How To Lose 2 Pounds A Week [Step By Step Guide]
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- Learn The Formula
- Understand Food
- Get Real
- Make Healthier Food Choices
- Exercise Body & Mind
- Determine Your Motivation
- Get To The Root Of The Issue
- Find Your People
- Distract & Re-direct
- Don’t Give Up
- Let The Journey Begin (BONUS)
Losing weight takes determination, time and effort … OR …blood, sweat, and tears depending on your outlook on life. But, let’s be realistic! For many of us, it took years to accumulate all of this weight so we can’t expect to lose it overnight. If you happen to struggle with the mental side of weight loss, I highly recommend you check out my post on how to practice stoicism.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to be on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss series, work with trainers for hours each day and have a team of people counting calories for them, like I did back in 2012. While I am thankful for the opportunity and the awakening it provided, I understand that it is not a realistic expectation for everyone either. And, if you read my personal story and follow my journey, then you’ll understand why I’m so passionate about helping others, like myself, lose weight and keep it off for good.
There are healthy ways to lose weight and unhealthy ways to lose weight. The key is understanding the difference. Before we can answer the question, how to lose 2 pounds a week, we must first realize that losing weight requires a change in mindset, heart, body and spirit.
There needs to be balance so you can lose the weight and keep it off. Fad diets promising quick weight loss, magic pills, juice cleanses, shakes and protein bars are all temporary solutions. Sure, you’ll drop 20 pounds quickly, but as soon as you start eating real food again, the weight will come back.
Losing weight is a journey and something that you must work at every day. Hell, I’ve been on this journey my entire life, so I understand the struggle. That is why I’ve put together these simple strategies, baby steps if you will, to help guide you towards the path to change your mindset and start the process today.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #1: LEARN THE FORMULA
It’s not rocket science, but a quick lesson in body chemistry and a little math is needed to understand the dynamics of how to lose 2 pounds a week. Even if math and science aren’t your favorite subjects, please pay attention for a few quick seconds because this is important to understand and is needed to start your journey.
“There are approximately 3,500 calories per pound of fat. In order to lose a pound of fat you must consume 3,500 less calories than you burn.”1 To lose 2 pounds of fat in a week, multiply that number times 2 … so that’s 7,000 calories per week. In other words, you need to create a daily deficit of 1,000 calories each day between the food you eat and the calories you burn through exercise to lose 2 pounds.
This is based off an estimate that the average adult female consumes “1,600 to 2,400 calories”2 per day and the average adult male consumes “2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.”2 The beauty of the formula is that it can be tweaked to match your current caloric intake and exercise level to fit your individual situation.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #2: UNDERSTAND FOOD
Now that the math lesson is over, it’s essential to understand a little more about food so you can see how “not” difficult this really can be. Let’s just take a quick look at some of our favorite foods to see how many calories are in each to show you this is not as hard as you think, and that knowledge is power.
(Let’s be honest … raise your hand if YOUR glass is that small? … so let’s double that and say 250 calories.)
(It’s easy to lose count during that football game.)
(How many refills do you get at dinner? Do you ask for a to-go cup before you leave?)
(A daily stop before work each day adds up and some of us make more than one trip.)
And, this is just liquid. It does not take carbs, fat grams or sugar grams into account.
Now onto our favorite foods.
(It’s hard to just have one slice.)
(If you throw in the fries, then add another 370 calories.)
(Not necessarily the best way to end a meal.)
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #3: GET REAL
Now that you can start to see where the calories come from, it’s important to understand how many calories you’re putting into your body each day. When first starting out, it’s important to track it. No matter how tedious this may seem, it’s necessary.
If you don’t want to run out and get a pretty little notebook to start a food diary, there are many apps available these days that allow you to track the food you eat and the calories consumed at each meal. Most of us are permanently attached to our smart phones so there’s no excuse. Seeing truly is believing and seeing progress is a powerful tool. Once you start to see your numbers, it will serve as a foundation to motivate you going forward. Plus, recording it holds you accountable, which sounds a bit harsh, but we are all ultimately accountable for our own actions.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #4: MAKE HEALTHIER FOOD CHOICES
There are plenty of tricks you can use to sub out a high calorie choice with a lower calorie option. It seems like common sense but just replacing your favorite sodas, coffees and sugary drinks with water will create a huge dent in the calorie deficit you need to lose 2 pounds a week. Once you start to see results, it will be worth it so just squeeze a splash of lemon in that water and start drinking your H2O.
Instead of indulging in that decadent chocolate dessert replace it with a bowl of fruit or replace those French fries with a side salad. Budget your calories and make wise choices, but if you splurge one day be sure to adjust the budget the next day to reach your goal.
Portion size is also important. Read labels to see what is meant by a serving size and plan ahead by doing some meal prep. If you’re going to eat half a bag of potato chips, then break the larger bag into smaller baggies that you can grab when you need a salty treat. Then just make sure you don’t grab the rest.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #5: EXERCISE BODY AND MIND
Exercise can help you burn the rest of the calories that you can’t eliminate from diet alone. Just like you need to budget what you eat; you also need to budget your time to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. If you need to, start off small with a 30-minute walk each day. Schedule exercise into your daily routine each day even if it means taking the stairs at work or parking further away at the grocery store.
I recommend you check out my post where I review the X3 bar which is what I personally use. Remember the more strenuous the exercise, the more calories you will burn. Get up and get moving to increase the total calories burned each day so you can get closer to your goal of losing 2 pounds a week.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #6: DETERMINE YOUR MOTIVATION
What is the reason you want to lose weight? Do you want to be healthier overall? Are you tired of being out of breath while chasing after your toddler? Are you trying to fit into an outfit for an event or an upcoming vacation? You have to take a deep look within and determine if you are trying to lose weight for you or someone else. Whether that someone else is your doctor or a loved one, you need to embrace the decision because you know it’s the best option for you.
Only then will you be able to set personal goals and stick to those goals. Start small at first like losing 2 pounds a week until you reach your overall goal of losing “X” number of pounds when you’re done. Always have the end number in sight. But, then vow to maintain that number and keep the weight off so you can live a healthier and happier life. Motivation will get you where you need to go and help you stay there.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #7: GET TO THE ROOT OF THE ISSUE
Often, the reason we eat too much or make unhealthy food choices is because we are masking something else. Hunger is not always the reason. Stress, depression, fear and anxiety are all reasons we overeat, but excessive weight gain could also be a result of a serious health issue. Eating disorders and food addiction also play a significant role in overeating and weight fluctuations. Understanding the root cause of why you can’t lose weight and keep it off is a vital step in the process.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #8: FIND YOUR PEOPLE
It’s always harder to do something alone. Create a support network with friends, family or even complete strangers. Whatever will work best for you. Set goals, share recipes, exercise together and hold each other accountable. Having a co-pilot through this process will make it easier, but make sure you pick the right people. Someone who is overly competitive or focuses too much on comparisons is not healthy and may even make you want to quit.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #9: DISTRACT AND RE-DIRECT
We often overeat because we are bored or because it just seems like the thing to do, like munching on snacks while watching TV or playing a family card game. The key is to distract and re-direct. Instead of eating while you’re watching TV, stand up and do some squats. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday morning, get up and get moving – clean the house, go for a run, run an errand. Do something, anything – other than going for a coffee and donut run.
If you feel like eating, pick up a good book, search the Internet for healthy recipes or learn something new. Distracting yourself and re-directing away from food will help you consume less calories each day and get you closer to your goal of losing 2 pounds a week.
HOW TO LOSE 2 POUNDS A WEEK STRATEGY #10: DON’T GIVE UP … DON’T EVER GIVE UP!
This is not an overnight process and takes determination and dedication each and every day. It takes a change in mindset and the desire to want to change for the better. Being perfect every day is impossible. The key is not to let a set-back completely derail you. Just dust yourself off, take a deep breath and revisit strategies one through nine. You can do it!
LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN
Once you have made the decision to embark on this journey, please know that I am here for you. I understand the struggle and know that the struggle is real. If you have questions or need more information on how to lose 2 pounds per week or anything weight loss related, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me.
1. (2020) WikiHow. How to Lose Two Pounds a Week available at https://www.wikihow.com/Lose-Two-Pounds-a-Week#:~:text=Calculate%20your%20calorie%20goal.&text=To%20lose%202%20pounds%20of,6.755%20x%20age%20in%20years) accessed on 27 November 2020.
2. (2015) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines available at https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-2/#:~:text=Estimates%20range%20from%201%2C600%20to,range%20is%20for%20active%20individuals accessed on 27 November 2020.
3. (2020) Calorie King. America’s Trusted Food Database available at https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-beverages-caramel-macchiato-with-whole-milk/bAVKy3UMTC-xji05pZaZaw accessed on 27 November 2020.