How to Lose 10 Pounds in One Week (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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Co-authored byFrancisco Gomez

Last Updated: May 31, 2024Fact Checked

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Healthy weight loss is usually 1 to 2 pounds per week; losing 10 pounds in one week is risky, should not be done often, and should only be attempted with the approval of your doctor. To lose 10 pounds in one week, you'll need to burn between 3,500 and 5,000 calories more than you consume each day by restricting your diet to small portions of nutritious yet low-calorie foods, and significantly increasing your aerobic exercise with interval training, sports, and other vigorous activities. This goal is both risky and difficult to achieve, but it can be done.

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Counting Calories

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  1. 1

    Take in fewer calories than you burn in a day. That's the whole secret to weight loss. And while the theory may be simple, the practice is really hard. One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. To lose 10 pounds in seven days you'll need to lose about 1.4 pounds, or burn about 5,000 calories each day.[1]

    • Know that you will need to exercise a lot in order to burn 10 pounds in one week. Starving yourself is not an option. In fact, starving yourself makes weight loss harder, especially after you're done with your diet.[2]
    • Remember that you'll be burning calories while doing daily activities such as walking around, walking up stairs, and even breathing. It won't be many calories, but you don't have to expect to burn all your calories doing hard exercise.
  2. 2

    Understand that your goal is extremely challenging. If you want to lose 10 pounds in a week, you'll need to burn 5,000 calories more than you take in per day. That's a lot. That's not meant to discourage you; it's only as a reminder of how hard losing 10 pounds in a week actually is. Prepare yourself for a tough, tough journey!

    • Just to give you bit of an idea about how much that is, consider this: a 160 pound person burns about 1,000 calories playing competitive soccer for 90 minutes.[3] That means you'd need to play competitive soccer for 7.5 hours during the day to burn 5,000 calories.
    • It helps to log what you eat when you're counting calories.[4]


  3. 3

    Understand that the average person burns about 2,000 - 2,500 calories a day.[5] This means that if you consume exactly 2,000 - 2,500 calories in food every day, your weight will stay the same — you won't gain or lose weight.

    • If you're trying to lose weight, as you probably do, a healthy person should consume at least 1,200 calories per day, regardless of what their diet is. If you eat 1,200 calories, you'll have about 4,000 calories to burn a day to meet your goal.
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  1. 1

    Drink water only. Water is the dieter's best friend. Sweet, sugary, or caffeinated drinks are the enemy of the dieter. A simple sweet "energy" or "sports" drink can be as much as 400 calories. That's a third of your total calories for the entire day. Stay away from any drink but water, with one exception.

    • Unsweetened green tea is acceptable to drink, on occasion. If you're sick and tired of drinking just water day in and day out, the occasional green tea is fine. Green tea has lots of antioxidants and 0 calories, which makes it fine to drink.
    • If you're really hungry during meals, down a nice big cup of water right before you eat. This will help trick your stomach into thinking that you're more full than you actually are, making you less hungry.
  2. 2

    Cut the simple carbohydrates out of your diet. Simple carbs, also called refined carbohydrates, are usually not very nutritious for our bodies and get absorbed by the body very quickly.[6] Stay away from simple, refined carbohydrates such as these while on your diet:

    • Cookies, candies, cakes, and other baked sweets
    • Honey, molasses, and syrup
    • White bread, white rice, and normal pasta
    • Many packaged cereals
  3. 3

    Replace the simple carbs with complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates, unlike simple carbohydrates, are full of fiber as well as other nutrients, and get digested by the body and released into the blood stream far slower.[7] Examples of complex carbs include:

    • Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice
    • Beans and legumes, such as lentils, carrots, and sweet potatoes
    • Veggies and fruits like asparagus and apricots
  4. 4

    Eat lean protein. Go for beef that is 98% lean and only 2% fat. Go for chicken breast without the skin attached. Soy products like edamame or tofu are also high in protein, as are many types of fish, including salmon.

  5. 5

    Positively stay away from fast food. In addition to cooking everything in trans fat, fast food burgers, fries, and shakes (or burritos, mac 'n' cheese, or sandwiches) are whoppers when it comes to salt and sugar. They are essentially empty carbs, with no real nutrients to them. If you're serious about shedding those pounds and getting your weight back on the right path, you'll stay away from fast food.

  6. 6

    Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper for dinner. Ever hear the phrase? It has some truth behind it. Eat early on to jump-start your metabolism and give you enough energy to last comfortably until lunch, and then for dinner begin to wind down and eat the smallest meal of the day. Here are some examples of meals you could cook for yourself during the day, with one snack in between:

    • Breakfast: egg-white omelet with spinach and chicken breast, along with a banana and some fresh blueberries.
    • Lunch: leftover salmon steak over quinoa, with a small salad
    • Snack: handful of pistachios
    • Dinner: bok choy, carrot, mushroom, and pepper stir-fry
    • Some foods that help you lose weight or have fewer calories are:
      • peanut butter
      • rice cakes
      • berries
      • green vegetables
      • green tea
      • water
      • Greek yogurt
      • unsalted nuts
      • almond milk
  7. 7

    Start a calorie journal in which you write down the values of everything you eat. Creating a calorie journal and writing in it consistently will help you know when you've gone over your limit. It will tell you what foods worked when and whether they tasted good. It will give you a record of your struggles, which are always fun to look back on after the pain has passed!

    • Get very good at calorie counting and serving sizes. It'll be tough to calculate everything in the beginning, but after a while it'll seem like second-nature. Be religious about estimating how many calories are in a certain food or meal. Be accurate! Lying to yourself isn't worth it if the only one you're hurting is you.
  8. 8

    When you slip (and everyone does), don't splurge. It's okay to slip up every once in a while and eat something you know you're not supposed to. Everyone does that. But when you slip, don't fall down. Don't justify splurging and going way overboard, ever. It'll just make your goal even tougher and discourage you even more.

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  1. 1

    Walk everywhere. Need to go the grocery store? Walk there. Need to get up to the fifteenth floor of a building? Walk there, don't take the elevator. Need to get to soccer practice? Walk there. Look at each walking opportunity as an opportunity to burn more calories and to get fitter.

    • Get a pedometer. A pedometer will keep track of the number of steps you take during the day, and you can hide it on your hip so that no one can see it. A good pedometer will convert the number of steps taken into calories burned. They're worth it!
  2. 2

    Get in the habit of warming up/stretching before going all out. Put on some of the best, most motivating 80s dance music, and get ready to get ready. Warming up and stretching will help you get the most out of your exercise. Plus, who can exercise when they're injured? Examples of warm up exercises include:

    • 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, and 20 burpees. (Burpees are when you jump in the air then drop down do a push-up and repeat.)
    • Running in place intensely for 1 minute, and then switching to 1 minute of light jogging in place.
    • Touch your toes, stretch your arms in tandem, get those quads and hamstrings loosened, and don't forget your torso and neck.
  3. 3

    Try interval training. Interval training is where you do really intense activity for only a short period of time, and then moderate or light intensity work for the majority of the time. Scientists have found, in several studies, that people who do interval training actually end up exercising for shorter periods of time and burning more calories than people who go at medium intensity for their whole workout.

    • An example of interval training would be this: while running around the track, go as hard/fast as you can for one whole lap, then jog at light speed for the remaining three laps. Every four laps is a mile. Feel — and love — the burn.
  4. 4

    Get involved in a sport. The great part about sports is that they're competitive. Competition makes us push ourselves harder than we would have by ourselves, for the most part. You may be thinking: I'm not good at any sports, or I'm not comfortable doing any sports. Just remember that people respect other who try hard and who respect themselves. If you think doing soccer, basketball, or swimming would be fun and keep you engaged, then go for it. Let your competitive streak burn the calories for you.

  5. 5

    Make use of cardio machines. If you don't have some cardio machines with you at home, consider joining a gym so that you can use some. Try out the following cardio machines and see which ones work best for you:

    • Treadmill. The treadmill might actually feel worse than free running, but it's definitely better than nothing. Try to find a nice, fast pace that keeps you sweating.
    • Elliptical. You can set a different resistance strength for most ellipticals, making this a good strength training/cardio dual workout.
    • Stationary bike. If you take a spinning class, get ready to have your butt kicked. Spinning class on the stationary bike is a great way to lose weight.
  6. 6

    Do cross-training. Cross-training involves a range of different strength, endurance, and aerobic exercises that will work out many different parts of your body while generally keeping you from getting bored (which is a huge reason why people stop exercising). Cross-training regimes like Crossfit may not be the best at burning a lot of calories very quickly (they're better at replacing fat with lean muscle), but it's worth trying out. Who knows, you could find a new inspiration!

  7. 7

    Dance the night away. To really get tap your aerobic ability, try dancing. No, not necessarily in your room, although that's always encouraged. What about a dance class at your local Y?

    • You could try something like basic jazz or pop or hip-hop classes if you're familiar already and you find the dance moves or music comforting.
    • You could also try something like zumba, which combines Latin and international music into one fantastic workout. Zumba, like regular dancing classes, is taught by a dance instructor.
  8. 8

    Do exercise, and do it double-time. You'll probably need to exercise twice as much to meet your goals. Better pick a couple exercises that you really like, because chances are you'll be doing a lot of them in order to burn 10 pounds in a week.

    • You might want to set aside 4 hours a day in order to exercise: 2 2-hour sessions, broken up in the middle with a break. If you need any motivation, just thinking of all the weight you're saying goodbye to and the fabulous body that you'll be welcoming in no time flat. Good luck!
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Sample Diet Plan

Food and Drink Substitutions to Lose 10 Pounds in 1 Week

Food and Drinks to Avoid while Dieting

Food You Can Eat while Dieting

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      • Don't take any pills that will make you lose weight.


        Helpful35Not Helpful9

      • As with any weight loss program, always consult with your doctor or dietitian before you decide to proceed with this.


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      • Don't take this routine so seriously for a long period of time. It could possibly lead to being underweight or maybe even anorexia.


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      • Don't overdo it! You could hurt yourself.


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      About This Article

      How to Lose 10 Pounds in One Week (with Pictures) - wikiHow (42)

      Co-authored by:

      Francisco Gomez

      Fitness Coach

      This article was co-authored by Francisco Gomez. Francisco Gomez is the Head Coach at the FIT Potato Gym, a training gym established in 2001 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Francisco is a former competitive runner who helps endurance athletes train for major marathons like the Boston Marathon. Francisco specializes in Injury Rehab, Flexibility, Marathon Training, and Senior Fitness. He has a B.S. in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology & Running. This article has been viewed 5,610,392 times.

      181 votes - 86%

      Co-authors: 68

      Updated: May 31, 2024


      Categories: Weight Loss Goals

      Article SummaryX

      To lose 10 pounds in a week, limit yourself to 1,200 calories a day and avoid eating processed foods like cookies and french fries. Make it a goal to exercise for 4 hours every day, and focus on high-intensity cardio exercises like running, cycling, and using an elliptical. Also, try to walk instead of driving as much as possible throughout the week so you're burning more calories. Read the article for more ways you can lose 10 pounds in a week, like playing a sport or joining a dance class!

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      How to Lose 10 Pounds in One Week (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)


      How to lose 10 lbs in 1 week? ›

      To lose 10 pounds in one week, you'll need to burn between 3,500 and 5,000 calories more than you consume each day by restricting your diet to small portions of nutritious yet low-calorie foods, and significantly increasing your aerobic exercise with interval training, sports, and other vigorous activities.

      What is the easiest and fastest way to lose 10 lb? ›

      11 ways to lose 10 pounds safely
      1. Calorie deficit.
      2. Avoid junk food.
      3. Protein.
      4. Move more.
      5. High-intensity cardio.
      6. Resistance training.
      7. Intermittent fasting.
      8. Reduce bloating.
      Nov 23, 2023

      How to slim a body in 7 days? ›

      Decreasing your intake of processed foods and added sugar can help you lose weight in 7 days. Drinking plenty of water and adding fiber to your diet might also help. That said, many factors influence your ability to lose weight, and it's better to aim for slower and more sustainable weight loss of 0.5–2 lbs per week.

      How many days will it take me to lose 10 pounds? ›

      Most studies report that people who stick to the diet and exercise plan outlined below can drop the last 10 lbs in about 60 to 90 days. Reduce your sodium intake to 1,000 mg per day. Consume at least 80 ounces of water per day. Reduce your intake of processed foods.

      How much weight can I lose in 2 days if I only drink water? ›

      Water fasting helps you lose weight quickly. According to studies, you can lose 0.9 kg per day by drinking water in 24 to 72 hours. However, this loss of body mass is only from water, carbs and even muscle mass, not fat.

      What is the 3 day diet to lose 10 pounds? ›

      The military diet, also called the 3-day diet, is a short-term diet that claims to help you lose up to 10 pounds (lbs) (4.5 kilograms) in 1 week. Despite its name, this diet is not associated with the military. The diet plan involves a 3-day, calorie-restricted meal plan followed by 4 days off.

      How to lose 10 pounds in a hurry? ›

      We explain how specific changes might help you meet these goals.
      1. Try cardio for weight loss. ...
      2. Eat fewer refined carbs. ...
      3. Counting calories. ...
      4. Choose better beverages. ...
      5. Eat slowly. ...
      6. Add fiber to your diet. ...
      7. Eat a high protein breakfast. ...
      8. Get enough sleep every night.
      Jun 30, 2023

      How can I lose a pound ASAP? ›

      Desperate to Lose Weight Fast? 9 Ways to Drop Those Pounds Quickly (And Safely)
      1. Cut Your Carbs. It's no secret that foods with too many simple carbohydrates are bad for your body. ...
      2. Eat More Fruits and Veggies. ...
      3. Pump up the Protein. ...
      4. Move Around. ...
      5. Don't Drink Your Calories. ...
      6. Eat More Slowly. ...
      7. Sleep Well. ...
      8. Brush Your Teeth.

      What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat? ›

      Five foods that may help burn belly fat include:
      • foods with soluble fiber like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
      • foods with protein like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
      • fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
      • foods with probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
      • green tea.

      What is the 7 day cucumber diet that drops pounds very fast? ›

      A: The 7-day cucumber diet is a short-term diet focusing on consuming cucumbers and other low-calorie foods for seven days. The diet is designed to help people lose weight quickly, as cucumbers are very low in calories and contain essential vitamins and minerals.

      What's the fastest time to lose 10 pounds? ›

      We recommend losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week for sustainable weight loss, which means you could potentially lose 10 pounds in five weeks.

      What is the best time to walk to lose weight? ›

      Researchers say exercising between 7–9 a.m. is best for weight management. Morning exercisers had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than those exercising later. Experts say better sleep, mental health, brain health, and physiological health are also important benefits of exercise.

      Is walking 1 hour a day good? ›

      A daily walk can improve sleep quality and length of sleep, another recent study found. Since it increases blood flow, researchers found walking just an hour a week can help adults with joint pain improve their range of motion and mobility.

      Can you lose 5 lbs in a week? ›

      If you want to lose 5 pounds in a week, you will need to reduce your food intake by 17,500 calories, which is a huge calorie deficit. If you weigh 250-pound, you will need to reduce your daily calorie intake to about 1,250 calories per day, an amount that is too low amounting to starvation.

      How much weight will I lose on a 3 day water fast? ›

      We watched hundreds of videos on 3 day water fasts and people reported losing between 4.5 lbs to 12 lbs on their fast. This depends on a lot of factors including starting weight and height. The three-day water fast can be a powerful tool for natural healing, weight loss, and overall well-being.

      What is the 7 day challenge diet? ›

      Easy To Follow 7 Day GM Diet Plan & Menu To Transform Your Body: The Indian Version
      • Day 1: Fruits.
      • ‍Day 2: Vegetables.
      • Day 3: Fruits and Vegetables.
      • Day 4: Bananas and Milk.
      • Day 5: Meat.
      • Day 6: Meat & Vegetables.
      • Day 7: Rice, Fruit and Vegetable Juice.
      Mar 26, 2024

      What should I eat to lose 2 pounds a week? ›

      Focus on lean proteins, healthy fats, and veggies for weight loss, Kimball advises. Then, add in whole grains and fresh fruits for carbs and fiber. On the other hand, limit refined starches and added sugars. Those won't do much to keep you full, unlike protein and fat, she explains.

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