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How To Lose 2 Pounds Per Week Safely (And Keep It Off)

By Holly / March 16, 2016

Did you know that losing more than 2 pounds a week puts you at risk?

Studies show that people who lose more than 2 pounds in a week through dieting are more prone to health hazards compared to others who follow a sustainable weight loss program (and who wouldn’t be happy with losing 2 pounds per week anyway? What’s the hurry right?).

We believe that you’re better off getting rid of 2 pounds per week for 8 weeks and sustaining it, than starving yourself on a crash diet for three weeks and piling it all back on a few weeks later.

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How To Lose 2 Pounds Per Week

Side effects

Side effects such as low levels of basal metabolism rate (BMR) and loss of muscle content are just among the culprits that lead to more problematic situations down the track. Nose diving levels of BMR affects blood circulation, hampers normal breathing and cell growth, and other bodily functions. Excessive muscle loss may also lead to problems losing weight later on. Liver damage, lack of fluid balance and formation of gallstones may not even be far behind.

Weight loss programs are incredibly prevalent and you can read a lot from printed materials or by browsing the Internet (Pinterest is a great place to start!). But beware; Weight loss programs that promise results after a couple of weeks can spell your early demise, if you take the wrong advice. What can help you overcome your weight problem is a slow, sure and healthy program you can find below. Let’s take a look at how you can lose the weight and keep it off for good.

How to Get Rid of 2 Pounds Per Week in 10 Steps

(and keep it off)

1. Consume meals with fruits, vegetables and protein


A combination of these food groups keeps you away from calories, provides the body with essential nutrients and most of all—keeps you satisfied.

Fruits and veggies are great sources of fiber that keeps you full for a longer time. This means no snacks or in-between meals for you. 1 or 2 servings of fiber per meal is best but be sure to measure the fruits and stay on the ½ cup level to avoid more sugar intake. It is advisable to consume 2 cups of leafy ones and a cup of other vegetables at hand each meal.

Protein can also fill up your hunger for food while it helps in maintain your metabolism. Include fish, poultry and shellfish each meal. You can also opt for low-fat dairy or tofu but stay on the 3-4oz level when consuming these lean proteins.

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2. Eat a moderate quantity of whole grains


Whole grains rank only second to vegetables, protein and fruits when it comes to nutritional content. A moderate consumption balances you diet and likewise erases the thought of eating in excess.

You can derive whole grains from:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • whole wheat bread or whole wheat pasta
  • Farro

An ounce or half a cup daily can definitely aid you in your goal.

3. Eliminate processed food

Not all carbohydrates are bad

Processed foods contain more calories, sugars, fat and food additives that you can imagine. The combination of such may prevent you from losing weight because your taste buds will become so much attracted to the fancy flavors.

Processed foods can be found in:

  • Pastries
  • Sweets
  • Bread
  • Frozen prepared meals
  • Fast food menus

Start switching by preparing one meal or snacks at home. You can pack some and bring to the office with you.

4. Drink lots of water

water is good enough to drink if it’s safe.

Adequate water consumption makes way for a totally healthy body and an effective measure in losing weight. Water makes us full because it takes up more space within the stomach. It helps in the body’s hydration process as well. Hunger signals are experienced once in a while but when the body is fully hydrated, it makes the person think of just being thirsty.

Go for a minimum 64 oz. of clear water intake daily. Consuming decaffeinated beverages, no-calorie or flavored water, or taking in unsweetened decaf tea is best for your goal.

5. Take your time when eating meals

Happy family having roast chicken dinner at table

We understand that some people eat fast because of time constraints at work but that does not help others who are aiming to shave off extra pounds. It is more advisable to eat slower than the normal pace to keep eating larger portions. Smaller portions equate to lesser calorie intake and that is a good way to prevent you from bloating.

Health experts recommend using 20 – 30 minutes when eating meals. This allows for sending satisfied signals to the brain. Eating faster than this time duration leans towards overeating.

What you can do is set a timer to make you aware of your eating speed. You can put your fork down after each bite and sip water in between. You can also indulge in talking a little bit; a trick that can definitely slow you down.

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6. Don’t forget to take a multivitamin

Multivitamins may not help you in your weight loss program but helps you meet your nutrient requirements. Cutting out amounts of calories from your normal food intake makes you lose some nutrients. Therefore, these extra nutrients can create the balance which is vital for your body.

Note: Set an appointment with your doctor before you begin taking any supplements as only professional medical advice guarantees your safe passage to your weight loss goal.

7. Know how to calculate your BMR

Woman measuring perfect shape of beautiful hips.

Read Our Recent Article > How to Lose 40 Pounds Quickly!

Your body’s basal metabolic rate tells you how many calories you burn in a day when performing basic functions like digesting food, blinking, or breathing. Knowledge in calculating your BMR helps you to determine your caloric needs.

Formula for women:

  • 655 + (4.3 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age) = BMR

Formula for men:

  • 66 + (6.3 x weight in lbs) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age) = bmr

After summing up your BMR, think about physical activities you have performed during the week. Multiply BMR by a physical activity value to get an estimate of the calories you burn each day.

Activity values:

Sedentary lifestyle – BMR x 1.2 = calories burned/day

  • Moderately active lifestyle – BMR x 1.3 to 1.4 = calories burned/day
  • Very active lifestyle – BMR x 1.4 to 1.5 = calories burned/day

As you can see, there are different ways to calculate for individuals with different lifestyles, age; as well as height and weight.

8. Calculate your calorie goal

Weight loss

How many calories to lose 2 pounds a week?

Each pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. When aiming to lose a pound in a week, you must consume 3,500 less than the calories you burn. Losing 2 pounds means consuming 7,000 less than what you have burned for the week. This means there has to be a deficit of 1,000 calories if you want to shed off 2 pounds of fat in a week’s time.

To calculate how many calories you have to consume if you want to lose 2 lbs each week, subtract 1,000 calories from those that you burn each day. Take note of your activity or lifestyle level.


2694 calories/day – 1,000 calories = calorie goal (1,694 calories needed to be consumed)

Smaller women will find it difficult to achieve a 1,000 calorie deficit. If calorie intake is less than 1,200 calories in a day after 1,000 calories was subtracted, a slower weight loss plan may be a better option. Eating below this level often leads to nutrient deficiencies of failure to continue with the weight loss program.

9. Eat until you are satisfied, then STOP

fridge with food

Paying close attention to your body while eating also helps in solving weight issues aside from counting calories. This may come as a surprise to many but this is a natural way of knowing that you have consumed enough. The body has built-in mechanisms that signal the brain to either stop or continue instructing other parts of the system in performing functions.

This may not a good measure for everyone as not all can avoid to eat more; most especially when if front of a lot of food choices. But to the disciplined ones, this is a better way of weight watching as this does not require them to do the math almost all the time.

10. Exercise

how to lose 2 pounds per week

Exercise is among the best measures that promote a healthy well-being. Aside from this benefit, it is also an advantage if the purpose is to lose weight. You can perform strength training or undergo cardiovascular exercise to keep up with the goal.


Strength training such as using weights or dumbbell exercises helps maintain muscle mass if you are into a caloric deficit weight loss program. This program requires burning fat and muscle reserves to enhance strength. A regular strength training routine helps lessen risk of losing lean muscle mass.

Perform 1 – 2 days strength training to enhance major muscle groups perform. Yoga, pilates and isometric exercises maintain and build lean muscles.

Cardiovascular exercises work best for overall health maintenance and aids in burning calories while it props up weight loss. Aside from these, it improves mood, decreases chances of developing heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure; improves blood circulation and energy.

Known cardiovascular routines such as brisk walking, jogging, dancing, as well as swimming and elliptical exercises are the measures to undertake. Five days of 30-minute cardio routines coupled with the right diet make up a perfect regimen.

Summing Up

Losing excess pounds is a good idea; but with the dangers lurking behind a way too radical weight loss programs, what you need is a more acceptable approach and it starts with learning how much calories your body needs to function every day while not missing out on nutrients your body actually requires.

And remember… If you could fast forward 8 weeks and be 16 pounds lighter, would you be happy with that result? Of course you would, and it’s most-likely going to have been a sustainable weight maintenance plan. Crash diets rarely help long-term. Set your sights on losing 2 pounds per week and see the benefits long-term.

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We believe that you're better off losing of 2 pounds per week for 8 weeks and sustaining it, than starving yourself on a crash diet for three weeks and piling it all back on a few weeks later. Here are the basics of losing weight sustainably.

About the author


Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!