5 lbs in a week

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Can I Lose Five Pounds a Week by Exercising?

Q1. I just started an exercise program. Is it possible to lose five pounds per week? If so, what should I do, and how often should I go to the gym?

Five pounds per week is an aggressive, unrealistic, and potentially unhealthy weight-loss goal. You did not put all the weight on in one month, so you should not expect to lose it all in one month either! As a general rule, you should aim for 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week.

Weight loss and weight maintenance are long-term commitments. To lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you’ll need to eliminate 500 to 1,000 calories from your daily diet as well as engage in regular physical activity. You don’t need to join a gym; walking is great exercise. Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll want to work your way up to 30 minutes of exercise per day at least five days a week. When you start feeling comfortable doing 30 minutes a day, begin to add more exercises and activities, and build toward 45 minutes to an hour of exercise, five days a week.

Your primary exercise should be aerobic in nature — for example, walking, stationary cycling, or swimming. While strength training (weight lifting) has many health benefits, it really does not help with weight loss. The numerous claims that strength training increases muscle mass and therefore daily energy expenditure are not supported by research.

Before you start a new exercise program, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor — especially if you have any medical conditions.

Q2. I do crunches religiously, but I don’t seem to get more toned in my abdominal region. What’s my problem?

You may need to spend less time doing crunches and more time on the treadmill, stair climber, or stationary bike. Contrary to popular belief, abdominal tone doesn’t come from doing a million crunches. In fact, you may already have abs of steel — they simply may be covered by a layer of insulation. So, instead of doing 10 or 15 minutes of crunches, try doing three to five minutes of exercises targeting different abdominal muscles as well as your lower back; focus on using good form and really tightening those muscles. Then spend the extra five to seven minutes burning fat with a cardio activity such as running or cycling.

Q3. I’ve lost close to 50 pounds and now that I’m finally down to the last 10 pounds, I’m finding it hard to stay determined. How can I keep up my motivation?

Congratulations, you’ve done a great job so far! The last 10 pounds are usually the hardest to lose, but don’t give up! The best way to jump-start your metabolism is to add another five minutes to your routine. Try light walking around the block, toning exercises, even light isometrics at the office during the day. These will all help to speed up that metabolism and burn those extra pounds. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and curb snacking in the evening. This will help you get over this last step. Good luck — you’re almost there!

Q4. My goal is to lose weight and tone up, but I’m afraid I’m going to bulk up if I lift weights. How can I exercise without looking like a bodybuilder?

People often get concerned about “bulking up” when weight training is involved in their exercise program, but there’s no need to be worried. Building muscle and losing weight go hand in hand, and here’s why: While you burn calories when you exercise and when you do daily activities like walking or climbing stairs, you burn the bulk of your calories just by sitting still. This is called your resting metabolic rate. For each pound of lean muscle you have on your body, you burn calories by doing absolutely nothing! What’s important for you to know is that the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate, and the more calories your burn per day. That’s why building muscle is such an important part of weight loss, and why it’s so good for your health — all that muscle makes it even easier to keep the fat off.

The other benefit of weight training is that muscle tissue will keep you looking lean and taut. You may lose fat by dieting and by doing cardio exercises, but to look trim you need to build muscle in place of the fat. Muscle is also higher in volume than fat, so every pound of muscle takes up less room on your body, making you smaller and giving you that great shape you’re looking for.

Completing a high number of repetitions at a lower weight is ideal for sculpting your body and speeding your metabolism to help keep the weight off.

Get more fitness tips from Denise Austin.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Fitness Center.

If you want to lose five actual pounds by next weekend, listen up: Losing weight fast, though possible, is almost always unhealthy. That’s because aiming to lose five pounds in a week can set you up for binge-eating and fluctuations that interfere with long-lasting results, which basically defeats the whole point, right?

It’s also super hard! “For most people, it’s very, very difficult to lose more than one to two pounds of body fat in a week,” says Philadelphia-based weight-loss physician Charlie Seltzer, MD. Instead, you’re more likely to shed water weight before actual fat. And while a decrease in water weight translates to pounds lost, the change is temporary, says Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, Ph.D., a registered dietician and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Even if you do meet your goal by Friday, it’s nearly impossible to keep the weight off over the long term, says Dr. Seltzer. He explains that the intense calorie restriction required to lose that much fat would make you so hungry that you’d want to eat everything in sight…because survival.

And since calorie restriction can slow your metabolism, per research published in the journal Obesity, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you (inevitably) binge on, he adds. That could mean gaining more than you lost in the first place.

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Still, there are effective and healthy ways to kick off your weight loss—and, yes, it will take time!—all without starving yourself, wasting money on sketchy supplements, or punishing your body with exercise.

Instead, try a few of these safe, proven tips. And remember: You’ll get the best, longest-lasting results from changes that don’t leave you exhausted and dreaming of pizza.

1. Choose quality over quantity.

“If you expend more calories than you take in, you should lose weight,” says Alicia Romano, RD, LDN, a clinical registered dietitian at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. But you don’t want to be so hyper focused on calories that you skip out on a wholesome diet, she says.

If you focus on the quality of food, there’s a good chance you’ll eat more nutrient-dense options that leave you satiated, says Lauren Sullivan, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.

2. Track your diet.

First, remember that no food is inherently good or bad, Dr. Seltzer says. And if the idea of jotting down everything you eat in a day makes you feel guilty or anxious, just skip this entirely.

That said, people who track what they eat tend to be more successful in losing weight because it raises awareness about what they’re noshing on, says Dr. Mayer-Davis. In fact, a series of studies published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine suggest that those using apps to monitor their diet and activity were more likely to experience an increase in weight loss.

Obviously, these apps (you know the ones) aren’t going to work if you don’t input everything you eat, says Dr. Mayer-Davis. You’ve gotta be consistent and honest about what you consume.

3. Focus on plants.

A 20-year study of more than 100,000 people, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found those who ate more whole grains instead of refined grains, incorporated more fruits and veggies than sweets, and preferred tea and coffee to sweetened drinks and juices, gained less weight long-term.

In another (small-ish) study of more than 1,000 people, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers found those following vegetarian and vegan diets, rich in whole grains, fruits, produce, nuts, and legumes, lost more weight than dieters on other plans—even the low-carb Atkins diet—over the same time span.

Because fiber (like protein and fat) slows the digestion process and optimizes fullness and nutrient intake at mealtime, a plant-based diet can help you feel satiated longer after eating, says Romano.

4. Opt. for low-glycemic carbs.

A food’s glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly sugar from food enters the bloodstream and how slowly the food is digested. Foods with a glycemic load measuring less than 55 (i.e. green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and bran breakfast cereals) enable your metabolism to run at a more consistent pace, which can positively impact weight loss, says Sullivan. Foods that rank 70 or higher (potatoes, white bread and short-grain rice) potentially slow your metabolism, which may make it harder for you to shed weight.

In a study of more than 100,000 people, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers linked diets with a high glycemic load to increased weight gain.

5. Make super small food swaps.

The best way to support sustainable weight loss is to incorporate small changes into existing habits, according to The European Journal of Obesity. So instead of giving up your daily BLT bagels in favor of an egg-white wrap, try ordering your sandwich on an English muffin. Or say you eat a snack bar every afternoon: Swap your 300-calorie bar for a 150-calorie alternative. “When we commit to small food swaps, we actually adapt new behaviors,” says Romano.

Whatever you choose, just make sure your focus is on “small manageable changes,” that way you’re more likely to follow through for an extended period of time, rather than just a few days or weeks, says Romano.

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6. Don’t skip meals.

Eating at regular intervals during the day optimizes your blood sugar control, meaning you avoid the spike and crash that comes with eating a big meal on an empty stomach, says Romano. When you avoid eating when you’re hungry, you’re welcoming hunger pains, food cravings and drowsiness—all of which can lead to snacking on foods high in fat and sugar.

Plus, when you run out of calories before going out to dinner with friends or satisfying a bedtime craving, you’re more likely to fall victim to what Dr. Seltzer calls the “f*ck it” effect—when you break one “rule” and give up for the rest of the night.

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7. Get your protein from lean food sources.

Dietary protein is one of the most important tools in your weight-loss arsenal, partly because you expend more energy digesting protein versus carbs and fat, Dr. Seltzer says. But it’s often packaged with naturally-occurring fats that amp up the calories of each serving.

It’s why, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, leaner protein sources like chicken breast, white fish, and low-fat dairy have fewer calories than alternatives like bacon and burgers. Greek yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese also make smart choices.

8. Pair protein with sweets.

When you combine a carbohydrate (like toast) with protein and/or healthy fats (peanut butter), it slows digestion, which makes you feel fuller than you would eating the carb alone, Sullivan says. Next time you’re craving sugar, pair some dark chocolate with nut butter and call it a day.

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9. Opt for higher-fiber carbs.

Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.

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10. Drink more water.

Skimp on fluids, and your body will release an antidiuretic hormone that leads to water retention that could affect the scale, Dr. Setlzer says. While this sneaky effect is one reason why the scale is a poor measure of body mass loss, you can outsmart it by drinking more—particularly if you fill your glass with water or non-calorie alternatives like unsweetened coffee and tea.

11. Imbibe just a little bit less.

Booze delivers seven calories per gram—more than carbs and protein (four calories per gram)—without filling you up or delivering essential nutrients. And because it chips away at your inhibitions, it makes those French fries at the bar look way better, and that late-night pizza stop a go.

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In other words? “Drinking makes you more likely to eat sh*t,” Dr. Seltzer says, referring to drunk foods. At the same time, he stops short of asking patients to quit alcohol cold-turkey to lose weight. Plus, research suggests you don’t have to, as long as your intake is moderate—i.e., less than about a drink a day. “If you drink a glass of wine every night and notice you eat more afterward, eat less early to account for this,” he says. “Or, if you’re drinking four glasses of wine a week, drink three instead so you’ll won’t feel such a big difference.”

12. Make a real effort to manage stress.

“Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food,” Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.

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It’s why no weight-loss journey is complete without a stress-management tactic: Maybe it’s meditation, calling your mom after work, or chilling out with music. Just make sure it’s hunger, not stress, that leads you to the kitchen.

13. Sleep an extra 30 minutes a night.

“Por sleep is associated with slower metabolism, and the more you’re awake the more hours you have to eat,” Dr. Seltzer says. What’s more, the sleep deprivation activates the same brain receptors responsible for the marijuana munchies, according to a 2016 SLEEP study.

14. Exercise—but not excessively.

Although it’s way more fun to take up a tolerable activity (i.e., watching Netflix on the elliptical) than it is to drop tasty foods from your diet, “exercise won’t help you lose weight in one week,” Dr. Seltzer says.

After all, “resistance training might initially contribute a pound or two due to the body’s inflammatory response, and people who do low-intensity exercise might burn calories, but they often end up eating more or subconsciously moving less throughout the day to conserve energy,” he says—and research supports the theory.

Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. “Do what you like because it’s good for you,” Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.

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15. Have all the sex.

In what is perhaps the biggest buzzkill of all time, sex doesn’t quite count as cardio or burn a significant amount of calories: Women burn about 3.6 per minute. “It’s still a good idea,” Dr. Seltzer says, citing the activity’s other benefits, like increasing the output of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which naturally reduce food cravings.

Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more. Ashley Oerman Deputy Lifestyle Director Ashley Oerman is the deputy lifestyle director at Cosmopolitan, covering fitness, health, food, cocktails, home, and entertainment. Jessica Toscano Jessica Toscano is a New Jersey-based writer, covering health and fitness, sex and relationships, and music.

Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies

1) An evolutionary clue to how our bodies burn calories

When anthropologist Herman Pontzer set off from Hunter College in New York to Tanzania to study one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer tribes on the planet, he expected to find a group of calorie-burning machines.

Unlike Westerners, who increasingly spend their waking hours glued to chairs, the Hadza are on the move most of the time. Men typically go off and hunt — chasing and killing animals, climbing trees in search of wild honey. Women forage for plants, dig up tubers, and comb bushes for berries. “They’re on the high end of physical activity for any population that’s been looked at ever,” Pontzer said.

By studying the Hadza lifestyle, Pontzer thought he would find evidence to back the conventional wisdom about why obesity has become such a big problem worldwide. Many have argued that one of the reasons we’ve collectively put on so much weight over the past 50 years is that we’re much less active than our ancestors.

Surely, Pontzer thought, the Hadza would be burning lots more calories on average than today’s typical Westerner; surely they’d show how sluggish our bodies have become.

On several trips in 2009 and 2010, he and his colleagues headed into the middle of the savanna, packing up a Land Rover with camping supplies, computers, solar panels, liquid nitrogen to freeze urine samples, and respirometry units to measure respiration.

In the dry, open terrain, they found study subjects among several Hadza families. For 11 days, they tracked the movements and energy burn of 13 men and 17 women ages 18 to 75, using a technique called doubly labeled water — the best known way to measure the carbon dioxide we expel as we burn energy.

When they crunched the numbers, the results were astonishing.

“We were really surprised when the energy expenditure among the Hadza was no higher than it is for people in the US and Europe,” says Pontzer, who published the findings in 2012 in the journal PLOS One. While the hunter-gatherers were physically active and lean, they actually burned the same amount of calories every day as the average American or European, even after the researchers controlled for body size.

Pontzer’s study was preliminary and imperfect. It involved only 30 participants from one small community.

But it raised a tantalizing question: How could the hunting, foraging Hadza possibly burn the same amount of energy as indolent Westerners?

Javier Zarracina/Vox

As Pontzer pondered his findings, he began to piece together an explanation.
First, scientists have shown that energy expenditure — or calories burned every day — includes not only movement but all the energy needed to run the thousands of functions that keep us alive. (Researchers have long known this, but few had considered its significance in the context of the global obesity epidemic.)

Calorie burn also seems to be a trait humans have evolved over time that has little to do with lifestyle. Maybe, Pontzer thought, the Hadza were using the same amount of energy as Westerners because their bodies were conserving energy on other tasks.

Or maybe the Hadza were resting more when they weren’t hunting and gathering to make up for all their physical labor, which would also lower their overall energy expenditure.

This science is still evolving. But it has profound implications for how we think about how deeply hardwired energy expenditure is and the extent to which we can hack it with more exercise.

If the “calories out” variable can’t be controlled very well, what might account for the difference in the Hadza’s weights?

This fundamental concept is part of a growing body of evidence that helps explain a phenomenon researchers have been documenting for years: that it’s extremely difficult for people to lose weight once they’ve gained it by simply exercising more.

2) Exercise is excellent for health

Before we dive into why exercise isn’t that helpful for slimming, let’s make one thing clear: No matter how working out impacts your waistline, it does your body and mind good.

A Cochrane Review of the best available research found that while exercise led to only modest weight loss, study participants who exercised more (even without changing their diets) saw a range of health benefits, including reducing their blood pressure and triglycerides in their blood. Exercise reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.

A number of other studies have also shown that people who exercise are at a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s and dementia. They also score higher on cognitive ability tests — among many, many other benefits.

If you’ve lost weight, exercise can also help weight maintenance when it’s used along with watching calorie intake. In an October 2017 study published in the journal Obesity, researchers examined what happened to 14 of the contestants on the Biggest Loser weight loss reality show, six years after they attempted to slim down for TV. They again found there was no relationship between physical activity and weight loss during the active weight loss of the show.

“So the people who lost the most weight on the show weren’t necessarily the people who did the most exercise — instead, it was the people who ate the least,” said study author and National Institutes of Health mathematician and obesity researcher Kevin Hall. But they also found there was a strong relationship between exercise and keeping weight off. (The study participants who managed to maintain their weight loss after six years got 80 minutes of moderate exercise per day or 35 minutes of daily vigorous exercise.)

“Consistent with previous reports, large and persistent increases in may be required for long-term maintenance of lost weight,” the researchers concluded.

So exercise, in summary, is like a wonder drug for many, many health outcomes.

3) Exercise alone is almost useless for weight loss

The benefits of exercise are real. And stories about people who have lost a tremendous amount of weight by hitting the treadmill abound. But the bulk of the evidence tells a less impressive story.
Consider this review of exercise intervention studies, published in 2001: It found that after 20 weeks, weight loss was less than expected, and that “the amount of exercise energy expenditure had no correlation with weight loss in these longer studies.”

To explore the effects of more exercise on weight, researchers have followed everybody from people training for marathons to sedentary young twins to post-menopausal overweight and obese women who ramp up their physical activity through running, cycling, or personal training sessions. Most people in these studies typically only lost a few pounds at best, even under highly controlled scenarios where their diets were kept constant.

Other meta-analyses, which looked at a bunch of exercise studies, have come to similarly lackluster conclusions about exercise for losing weight. This Cochrane Review of all the best available evidence on exercise for weight loss found that physical activity alone led to only modest reductions. Ditto for another review published in 1999.

University of Alabama obesity researcher David Allison sums up the research this way: Adding physical activity has a very modest effect on weight loss — “a lesser effect than you’d mathematically predict,” he said.

We’ve long thought of weight loss in simple “calories in, calories out” terms. In a much-cited 1958 study, researcher Max Wishnofsky outlined a rule that many organizations — from the Mayo Clinic to Livestrong — still use to predict weight loss: A pound of human fat represents about 3,500 calories; therefore, cutting 500 calories per day, through diet or physical activity, results in about a pound of weight loss per week. Similarly, adding 500 calories a day results in a weight gain of about the same.

Today, researchers view this rule as overly simplistic. They now think of human energy balance as “a dynamic and adaptable system,” as one study describes. When you alter one component — cutting the number of calories you eat in a day to lose weight, doing more exercise than usual — this sets off a cascade of changes in the body that affect how many calories you use up and, in turn, your bodyweight.

4) Exercise accounts for a small portion of daily calorie burn

One very underappreciated fact about exercise is that even when you work out, those extra calories burned only account for a tiny part of your total energy expenditure.

“In reality,” said Alexxai Kravitz, a neuroscientist and obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health, “it’s only around 10 to 30 percent depending on the person (and excluding professional athletes that workout as a job).”

Javier Zarracina/Vox Components of total energy expenditure for an average young adult woman and man.

There are three main components to energy expenditure, Kravitz explained: 1) basal metabolic rate, or the energy used for basic functioning when the body is at rest; 2) the energy used to break down food; and 3) the energy used in physical activity.

We have very little control over our basal metabolic rate, but it’s our biggest energy hog. “It’s generally accepted that for most people, the basal metabolic rate accounts for 60 to 80 percent of total energy expenditure,” Kravitz said. Digesting food accounts for about 10 percent.

That leaves only 10 to 30 percent for physical activity, of which exercise is only a subset. (You can read more about this concept here and here.)

“It’s not nothing, but it’s not nearly equal to food intake — which accounts for 100 percent of the energy intake of the body,” Kravitz said. “This is why it’s not so surprising that exercise leads to significant, but small, changes in weight.”

5) It’s hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise

Using the National Institutes of Health Body Weight Planner — which gives a more realistic estimation for weight loss than the old 3,500-calorie rule —the NIH’s Kevin Hall created this model to show why adding a regular exercise program is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss.

Javier Zarracina/Vox National Institutes of Health Body Weight Planner.

If a hypothetical 200-pound man added 60 minutes of medium-intensity running four days per week while keeping his calorie intake the same, and he did this for 30 days, he’d lose five pounds. “If this person decided to increase food intake or relax more to recover from the added exercise, then even less weight would be lost,” Hall added. (More on these “compensatory mechanisms” later.)

So if one is overweight or obese, and presumably trying to lose dozens of pounds, it would take an incredible amount of time, will, and effort to make a real impact through exercise.

That’s why Hall thinks researchers find again and again that exercise can help maintain weight loss, but it doesn’t help people lose weight. “You need a huge volume of exercise to ,” he said. “But to maintain weight loss does not require a deficit of energy.”

6) Exercise can undermine weight loss in other, subtle ways

Exercise can even undermine weight loss in subtle ways. How much we move is connected to how much we eat. As Hall put it, “I don’t think anybody believes calories in and calories out are independent of each other.” And exercise, of course, has a way of making us hungry — so hungry that we might consume more calories than we burned off.

One 2009 study shows that people seemed to increase their food intake after exercise — either because they thought they burned off a lot of calories or because they were hungrier. Another review of studies from 2012 found people generally overestimated how much energy exercise burned and ate more when they worked out.

“You work hard on that machine for an hour, and that work can be erased with five minutes of eating afterward”

“You work hard on that machine for an hour, and that work can be erased with five minutes of eating afterward,” Hall added. A single slice of pizza, for example, could undo the calories burned in an hour’s workout. So could a cafe mocha or an ice cream cone.

There’s also evidence to suggest that some people simply slow down after a workout, using less energy on their non-gym activities. They might decide to lie down for a rest, fidget less because they’re tired, or take the elevator instead of the stairs.

These changes are usually called “compensatory behaviors,” and they simply refer to adjustments we may unconsciously make after working out to offset the calories burned.

7) Exercise may cause physiological changes that help us conserve energy

The most intriguing theories about why exercise isn’t great for weight loss describe changes in how our bodies regulate energy after exercise.

Researchers have discovered a phenomenon called “metabolic compensation.”

“The more you stress your body, we think there are changes physiologically — compensatory mechanisms that change given the level of exercise you’re pushing yourself at,” said Loyola University exercise physiologist Lara Dugas. In other words, our bodies may actively fight our efforts to lose weight.

This effect has been well documented, though it may not be the same for everyone.

For one fascinating study, published in the journal Obesity Research in 1994, researchers subjected seven pairs of young, sedentary identical twins to a 93-day period of intense exercise. For two hours a day, nearly every day, they’d hit a stationary bike.

The twins were also housed as inpatients in a research lab under 24-hour supervision and fed by watchful nutritionists who measured their every calorie to make sure their energy intake remained constant.

Despite going from being mostly sedentary to spending a couple of hours exercising almost every day, the participants only lost about 11 pounds on average, ranging from as little as 2 pounds to just over 17 pounds, almost all due to fat loss. The participants also burned 22 percent fewer calories through exercise than the researchers calculated prior to the study starting.

By way of explanation, the researchers wrote that either subjects’ basal metabolic rates slowed down or subjects were expending less energy outside of their two-hour daily exercise block.

In a more recent study, published in Obesity in May 2016, Kevin Hall’s group again looked at 14 of the Biggest Loser reality show participants. They took a number of measurements — bodyweight, fat, metabolism, hormones — at the end of the 30-week competition in 2009, and again six years later, in 2015.

Though all the contestants lost dozens of pounds through extreme diets and hours of exercise at the end of the show, by the six-year mark their waistlines had largely rebounded. But the most remarkable finding was that the participants’ metabolisms had vastly slowed down through the study period. They were essentially burning about 500 fewer calories (about a meal’s worth) each day than would be expected given their weight.

This metabolic effect persisted, despite the fact that most participants were slowly regaining the weight they lost.

Dugas calls this phenomenon “part of a survival mechanism”: The body could be conserving energy to try to hang on to stored fat for future energy needs. Again, researchers don’t yet know why this happens or how long the effects persist in people.

“We know with confidence that some metabolic adaptions occur under some circumstances,” said David Allison, “and we know with confidence some behavioral compensations occur under some circumstances. We don’t know how much compensation occurs, under which circumstances, and for whom.”

8) Energy expenditure might have an upper limit

Another hypothesis about why it’s hard to lose weight through exercise alone is that energy expenditure plateaus at a certain point. In another Pontzer paper, published in 2016 in the journal Current Biology, he and his colleagues found evidence of an upper limit.

They cast a wide geographic net, recruiting 332 adults from Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica, and the United States. Tracking the study participants for eight days, they gathered data on physical activity and energy burned using accelerometers. They classified people into three types: the sedentary folks, the moderately active (who exercised two or three times per week), and the super active (who exercised about every day). Importantly, these were people who were already doing a certain amount of activity, not people who were randomized to working out at various levels.

Here, physical activity accounted for only 7 to 9 percent of the variation in calories burned among the groups. Moderately active people burned more energy than people who were sedentary (about 200 calories more each day), but above that, the energy used up seemed to hit a wall.

“After adjusting for body size and composition,” the researchers concluded in the study, “total energy expenditure was positively correlated with physical activity, but the relationship was markedly stronger over the lower range of physical activity.”

In other words, after a certain amount of exercise, you don’t keep burning calories at the same rate: Total energy expenditure may eventually plateau.

In the traditional “additive” or “linear” model of total energy expenditure, how many calories one burns is a simple linear function of physical activity.

“That plateau is really different than the standard way of thinking about energy expenditure,” Pontzer said. “What the World Health Organization and the people who build the Fitbit would tell you is that the more active you are, the more calories you burn per day. Period, full stop.”

In the “constrained” model of total energy expenditure, the body adapts to increased physical activity by reducing energy spent on other physiological activities.

Based on the research, Pontzer has proposed a new model that upends the old “calories in, calories out” approach to exercise, where the body burns more calories with more physical activity in a linear relationship (also known as the “additive” model of energy expenditure).

He calls this the “constrained model” of energy expenditure, which shows that the effect of more physical activity on the human body is not linear. In light of our evolutionary history — when food sources were less reliable — he argues that the body sets a limit on how much energy it is willing to expend, regardless of how active we are.

“The overarching idea,” Pontzer explained, “is that the body is trying to defend a particular energy expenditure level no matter how active you get.”

This is still just a hypothesis. Pontzer and others will need to gather more evidence to validate it, and reconcile contradictory evidence showing that people can burn more energy as they add physical activity. So for now it’s a fascinating possibility, among all the others, that may help explain why joining a gym as a sole strategy to lose weight is often an exercise in futility.

9) The government and the food industry are doling out unscientific advice

Since 1980, the obesity prevalence has doubled worldwide, with about 13 percent of the global population now registering as obese, according to the WHO. In the United States, nearly 70 percent of the population is either overweight or obese.

A lack of exercise and too many calories have been depicted as equal causes of the crisis. But as researchers put it in an article in BMJ, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.”

Since at least the 1950s, Americans have been told that we can. This Public Health Reports paper outlines the dozens of government departments and organizations — from the American Heart Association to the US Department of Agriculture — whose campaigns suggested more physical activity (alone or in addition to diet) to reverse weight gain.

Unfortunately, we are losing the obesity battle because we are eating more than ever. But the exercise myth is still regularly deployed by the food and beverage industry — which are increasingly under fire for selling us too many unhealthy products.

“Physical activity is vital to the health and well-being of consumers,” Coca-Cola says. The company has been aligning itself with exercise since the 1920s, and was recently exposed by the New York Times for funding obesity researchers who emphasize a lack of physical activity as the cause of the epidemic.

Physical activity and diet should never be given equal weight in the obesity debate

Coca-Cola is just one of many food companies that are encouraging us to get more exercise (and keep buying their products while we’re at it): PepsiCo, Cargill, and Mondelez have all emphasized physical activity as a cause of obesity.

The exercise myth for weight loss also still appears in high-profile initiatives, like the former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign — largely because of the food industry’s lobbying efforts, according to Marion Nestle, a New York University nutrition professor. The White House’s exercise focus to end childhood obesity, Nestle said, was “a strategic decision to make the message positive and doable and, at the same time, keep the food industry off its back.”

But this focus on calories out, or the calories we can potentially burn in exercise, is “an inadequate and a potentially dangerous approach, because it is liable to encourage people to ignore or underestimate the greater impact of energy-in,” an obesity doctor and professor wrote in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

In other words, we can lose sight of the fact that it’s mostly too much food that’s making us fat.

“There are all kinds of reasons to exercise that are good for your health,” says Diana Thomas, a Montclair State University obesity researcher. “However, if you’re trying to lose weight, the biggest problem I see is food. We need to cut back the food we’re eating.”

The evidence is now clear: Exercise is excellent for health, but it’s not important for weight loss. The two things should never be given equal weight in the obesity debate.

10) So what actually works for weight loss?

At the individual level, some very good research on what works for weight loss comes from the National Weight Control Registry, a study that has parsed the traits, habits, and behaviors of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a minimum of one year. They currently have more than 10,000 members enrolled in the study, and these folks respond to annual questionnaires about how they’ve managed to keep their weight down.

The researchers behind the study found that people who have had success losing weight have a few things in common: They weigh themselves at least once a week. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also exercise regularly.

But note: These folks use physical activity in addition to calorie counting and other behavioral changes. Every reliable expert I’ve ever spoken to on weight loss says the most important thing a person can do is limit calories in a way they like and can sustain, and focus on eating healthfully.

In general, diet with exercise can work better than calorie cutting alone, but with only marginal additional weight loss benefits. Consider this chart from a randomized trial that was done on a group of overweight folks: The group that restricted calories lost about the same amount of weight as the group that dieted and exercised, though the exercisers didn’t cut as many calories:

The calorie restriction groups lost more weight than the group that both dieted and exercised.

If you embark on a weight loss journey that involves both adding exercise and cutting calories, Montclair’s Thomas warned not to count those calories burned in physical activity toward extra eating.

“Pretend you didn’t exercise at all,” she said. “You will most likely compensate anyway, so think of exercising just for health improvement but not for weight loss.”

Editor: Eliza Barclay
Visuals: Javier Zarracina
Researcher: Mohsin Ali

In this series, we’re asking one woman who’s trying to lose weight to document seven real-life days of dieting. She’ll anonymously share her get-fit goals and record everything from her moods to her food choices and workouts.

This week, one woman working to lose 23 pounds sticks to a mostly clean-eating plan and hits the gym after she puts her kids to sleep. See how her eating and workout plan helped her lose five pounds in a week.

Age: 30
Job: Customer Service Rep at an Electric Company
Location: Ohio
Current weight: 178 pounds
Goal weight: 155 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Diet duration: On and off since 2012
Weight lost so far: 50 lbs
Weight lost this week: 5.8 lbs

Monday

Stephanie

5:20 a.m. I wake up and weigh myself to begin the week. The scale says 178 pounds. I’ve put on a couple pounds over the weekend, and I’m not too happy about it, but it’s time to get my butt in gear.

6:30 a.m. I have both of my girls (ages 3 and 6) awake with breakfast in front of them. My husband bought them Hostess donuts at the store the night before, which I really want. But I settle for a bowl of plain Special K cereal with 1 percent milk. (215 calories)

9:30 a.m. At work, I’m still wishing I would’ve had one of those donuts. They’re my weakness. Since I’m hungry, I go to the refrigerator and get my cup of plain Greek yogurt with some raspberries and dark chocolate chips. I didn’t end up finishing it all because I was pretty busy at work. (116 calories)

11:30 a.m. Lunch at work! I eat some roasted garlic cauliflower and a packet of Starkist creations ranch tuna. (133 calories)

1:45 p.m. It’s only been an hour since I got back to my desk from lunch, but I’m hungry. I have a small Red Delicious apple waiting in my bag, so I grab it. It’ll do for now. (80 calories)

2:25 p.m. Coffee because it’s Monday.

3:00 p.m. Been a relatively dead afternoon at work. At this point, I’ve only gone 3,837 steps. I definitely need to make up for that at the Dance2fit class I teach Monday and Wednesday nights.

8:30 p.m. After teaching my hour-long class, I’m exhausted! I burned 853 calories, though! I grab a quick dinner from McDonalds: two cheeseburgers and a 20-ounce bottle of water. It’s late and this was the quickest. (600 calories)

10:30 p.m. Bedtime!

End of the day: 13,713 steps and 1,220 calories eaten

Related: 7 Reasons You Haven’t Been Able To Lose 10 Pounds

Tuesday

Stephanie

5:20 a.m. I wake up and weigh myself. I’m down two pounds!

6:00 a.m. I grab a bowl of Special K with some raspberries thrown in for breakfast. (215 calories)

6:15 a.m. I was going to make these 100-calorie blueberry muffins last night, but it didn’t happen after I got home from class. Now I’m scrambling to make them this morning. Hope these are good. I throw one in my purse and go!

8:45 a.m. Snack at work. That blueberry muffin turned out delicious! (100 calories)

11:30 a.m. Surprisingly, the blueberry muffin filled me up, so I’m not super hungry. But I have more of my roasted garlic cauliflower and two hard-boiled eggs, along with a 20-ounce bottle of water for lunch. (209 calories)

2:15 p.m. I’m not sure if I’m actually hungry or just bored, so I eat half a cup of plain Greek yogurt with raspberries and dark chocolate chips, just like yesterday. (156 calories)

4:36 p.m. Work is almost over, and I’ve only taken 3,826 step. Looking forward to some gym time tonight after my girls go to bed.

5:20 p.m. Home from work and the stomach’s grumbling. I share half of one of those blueberry muffins with my husband. (50 calories)

7:00 p.m. I make a healthy version of General Tso’s chicken and steamed rice. (387 calories)

8 p.m. As excited as I was to go to the gym, now that my daughters are in bed the couch is looking good. I drink some pre-workout and I’m good to go.

9 p.m. I spend an hour at the gym. I walk at an incline on the treadmill, use the elliptical, and strength train. (319 calories)

10 p.m. Off to bed.

End of the day: 10,284 steps and 1,190 calories eaten

Make these blueberry lime muffins for a skinny, sweet treat:

Wednesday

Stephanie

5:20 a.m. The scale says 175. That’s another pound down! Woohoo!

6:10 a.m. I’m eyeballing the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts in the pantry, but I reach for the regular Special K and pour a bowl. I keep meaning to meal prep egg cups for breakfast. (215 calories)

9:00 a.m. I have a blueberry muffin. (100 calories)

11:30 a.m. I head home for lunch to put dinner (ranch pork chops) in the slow cooker for after my class tonight. But I spend so much time putting together dinner that I don’t have time to make lunch. I grab one of my daughter’s Uncrustables (pre-packaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) and a banana. (299 calories) Nothing says adulting like eating an Uncrustable while driving back to work.

2:30 p.m. I grab the usual Greek yogurt from the break room. (132 calories)

6:30 p.m. It’s time for my Dance2fit class! My mom brought my girls snacks and gave me a Swiss Roll. As much as I want to, I can’t turn it down. (270 calories)

7:44 p.m. I burn 839 calories during class. Afterward, I eat pork chops from the crockpot.

End of the day: 13,987 steps and 1,372 calories eaten

(Get the secret to banishing belly bulge from WH readers who’ve done it with Take It All Off! Keep It All Off!)

Thursday

Stephanie

5:20 a.m. Trudge to the bathroom and weigh myself. 172.6…another 2.4 pounds down!

6:10 a.m. Special K is getting old, but I pour some anyways, avoiding the Pop-Tarts. (215 calories)

8:30 a.m. I start feeling hunger pangs, but it’s too early to eat my first snack. I settle for some coffee.

9:00 a.m. I dig in my bag for that blueberry muffin. (100 calories)

11:30 a.m. I don’t feel much like going home for lunch, so I just stay at work and eat in the kitchen. I have a pouch of Starkist buffalo tuna with a slice of whole-wheat bread. Afterward, my mouth is still on fire, so I eat another slice of bread. (190 calories)

2:15 p.m. I eat a random tablespoon of peanut butter. (95 calories)

5:15 p.m. When I get home from work, I want to raid the Oreo Thins in the cabinet. So I start making dinner to keep myself from raiding the snacks.

6:30 p.m. I made some healthy homemade Baja fish tacos along with some white rice. I have one taco (365 calories) and about a quarter cup of white rice. (100 calories)

8:00 p.m. I head off to hit the gym! I’m actually not too tired.

9:30 p.m. I burn 312 calories at the gym.

End of the day: 10,004 steps and 1,063 calories eaten

Related: The Simple Morning Habit That Helped This Woman Lose More Than 100 Pounds

Friday

Stephanie

5:20 a.m. I weigh myself, and see that I’ve made it to 171.8.

6:30 a.m. I have a small bowl of cereal and pack an Uncrustable for lunch. (215 calories)

8:00 a.m. I get to work feeling pretty good about the day and I see there are donuts on the desk. I decide that I’ve been pretty good all week, so I grab a long john with nuts. Worth it! (280 calories)

10 a.m. The rest of the office is in a First Aid/CPR meeting, so I’m covering the office upfront.

11:45 a.m. I should’ve gone to lunch already but that training is still going on. There’s a small red apple on my desk, so I reach for that. (56 calories)

12:30 p.m. An hour late to lunch, and I’m not to happy about it. I lost my appetite, so I just eat the Uncrustable.

3:40 p.m. Feeling pretty hungry, but I don’t want to snack at this point because I’m going to an Italian restaurant tonight and I’ll probably eat a lot there.

6:30 p.m. I lose track of everything I ate, so I’m just going to guess. I have two raviolis and three pieces of bruschetta. Then I order the chicken Parmesan with fettuccine Alfredo. (998 calories give or take)

9:00 p.m. Instead of passing out beside my husband, I turn on this workout app on my phone. I choose a 15-minute, full-body strength workout and an eight-minute yoga session. It’s not much, but it’s something! (Burned 192 calories)

End of the day: 10,991 steps and 1,602 calories eaten

Saturday

Stephanie

6:45 a.m. I’m scared to walk to the bathroom to weigh myself. The scale says 172.2. I was expecting much worse!

7:15 a.m. The usual Special K for breakfast. (215 calories)

9:45 a.m. I meet my friends at our favorite coffee shop. I’ve already had cereal for breakfast, but that was a few hours ago. I opt for a blueberry muffin and a frappuccino with skim milk and no whip. Not too bad, but I’m not exactly sure of the calories.

1:30 p.m. My friends and their kids are hanging out at our house, and we’re all getting hungry. Everyone decides on Buffalo Wild Wings. I have a glass of Orange Moscato Sangria, shrimp tacos, and a few cheese curds.

7:00 p.m. It’s time for dinner and pizza sounds good. I opt for a chef salad while my husband has pizza. The salad is terrible, so I don’t eat much of it. I drink my water and eat a small corner piece of pizza.

End of the day: 6,323 steps and a lot of calories eaten

Related: 7 Women Share How They Lost Weight Without Counting a Single Calorie

Sunday

Stephanie

6:45 a.m. My 3-year-old is up and ready for the day. I weigh myself: 172.2 pounds.

7:15 a.m. The girls want donuts so we go to Tim Horton’s. I get the turkey sausage and egg white English muffin. I eat about one-third of it and two honey-dipped donuts (420 calories) I drink about half of my small iced cappuccino. (125 calories)

12:00 p.m. My daughter’s favorite place is Chipotle, so we appease her for lunch. I went with the chicken burrito bowl with black beans, brown rice, mild and medium green salsa, sour cream, and cheese. I eat a little less than half. (312 calories) I was also craving a pop, so I drink maybe a quarter of the large my husband got me. (75 calories)

1:00 p.m. On Sundays I usually practice new dances for my class. A lot of the songs we do involve a lot of squats. I’m sweating after an hour and a half. (I estimate I’ve burned around 800 calories in an hour and a half.)

6:00 p.m. We decide on Wendy’s for dinner. I decided on the grilled chicken sandwich, a small fry, and a bottle of water. I ate around half of the sandwich, all of the small fry, and half of my youngest’s small chocolate frosty, along with my bottle of water. (645 calories)

8:30 p.m. I’m determined to meal prep for the coming week. Chicken tenderloins on the George Foreman and 100-calorie muffins with raspberries this time are in the oven.

End of the Day: 10,347 steps and 1,583 calories eaten

Harness the Power of Natural Diuretics

The difference between feeling model-esque, not cinched, in your Balmain body-con dress may be just a few pounds—of water. “You can retain up to five pounds of extra fluid,” says Jeffrey Morrison, a physician and founder of the Morrison Center in New York, who suggests sipping water-eliminating teas like dandelion or fennel two or three times a day. (Try Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Leaf & Root Tea, $5.29 for 16 bags.) Other de-bloating elixirs: Ask your juice joint to press a celery-centric concoction, and take a 500-milligram parsley capsule twice a day.

Drink Two Glasses of Water Before Every Meal

“It sounds counterintuitive, but you need to drink water to lose water,” says Lauren Slayton, a nutritionist and founder of Foodtrainers in New York. Along with drinking a minimum of 64 ounces daily, Slayton recommends front-loading meals with two cups of H2O “for maximum appetite reduction; it’ll make you feel full and help you eat less.” Adds Vanessa Packer, a holistic nutritionist at Model­Fit in New York, “Avoid seltzer and sparkling water—they cause bloating.”

Get Eight Hours of Sleep

“When you get seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep, your body is more equipped to get rid of stress hormones, and your metabolism improves,” says Morrison. And taking a vitamin D3 supplement daily may help you sleep better and therefore improve weight loss too. One theory is that when D3 is low, hunger hormones increase, and when you’re not deficient in D, melatonin—the body’s natural sleep aid—works more effectively. Slayton suggests taking 2,000 IUs of D3 daily.

Avoid All Processed Foods

Which means not only skipping the obvious culprits (chips, cookies, candy) but also anything that is prepackaged (store-bought bread, pasta, cheese), and even canned tuna and almond milk, which may be packed with sodium and sugar, respectively. Opt for whole grain bread from a local bakery; it won’t be heavily processed, and avoid anything made with white flour (it has no nutritional value), says Morrison. Skip all dairy too, including Greek yogurt. Replacing all inflammatory foods (sugar, wheat, dairy) with whole foods and vegetables can produce rapid results, Morrison adds.

“Your Spinning class will burn calories, but it won’t give you the powerful after-burn effect of HIIT.”

Carve Out Your Belly

Strengthening your body’s natural corset muscles is a surefire way to get a flat belly naturally. Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (who got Khloé Kardashian in rock-body shape) suggests doing this simple but powerful plank sequence every day: Get into a plank position (forearms on the floor, core engaged, legs straight) at just less than arm’s length from a wall. While keeping your core centered—don’t move side to side—alternate touching the wall with each hand as many times as possible in one minute. Repeat five times. The goal: Every round, tap the wall more times, says Peterson.

Ditch Alcohol Completely

Not. A. Sip. “One, it affects your sleep, and we know that in turn affects your metabolism and hunger cravings,” explains Slayton. “Two, it definitely causes you to retain extra fluid.” The third, and most damaging, reason: “You don’t burn any other fat or calories until your body rids itself of that 100-, 200-, or 300-calorie cocktail, so you’re putting yourself behind in terms of calorie-burning from the start,” she says.

Do 30 Minutes of HIIT Every Day

Your Spinning class will burn calories, but it won’t give you the powerful after-burn effect of high-intensity interval training. Oliver Lee, a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York, recommends this 30-minute circuit: For each exercise go as fast and as intensely as you can for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Repeat the sequence six times. 1. Fast feet. 2. 180-degree squat jumps. 3. Squat to side kick (alternating legs). 4. Two push-ups into four mountain climbers. 5. Finish with shoulder-tap burpees: Go into a plank, touch each shoulder with the opposite hand four times, then jump up into the air.

Nicole Catanese Nicole Catanese is a beauty and wellness editor.

Five simple tips can add up to a weight loss of as much as five pounds a week, says TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer.

“These are fun; they’re effective; and they’re delicious,” Bauer said as she counted down the five tips.

Bauer’s program is easy to remember because it links each tip number with the actual tip content. So, for example, tip five is to consume five cups of veggies each day.

5. Eat five cups of veggies every day.

“Vegetables are high volume; they’re low calorie; and they fill you up and not out,” Bauer said. “However you want to divvy these up during the day is really up to you. I think the easiest thing is to have two cups with lunch, two cups with dinner and one cup as an afternoon snack. Or you could set your smart phone and every couple of hours: bing bing bing!”

While there might be value in varying the veggies, Bauer suggests you stick with ones you enjoy eating.

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“If you only like carrots and green beans then you can repeat, repeat, repeat, and it works,” she said.

4. Dance to four of your favorite songs.

Pick four high intensity dance songs that you really like and during the day play them and “boogie it up.”

Natalie Morales helpfully demonstrated while wearing a special wrist band that calculates the calories she was burning.

“For every song, it’s about 40 calories,” Bauer said. That means 160 calories at the end of the day. “That’s pretty good.”

3. Have three protein rich meals.

“Protein revs your metabolism,” she said. “It suppresses appetite. And it keeps you feeling full.”

As examples, Bauer suggested an egg sandwich for breakfast, a tuna vegetable salad for lunch and turkey sausage served with veggies for dinner.

“To make a little more interesting I spread a small amount of light cream cheese or part skim ricotta,” Bauer said.

2. Drink two glasses of water before each meal.

“It’s going to fill you up and you’re going to eat less,” Bauer said of what might be the simplest tip of all.

1.Once a day, indulge in one 150-calorie treat.

“It can be a glass of wine, a small froyo with some fresh fruit, four cups of light popcorn, two tablespoons of semi-sweet dark chocolate chips,” Bauer says.

5 Tips to *Finally* Lose Those Last 5 Pounds

Shelly Strazis/Getty Images

Anyone with a long-term weight-loss goal knows how amazing it feels to see your hard work reflected on the scale—and how frustrating it is when that number gets stuck just a few pounds from your target weight. Sometimes, figuring out how to lose five pounds feels even more challenging than 50.

When you first set out to lose 15, 20, or even 30-plus pounds, lifestyle changes like swapping out your go-to sugary caffeine fix with a lower-calorie version, or upping your daily step total from 1,500 to the recommended 10,000) can help the pounds fall off.

Unfortunately, the closer you get to your target weight, the more you need to pay attention to small, detailed changes, and the harder it is to keep those weight-loss results coming, says Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab and advisor to ProMix Nutrition. “Your body has a set range that it wants to function in, and as you get leaner, your body gets less inclined to lose the extra weight,” he adds. (BTW, here’s how to tell when your body has reached its goal weight.)

Not to mention, once you lose weight, your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body burns at rest, will decrease. In other words, a lighter “you” will need fewer calories per day to perform basic functions (like breathing) than you did when you were heavier, says Michael Rebold, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., department chair of the integrative exercise program and assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College in Ohio.

As you get fitter, old activities that once burned crazy amounts of calories suddenly don’t offer the same bang for your buck. For example, if walking a mile is no longer as challenging as it used to be, you need to work harder or longer just to reap the same calorie burn, says Matheny. (Here’s the best workout to overcome a weight-loss plateau, according to science.)

All of this might sound depressing as you determine how to lose five pounds, but keep in mind: You’ve already done the bulk of the work making your weight-loss goal a reality. To close that gap, all you really need is one of these small, expert-approved strategies for how to lose five pounds the healthy way. (And keep in mind, the scale isn’t everything. Check out these non-scale victories you can use to measure success instead.)

Tip #1 for How to Lose 5 Pounds: Lift Weights

Cardio is great; it may have even helped you get this far in your weight-loss journey. (Congrats!) But if you keep bypassing the weight rack in favor of the treadmill or elliptical, you’ll miss out on the unique weight-loss benefits you can only get from lifting iron.

“Strength training builds lean muscle, which will bring your metabolism up,” Matheny says.

Unlike fat, muscle is metabolically active tissue. This means that, pound-per-pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does (approximately seven to 10 calories per pound of muscle tissue per day, compared to two to three calories per pound of fat per day, Rebold says). Pack more muscle onto your frame, and you’ll churn through more calories at rest.

Just keep in mind: Adding muscle won’t turn you into a calorie-burning machine, so don’t think your growing biceps will be enough to fend off weight gain from a bad diet. However, when you’re trying to nudge the scale just a tiny bit more, having a little extra muscle can make all the difference. And if the number on the scale still doesn’t go down, don’t despair. Slimming down fat cells and bulking up muscle cells may cause your weight to stay the same—which in this case, is a good thing! (Related: 30 Ways to Burn 100+ Calories Without Even Trying)

Do this: Matheny recommends strength training at least three times per week for anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, and lunges, as these moves recruit multiple muscle groups for maximum calorie burn. Focus on muscle growth (also known as muscle hypertrophy) by sticking to sets of six to 12 reps with a moderate weight, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. (Try this strength training workout for beginners if you need a plan of action.)

Tip #2 for How to Lose 5 Pounds: Keep a Food Journal (and Drink Journal)

If you’re stuck just five pounds from your goal weight, try logging your food for a few days; what you discover just might surprise you.

“A lot of people don’t realize the occasional nibble here, nibble there can really add up,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., owner of Keri Gans Nutrition, Shape advisory board member, and author of The Small Change Diet.

For example, you may think you’re only eating a few almonds here and there throughout the day. But once you start writing down your food intake, you may realize you’re actually grabbing a heaping handful every single time you pass the dish. So instead of eating a sensible one-ounce serving (approximately 160 calories), you’re packing away an extra two or three hundred hidden calories per day. (This little trick will show you why you’re not losing weight.)

Track your cocktails too: “Having one or two drinks a day or four-plus on the weekend—even if it’s light beer or wine—adds hundreds, even thousands of calories to your diet,” says Molly Morgan, R.D., a dietitian in Vestal, New York. Not only do those drinks add up, but they can also amplify your culinary calorie count. “Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, so an order of French fries or a burger doesn’t seem as unhealthy as it normally would.”

There are plenty of food tracking apps out there (including all these free weight-loss apps), but Gans actually recommends clients go old-school and log their food with pen and paper. She offers a couple of reasons to go low-tech:

  1. Food tracking apps also count calories. This level of detail may be helpful for some people, but Gans prefers that her clients become aware of healthy portion sizes, as opposed to exact calorie amounts, as they learn how to lose 5 pounds. (Check out this infographic to visualize the proper portion size of some popular foods.)
  2. Jotting down your meals by hand gives you the opportunity to take note of other factors, including mood, environment, and feelings. For example, if you notice that you always opt for quick take-out lunch on days when you have high-stress work meetings, you can use this info to become proactive about packing a healthier option on those days. “Food journaling can be like playing detective,” says Gans.

Do this: Grab a pen and a notebook (or, download an app if preferred) and start logging everything you eat in a day. Keep going until the scale budges or you notice you’re becoming more aware of your food habits, says Gans. You may find that you only need to record your meals for a few days to notice effects. Or it may take a few weeks to finally see an impact. (Related: The #1 Thing to Keep in Mind Before Setting Weight-Loss Goals)

Tip #3 for How to Lose 5 Pounds: Do Less HIIT

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re struggling to pinpoint how to lose 5 pounds (and keep them off), the answer may be to do less, not more—especially when it comes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Yes, HIIT offers fat-incinerating benefits: one International Journal of Obesity study shows women who performed 20-minute HIIT sessions lost as much as 7.3 pounds by the end of 15 weeks, while women who performed 40 minutes of steady-state aerobic exercise actually gained as much as 2.7 pounds during the same time period.

But according to Matheny, it’s not uncommon for exercisers chasing a weight-loss goal to get too HIIT-happy. And when done in excess, HIIT can cause some unpleasant side effects, including excessive soreness and fatigue, trouble sleeping, and lack of motivation—none of which helps you lose those last 5 pounds. In addition, HIIT elevates levels of cortisol in your body (also known as the “stress hormone”), Matheny says. Over time, elevated cortisol levels can raise your blood sugar levels and encourage your body to hold on to the fat stores you’re trying to get rid of. (Related: 10 Weird Ways Your Body Reacts to Stress)

Do this: If you notice you’re constantly sore, tired, struggling to fall asleep, and/or dreading your workouts, swap out at least one of your HIIT sessions with longer walk or jog (at least 45 minutes). On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 corresponds to no effort and 10 refers to an all-out sprint, aim for an exertion level of 6. “You should be able to have a conversation with somebody without gasping for breath,” Matheny says. (P.S. Should You Be Swapping HIIT Training for LISS Workouts?)

Tip #4 for How to Lose 5 Pounds: Don’t Skip Your Post-Workout Meal

If you don’t refuel, you may actually sabotage your weight-loss efforts in the long run, helping those last 5 pounds stick around awhile.

Granted, you might not feel hungry immediately following your workout. Intense exercise sessions (performed at or above 75 percent of your maximum heart rate) or long workouts (performed for 90 minutes or more) may suppress appetite for up to 90 minutes after the workout is complete, according to a small pilot study in the Journal of Endocrinology.

That said, eating after your workouts is really important.

“When you eat, your body repairs itself,” Matheny says. More specifically, eating a protein-packed snack that includes a modest amount of carbs will provide you with the nutrients needed to repair your muscles and replenish glycogen stores, the storage form of carbohydrates. (Here are 14 healthy post-sweat sesh snacks trainers swear by.) If you skimp on your recovery snack, your body isn’t going to repair or add lean muscle, and your next workout won’t be as effective, Matheny says.

Do this: For your post-workout snack, shoot for 20 to 25 grams of protein and less than 250 calories. And if your workout lasts less than 30 minutes, limit carbs to less than 10 grams. For workouts lasting an hour or longer, keep carbs under 25 grams. A couple of great options include one cup of Greek yogurt or a slice of toast with eggs. (Here are more pre- and post-workout snack ideas.)

Tip #5 for How to Lose 5 Pounds: Make Sleep a Prio

Regularly skimping on shut-eye does more than turn you into a Grade-A grouch; it seriously messes with your hormones by causing levels of ghrelin (your “hunger hormone”) to spike, and levels of leptin (your “satiety hormone”) to dip, which can make losing those last 5 pounds next to impossible.

“People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to crave fat and sweets, have a slower metabolism and increased insulin resistance, and to eat more calories because they’re spending more time awake,” says Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition, food director of Guild Magazine, and media rep for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For example, people who slept only four hours per night for five nights ate 300 calories more per day than participants who slept nine hours a night during the same time period, according to a small study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. What’s worse, the bulk of those added calories came from sources of saturated fat. (Discover how to eat for better zzzs.)

Do this: Aim to nab seven to nine hours of sleep per night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. To make drifting off easier, create a relaxing bedtime ritual that excludes email and electronics. Following a nightly routine will help send the message to your brain that it’s time for your body to power down.

But Is it Really Worth it to Figure Out How to Lose 5 Pounds?

If you’ve tried everything on this list of tips for how to lose 5 pounds and you still can’t knock off those last few LBs, consider whether you’re chasing after an unrealistic number. At the end of the day, the really important numbers to pay attention to are your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. So long as those are at healthy levels, there’s no reason to stress over another 5 pounds, especially if you’re eating healthy, Gans says. Not to mention, if you’ve added strength training to your exercise routine, all that newly added muscle may cause your weight to stay the same—or even go up. (Related: Why Losing Weight Won’t Magically Make You Happy)

And if your solution for how to lose 5 pounds means cutting out entire food groups and obsessively tracking every calorie, it may be time to draw the line. “After all, life is too short not to enjoy a French fry,” Gans adds.

  • By Lauren Bedosky

I’m working with a client on one of those advanced transformations…you know, the one where the client takes it right down to the full-on 6-pack and figure model physique.

So we’ve been working on our plan to lose that last 5 pounds of fat in the last 10 days of the transformation.

Here are the guidelines we’ve come up with.

NOTE: He’s only going to follow these guidelines for 10-14 days. So if you choose to use this plan, don’t follow it for more than 2 weeks. That’s the maximum time for this advanced plan. After that, ease up on the restrictions a bit – and enjoy your advanced fat loss physique you’ve attained.

Advanced Nutrition Tips

1) Start your day immediately with 2 cups of water, 1.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, and 20g of lean protein. Then either do your workout, or have your regular breakfast.

2) Eat an extra 1 cup of broccoli at lunch and dinner – in addition to your planned meals.

3) Eat only protein, almonds, and raw vegetables between meals.

4) Eliminate whole-grain products for the 10-day period. Get all of your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, dairy, and your pre- and post-workout drinks.

5) Don’t go to bed full. Eat only a small protein snack in the evening to keep hunger at bay and to provide the body with protein before sleep.

6) Drink 6 cups of green tea per day (3 in AM, 3 after lunch)

Advanced Exercise Tips

1) Add 10 seconds to each interval in your workouts

2) Add in some bodyweight circuits (10-20 minutes per day) done in the morning or evening (if you do your regular workout in the AM, do your bodyweight circuits after dinner; otherwise, do the bw circuits first thing in the AM, and then do your regular workout at lunch or later in the afternoon or evening)

3) Add one set to the first superset you do in each workout.

Use these strict tips for no more than 2 weeks before returning to normal exercise guidelines and carbohydrate intake.

“At the end of week one, I lost 3.5 pounds and I was feeling great. Yesterday was the end of week two and I lost 3 more pounds! Six and a half pounds in two weeks and I feel outstanding. Not the least bit tired or weak. I’ve never been so enthusiastic about each workout. I didn’t bother to take a ‘before’ photo, but I may still do that. I would have touched base with you sooner, but with work, school, training, etc., I’m always pressed for time. And of course, that’s what makes Turbulence Training such a convenient program.”

Chuck Fager

Train hard but safe,

CB

More TT feedback…

“As a professional firefighter, personal fitness is very important to me. I found the Turbulence Training program to be an excellent way to keep my workouts fresh and high paced while achieving my desired results. I would recommend this program to anyone who is serious about losing weight and reaching their fitness goals.”

Chris Gaylor

For maximum fat loss:

If you have dumbbells and free weights at home, go here.

No weights? No problem. Go here.

The 5 Steps Needed To Drop 5 Pounds This Week

Nothing beats hard work and perseverance when you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, but there are also a few sustainable ways that you can use to drop those first few pounds and keep them off. These 5 steps will have you 5 pounds slimmer by next week.

1. Work out first thing in the morning. What do 90% of people who exercise consistently have in common? They exercise in the morning. Working out in the morning more or less guarantees that you’ll work out every day, and the benefits carry over throughout your day. For one, exercise in the morning increases your energy levels, which makes you more productive throughout the day and more focused on your work. Also, getting in an early morning workout helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Working out helps to increase your metabolic rate, burning calories for long after you’ve stopped exercising.

A study done at Appalachian State University found that people who had completed a 45-minute exercise routine burned 17% more calories in the 14 hours following exercise than those that didn’t work out. Also, when you exercise, you tend to be more mindful of your food choices throughout the day. You want to carry your new good habits over into the rest of the day, and remember that exercising is NOT a free pass to eat what you like throughout the day. If you’re looking to reduce, you need to watch your food as well. And speaking of food…

2. Get Bitter about Food. Bitter greens like kale, arugula, mustard greens, collards and escarole are summer diet staples that aid in digestion and de-bloating. Bitter foods are also known to stimulate and support better digestion, as recently outlined in a study by the European Herbal and traditional Medicine Practitioners Association. These dark greens are low calorie (about 36 calories in a cup for greens), and are packed with vitamins and fiber that your body needs to stay lean. For instance, kale is high in iron (per calorie, it has more than beef!), vitamins A, C and K, is great for your liver and for lowering your cholesterol levels. Most bitter greens are also great anti-inflammatories, which can help fight bloating and get you down to your fighting weight.

3. Spice Up, Salt Down. High-salt diets lead to water retention. Cut the salt, and you cut the bloat. But it takes more than just leaving the salt shaker on the table. A study reported on by the American Heart Association found that 75% of American’s salt intake comes from the food itself! While you need a little salt in your diet, for most people, everything they need will already come from the food that they eat, and most people will get too much. Cut out processed foods as much as possible and you will drastically reduce your excess sodium. Food items like salad dressings and sauces are some of the worst culprits. For example, per tablespoon, ketchup has 20 calories and a whopping 6% of your daily salt intake. A few squirts of ketchup and you’re already at 20% of your daily value, and that’s not even including what the ketchup is on! Instead of “secret sauces” that will cause bloating and completely mask the flavor of what you’re eating, try spices, especially hot ones. Conversely, spices enhance the flavor of what you’re heating, and hot spices that contain capsaicin increase thermogenesis in your body. The latter can help burn more calories after your meal. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, bell pepper or jalapeno into two of your daily meals and increase your metabolism.

4. Eat the Whole Thing. Whole foods, that is! You want to give your body the cleanest fuel possible so it can run at maximum efficiency. When you want to shed all you can, you want to avoid anything processed (for salt-related reasons above.) Raw vegetables, fruits, whole grains and proteins like cold water fish, beans, and eggs should be your staple diet if you’re working on trimming down. You’ll also want to limit your fat intake to “healthy fats” only. This includes fats from olive oil, nuts and avocados. These “good”, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually be beneficial to your heart and help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. In fact, research done at Harvard found that while bad fats like saturated and trans fats increased risk factors for certain diseases, total amount of “good” fats did not. In fact, eating “good” fat can help you burn fat. In another Harvard study, researchers found that participants who ate 20% of their calories from “good” fats dropped 5 pounds more after 18 months than the participants who went on low fat diets.

5. Deep breaths. It may sound trite, but breathing deeply not only helps you calm down, but it can help your weight loss efforts as well. Deep, calming breaths can actually “trick” your body into de-stressing. While most people take breaths with their chest, you should be taking long, deep breaths with your abdomen. Taking a moment to focus and breathe deep into your abdomen can do wonders for your stress level.

So what does stress have to do with weight loss? Stress increases your levels of cortisol, a hormone in your body that can increase your appetite and lead you to eat more. This response used to make sense in “fight or flight” situations, where we need that energy to defend ourselves. Now, a more common situation is to come home after a long day at work and chow down. Elevated cortisol levels also lower your cognitive functions such as learning and memory, decrease your immune function and bone density, and increase your blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Need a reminder to breathe? Set an alarm for every hour on your mobile phone, and take a few long, deep breaths every time it pings. It’ll help your weight and your sanity.

5 Ways to Lose 5-10 Pounds This Week + 3 Tips To Lose 1-3 Pounds Every Week After (and a 3-Step Plan For Rapid Weight Loss No Matter What Your Timeline Is)

This post will cover some smart and not-so-smart ways to lose weight fast.

If you search the internet for rapid weight loss tips and ideas, you’ll find all kinds of crazy things. From sniffing fruit to surrounding yourself with the color blue to drinking water with flower petals in it. I really hope that people aren’t duped into thinking this stuff works.

So, what really works? Hard work. That’s what!

Listen.

Losing 5-10 pounds in a week is not going to happen without a ton of hard work. There’s just no easy way to accomplish those kinds of results. It takes a huge commitment, extreme mind-blowing effort, and a comprehensive strategy that covers a few key areas – not to mention some water loss.

Can it be done? Sure.

Is it smart? Not really.

Will it work? Maybe.

So, here are five ways that may help you lose 5-10 pounds in just a week…

Rapid Weight Loss Option #1: Eat at your maintenance level and burn an extra 2,500-5000 calories per day through exercise (e.g. vigorous exercise for 3-6+ hours/day). So, if you run a marathon every day (or do the equivalent with some other form of exercise), you should be all set.

Yeah…that’s not happening. How about option #2?

Rapid Weight Loss Option #2: Exercise vigorously for only 2-3+ hours per day AND eat at half of your maintenance level (i.e. starving yourself). Hmm. I don’t think that’s a good combination. Okay…let’s see option #3…

Rapid Weight Loss Option #3: Dehydrate yourself drastically until the 5-10 pounds comes off. Unfortunately, this only works until you re-hydrate. Bummer.

Rapid Weight Loss Option #4: Get sick and stop eating for 3-7+ days. It’s not very pleasant, but it works like a charm.

Rapid Weight Loss Option #5: Self-amputation. This is not recommended for those interested in health and fitness (see the medical disclaimer, for more information).

All kidding aside, it’s true that sometimes, rapid weight loss happens. We all know someone (or have heard about them online or on TV) who has lost 5-10+ pounds in a week or 20-50 pounds in a month. Or, some other ridiculous figure. But that doesn’t mean this kind of weight loss is healthy or sustainable, or that we’re talking about fat loss, for that matter.

Usually, rapid weight loss happens due to a combination of two or three factors…

  1. Large increase in physical activity over previous levels (i.e. burning a lot of calories through exercise), AND/OR
  2. Large decrease in calories consumed (i.e. a calorie deficit created through calorie counting, portion control, or elimination of certain foods, etc.), AND
  3. Large water loss (i.e. losing “water weight”)

Now, here are some other things that are true about rapid weight loss:

  • Rapid weight loss almost never lasts.
  • Rapid weight loss isn’t healthy, natural, or easily sustainable.
  • Rapid weight loss almost always results in rebound, weight gain, and ending up in worse shape than when you started.

Those facts are well-supported by the research.

In other words, it’s usually a really bad idea.

So, what’s a better option?

3 Healthy, Doable Ways to Lose 1-3 Pounds Per Week

Well, if you’re a smaller person, a good general goal to shoot for is one pound of weight loss per week (and preferably that’s all fat loss – and not muscle or water weight). If you’re an average sized person, 1.5 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week is a good goal to strive for. And if you’re on the larger/heavier side, you may be able to push it to 2-3 pounds per week – maybe more if you’re morbidly obese. Those rates of weight loss are considered ambitious, doable, and healthy.

And over the course of a year, you can lose 50-150 or more pounds with that rate of progress, which is more than enough for most people’s needs.

So, let’s say you want to lose an average of two pounds per week in a healthy, natural, and sustainable manner. To do this, you’ll need to either consume 7000 less calories total per week or burn 7000 extra calories per week through exercise – or some combination of those two strategies.

So, what would that look like? Here are three options…

Healthy Weight Loss Option #1: Reduce your calorie intake by 1000 calories per day (i.e. below your baseline/maintenance level) – The upside is that you will lose the weight. The downside is that you’ll be very hungry.

Note: if this results in a starvation-level diet for you (i.e. greater than a 30% calorie deficit), this is not a healthy option for you.

Healthy Weight Loss Option #2: Increase your physical activity to burn at least an extra 1000 calories per day – It can certainly be done, and assuming you don’t compensate for the extra activity by eating more, it’ll work. So, if you love exercising and would like to train hard almost daily, this may be a good option for you. The downside is that it’ll require a lot of hard work and time. We’re talking a minimum of 1-2 hours of exercise per day. If that sounds like it’s up your alley and you don’t want to change your diet, go for it.

BEST CHOICE: Healthy Weight Loss Option #3: Reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day (i.e. below your baseline/maintenance level) AND increase your physical activity to burn at least 500 extra calories per day – Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? For most people, this is the best option. It’s a challenging, but very doable goal and it doesn’t require an extreme diet or exercise program. Eliminating a daily snack, dessert, and/or calorie-laden beverages (e.g. beer, juice, soda) can often do the trick. And 500 calories can usually be burned in 30-60 minutes of exercise, depending on how hard you’re working.

So, option #3 is a challenging, but very doable choice. And it would be my recommendation for those interested in healthy, natural, and sustainable fat loss (i.e. a combination of calorie restriction and vigorous exercise).

3-Step Plan For Rapid Weight Loss

Okay, but seriously, John. I want to lose 5-10 pounds this week. What should I do?

Well, after you understand what’s explained above (and have adjusted your expectations), here’s a surefire plan for rapid weight loss.

1) Maintain an aggressive, but not starvation-level, calorie deficit (e.g. no more than 30% below your baseline/maintenance level of calories).

So, for example, if you need 3,000 calories a day to maintain your weight. Eat around 2,100 calories per day. Or, if you need 2000 calories per day, eat around 1400 calories. The best way to accomplish this is to closely track your calorie intake.

If you’re not interested or willing to do that, then you can change some eating habits, which will probably accomplish the same effect – though will less accuracy.

If you go this route, here’s what I’d recommend:

  • minimize carbohydrate intake (e.g. eating only vegetables and complex starchy carbs)
  • restrict your starchy carb intake to immediately following exercise
  • eliminate all processed foods and “junk” foods
  • eat more protein, vegetables, and whole foods
  • eliminate snacks, condiments, and liquid calories (i.e. don’t drink any calories)
  • drink more water and cut your salt/sodium intake to the minimum healthy levels

2) Begin a vigorous exercise program that focuses on three key areas.

  1. Full body strength training (at least 3 sessions per week)
  2. High intensity interval training (at least 3 sessions per week)
  3. Moderate intensity cardio training (at least 3 sessions per week)

Here’s an example of a weekly workout schedule:

Monday – 45-90 minute full body strength training session + low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes

Tuesday – 15-30 minutes high intensity interval training + low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes (optional – separate session)

Wednesday – 45-90 minute full body strength training, low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes

Thursday – 15-30 minutes high intensity interval training, low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes (optional – separate session)

Friday – 45-90 minute full body strength training, low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes

Saturday – 15-30 minutes high intensity interval training, low to moderate intensity cardio for 30-60 minutes (optional – separate session)

Sunday – low intensity activity (e.g. walking) or rest

On top of that, you should also do more non-exercise physical activity whenever possible (e.g. walking, taking the stairs, cycling to work, etc.).

Suffice to say, to lose 5-10 pounds in a week, you will need to become very active.

Note: Keep in mind that an increase in physical activity usually increases hunger. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, be aware of this and don’t compensate by eating more.

3) Do an 18 to 24-hour fast on day 7.

You can skip breakfast and lunch. Or, lunch and dinner. Or, go a whole day without eating. And make sure you don’t eat the whole house when it’s over. Ideally, you’ll have a light meal ready-and-waiting to “break” the fast (e.g. a salad). And then get back to your normal calorie restricted diet.

And on that note, I’d also strongly recommend having a plan to transition into a more normal routine for when this week is over. Most people can’t make such drastic life changes and stick with them for the long term. So, come up with a more realistic plan for the long haul and make sure you start it on Day 8 – no breaks or “off days.”

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that rapid weight loss is risky, but it can be done. Do I recommend it? Absolutely not! In my experience, it usually creates more problems than it solves, and the people who try it often end up in worse shape than when they started.

In my opinion, you’d be much better off following a long-term approach to naturally and sustainably lose 1-3 pounds of bodyfat per week. If that interests you, I’d highly recommend this book: The Body Fat Solution. And after that, follow it up with this excellent book: Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.

Those are two of the best resources for healthy, permanent fat loss and body transformation. I’ve seen both of those programs work for thousands of people from all walks of life. So, if you’ve been struggling with weight loss for awhile, getting yourself a copy of those books would be money well-spent. They are in a class of their own, and I highly recommend them!

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Is it bad to lose 5lbs or more a week?

It seems like younger people lose faster than older people, but that’s because younger people have more lean muscle. As we age, if we don’t strength train, that decreases our body’s ability to burn fat. So, if an older person doesn’t strength train, they will find it takes longer to lose.
However, when it comes to weight loss, what matters most is what you eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy.
There is no fast way to take off the weight without damaging our health. As other people have already noted, the losses the contestants on the Biggest Loser have are not typical. In fact, over 50% of those people gained the weight back.
In short, the faster you take off the weight, the faster it will pack back on. Weight loss is a slow steady process that takes time.
Can a person take off 5 pounds per week ? They could if they were willing to workout 4-6 hours a day. Some how I don’t think the OP wants to spend 4-6 hours a day in the gym. It’s not practical and it’s not sustainable.
My advice to the OP is to be patient with themselves and their body. They didn’t gain the weight overnight, it’s not coming off overnight. Take the weight off slowly and it stays off.
Seeing a large loss initially is not unusual. It’s also not a fat loss. it’s a water weight loss. In order to lose 5 pounds of fat, a person needs to either burn 17,500 calories via either exercise or a decrease in caloric intake.
one pound of fat = 3,500 calories. So, in theory in order to lose one pound of fat in a week, a person would need to decrease their caloric intake by 500 calories each day. Then in seven days, that would give them a one pound loss.
Can someone who’s morbidly obese lose more than 2 ? Sure, it can happen. However, as that person loses weight and the closer they get to a normal weight, that loss will slow down.
losing 1-2 pounds per week would be considered a safe weekly weight loss for someone with a lot to lose. They can lose more, but honestly, people who’ve taken the weight off quickly were doomed to have that weight pack back on.
Many of us can attest to this fact. I sure can. How many times did I starve myself when I was young only to have the weight pack back on when I went back to my old eating habits ?
If the OP really wants to take the weight off and keep it off, they must be mindful of what they eat.

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Looking at the bow of his side, the weak man shook his head and smiled Without so many sirs, Sir, top ways to lose stomach fat I am not a nobleman, you dont have to be with me So respectful I will take you to the hotel The weak man said that he went straight to the high level. Odyssey, my Gaussian heraldic family Guards, this round of defense, relocation is like half a year ago, just replace it according to the real number, one does not add up. Since you want to say that is better, slimming whitening capsule please tell us what you have encountered in the three days of the jungle. Listening to Elvis, Bower nodded and replied The honorable Elvis High Priest, since everything I am prepared to be versatile vicky vegetarian diet plan safe, so I will leave without delay. The whole Bulham Star is naturally formed, and the magnetic structure of the galaxy that is so close to the peak has begun to best diet to lose 5 pounds in a week change. this time you will see how you can do it The shortshoulder mans voice was low, but he could not escape Bowers ear It was Tia who seemed to hear something. the bow sighed lida diet pills original at the bottom of his heart Whispered, Mary, you are right I am really tired on these three days It will be good to have a good nights rest. the honorable King of Saniro, heard Sani As a descendant of such a wise best diet to lose 5 pounds in a week person, there is a deep hidden meaning between words and behaviors. Bowram, although able to infer that the heraldics lost the extraterrestrial territory, would cause great trouble relacore extra to the general public in the Terretagta Star Field However. I have planned to meet with the head of the great Kambra Kingdom, Cambra Bino, and ask him to promise me and Sa Mary entered into a marriage contract. Zhuonus, who thought that he had to argue with Bower, couldnt speak for a while, and then he bowed his knees after a few moments of time He said with sincerity You are belly fight too selfsufficient if you are your wise bow. cTherefore, Mr Taiyade intends to select hundreds of the most potential people from the 180,000 sergeants within one year, and go deep into the semiinsect star with him and practice the actual command strategy in actual combat. I know that in the past few months, she said that the class is tense, we can only date once a week, so precious appointments I lost my appointment today she will be very disappointed. Leopold, and The best diet to lose 5 pounds in a week gods of the gods, the great priest Elvis, eagerly called the distinguished coat of arms, went to the masters camp.

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