How much weight can you lose in 2 weeks?
There are a number of factors that determine how much weight you lose in a given period of time, but out of all of them, what you eat is the most important. Your diet can be the difference between success and failure.
All foods have calories, which are units of energy, but the number of calories in different foods varies. Foods that contain a lot of water, such as fruits and vegetables, tend to be low in calories; this is because water contains 0 calories. Foods that have a lot of fat, such as nuts and seeds, tend to be high in calories; this is because fat contains 9 calories per gram.
In order to lose weight, you need to stay in a calorie deficit. This means consuming fewer calories than you expend. Doing so will force your body to use its fat stores as a source of energy.
(It is important to note that weight loss is not a straightforward linear process and has ups and downs. You might lose 2 pounds in one week and then only half a pound the next.)
If you were to stay in a 500 – 1,000 calorie deficit everyday for 2 weeks, you would lose weight. A healthy amount of weight to lose is 1 – 2 pounds a week, so in a 2 week period, this equates to 2 – 4 pounds (1 – 2 kg) on average.
However everybody is different and the number of calories that you burn depends on:
- Your age – as people get older they begin to lose muscle mass and their metabolism slows down. This means they burn fewer calories throughout the day.
- Your gender – in general, men tend to be more muscular than women and so burn more calories throughout the day.
- How active you are – the more active you are, the more calories you burn. A person who exercises strenuously 6 days a week will burn far more calories than someone who does no exercise at all.
Your current weight and height also determine how many calories you need to eat. You can use the calculator below to estimate how many calories you should be consuming to start losing weight:
This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.
For example, a 40 year old lady who weighs 170 pounds, is 5 foot tall and exercises 4 times a week will need to consume roughly 2100 calories to maintain her weight, 1700 calories to lose weight and 1300 calories to lose weight fast.
(It is recommended that you do not consume less than 1000 – 1200 calories per day without medical assistance. If you wish to do so, you should always speak to a qualified medical professional.)
In the example above, if the lady were to limit herself to 1300 calories per day, over 2 weeks she would create a large calorie deficit and would lose quite a lot of weight.
It is important to keep in mind that effective weight management requires long term lifestyle changes. You may lose some weight in 2 weeks, but in order to keep that weight off you should regularly be eating a well balanced nutritious diet and getting plenty of exercise. Here are some tips to help you lose as much weight as possible in a 2 week period:
Drink only water, tea and coffee
You may not realise it but sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit juices might be negatively impacting the amount of weight you lose. For example a can of cola contains roughly 150 calories and 40 g of sugar; a cup of orange juice contains 111 calories and 20 g of sugar.
If you have a glass of orange juice with breakfast and a can of cola with lunch everyday, over a 2 week period that is 3,600 calories you are consuming. The high sugar content also causes havoc on your insulin levels which could leave you feeling hungry, making you overeat.
Plain water has 0 calories and no sugar, so making a simple change and switching what you drink could help you lose 1 pound in 2 weeks, with very little effort. Studies have shown that drinking water before a meal helps people eat less, boosts their metabolism and aids with weight loss.
Tea and coffee both contain almost no calories so they are fine to drink. In fact, studies have shown that caffeine boosts your metabolism.
Increase your protein and fiber intake
Both of these help you feel full faster, which means you are less likely to overeat. A number of studies have been carried out to see how they impact weight loss.
This study found that eating a protein rich breakfast helped control appetite and reduced overall calorie intake throughout the day. Another study found that increasing protein intake to 30% of total calories led to 441 fewer calories being consumed per day – that is a significant amount.
Increasing protein intake has also been shown to naturally help boost metabolism, burning up to 100 extra calories per day.
Fiber has a similar effect on satiety. Studies have shown that making a simple change and increasing fiber intake can help you lose weight (so long as you remain in a calorie deficit of course). This is much easier to follow than more complex weight loss plans.
There are plenty of foods that are rich in protein and fiber. In general, you should increase your intake of leafy and cruciferous vegetables, fish, lean meat, nuts & seeds, whilst eliminating as much junk food (like pizza) as possible.
The harder you exercise, the more calories you burn. If you do not exercise at all at the moment, start by having a 30 minute walk at least 4 times a week. If you do exercise, try increase the intensity at which you exercise, as much as you can, without overdoing it.
A particularly effective method of exercise is high intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves short bursts of intense activity followed by a longer slower recovery period. For example you could cycle for 30 seconds as fast as you can and then cycle at a normal pace for a minute; do this over a 15 – 20 minute period.
This study found that overweight women in a HIIT group lost much more body fat than overweight women in a regular cardio group.
Exercise helps increase the number of calories that you burn but it is important not to over train as that in itself has negative consequences.
Depending on your current weight and body type, you can expect to healthily lose 2 – 4 pounds over a 2 week period. Weight loss and weight management are a lengthy journey and require certain lifestyle changes in order for results to remain.