While the number on the scale isn’t the be-all-end-all for good health, losing just one pound a week can help give you the mental boost and mindset needed to achieve long-term weight loss. Once you understand how to sustainably lose that one pound, you’ll be better able to keep your weight under control and set yourself up for success on your journey to a leaner, healthier you. The good news is that losing a pound a week doesn’t just mean rigorous, exhausting workouts or depriving yourself of your favorite foods. We spoke to an expert who tells us how to lose a pound a week without exercise.
You can make small, manageable adjustments to your daily routine without crash diets or crazy exercise routines. This thoughtful approach to weight loss will help you achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle that you can maintain long-term.
Destini Moody, RDN, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and sports dietitian with Garage Gym Reviews, shares his expert insights on how to lose a pound a week without exercise. Regardless of your motivation to lose weight, join us on this journey to a healthier and more balanced life. The best part is that there are no drastic measures, instead focusing on creating sustainable habits that align with your health and fitness goals. Keep reading to find out how you can achieve sustainable weight loss and lose one pound per week without exercise, according to Moody. And, when you’re done, don’t miss the 7 best ways to burn 500 calories, according to personal trainers.
How many calories do you need to burn to lose one pound of body fat?
Moody states that there are about 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat. That means you need to be in a calorie deficit of approximately 3,500 per week to lose one pound every seven days. To simplify things, try to burn 500 calories a day. However, Moody warns that this recommendation is not suitable for everyone.
“If you’re underweight or inactive, your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is probably quite low,” she explains. “Your resting metabolic rate is how many calories you burn at rest. So let’s say your individual RMR is only 1,600 calories and you cut 500 calories from your daily diet. If you only eat 1,100 calories a day, this can be dangerous. Dietitians strongly discourage any diet that contains 1,200 calories or less because diets this low usually do not provide enough food to give the body all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and function optimally.”
Track your food intake.
Keeping a food journal or using a mobile app to record your meals and snacks can be a game changer in achieving your weight loss goals. This practice helps you stay within your calorie goals while providing insight into your eating habits that you can tweak and adjust.
Moody says, “Use a tracking app or food journal to track how many calories you’re currently eating, then determine what you can eliminate from your diet.” This is one of the most effective ways to create a caloric deficit. , how can you figure out how many calories to cut if you have no idea how many you’re eating?”
Identify foods high in calories.
Not all calories are created equal. Identify and reduce your intake of calorie-dense foods that are high in calories but offer no significant nutritional benefits. For example, swap out processed snacks like chips and soda for nutrient-dense options like fruit or nuts to keep you full without the unnecessary calorie load.
“Review your daily diet to see if there are any high-calorie foods that are unnecessary,” Moody recommends. “If you’re eating toast with a whole avocado (250 calories), consider replacing it with toast and a fried egg (70 calories). Foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, peanut butter and hummus are healthy foods and snacks, but they also pack a lot of calories without filling up any space in your stomach, resulting in you eating a lot more calories than you probably think.”
Give up snacks.
Snacking can be a slippery slope, especially if it involves mindless chewing while sitting in front of the TV. To reach your one-pound-a-week goal, consider cutting back on snacks, especially those high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Instead, eat mindfully and go for whole, unprocessed snacks like fruit, vegetables or a handful of nuts when hunger strikes.
“There’s nothing wrong with snacking, but for most people it’s a source of extra calories that can easily be cut back when you start aiming for a calorie deficit,” Moody says. “Most people feel the need to snack in the first place because they don’t have balanced meals.” You may find that by balancing meals with high amounts of protein, moderate carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables, you can easily reduce your calories by eliminating snacking.”
Eat more non-starchy vegetables.
Non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes and leafy greens are low in calories, high in fiber and high in essential nutrients. Include a variety of colorful vegetables in your meals to bulk up without significantly increasing your calorie intake.
“Non-starchy vegetables are high-fiber, low-calorie vegetables such as leafy greens, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and so on.” These foods add a lot of water, fiber and volume to your belly without adding a lot of calories,” Moody says. “Your stomach only feels full when it’s full, so if you can pack it with low-calorie foods that take up space, this can be an effective tactic for creating a calorie deficit without feeling like you’re starving.”
Get quality sleep.
According to the National Institutes of Health, inadequate sleep can lead to weight gain by disrupting your metabolism and increasing your cravings for high-calorie foods. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize a consistent sleep schedule and create a conducive rest environment to support your weight loss journey.
“Studies have shown that people who consistently sleep less than seven hours a day produce more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, in the body,” says Moody. “Scientists believe that lack of sleep causes the body to look for other sources of fuel during waking hours. Also, if you’re not sleeping well, you’ve probably noticed that your sugar cravings become more frequent, making it much more difficult to lose weight. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep hours each night to keep hunger at bay and support your weight loss efforts.”
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