Most people would be willing to shed a few pounds at the drop of a hat. Losing weight not only makes you look better, but it can also reduce your risk of contracting chronic health issues. These benefits make losing weight alluring, and it is also what sells gym memberships.
However, the weight loss process can be slow and meticulous, and most people do not have the patience to stick to a weight loss program in the long run. This is also why fad diets that promise significant weight loss in a short period are such a hit.
‘How to lose 1 pound a day’ is a common question personal trainers get asked by beginners. Before we dive into this subject, let’s get the record straight. Losing a pound each day is not entirely safe or sustainable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting your weight loss to 1-2 pounds weekly to keep your physique transformation journey gradual, steady, and sustainable. 
According to JAMA, you must burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound of body fat. As you can probably tell, burning 3,500 calories daily is not sustainable, safe, or even possible for most folks. Furthermore, a pound of body fat doesn’t necessarily translate to a pound of body weight. 
Losing a pound each week means a daily weight drop of 0.14 pounds, which is a far cry from the goal of shedding a pound each day. Also, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It might take up to a couple of weeks before a beginner starts seeing progress after switching to a weight loss program.
Prerequisites For Losing 1 Pound a Day
You must enter a calorie deficit to lose weight, meaning you must expend more calories than you consume in a day. You could achieve a calorie deficit by eating less or exercising more. A balance of both is ideal for losing a pound a day.
Remember, each individual is built differently and will react uniquely to different diets and training stimuli. There is no way to promise a pound of weight loss each day for everyone. For example, your results might differ from your training partner’s.
The tips mentioned in this article will help streamline your weight loss process and ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
In this article, we go over the 15 most effective tips to shed the spare tire. We have also included five training programs to ensure optimal weight loss. To ensure your safety, we won’t recommend radical steps. Contrarily, we will only recommend ways that will help achieve safe and sustainable weight loss in the long run.
Sticking to these steps will help you achieve your body weight goal and promote a healthy lifestyle, which will pay dividends in the long run.
15 Steps To Lose 1 Pound a Day
Sadly, there is no magic pill that will help shave off a pound from your belly each day. Losing a pound a day is an ambitious goal that demands commitment, effort, and patience. The tips mentioned below will help you make sustainable lifestyle changes and improve your overall health and well-being:
Cutting water is one of the fastest ways to shed body weight. It is common to lose a few pounds in a single day by dehydrating yourself.
Most fitness models start cutting water 2-3 days before a photoshoot. It helps them get diced and achieve crisp conditioning. Professional bodybuilders take this a step further and use diuretics to get in shape for competitions. However, hobbyist lifters and the general public should stay away from these methods, as they are unsafe and unsustainable.
Plus, once you resume your regular water intake, you will rapidly regain the weight you had previously lost.
Prolonged dehydration can cause headaches, delirium, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, and constipation. Left untreated, it can contribute to kidney stones, kidney failure, and heatstroke, all life-threatening illnesses. 
Stay Away From Fad Diets
Many people flock to fad diets, such as the boiled egg diet and the cabbage soup diet, that promise significant weight loss in a short period. However, these diets have little to no scientific evidence backing them. Most of these diets gain popularity rapidly but are equally quick to disappear.
Most fad diets require you to completely cut out some food sources, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Sticking to an imbalanced diet for an extended period can lead to chronic health conditions, which can worsen over time.
While choosing a diet, you must analyze if it follows a balanced approach to nutrition. Cutting out certain foods from your diet can result in developing a negative relationship with food, which can make matters worse. Plus, the weight lost through radical diets often bounces back as soon as you switch to a regular diet.
You must consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise or diet program, especially if you are dealing with any health issues.
After your body starts adjusting to the changes, you will experience rapid weight loss in the initial days in the form of water weight. However, you might hit a plateau if you don’t consistently change your diet and training program.
Furthermore, setting more realistic objectives can assist you in cultivating more patience and perseverance in the process. For example, you could change your weight loss goal from losing one pound daily to losing 4-5 pounds in a month. This new goal is achievable and safe.
Checking off a monthly weight loss goal can help keep you motivated. It will also act as a reinforcement that you are on the correct path.
Count Your Calories
Calorie tracking is a must if you want to lose weight. You cannot just eat whatever you like and hope for a weight loss miracle. Based on your current weight, you must set a daily calorie consumption goal to meet your target body weight.
You could determine a calorie goal for yourself by using a TDEE calculator. Alternatively, you could use a calorie-tracking app like MyFitnessPal to account for your average calorie intake.
Log your meals in the calorie-tracking app to find out your macronutrient (carbs, proteins, and fat) split. Most calorie-tracking apps have a robust food and recipe database, which makes tracking your meals easy and convenient. Some apps also come with a barcode scanner for tracking the calories of packaged foods.
Enter a Calorie Deficit
After determining your average daily calorie goal, you must enter a deficit to lose weight. Cutting 500 calories from your diet will result in a one-pound weekly weight drop. Similarly, cutting 1,000 calories will help you shed two pounds a week.
For example, if you consume 2,200 calories daily, you must shift to a 1,700 kcal diet to shed the spare tire. Cutting 1,000 calories from a 2,200-calorie diet is not recommended. If you want to shed two pounds weekly, you should cut 500 calories from your diet and burn the remaining 500 calories through exercise.
Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods
On a weight loss diet, you must get your calories from nutrient-dense whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat and low-fat dairy, fish and seafood, unprocessed lean meat, and skinless poultry, nuts, and legumes.
Avoid empty calories such as alcohol, sugar-laden beverages, and highly processed foods. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods will keep you feeling full and supply the necessary nutrients to your muscles throughout the day.
Fiber is often overlooked in a weight loss diet. Folks following a 2,000-calorie diet should have at least 28 grams of fiber daily, as it helps with macronutrient absorption and getting the most nutritional value out of your food. It also promotes gut health, reduces bloating and the risk of constipation and diarrhea. 
Follow a Personalized Diet Plan
No two people will react to the same diet and training program the same. Your training partner might lose more weight than you while eating the same food and doing the same exercises as you. How your body responds to training and diet depends on multiple factors, including genetics, age, gender, body weight.
You must follow a suitable macronutrient split according to your body type and goals to fast-track your progress. Plus, you must plan your meals in advance to ensure you don’t fall off your diet regimen. Dedicate a day of the week to prepping meals; it will reduce the possibility of you ordering junk food from your favorite fast-food restaurant when you are starving and have nothing to eat at home.
To lose one pound a day, you must also watch your portion sizes. Using smaller plates and cutlery can reduce your meal size and calorie intake, helping you take inches off your waistline. You must eat your favorite healthy foods throughout the week to reduce cravings.
Though not necessary, you can also use dietary supplements, such as a whey protein supplement and fat burners, to help with your goal of losing one pound a day.
Avoid Binge Eating
Snacking on junk food is one of the biggest reasons for weight gain. Folks that do not follow a diet plan are at a higher risk of bingeing on snacks throughout the day. Following a structured diet plan keep you satiated and lowers your cravings.
You must avoid high-calories beverages. It is very easy to overshoot your daily calorie goal by chugging on sugar-laden drinks without even realizing it. Plus, you must switch to low or zero-calorie substitutes when and where possible. Making small changes in your diet can lead to big results in the long run.
When snacking, choose healthy snacks, such as mixed nuts, Greek yogurt and berries, and apple slices with peanut butter.
Read also 7 Ways To Stop Binge Eating
Consistency is key in a weight loss program. To lose a pound a day, you must be consistent with your daily meals, workouts, and sleep schedule. Consistency is even more crucial when you have a shorter timeframe to work with.
When you are consistent with your diet and training program, your body burns fat more efficiently. Furthermore, staying consistent with a fit lifestyle minimizes the risk of gaining excess body fat and improves your overall health and well-being.
Choose Healthy Fats
Many people blame fats for their excess body fat. However, this assumption is faulty. Consuming healthy fats is essential for optimal body functioning and health. Furthermore, it provides your body with essential nutrients and promotes the feeling of fullness, reducing your overall calorie intake.
Nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish should be the primary sources of fats in your diet. Fats can help reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity, leading to better weight management.
However, you must ensure that you choose healthy fats over unhealthy fats. Staying away from processed and fried foods can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes while promoting overall health.
Tip: Use Fat Intake Calculator
When you are stressed, your body releases the cortisol hormone into your bloodstream, which makes you hold onto body fat. Chronic stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain and increases the risk of health issues like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Increased cortisol levels can also increase appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. 
Chronic stress can also hamper your motivation to train, eat healthily, and stay consistent with a fit lifestyle.
To lose a pound each day, you must keep stress at bay. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are among the best ways of combating stress. Nonetheless, you must consult a healthcare professional if you are dealing with high levels of stress and are unable to control it using these three methods.
Fasting is an incredibly effective method of shedding body weight. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a rage among fitness enthusiasts. It involves cycling between voluntary fasting and non-fasting. The 16/8 protocol is the most popular IF method, involving fasting for 16 hours a day and eating in the remaining eight-hour window.
Beginners should start with easier fasting protocols, such as the 14/10 method. It involves fasting for 14 hours and a 10-hour feeding window. Advanced lifters can opt for the ‘OMAD’ protocol, which involves eating one meal a day. Fasting protocols with longer fasting windows are more effective at helping you lose a pound each day.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping for at least seven to eight hours is essential to allow your body enough time to rest and recuperate. Since losing one pound a day requires you to follow a stringent diet and training program, you must take your recovery just as seriously.
Get ready for what we are about to say next. It is so polarizing that ‘the hardest workers in the room’ might lose sleep over it. Ready? Here we go — don’t hesitate to hit the snooze button. Alarm clocks have a snooze button for a reason. They help you get in the much-needed sleep.
Quality sleep helps balance your hormones, which can help control hunger, satiety, and metabolism. Fatigue due to a lack of sleep increases your risk of feasting on junk food and skipping exercise.
Although you could lose a pound a day just by cutting your calorie intake, it is not sustainable or healthy. Engaging in cardiovascular and strength training can help speed up your weight loss progress and tone your muscles. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an incredibly effective way of promoting weight loss while keeping your workouts short and exciting.
You must follow a personalized training program to optimize your weight loss, meaning you should choose a workout regimen based on your experience level. Punching up your weight class can lead to burnout and increase your risk of injury. Regular exercise can also help regulate hormones related to appetite and metabolism, such as insulin and cortisol.
Besides sweating it out in the gym, you must ensure that you are constantly moving throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of contracting chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Set a daily step goal for yourself and reorganize your day to ensure you hit your objectives. You could start with a 5,000-steps-a-day goal and make your way up to walking 10,000 steps daily.
Tip: Try Walking Calorie Calculator
5 Workouts To Lose 1 Pound a Day
Following a balanced training program that includes strength and cardiovascular training will optimize your weight loss. We will focus on HIIT workouts in this article to lose one pound a day.
HIIT Workout 1 — Tabata Workout
Tabata workouts include doing eight rounds of 20 seconds of strenuous exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform each exercise for eight rounds before switching to the next exercise.
Eight rounds of exercise, including working time and rest, will add up to four minutes. Three exercises in this Tabata workout and two recovery periods will take you 14 minutes to complete.
|Exercise||Sets||Time (in seconds)||Rest (in seconds)|
Many people compromise their form during a HIIT workout to make the exercises easier. However, doing this hampers the effectiveness of the lifts and increases your risk of injury.
HIIT Workout 2
The second HIIT workout in our quest to lose one pound a day includes a balance of strength training and cardio exercises. You will need a pair of dumbbells to perform this workout. This workout comprises performing two rounds of the following circuit:
|Exercise||Time (in seconds)||Rest (in seconds)|
|Close-Grip Chest Press||30||30|
|Dumbbell Overhead Press||30||30|
Rest for 30 seconds between exercises in the circuit. You are allowed a two-minute rest between circuits. To stick to the rest duration between exercises, keep all the equipment near you before starting the circuit.
Since the rest durations between exercises are short, use that time to take your position for the next lift. You must complete this workout within 20.5 minutes.
HIIT Workout 3 — EMOM
Every minute-on-the-minute (EMOM) workouts are an underutilized form of HIIT workouts. In an EMOM workout, you must complete an exercise within 60 seconds. Your goal with EMOM exercises is to complete each exercise as quickly as possible as the remainder of the 60 seconds is used as rest between exercises.
|Minute 1||Dumbbell Squat||15|
|Minute 2||Renegade Row Push-Up||20|
|Minute 3||Squat Jump||15|
Complete the 15 dumbbell squats as quickly as possible without slacking on your exercise form. Use the remainder of the minute as your rest before moving on to the next exercise at the beginning of the second minute.
HIIT Workout 4 — AMRAP
In the following workout, you must complete as many reps as possible (AMRAP) of the following exercises within nine minutes. AMRAP workouts are excellent for competitive folks. In these workouts, there are no defined rest durations. You can take as long as you want between exercises to rest. Furthermore, you can also break an exercise to catch a breath. Your ultimate objective is to complete as many reps as possible within nine minutes.
After completing 100 reps of butt kicks (50 right side and 50 left side), move onto the jumping jack without stopping for rest — if you can. The total number of reps you can complete will be your final score. Challenge your friends to beat your score. You can also set your score as a benchmark for yourself and try to beat it in a subsequent workout.
HIIT Workout 5 — Ladder Workout
When used correctly, ladder HIIT workouts can melt fat off your body. The rep structure of a ladder workout is like climbing a ladder. You start with a few reps and work up to high-rep sets. The rest between exercises increases with the total number of reps. Like in real life, you must also come down a ladder. After performing the set with the highest number of reps, work towards the small rep sets. Also, you must do all of this within a specific time limit.
In this HIIT ladder workout, you’ll perform two exercises on a single ladder rung. For example, for this workout, you will perform one rep of the wall ball and dumbbell thruster before moving on to the two-rep wall ball and thruster.
|Exercise and Reps||Rest (in seconds)|
|1 Wall Ball and 1 Dumbbell Thruster||0|
|2 Wall Ball and 2 Dumbbell Thruster||10|
|3 Wall Ball and 3 Dumbbell Thruster||15|
|4 Wall Ball and 4 Dumbbell Thruster||15|
|5 Wall Ball and 5 Dumbbell Thruster||20|
|6 Wall Ball and 6 Dumbbell Thruster||20|
|7 Wall Ball and 7 Dumbbell Thruster||25|
|8 Wall Ball and 8 Dumbbell Thruster||25|
|9 Wall Ball and 9 Dumbbell Thruster||30|
|10 Wall Ball and 10 Dumbbell Thruster||45|
After completing 10 wall balls and dumbbell thrusters, continue back down the ladder as far as possible within the remaining time.
Many people follow fad diets to help them drop their body weight quickly. However, most of these extreme methods are unsafe and unsustainable. To lose one pound a day, you must focus on making lifestyle changes that promote weight loss while improving your overall health.
Although the 15 healthy lifestyle tips and five workout routines detailed in this article might not make you drop a pound daily, it will put you on the right path to sustained weight loss. Now that you have all the knowledge you need to shed the spare tire, go ahead and put it to good use. Best of luck!
Also read: Losing 50 Pounds in 6 Months: Tips and Tricks To Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Losing Weight. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
- Wishnofsky M. CALCULATION OF DIETS. JAMA. 1957;163(5):384–385. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970400056024
- Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. [Updated 2022 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/
- Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study. J Nutr. 2019 Oct 1;149(10):1742-1748. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz117. PMID: 31174214; PMCID: PMC6768815.
- McEwen BS. Neurobiological and Systemic Effects of Chronic Stress. Chronic Stress (Thousand Oaks). 2017 Jan-Dec;1:2470547017692328. doi: 10.1177/2470547017692328. Epub 2017 Apr 10. PMID: 28856337; PMCID: PMC5573220.
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