Want to learn how to lose 2 pounds a week?
I believe the simple, effective tips in this article will make burning 7,000 calories per week easier for you to lose 2 pounds per week without feeling worn out and frustrated!
There are many reasons why someone might want to lose weight, and you should assess your reasons for your intentions before setting a weight loss goal.
Losing 2 pounds per week is a good goal for people who are overweight or obese and want to improve their health while also improving their self-image and self-confidence.
If you are not overweight or obese, losing 2 pounds per week might be too much weight loss, and you will want to find a strategy that prioritizes building muscle and slower weight loss.
However, if losing 2 pounds per week sounds like the perfect goal, read below to learn how to make it happen!
Is it Healthy to Lose 2 Pounds a Week?
Before I get into my tips on how to lose 2 pounds per week, I want to clarify that losing 2 pounds each week is a reasonable and obtainable goal for most people. I believe losing between 1 and 2 pounds per week is the healthiest weight loss goal for most people who are not significantly overweight.
If you try to lose something like 5-10 pounds per week or 20 pounds in 2 weeks, you probably will not lose as much weight as you want, and you might become frustrated.
If you attempt to lose more than two pounds per week, there is a chance that you will experience significant metabolic adaptation to weight loss, which will make maintaining your weight loss very difficult.
Losing 2 pounds per week is a realistic goal that I am confident you can achieve!
Calories to Burn for 2-Pound Weekly Weight Loss
Although there are many intricacies to long-term weight loss and weight management, each pound of body fat comprises about 3,500 calories.
Therefore, you must have a caloric deficit of 3,500 over a day, week, month, or however long you are trying to lose weight to lose one pound.
You can lose 2 pounds weekly by burning 7,000 calories each week, or you can reduce your average calorie intake and combine that with burning calories through exercise (I will explain more below).
Burning 7,000 calories might sound like a lot, but it is only a 1,000-calorie deficit per day.
Understanding the Energy Balance Equation
To lose 2 pounds per week, you should understand a few of the basics of the energy balance equation.
First, Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) refers to the total number of calories that a person burns in a day, including all activities and bodily functions.
There are four main aspects of TDEE and energy balance regarding weight loss or weight gain:
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Physical Activity
- Thermic Effect of Food
- Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis
Basal metabolic rate accounts for 50-65% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), and the thermic effect of food accounts for approximately 10% of TDEE.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy that your body uses at rest to carry out basic physiological functions like breathing, maintaining body temperature, and circulating blood.
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is the energy that is required to digest, absorb, and metabolize the food that you eat.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) refers to the energy that is burned during daily activities like walking, standing, and fidgeting, while Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT) is the energy that is burned during structured exercise or physical activity.
TDEE varies from person to person based on factors such as age, gender, body composition, and activity level.
Total body mass is the largest contributor to basal metabolic rate, which is why muscle mass is important for having a “fast metabolism” and why it becomes progressively more difficult to lose weight over time.
The contribution of the thermic effect of food to total energy expenditure is generally stable, around 10% for all individuals, although certain foods have higher thermic effects, and predominately eating these foods could impact total energy balance.
For example, foods high in protein and fiber have higher thermic effects. Eating foods high in protein or fiber can increase your energy expenditure slightly compared to foods high in simple carbohydrates or fat.
Lastly, the amount and type of physical activity you do determines how many additional calories you burn on top of these two factors.
Along with targeted exercise times, non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can make up a significant number of calories per day.
For example, activities such as walking to work or the grocery store, taking the stairs, or doing house cleaning can expend additional calories per day.
Determining Your Caloric Needs
The main aspect of weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn throughout the day.
The best way to make sure you do not exceed your daily calorie limit for weight loss is by counting calories.
If you are a person who enjoys the rigors of calorie counting, you can feel free to count your calories for your entire weight loss journey.
If not, I suggest counting your calories for the first three to four days so that you can understand how much you are eating and how many calories are in the foods you consume consistently.
To develop your calorie-target goal, you first need to determine your basal metabolic rate and how many calories you burn through exercise per day. Many free apps and calculators on the web can help you with this.
Next, download a food diary like MyFitnessPal and log all your food and drink consumption.
Now, determine how many calories you should consume to have a 1,000-calorie deficit per day between how much you eat and how many calories you burn.
Consuming 2000 calories per day will be perfect for losing 2 pounds per week for many average-sized people.
If you exercise more, your calorie intake will increase because you need additional nutrients to recover.
Now that you have a plan and a caloric goal, you can start determining which foods and drinks you should consume!
Psychological Factors and Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss Success
Many lifestyle factors can make achieving your weight loss goals easier or more difficult.
Here are a couple of ways you can promote healthy weight loss that doesn’t include changing your diet or exercising more:
Setting SMART Goals and Tracking Progress
Setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals can help you stay focused and motivated on your weight loss journey.
These goals provide clear direction and allow you to track your progress, making it easier to stay committed to losing 2 pounds per week.
Break down your overall weight loss goal into smaller, more manageable milestones, and celebrate your achievements.
Regularly assess your progress and adjust your plan to ensure you stay on track.
By setting SMART goals and tracking your progress, you’ll be better equipped to maintain consistency and achieve long-lasting weight loss success.
Managing Stress and Its Impact on Weight Loss
Chronic stress can hinder weight loss by increasing cortisol levels, leading to overeating, cravings for unhealthy foods, and difficulty losing weight.
Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
Managing stress effectively will help support your weight loss goals and improve your overall well-being.
Prioritizing Sleep for Optimal Health and Weight Management
Adequate sleep is vital for weight loss, as it allows your body to recover and regulates hormones associated with appetite and metabolism.
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night and establish a consistent sleep schedule to help regulate your body’s internal clock.
Implementing healthy sleep habits, such as creating a relaxing bedtime routine and minimizing screen time before bed, can significantly impact your weight loss journey and contribute to losing 2 pounds per week.
Diet Strategies for Losing 2 Pounds a Week Effectively
If you are trying to lose 2 pounds per week, you probably need to improve your diet in a few ways. Exercise can burn calories and help you achieve a calorie deficit, but it is very difficult to burn more calories through exercise than you eat if you have a poor diet.
Although many diet plans can help you lose 2 pounds a week, it is more important to develop a basic understanding of what foods you should be eating and how much you should eat per day than follow a rigorous diet plan.
Here is how to diet to lose 2 pounds per week:
Consume Satiating Foods
Satiation is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction that occurs during a meal, which subsequently promotes satiety, which is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal ends.
Satiety and satiation are two of the most critical concepts for energy balance and weight management for many people because often, people consume too many calories simply because they are not satiated.
Satiation can be increased by consuming foods with a lower energy density, such as high-fiber and high-protein foods.
Also, stress can impact satiation, so eating during high stress can cause unusually high or low energy intake.
Other proposed methods of increasing satiation also promote energy balance and reduce overall energy intake, such as eating whole, low-energy-density snacks between meals (Njike et al., 2016).
At a basic level, our diet for losing 2 pounds a week should consist of high fiber, high protein foods that provide maximal energy and nutrients while providing a lower amount of total calories.
As an additional note about high-fiber foods, according to a study published by Nutrition Reviews, changes in energy intake and body weight occur when the fiber is from naturally high-fiber foods or a fiber supplement.
The average dietary fiber intake in the United States is only 15 grams daily, while recommendations for fiber consumption exceed 25 grams daily.
I suggest you aim for 50 to 75 grams of fiber consumed daily! Eating foods high in fiber will increase your satiety and nutrient intake.
Along with fiber-rich foods, you can also consume a healthy fiber supplement.
Fiber supplements, also known as prebiotic supplements, can help with weight loss by increasing your satiety and stimulating a healthy gut microbiome.
A fiber supplement I love is Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder:
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The opposite of satiating foods is high-added sugar foods and fast food.
If you want to lose 2 pounds per week, you need to reduce your consumption of sweets, soda, and everything that contains added sugar.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, data supports recommendations to limit liquid calorie intake among adults and reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSBs) consumption to promote weight loss or avoid excess weight gain.
Furthermore, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater amount of weight gain and an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, likely by providing excessive calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars.
Likewise, fast food may taste great but has little to no nutritional value and contains large amounts of sugar, salt, and fat.
According to a study published by Obesity Reviews, although more research needs to be conducted regarding fast food consumption among populations such as children and adolescents, sufficient evidence exists for public health recommendations to limit fast food consumption and facilitate healthier dietary selections.
- Grain-based desserts
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
- Dairy desserts
- French fries
If you have trouble controlling your junk food intake, you can work with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Nutrition Specialist to determine why you eat the way you do and how you can fix your eating habits.
Cook Your Own Food (When Possible)
Since I have been living in various parts of the world for the last eight years, I have seen a variety of communities and the effects of varying lifestyle habits on weight management.
One of the most apparent drivers of obesity is a reliance on fast and convenient food choices compared to home-cooked meals eaten in a slow and controlled setting.
Due to the average American hard-working, fast-paced lifestyle, many people do not have time to sit at home or even sit anywhere to eat meals.
American culture is obsessed with upward movement concerning jobs and social status, and health is often pushed back.
From what I have seen, this promotes excessive eating simply due to a disconnect between food and energy intake and energy balance.
Eating home-cooked meals is associated with weight loss and healthier food choices, but some people still don’t have the time for that each day, even if they know it is good for them (Wolfson & Bleich, 2014).
One behavior that could positively affect someone managing their weight and help them lose two pounds weekly is by helping them learn how to sit down and “focus” on their eating time.
This could begin with something small such as cooking one meal at home per week, and extending to having multiple meals per week with an allotted “mealtime” at a slow and controlled pace, whether home-cooked meals or meals that have been consciously considered.
Cooking at home has other advantages as well. When you cook at home, you will know exactly what goes into your meals and have more control over the portion size.
Dressings and sauces are a great example of the difference between eating at home or in a restaurant.
If you’re at home, you can use lighter sauces or dressings with fewer calories.
At a restaurant, you won’t be sure how many calories are in your food.
Meal prep is a lifesaver if you are truly a busy bee.
Additionally, there is the option of buying from a meal delivery service.
Companies such as My Fitness Kitchn provide delicious and healthy meals for individuals who want to be more mindful of what they put into their bodies.
If you have listed free time, there are a variety of great kitchen hacks that can help you make time for preparing home-cooked meals.
Control Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol contains large amounts of calories, has no nutritional value, and contributes to a slower metabolism.
According to a study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, heavy alcohol intake contributes directly to weight gain and obesity, regardless of the type of alcohol consumed.
Drinking alcohol is usually done when you are eating, and let’s accept it, many people don’t make the best decisions when they drink.
Alcohol is often served at locations that provide processed food, fried food, and sugar, and a couple drinks can easily lead to excess consumption.
Also, the hangover that occurs will limit your physical activity the next day.
However, if you can control yourself and drink only a glass of red wine before bed or one drink a couple of times per week, alcohol intake will not destroy your chances of losing 2 pounds per week.
You don’t have to stop drinking alcohol to meet your weight loss goals, but you should certainly reduce and control your alcohol intake.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle approach that involves “fasting” for 16-20 hours per day and “feeding” for only 4-8 hours per day.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is effective because it restricts the amount of time you can consume food and calorie-containing drinks per day, but it does not necessarily for you to change what or how much you will eat per day.
By restricting your feeding time each day, you will naturally reduce your total food consumption and stimulate cellular processes like autophagy, which promote a faster metabolism and better overall health.
While fasting, you can still consume water, black coffee, green tea, or apple cider vinegar. However, everything else is restricted.
Intermittent fasting works well for me and many others, and it could be a useful addition to your plan to lose 2 pounds per week.
Importance of Proper Hydration for Weight Loss
Staying well-hydrated is crucial for weight loss, as water plays a significant role in digestion, metabolism, and energy levels.
Consuming enough water can help suppress appetite, promote fullness, and increase calorie burning, particularly if consumed before meals.
Additionally, replacing high-calorie beverages like soda or sugary juices with water can significantly reduce overall caloric intake, contributing to a 2-pound weekly weight loss.
Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily, and increase your intake during exercise or hot weather.
Mindful Eating Techniques to Manage Cravings and Overeating
Mindful eating involves paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, savoring each bite, and eating without distractions.
This practice can help you manage cravings and prevent overeating by fostering a healthier relationship with food.
To practice mindful eating, avoid multitasking during meals, eat slowly, and listen to your body’s hunger signals.
By doing so, you’ll be more likely to consume fewer calories and make healthier food choices, supporting your goal of losing 2 pounds per week.
Physical Activity Strategies for Increased Weight Loss
As I mentioned, physical activity is the final component of the energy balance equation. Therefore, the more physically active you are, the easier you will lose two pounds per week.
Developing a long-term workout program involving resistance and cardiovascular training is the optimal way to lose weight and improve your health, but there are many other ways to include physical activity in your daily routine to help promote weight loss.
Here are some of my favorite ways to burn calories and improve your health:
Walking is one of the best cardio workouts for weight loss, and it can be enough exercise to help you lose 2 pounds per week.
There are a variety of reasons that walking is good for weight loss, and there are a lot of ways to walk more each day.
One of my favorite ways to get more steps is by starting each day with a fasted morning walk.
Fasted morning walking helps promote your digestive system and clear your mind before you begin your day.
Another way to get more steps in each day if you want to lose 2 pounds per week is to consider walking rather than driving to your errands as much as possible.
If you estimate the driving time between where you are and your destination to be less than 5 minutes, you can probably walk instead!
Although driving is faster, it is not as beneficial for your health. Studies have linked driving with an increased rate of obesity.
According to a study published in Preventative Medicine, higher levels of sedentary behavior are associated with worse health outcomes, and the over-reliance on private motor vehicles for transportation is a potential contributor to the obesity epidemic.
You can even apply this concept to errands that are further from home.
Instead of parking as close to stores or your office as possible, consider parking further to get more steps in.
This simple change can easily help you burn several hundred more calories weekly!
Additionally, you can try to climb a few extra flights of stairs every day. Just a couple of additional minutes of climbing stairs daily can be enough to keep you from gaining weight throughout the year.
You don’t have to add that many flights all at once. Instead, slowly build your tolerance by adding a few stairs each week.
Lastly, if you begin walking more, invest in a good pedometer or fitness watch that counts your steps.
Studies have found that people who use fitness watches with pedometers take about 2,000 more steps each day than those who don’t.
Those 2,000 steps daily could help you lose approximately ten pounds over a year!
According to one study, using a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure!
Personally, I use an Apple Watch.
However, other less expensive options like the FitBit Charge are also very effective.
Strength training helps build lean muscle mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR).
A higher RMR means your body burns more calories at rest, supporting weight loss efforts.
This will not only help you burn more calories but also improve your overall body composition, making it easier to maintain your weight loss in the long run.
If you want to lose 2 pounds per week, Tabata Interval Workouts or other high-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are a great way to burn many calories quickly.
Although steady-state low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise may oxidize more fat during exercise, it does not mean it is the best choice to lose 2 pounds per week.
However, it is important to consider your current physical conditioning and ability to complete high-intensity forms of exercise.
If you are fit enough, research has indicated that high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) is more effective at reducing total-body fat, specifically abdominal fat, than other forms of exercise (Boutcher, 2011).
High-intensity intermittent exercise can be done with many different exercises, and it is also a significantly more time-efficient way to produce positive body composition changes (Maillard et al., 2017).
In addition, research indicates that properly constructed high-intensity interval exercise programs have been well tolerated by various individuals with differing fitness levels.
The Tabata interval protocol is my favorite interval training protocol.
According to a study published in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, Tabata intervals, and short HIIT workouts can be used to increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, promote fat loss, and even improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and glucose regulation in a relatively short time
HIIT saves you time and helps you burn more calories than other forms of exercise.
The main forms of exercise I do are HIIT and walking.
So, if you are trying to lose 2 pounds per week, this is a perfect combination!
To increase fat burning, you can drink green tea before your workout to boost your metabolism and lose more weight.
According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced changes in abdominal fat and serum triglycerides (TG), making it easier to lose 2 pounds each week!
There are tons of ways that you can exercise at home and burn calories that don’t require a targeted workout program.
Doing short online yoga workouts at home or other simple exercises at home can add up to a couple hundred calories daily!
I use YogaDownload.com for my online yoga videos, but you can also follow yoga videos from YouTube.
Forearm planks and glute bridges are two effective exercises you can do when you only have a small amount of time, and they are great because they will also strengthen your core muscles to reduce back pain and improve your posture.
If you want to try some quick exercises while relaxing at home, you can easily add variety and simplicity to your options by purchasing cheap resistance bands.
Resistance bands can help you add exercises such as lateral raises, shoulder presses, and tricep extensions into your at-home workouts without much difficulty and taking up much space!
If you don’t have any resistance bands, I suggest this set:
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You don’t need to set up a home gym to exercise at home.
Adding simple, effective exercises as you go through your day is a great way to burn calories and inch towards your goals!
Rest Days & Active Recovery
Rest days and active recovery are essential components of a successful weight loss plan.
They allow your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, preventing injury and promoting overall well-being.
Schedule at least one rest day per week, and consider incorporating low-intensity activities like yoga, stretching, or light walking on these days.
Balancing intense workouts with rest and recovery will optimize your weight loss progress and help you achieve your 2-pound weekly goal.
Supplements to Support Your 2-Pound Weekly Weight Loss Goal
Incorporating dietary supplements as a final measure in your comprehensive plan for losing 2 pounds per week can further support your efforts.
However, I suggest opting for natural fat-burning supplements that not only support weight loss but also contribute to overall health.
These supplements work in various ways, such as suppressing appetite, increasing fat oxidation, and boosting metabolism.
One popular natural supplement is RSP Nutrition AminoLean.
Amino Lean combines caffeine, green tea extract, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), and amino acids to offer a range of benefits.
Caffeine boosts metabolism and increases energy, green tea extract contains powerful antioxidants and supports fat oxidation, CLA aids in fat burning and lean muscle development, and amino acids support muscle recovery and overall physical performance.
AminoLean is an excellent alternative to your afternoon coffee or tea, providing the added advantage of micronutrients and weight loss-promoting ingredients.
By incorporating AminoLean or similar natural supplements into your weight loss plan, you can effectively support your goal of losing 2 pounds per week.
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Introducing a turmeric supplement to your weight loss regimen can also support your goal of losing 2 pounds weekly.
Turmeric, a vibrant yellow-orange spice, contains an active compound called curcumin, which has been widely studied for its numerous health benefits, including potential weight loss effects.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: Chronic inflammation contributes to obesity and associated metabolic disorders. Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat inflammation in the body, which may indirectly aid weight loss efforts.
- Enhanced Fat Burning: Research suggests that curcumin may promote fat burning by increasing the expression of genes involved in fat oxidation and reducing the expression of genes involved in fat storage. This can help your body utilize fat more efficiently as a fuel source, supporting weight loss.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Curcumin has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels, benefiting those trying to lose weight. Better insulin sensitivity can help prevent fat storage and promote using glucose for energy instead.
- Appetite Regulation: Some studies suggest that curcumin may influence appetite-regulating hormones, potentially reducing cravings and supporting portion control, which is essential for weight loss.
However, it’s essential to remember that supplements should not replace a balanced diet and exercise routine but rather serve as an additional tool in your weight loss arsenal.
Concluding Thoughts – How to Lose 2 Pounds a Week
If you want to lose 2 pounds in a week, you must figure out how to burn an additional 7,000 calories compared to how much you eat.
As you can see, losing 2 pounds a week is not as difficult as you might have assumed!
If you follow the tips listed above, I am confident you will burn more calories and lose 2 pounds per week!
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