Are you tired of feeling sluggish and carrying around those extra pounds? Don’t worry, losing 3 pounds a week may seem like a daunting task, but it’s an attainable goal if you're willing to put in a little bit of effort.
Is it realistic?
Slimming down your body in only 7 days is a realistic and achievable goal, but it will require dedication and a well-planned approach; you’ll need to calculate your calorie needs, create a calorie deficit, adjust your diet, increase your physical activity, stay consistent to gain your end.
So, if you’re ready to finally say goodbye to those 3 stubborn pounds and hello to a slimmer, more confident you, keep reading to find out the 11 simple yet effective tips for losing weight quickly and keeping it off for good. Let's do this!
Find Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
While many people can successfully shed extra pounds without even knowing their BMR, it can still give you a baseline for how many calories your body burns daily, and hence how many calories you should consume to create that calorie deficit.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sophisticated term, your BMR is simply an estimation of the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions just to survive, such as breathing, circulation, and cell production. So it doesn’t include the calories you need for lifting weights, going for a walk, or even cleaning the house!
- BMR formula for women = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kilograms) + (3.098 x height in centimeters) – (4.330 x age in years).
- If you find it difficult to do the math yourself, you can let a smart BMR Calculator do the work for you.
But don’t get too obsessed with counting calories because this is just an estimate—your actual BMR may be slightly different due to factors such as muscle mass and overall body composition.
Also read: 8 BAD Habits That Destroy Your Metabolism
Set Your Daily Calorie Goal
Dropping 3 pounds in only one week is no easy feat since 3 lbs are equal to 10,500 calories. When you do the math, you find that you have to create a calorie deficit of 1,500 calories per day, which may seem like a lot but it’s the possible way to lose 3 lbs of actual fat in 7 days, not water or muscles.
But keep in mind that exercise and diet go hand in hand—you’ll most likely develop health issues if you create such a large calorie deficit without including calorie-burning exercises like stationary bicycling, running, and swimming.
For example, if your BMR is 2,300, you’ll have a daily calorie limit of only 800 calories, which is too low and unhealthy. A good rule of thumb for healthy weight loss is to consume at least 1,200 per day, then you can add some cardio to help you stay within your 1,500 calorie deficit.
Track Your Calorie Intake
Using a calorie counter is one of the easiest ways to ensure you maintain your calorie deficit. Some apps even help you keep track of your physical activity in addition to your daily calorie consumption.
- Some popular calorie-tracking apps include MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, FatSecret, MyNetDiary, Cronometer, Lifesum, Noom, and Calory.
Tracking your calories is also a great way to hold yourself accountable for your choices, especially on ‘cheating’ days when you stray from healthy eating habits and allow yourself to enjoy indulgent meals!
Measure Your Food Portions
One downside of counting your calories is that you have to measure almost everything you put on your plate, which may be time-consuming and not practical for everyone. However, it’s still the best practice when you try to lose a significant amount of weight quickly.
If you’re new to weighing and measuring food, here are a few tips to help you easily get an accurate measurement:
- Use measuring cups and spoons to measure the serving size of grains, liquids, and baking ingredients.
- Get a kitchen scale that can weigh in the unit of measure you prefer (ounces, grams, etc.)
- Read nutrition labels to get an idea about the serving size and calorie content of packaged foods.
Some people are good at estimating portion sizes accurately using their hands or other objects. For example, a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of grains is about the size of a fist.
If you’re one of those measuring experts, you can get away with not using any measuring tools and still see be able to drop hose 3 lbs.
Cut Refined Carbs & Sugars
When including any high-carb or high-sugar foods in your one-week diet plan, you want to at least make sure they’re not stripped of the fiber that helps you stay fuller for longer.
Unrefined carbs and natural sources of sugar, such as fruit, can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation—here are some ways to incorporate unrefined carbs and natural sources of sugar into your diet:
- Opt for whole-grain bread, cereals, pasta, and rice instead of refined versions.
- Try quinoa, oats, and other whole grains as alternatives to refined grains.
- Use whole fruit to sweeten oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies instead of adding sugar or other sweeteners.
- Include naturally sweet vegetables (beets, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash) in your meals and snacks.
- Go for natural sources of sugar, like fruits, as a healthier alternative to processed and packaged sweets.
- Use honey or maple syrup as natural sweeteners in place of white sugar or corn syrup.
Get Enough Protein
You may have heard dietitians, nutritionists, and even people with weight loss success stories swearing by protein to drop weight, they’re all right! Increasing your protein intake is key to losing significant weight in a short time.
Here are some science-backed reasons to add more protein to your diet:
- It makes you feel full and satisfied after meals, which helps in reducing hunger and makes it easier to stick to your diet.
- It speeds up your metabolism effortlessly since it takes more energy (calories) for your body to digest than carbohydrates or fat.
- It helps your body preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
To see the best weight loss results, aim for at least 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, which you can get from a variety of protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Fight Hunger Pains With Fruits & Vegetables
If you’re going to be in a huge calorie deficit of 1,500 calories, you’ll have to deal with a lot of hunger pangs during the day and not exceed your calorie limit at the same time.
Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie foods that proved useful in curbing hunger and fighting cravings on a low-calorie diet, thanks to their high fiber, vitamins, and mineral content.
So, here are some ideas to incorporate high-fiber, low-calorie fruits and vegetables into your meals to support your weight loss goals:
- Make a salad: Combine leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula with colorful vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and carrots.
- Add vegetables to your sandwiches and wraps.
- Make a smoothie: Blend a delicious mix of fresh or frozen fruits, such as berries, bananas, and peaches, with some spinach or kale for added nutrients.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables: Cut up some fruits and vegetables of your choice and keep them in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack.
- Include vegetables in your pasta dishes: Add grated zucchini, diced tomatoes, and chopped spinach to your pasta sauce.
- Substitute grains with starchy vegetables like peas, fresh corn, or potatoes. But eat those in moderation since they can cause weight gain.
- Make veggie-based soups.
Walk off Body Fat
Never underestimate the power of walking to burn off excess fat, especially walking at slower speeds for longer times.
The number of calories you burn while walking will depend on a variety of factors, including your weight, distance, and speed. But As a general rule, a woman weighing 160 pounds will burn about 100 calories by walking at a moderate pace (around 3.5 miles per hour) for 30 minutes.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your daily step count and get closer to your goal:
- Walk to work or school if possible.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Park farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
- Take your furry friend for a walk.
- Go for a walk during your lunch break or after dinner.
- Find a walking buddy or join a walking group to stay motivated.
- Invest in a pedometer or use a step counter app to help you track your steps and hit your daily goal.
Follow a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Program
HIIT is one of the most effective and time-efficient ways to burn off calories during your workout, which is a type of exercise that involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery.
And the best part is, it’s so easy to incorporate HIIT into your workout routine—here are some tips to help you get started:
- Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy, such as running, cycling, or jumping rope.
- Warm up for 5-10 minutes by doing some light cardio or dynamic stretches.
- Start your HIIT workout by doing a high-intensity exercise for 30-60 seconds, followed by a low-intensity exercise for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat this pattern for the duration of your workout, which can range from 20-30 minutes.
- Finish your workout with a 5-10 minute cool down by doing some light stretching or low-intensity cardio.
Keep in mind that HIIT includes vigorous workouts that may not be suitable for everyone, especially those new to exercise or who have any underlying health conditions. But other than that, this cardiovascular type of exercise can work wonders for you in losing those stubborn 3 pounds!
Integrate Strength Training Into Your Workout Routine
Resistance training is often overlooked when people try to shed a few pounds quickly, but it shouldn’t!
The muscle mass you build when you engage in resistance training can significantly increase your metabolism and speed up the process of losing fat. Moreover, it will give you a more toned and fit appearance to flaunt, which can be hardly achieved with cardio training alone.
There are many different ways to incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine. Some options include:
- Free weights: These include dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells, and can be used to perform a variety of exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, and squats.
- Weight machines: These are designed to isolate certain muscle groups. Some examples include leg press machines, chest press machines, and seated row machines.
- Resistance bands: These lightweight and portable bands come in handy when you don’t have access to free weights or weight machines.
- Bodyweight exercises: you don’t need any dumbbells or fancy gym equipment to perform these exercises; instead, you use your own body weight to create resistance.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you limit your food consumption to certain hours of the day, which gives your body the time it needs to tap into fat for fuel.
- The 16/8 diet plan is the most popular intermittent fasting plan, which involves eating during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you might eat from 12 pm to 8 pm and then fast from 8 pm to 12 pm the next day.
- Eat-Stop-Eat is another way to do intermittent fasting, which involves a full 24-hour fast, one or two times per week. For example, you might eat dinner on Monday night, then not eat again until dinner on Tuesday night.
But while many people can see major success with intermittent fasting, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it may have some unpleasant side effects like hunger, headache, fatigue, insomnia, and nausea—what works for one person may not work for another!
Is It Safe to Lose 3 Pounds a Week?
Losing 3 lbs in only one week is an attainable yet significant weight loss goal that takes a lot of patience, sacrifice, and devotion to achieve.
However, rapid weight loss can lead to various complications, such as losing muscle mass, loss of energy, loss of bone density and strength, and hair loss. Not to mention that restrictive diet plans can slow down your metabolism and cause you to regain all the weight you busted a gut to lose.
To ensure you lose those 3 pounds safely, consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the right calorie deficit and weight loss plan for you.
Don't be too hard on yourself
And finally, be consistent, stay committed to your goals, and don't be too hard on yourself if you face setbacks along the way. Losing weight is a journey, not a race, so go out there and start working towards your weight loss goals—you've got this!
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.