can make is to eliminate liquid sugar calories from your diet. This includes sodas, fruit juices, chocolate milk and other beverages with added sugar.

These products are likely the most fattening aspect of the modern diet, as your brain doesn’t register liquid calories in the same way as solid calories.

For this reason, drinking sugary soda doesn’t make your brain automatically compensate by having you eat less of other things instead.

Studies have shown that sugary drinks are strongly linked to an increased risk of obesity, with one study in children showing a 60% increased risk for each daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage.

Of course, the harmful effects of sugar go beyond weight gain. It can have disastrous effects on metabolic health and raise your risk of many diseases

Though small amounts of natural sugars from foods like fruit are absolutely fine, large amounts from added sugar and sugary drinks can be an absolute disaster.

There is absolutely no physiological need for these beverages and the long-term benefits of avoiding them can be enormous.

Step 4: Follow a weight loss oriented training and exercise regimen

This is repeated many times a day in day out, that acing your perfect diet regimen is only one side of the weight loss picture; You have to get your weight loss training/working out regimen to complement your dieting regimen.

Your training/weight loss regimen must involve these two important crucial elements without which your weight loss goal of losing 3 pounds a week is not realizable.

 

1. Resistance training

Resistance training, such as weight lifting is a useful addition to your weight loss efforts for many reasons.

  1. Resistance training helps you maintain your body muscle mass by working out your muscles regularly throughout the week.
  2. Resistance training helps you lower your carbs levels and water weight levels, which can give you a drastic cut in your weight on the weight scale.
  3. Resistance training like weight lifting can counter the negative effects of dieting i.e it can help promote a healthy metabolism and improves body hormone levels which can happen when you are dieting.

2. Training like HIIT

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is another very effective training methodology for resistance training.

This form of exercise, which alternates between short, intense bursts of activity and periods of rest, has been found to reduce your abdominal fat, visceral fat and total body fat mass, according to a research paper in Sports Medicine.

 Furthermore, it has also been found to improve metabolic health and cardiovascular function of your heart. Other important benefits of such HIIT training include reducing your carb store levels, boosting your metabolism and fat burners hormones.

HIIT should be done along with your normal workout routine for 3-4 times a week but make sure to do it with your heart but don’t overdo it i.e most of the HIIT sprints should not exceed for more than 30-40 seconds per.

In case you can’t get to a gym, consider doing bodyweight exercises at home, like push-ups, squats, sit-ups, etc. Doing some cardio like walking, swimming or jogging can also help in your weight loss only but for health and general wellbeing overall too.

Also, these exercises are not limited to weight loss benefits; other benefits include longevity, lower risk of disease, more energy and feeling better every day.

The bottom line

For best results in terms of fulfilling your goal of losing 3 pounds a week, Nutrition and physical activity are equally important. By combining the two, you’ll not only get leaner but also enjoy better health and keep the unnecessary pounds away.

 

Step 5. Give Intermittent-fasting a try

Intermittent fasting is another proven tool to help you in your weight loss efforts. The basic reasoning is when you are on intermittent fasting, you create a handsome calorie deficit that effectively utilizes your fat stores over the fasting period.

However, there is a debate about what is the best timing for intermittent fasting i.e whether to fast for 16 hours or 8 hours. Whatsoever, the effect of fasting remains the same i.e you will burn fat and hence will lose weight.

Caution: If you’re combining fasting with exercise, it may be wise to do the fasting at a different time than your workout.

 

Step 6. Reducing your water retention

Reducing your water retention in the body is important for weight loss results.  Best ways/tips to help you drop your water weight and appear muscular and leaner are.

  • Drink coffee: Coffee is a very good source of caffeine. Many types of research have found it to aid in fat burning and losing extra water in your body.
  • Take care of your intolerances:  Things like gluten or lactose which can be intolerant for you can lead you water retention in your body and cause bloating. Also, look out for foods that may not be suitable for you.

Step 7. Stress management can help

Many ignore probably are unaware of the harmful effects of stress on your weight loss efforts.

Whenever you are stressed, your stress hormone, cortisol, ups your hunger levels by triggering an appetite for unhealthy foods like sugary drinks and fatty foods. That’s why you would probably have noticed that whenever you are stressed, your hands automatically go towards your fridge.

However, recent research has also proved it.

Research evidence

According to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure and estimated cortisol hormone levels in their 2000 participants hair found that there was a direct link between the two factors. So a weight loss journey can’t be without effective stress management.

Various stress-relieving techniques like meditation, or chilling out with music can help.

 

Step 8. Never compromise on your sleep

According to a 2016 SLEEP study, poor sleep can be a major hindrance for people wanting to lose weight.

The study found out that poor sleep is causes slowing down your metabolism and enhancing your cravings which can mess up your total calorie intake which is a basic component of weight loss.

 

How to lose weight fast?

There are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast. However, most of them are unhealthy and unsustainable 

These tips mainly help in these ways:

  • Suppress your appetite.
  • Make you lose weight quickly without causing starvation.
  • Improve your metabolic health and healthy hormones.

Fast weight loss tips

1. Cut Back on sugars and starches

The most important part is to cut back on sugars and starches (carbs). Reducing carbs suppress your hunger levels and your body utilizes fats stores for energy.

Another benefit of cutting carbs is that it lowers insulin levels, which helps in reducing water retention in your body helping you avoid water weight. Cut the carbs and you will start to eat fewer calories automatically and without hunger.

In short, cutting carbs is the best way to put your fat loss and weight loss automatically.

 

Good and healthy sources of carbs

  • Vegetables: All of them. 
  • Whole fruits: Apples, bananas, strawberries, etc.
  • Legumes: Lentils, kidney beans, peas, etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc.
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.
  • Whole grains: pure oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.

Bad and unhealthy sources of carbs

  • Sugary drinks: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Vitaminwater, etc..
  • Fruit juices: White bread: Pastries, cookies, and cakes. These tend to be very high in sugar and refined wheat.
  • Ice cream
  • Candies and chocolates
  • French fries and potato chips 

2. Eat only healthy protein, healthy fats, and whole foods

Sources of healthy vegetables 

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Full list here.

Healthy fat sources

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Butter

Best sources of whole foods 

  • Fruits: like Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.
  • Vegetables: like Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: like Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • Whole grains: like Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
  • Healthy fats: like Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
  • Legumes: like Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butter: like Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.
  • Condiments: like Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
  • Plant-based protein: like Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.

Good sources of lean protein

  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Beans, lentil, and peas
  • Whitefish
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Turkey 
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Lite tofu
  • Low-fat milk

3. Do weight training 3-4 times per week

You need to train yourself for at least  3–4 times a week. Do a warm-up and lift some weights and do your muscle building/ weight loss workouts as per routine. If you are unable to do such high demanding resistance training like weight lifting or HIIT, opt for lightweight exercises like walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.

 

4. Try “carb refeeding’’ once per week but it is not necessary

While it is very important for your weight loss journey to stick you only healthy carb sources which have been listed above but you can set aside one day solely for “eating more carbs” called carb refeeding.

Also, this carb refeeding can give a temporary water weight but it will go away in the next 48 hours or so. However, you need to remember that this is merely optional but they have been found to be helpful in stimulating your fat-burning hormones like thyroid and leptin.

 

4. Drink water before your meals

 According to some studies, drinking water half an hour before meals has the potential to help your weight loss efforts by reducing your weight loss by 44% over 3-4 months.

 

5. Eat soluble fiber. 

Studies show that soluble fibers can help reduce fat, especially in the belly area.

 

6. Drink coffee or tea. 

Caffeine in coffee is a natural fat burner and it melts body fat by boosting your metabolism by 3-10%

 

7. Eat your food slowly.

 Fast eating has been found helpful in gaining more weight while on the other hand, Eating slowly has been found to keep you full and stimulate fat-burning hormones.

8. Track your weight every day.

Tracking pounds of your weight every day can keep you on track and help you modify the shortcomings in your dieting and training regimen. Many studies also have confirmed this fact.

9. Always take night sleep

It has been discussed before as sleep is very crucial for your weight loss efforts because keeping yourself awake not only slows down your metabolism but activate your hunger hormones to crave you to eat more calories.

The bottom line

Just by optimizing your diet and training regimen you can easily lose a healthy amount of 3 pounds or any large amount of weight in just one week.

Moreover, this kind of weight loss is sustainable and you don’t risk losing your muscle mass.

FAQs

Q: Can I safely lose 3 lbs a week?

Ans: yes, you can safely lose 3 pounds in a week because this much weight loss, according to fitness experts is not only healthy but sustainable too. But still, you need to do the following things properly to lose 3 lbs a week safely.

  1. Create a calorie deficit equalling the number of pounds you want to lose i.e 3 pound
  2. Avoid all kinds of bad and unhealthy carbs
  3. Include a lot of healthy and lean proteins in your diet.
  4. Eat only whole foods
  5. Avoid all kinds of processed and junk foods
  6. Do HIIT for 3-4 times a week
  7. Always prefer HIIT over cardio
  8. Take measures to reduce water retention in your body
  9. Do intermittent fasting for quick fat loss results
  10. Manage your stress and depression
  11. Get an adequate amount of sleep

 

Q: How can I lose 3 pounds quickly?

Ans: you can lose 3 pounds quickly by strictly following these strategies of fat loss.

  1. Create a calorie deficit equalling the number of pounds you want to lose i.e 3 pound
  2. Avoid all kinds of bad and unhealthy carbs
  3. Include a lot of healthy and lean proteins in your diet.
  4. Eat only whole foods
  5. Avoid all kinds of processed and junk foods
  6. Do HIIT for 3-4 times a week
  7. Always prefer HIIT over cardio
  8. Take measures to reduce water retention in your body
  9. Do intermittent fasting for quick fat loss results
  10. Manage your stress and depression
  11. Get an adequate amount of sleep

 

Q: Can you lose 3 pounds in 4 days?

Ans: yes, you can lose 3 pounds in 4 days but it would be a little more difficult but not impossible or not doable. But to make this possible, you have to make some extraordinary effort than losing 3 pounds a week. You have to take these steps but with modifications.

  1. Create a large calorie deficit keeping in mind the amount of fat you want to lose fat in 4 days
  2. Eliminate all kinds of bad and unhealthy carbs
  3. Include a lot of healthy and lean proteins in your diet.
  4. Eat only whole foods
  5. Avoid all kinds of processed and junk foods
  6. Do HIIT for every day for 4 days 
  7. Include some exclusive fat burning exercises.
  8. Take measures to reduce water retention in your body
  9. Out of 4 days, at least try fasting daily and if not possible do intermittent fasting for at least 3 days out of 4.
  10. Manage your stress and depression
  11. Get an adequate amount of sleep

 

Q: How many calories should I eat to lose 3 pounds a week?

Ans: Creating a calorie deficit is the most basic and most crucial step in making progress towards losing 3 pounds a week.

A pound of fat contains 3500 calories, so you need a 3×3500= 10,500 calories deficit for a week to lose 3 pounds in seven days.

Average healthy men and healthy women consume almost 2500-3000 calories daily. Now your daily deficit up to one week between your intake calories and burn calories should be 10,500/7= 1500 calories.

Now, if your daily intake of meals totals to about 2500 calories per day, minus 1500 from it equals to 1000 calories per day. Now half of that calorie deficit should come from your diet and half should be created by your physical regimen in place.

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