BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

How to Lose 2 Pounds A Week

Drastic weight loss can be damaging, harmful, and unsuccessful in the long-run. Here's how to safely lose weight once and for all.


You find yourself researching "How to lose 2 pounds a week" and then jump to wondering, "How many calories to lose 2 pounds a week?" then, "What about how many calories to lose a pound a week?" But wait, "How many calories are in a pound?"

With so much health-related information out there, it can be difficult to find the solution you are searching for. Fortunately, there are answers to your questions and simple steps to achieve healthy weight loss!

What exactly entails "healthy" weight loss?

Isn't all weight loss success valued? Although putting in the hard work and dropping pounds is respected and admirable, drastic weight loss can be damaging, harmful, and unsuccessful in the long-run.

While individuals often get discouraged when the pounds do not shed off quickly, losing more than two pounds per week is generally not advised unless recommended and supervised under the care of a health professional.

Healthy weight loss occurs best when dropping weight slowly, steadily, and sustainably. So, congratulations on taking the first step and reading how to lose 2 pounds a week in a safe manner!

How to Lose 2 Pounds a Week... Safely

The basic premise of weight loss involves a balancing act of calories: More calories in leads to weight gain while more calories out causes weight loss. 

With a pound of fat equaling approximately 3,500 calories, it is estimated you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound per week. So circling back to the question "How many calories to lose 2 pounds a week?" you would then need to double calorie burn or restrict 7,000 calories.

Although that may seem like a large number to tackle and defeat, climbing that 7,000 calorie mountain can be broken down into smaller hills. Essentially, increasing physical activity and keeping the diet in check will create the most successful weight loss for the long-term.

Burn Calories with Exercise

Based on the idea of a 7,000 calorie deficit to lose 2 pounds a week, you can expedite quicker and healthier weight loss with the help of regular physical activity, including with aerobic exercise, resistance training, and overall daily movement:

• Aerobic Exercise:

Aerobic exercise, or cardio, burns sufficient calories and is advocated to result to quicker weight loss.

Individuals should partake in at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise five times per week, predominantly by finding what workout routine works best for you. Exercising should be fun and if running seems daunting and more like a chore, do not force it. Look for other non-running cardio options including biking, hiking, swimming, and dancing.

Working out with a partner or partaking in group classes can likewise keep you more accountable while gaining new motivation throughout the process.

• Resistance Training:

While cardio accelerates weight loss by increasing calorie burn initially, lifting weights and strength training leads to successful weight loss in the long-term. Working muscles and stimulating their growth has further benefits cardio alone cannot provide, particularly by increasing and preserving muscle mass.

An increased muscle mass allows the body to burn calories even at rest and promotes further weight loss. Weight training also improves bone density, thus reducing the opportunity for bone loss and osteoporosis.

So include weight and strength training at least two or three times a week and focus on the major muscle groups, including the back, chest, arms, and legs.

• Overall Daily Movement:

And if exercising is a whole new beast, start small. Even small movements can add up to calories burned and large results!

Cook Up True Weight Loss in the Kitchen

Despite all of the hard work put into daily workouts, weight can remain the same (or even increase) if the diet does not match. And as the say, "Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle depends on 80 percent diet and 20 percent physical activity."

General tips to help control calories and optimize nutritional value include:

• Balance the Diet and Meal Plate:

A well-balanced diet contains whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and healthy fat sources. Ideally, a meal plate should feature half veggies and fruits, a quarter of lean protein, and a quarter of whole grains or other complex carb.

• Ensure Adequate Fiber:

Fiber not only promotes bowel regularity, but can sustain satiety and promote healthier body mass indexes (BMIs). Men should consume 38 grams of daily and women 25 grams, which can be achieved by consuming whole grains, fruits and veggies, beans and legumes, and other plant-based food sources.

• Moderate Portions and Servings:

Sticking to servings and portions helps to naturally keep macronutrients and calories in check, especially when consuming three nutrient-composed meals and one to two nutritious snacks. 

Other tips for portion control and real weight loss include drinking water before and with meals, splitting restaurant portions, and practicing mindful eating techniques.

• Fuel for Exercise:

Oftentimes, people overestimate how many calories are burned at the gym and in turn, will overestimate calorie consumption. However, it is important to fuel the body for workouts and nourish it post-exercise, especially after weight training. Supply the body with healthy carbs and protein to stimulate and maximize muscle growth.

• Increase Water Intake:

Although water often lacks the ability to provide energy and nutrients, its consumption is crucial in healthy weight loss. Not only does water keep the body hydrated, it helps the nutrients obtained from foods to efficiently perform their roles in the body. Ditching the soft drinks and other sugary beverages will also save hundreds of calories each day and make weight loss a little more effortless and mindless.

• Consider a Meal Delivery Service:

A weight loss meal delivery service conveniently delivers nutritious and delicious right to doorsteps. The provision of healthy food delivery lowers helps keep weight loss goals in check!

Other Lifestyle Factors to Consider

In addition to diet and exercise, other lifestyle habits including sleep and stress management also play a part in sustainable weight loss and maintenance.

But ultimately, slow and steady wins the race! Taking extreme measures to losing weight quickly can be detrimental to health and unsuccessful in the long run. Embracing a healthy lifestyle not only encourages weight loss, but lowers the risk of chronic diseases and optimizes overall health and wellness!

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on March 04, 2016. Updated on March 11, 2019.


Follow @bistroMD

Start Your Diet Today!

Reality Check - Your Free Diet Analysis

Simply answer a few questions so we can figure out your weight loss goals and provide solutions for a lighter, healthier you. Our weight loss meal plans are designed to help real people achieve real and lasting success.

as seen on...   

join our free newsletter

Get free support to help you lose weight and be healthy with our Weekly Dish on Health.

stay connected