How to lose one pound of fat in a week

Let’s assume that your diet is OK and you aren’t gaining or losing weight from week to week.  You eat like a normal person.  With minimal changes in your activity level and eating habits you can easily lose one pound of fat in a week.

One pound of fat is equal to about 3500 calories.  There is only one effective and safe way to lose fat and that is to consume less calories than you burn.  This is called a caloric deficit.  In order to have a weekly caloric deficit of 3500 calories you must increase your energy expenditure by 3500 calories per week.  Assume that you have a goal of hitting the gym three times per week.  In order to lose one pound of body fat you would have to burn 1166.6 calories per day at the gym.  This is possible, but very unlikely.  Workouts like Fitness 360 and Unit 2 Kickboxing will potentially burn 800 calories if you work hard all the way though class.  So if you do three of these then you should be around 2400 extra calories per week.

In order to reach your goal of 3500 calories per week you still will need to drop 1100 more calories.  There are several ways to do this.  One would be to add some other fitness actives (running, walking, swimming, etc.) or come to the gym one more time per week.  This is often unfeasible due to hectic schedules.  Another way of knocking out the final 1100 calories is consuming about 160 calories less per day.  For instance a TWIX candy bar has 284 calories, 12oz of cola has about 150 calories, and 1oz of potato chips has about 160 calories.  The point is 160 calories per day is a very small change that doesn’t require counting every calorie or a fad crash diet.

Losing one pound of fat in a week does not mean you will lose one pound of weight.  If you are working out three times per week you should be adding some lean muscle weight.  This is a very good thing since it is going to boost your metabolism, make you look more tone, and generally increase your health.  How you look and feel is more important that how much you weight.


Small changes to your diet and exercise can make big changes in your health and appearance.  The question you should ask yourself is losing one pound of fat worth one less snack per day and three hours per week?  Is seeing a new better and healthier you worth a small change and a minimal time commitment.

Posted in Diet, Fitness