How Much Weight Can You Lose in 7 Days?

You check the calendar, and oh no! That party you had meaning to start getting in shape for is only one week away. Your mind instantly goes to ads promising the loss of 10 pounds in one week, and you think, “Wrestlers do it. Supermodels do it. I crammed for finals in college, I can cram for this.” You google starvation diets, chemical diets, the coffee/chardonnay diet, and all promise excellent results.

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But here’s the skinny: the only safe way to lose 10 pounds in one week is to have a baby. And, more truth? For most people, even if they disregard their wellbeing, it is impossible to lose that much weight in that short a period of time. Worse? Even if you can do it, seesaw, extreme dieting ultimately leads to weight gain, often beyond your starting point.

If you are looking for long term weight loss and improvement of your health, 1 – 2 pounds per week is a reasonable, sustainable goal. In general, if you eat 500 fewer calories a day, you can lose 1 pound in 7 days (3500 calories = about 1 pound.) If you really need to shed some L-Bs fast, you can give it the old college try, without starving, and aim for four pounds in one week. Really cut calories, exercise and drink lots of water. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

Each person is different. The amount you can lose and your ease in doing so, depends on your starting point, your metabolism and your weight loss history. Also, if you are my husband, you can probably just say you want to lose some weight and it will happen magically, with seemingly no effort at all.

If you truly have a one week goal to look and feel better, here is my advice:

1. no added sugar
2. no alcohol
3. no carbs
4. cut down on caffeine to one cup a day
5. increase water and veggies
6. exercise 30 min each day
7. get 8 hours of sleep a night

You will feel better, be less bloated, look younger and will be less jiggly. And, by not starving yourself for a week, you won’t get lightheaded and fall down on the dance floor after one glass of champagne.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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