How To Lose One Pound

by landocheese

If you just want to know the simple truth about how to lose one pound it is really quite simple. It's all about the math.

What is One Pound?

Before you can lose one pound you need to know what one pound is to your body. Sure, we all know that one pound is 16 ounces, but what does that really mean and how does that help you to lose weight? Let's make it simple, and the simplest way to think of one pound is in calories. One pound is simply 3,500 calories. There is nothing more mysterious to it than that.

How Do I Lose One Pound?

Now that you know one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to figure out how to remove 3,500 calories from your body.  There are three ways to do that. 

First, you can eat 3,500 calories less than you normally do over a period of time.

Second, with added exercise you can burn 3,500 calories more than you normally do over a period of time.

Third, you can combine eating less and exercising more to remove 3,500 more calories from your body than you do normally over a period of time.

How Can I Lose One Pound in a Week?

The safest way to lose weight is to do it slowly - no more than 1-2 pounds per week. Since that is true, let's look at how you can lose one pound in one week.

Since you know that you must eliminate 3,500 calories to lose one pound you simply divide by 7 to get 500 calories per day. Here are some examples of how you could achieve this target every day.

First, you could eat 500 calories less each day for a week. Are you having a big dinner or high calorie nighttime snack? Figure out how to cut 500 calories here every day and you will lose one pound by the end of the week.

Second, you could burn 500 calories each day with added exercise. Unless you are a runner or plan to do some other form of strenuous exercise, this will be hard for many people since it may take an hour or more depending on what form of exercise you do. Check out an online calorie calculator or use a heart rate monitor to determine your calories burned so you can hit your target.

Third, you can eliminate calories and exercise.  This is the best choice for most people since the exercise will give you the added benefit of increased muscle mass and neither target will be as difficult to hit. In this example you may cut 250 calories form your daily diet and add enough exercise to burn 250 calories per day. That is very achievable for almost any person.

What Not To Do

Notice there is nothing shocking here. Losing one pound per week is not as difficult as many would have you believe. It just takes a commitment from you and a little discipline to cut the 500 calories you need to cut every day.

Here are some things that you should not do. Don't go on fad diets that promise fast weight loss. You should not turn to liquid diets or skip meals. You should not exercise excessively and deprive yourself of proper nutrition. As we said before, you should not aim to lose several pounds per week. Slow and steady will win this race. You need to keep your weight loss slow to insure that you are making long term lifestyle changes and exercise choices that you can live with and continue for the long run. Quick weight loss almost always means future weight gain. Don't do it.

What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you know how to lose one pound, start today. Don't delay. Find a way through diet and exercise to get rid of 500 calories tomorrow.  Keep it one day at a time and you can do this and be successful.

It will most likely take you a little time to figure out the correct calorie intake for you to consistently lose one pound per week. Don't despair. If you don't lose for a couple weeks adjust your calories and keep going. If you are losing too quickly add back some calories and take it slow.

There is no reason why you can't lose weight. Just start with one pound.


Updated: 10/04/2011, landocheese
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ohcaroline on 08/29/2011

Great explanation on the basics of weight loss.

landocheese on 08/25/2011

Thanks for the comments. I really think the key is no drama and sticking with it, which is why a sensible and slow plan will win in the long run.

barbarab on 08/25/2011

I like this attitude and am trying to stick with it
good article!

sheilamarie on 08/25/2011

Very sensible advice. Anyone can do it! You have done a good job removing the drama from weight loss. If we stop thinking of "being on a diet" and just eat a little less and exercise more, we should be able to make these changes.
Now pass me another piece of toast, please.

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