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Can You Lose 16 Pounds in a Week?


Can you lose 16 pounds in a week?

It is not possible to lose 16 pounds in a week. This is much more than what experts recommend you lose in a week and is dangerous.


It takes a  calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose a pound of fat. You need a higher calorie deficit of 56,000 to lose 16 pounds. In a week, this comes down to a daily calorie deficit of 8,000. An impossible number for most people.


You cannot achieve this with diet or exercise. First, a moderate calorie reduction of 500 is what most experts recommend for weight loss. While this is enough to jumpstart weight loss, it is not enough to lose 16 pounds in a week. You still have an extra 7,500 to burn with exercise.


Second, you have to exercise long and hard to burn 7,500 calories. A 185-pound person, for example, burns approximately 294-calories in 30 minutes on a stationary bike. This person would have to exercise for at least 13 hours to burn enough calories to lose 16 pounds in a week. An impossible and unrealistic expectation due to the intensity and time commitment required.


Losing 16 pounds this fast is not recommended as it can affect your health.  Also, you’re more likely to gain all the weight back.

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How long should it take me to lose 16 pounds?

Generally, it takes about 2 – 4  months to lose 16 pounds. It is a safe amount of time for most people. It’s also in line with CDC (center for disease control and prevention) guidelines.


With a daily calorie deficit of 500, expect to lose 16 pounds in 4 months. Double it to a daily calorie deficit of 1000 to lose 16 pounds in 2 months. You can achieve this by eating fewer calories and exercising more.


Start with diet changes such as portion control. Use the MyPlate method to ensure you do not overeat at mealtimes. Divide your plate into four equal sections for veggies, protein, carbs, and fruit.


Also, eliminate empty calories from your diet. Avoid foods such as; instant noodles, crackers, cookies, cakes, ice creams, pretzels, sugary drinks, fried foods, and alcohol to lose 16 pounds. These foods are high in calories with little nutrition.

healthy meal

Eat better to lose weight.

Once you have reduced your calories, focus on nutrient-dense foods. These foods are better for weight loss as they keep you full for longer.


Add protein-rich foods such as; eggs, lean meats, fish, or poultry to all your meals. These foods can help reduce appetite and boost your metabolism. Start your day with eggs or a high-protein smoothie, and you’ll notice a reduced appetite throughout the day.


Enjoy some beans, peas, or lentils for your lunch. These high-fiber foods take longer to break down and absorb. Add in vegetables and fruits too.

woman chopping veggies

Plan your meals.

One way to ensure that you’re eating the right food is by meal planning. Plan and prep your meals to avoid letting hunger dictate what you eat.


If you find yourself busy during weekdays, do your groceries on the weekend, and plan what to eat. You can take it a step further and cook all your meals in advance. It’s much harder to resort to taking out with a fridge full of cooked meals.


Pack some food and take it to work with you for lunch. This way, you’re also not tempted by restaurant foods that are often high in calories.

woman exercising

Do some cardio and lift more weight.

It is recommended that healthy adults spend at least 250-minutes exercising weekly. Alternate between cardio and weight training for best results.


Cardio exercises such as swimming, running, rowing, or jumping rope burn calories fast. Weight training exercises such as; squats, deadlifts, lunges, or planks help to build and strengthen your muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.


Start slow and build momentum as you go. Focus on workouts you enjoy doing. if you hate running, consider cycling, hiking, or jumping rope.  You’re more likely to be consistent this way.


If you struggle with a busy schedule, consider high-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts take less than 1–hour to complete yet are just as effective at burning calories.


Can you lose 16 pounds in a week? Conclusion

Losing 16 pounds in a week is an unhealthy and unsafe goal. It is much more than the 1- 2 pounds most experts recommend you lose in a week.