Is it healthy to lose 4 pounds a week?
While it is possible to lose 4 pounds in a week, it is not recommended. It is double what experts recommend you lose in a week and is considered unsafe for most people.
It takes a calorie deficit of 3500 to lose a pound of fat. You need a higher calorie deficit of 14,000 to lose 4 pounds. It comes down to a daily calorie deficit of 2,000 to lose 4 pounds in a week. This is double the moderate calorie deficit of 500 – 1000 that experts recommend for healthy weight loss.
Most experts recommend a moderate calorie reduction of 500 to start losing weight. However, even after reducing your calories, you still have at least 1500 to burn off with exercise to lose 4 pounds in a week.
Most cardio and weight training workouts only burn a moderate amount of calories per session. A 185-pounds person, for example, burns 420-calories in 30 minutes, running at a speed of 6-mph. This person would have to run for at least 2 hours to burn enough calories to lose 4 pounds in a week. A difficult goal to achieve when eating at a calorie deficit.
While it is tempting to lose weight fast, it is not recommended. On average, it takes 2 to 4 weeks to lose 4 pounds safely.
Reasons why you should avoid quick weight loss
1. You’re Likely To Gain It All Back.
Quick weight-loss measures such as exercising intensely for long hours or cutting your calories too low are not sustainable. As a result, you’re likely to gain all the weight soon after. Isn’t it better to lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks and keep it off for good?
2. Slower metabolism.
Your metabolism determines how many calories you burn each day. Losing weight too quickly with extreme low-calorie diets can lead to a slow metabolism. With a slower metabolism, you burn fewer calories in a day. Unfortunately, this lasts long after your “diet” is over.
3. It may lead to Nutritional Deficiency.
You may not be eating enough food to get all the nutrients you need with extreme low-calorie diets. This can have severe negative consequences such as; poor immune function, weak bones, fatigue, and hair loss.
Safe and healthy weight loss
Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than the body needs. This results in a caloric deficit forcing the body to tap into stored fat for energy. It takes a calorie deficit of 3500 to lose a pound of fat.
With a calorie deficit of 500, expect to loe 4 pounds in 4 weeks. Double the effort to a calorie deficit of 1000 to lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks. You can achieve this by eating less and exercising more.
Aim for moderate calorie reduction of at least 500. This way, you’re not feeling deprived. Start by cutting out junk foods such as; fried foods, baked treats, soft drinks, processed snacks, sweets, and alcohol from your diet. These foods are high in calories with little nutritional benefit.
Also, consider portion control to help you reduce your calories. Use your plate as a guide. Fill half of it with vegetables before adding protein or carbs. Prioritize nutrient-dense foods to make up for the reduced calories. Eat more vegetables, complex carbs, protein, and fiber. These foods are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer.
Exercise to boost weight loss.
Exercise is a great way to increase your energy expenditure and burn more calories. Aim to spend at least 150 – 300 minutes exercising weekly.
Alternate between cardio and weight training for best results. While cardio helps you burn calories fast, weight training helps build muscle.
Is it healthy to lose 4 pounds a week?
Although it is possible to lose 4 pounds a week, it is not recommended. Losing this much weight in a week is not recommended and is not considered unsafe for most people.
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