Help! I need to lose weight, and I need to do it, STAT! Whether it’s for a high school reunion, a wedding, a vacation or some other big event, you may be wondering, can I lose 10 pounds in one week?
The short answer to this question is yes. Being a physique competitor, I can even share how. But, let’s take a moment to understand the compromise of fast weight loss, so you can decide if it is right for you.
Fast weight loss slows your metabolism.
The maximal safe, sustainable weight loss is about two pounds/week. You need to drop 3,500 calories to lose a pound. This would be the equivalent of dropping 500 calories/day. If you have enough calories to drop 1000/day, then you can lose two pounds/week. If you try to drop more than this, your metabolism will quickly figure out what you are doing. It will hold onto fat, water, and weight as it slows down.
If I can’t drop more calories, what else can I do?
Weight loss comes from a calorie deficit, so you can work out more. If you are dropping calories while working out more, be prepared that this is fatiguing. Your blood sugar could drop, leaving you feeling shaky and gulping down sugary juices to compensate.
So how do natural physique competitors do it?
The strategy varies. Those who lose the rapid 10 pounds often use a show-week meal plan with minimal food choices. Examples include fish, non-starchy veggies, and perhaps sweet potatoes, grapefruit, or limited carbohydrates. They also often drop salt and water quite a bit from their regular intake. Many use advanced nutrition plans like carb cycling. Does it work? Yes. Is it sustainable? No. The peak stage physique is often only sustained for 1-2 days. After that, competitors use a process called reverse dieting to restore their metabolism gradually.
If you’re thinking about trying to lose 10 pounds in a week, first consider why. Then consider that your accomplishment will be very temporary, and rebuilding your metabolic speed after the diet will take planning and time. If your goal is a healthy lifestyle change, consider goals like half a pound to two pounds per week for gradual but more long-lasting results.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Meredith Butulis is a Sports Medicine Physical Therapist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and Precision Nutrition Certified Nutrition Coach in practice since 2002. She consistently walks the talk as a fitness, physique, and OCR world level competitor and lifestyle transformer since 2006, celebrating many wins along the way. Want more total fitness lifestyle inspiration and interaction? Follow Dr. Meredith on Instagram @Dr.MeredithButulis or join the free "Fitness Focus Fuel" Facebook Group.