How To Lose A Pound A Day: 10 Ways To Achieve This

how to lose a pound a day

When it comes to weight loss, people tend to want to see results quickly.  The fastest results we’ve seen in practice is losing one pound per day.  

To be honest, losing 1-pound per day is not the norm though.  

Even if you do in the short-term, it’s likely not sustainable in the long-run.  

This is because a lot of people who lose weight quickly tend to gain it back just as fast because the habits and behaviours aren’t sustainable, i.e. it’s hard to stay committed to such extreme dieting measures. 

However, if you do want to lose a lot of weight quickly, then the following tips will help you in that direction.  Just know that whether or not you actually lose one pound per day, the key part is that you’re losing weight safely and effectively.  

In good conscience, we don’t want to recommend any weight loss tips that would risk your health in the short-term.  

Here are our top 10 tips for losing up to a pound per day: 

  • Increase fiber intake
  • Don’t drink your liquids
  • Switch to zero-calorie substitutes
  • Make swaps to your food
  • Add volume to meals
  • Eat home cooked food
  • Watch your portion sizes
  • Regularly exercise
  • Hit your steps every day
  • Prioritize sleep

In addition, you’ll need a solid workout routine.  Check out Fitbod for free workouts.  Once you’re inside, make sure to select weight loss as your primary goal.   

Is It Possible to Lose a Pound a Day?

In order to lose fat, you need to be in an energy (caloric) deficit. 

This means that you have to burn more calories than you consume. Over time, being in a consistent deficit will result in weight loss.

However, like most things, there are limitations to how much our bodies can actually lose. According to JAMA,Journal of the American Medical Association, you need to be in a deficit of 3,500 calories to burn one pound, or half a kilogram. 

Realistically speaking, losing one pound a day in fat mass is not possible.  

Sure, you can dehydrate yourself, and lose more than a pound per day.   

But losing this type of weight in fat mass means strenuous exercise and restriction of calories to get to that 3,500 mark in one day. 

You might be able to do that for a day or two.  But it’ll be physically, mentally and emotionally fatiguing. 

Not to mention, harmful to your health and completely unsustainable long-term. 

However, the good news is that with consistent effort each day, you’ll be able to create a deficit that’ll see you losing the pounds over time, and that’s what we want to focus on. 

Related Article: How Much Weight Can You Lose in 60 Days (The Healthy Way)

Realistic Weight Loss Success Stories 

Before diving into our 11 tips, here are some realistic weight loss success stories of people using Fitbod.  

When I say “realistic”, I mean results that you can expect if you follow the tips outlined below, combined with a nutritious diet and a proper weight training program.  

  • Mark Pemberton lost 120lbs in just over a year.  Read his full story.  
Mark Pemberton success story
  • Peter Botelo lost 50lbs in 6 months.  Read his full story.  
Peter Botelho success story
  • Lisa Alston lost 25lbs in 5 months.  Read her full story
Lisa Alston success story

Need a workout program? Try Fitbod for Free.

How To Shed The Pounds: 10 Ways To Achieve This

While you can lose a pound per day, we believe it’s more realistic to aim for 5lbs per month, especially if you want to keep your weight off long-term.  

In general, when losing weight, the main area of focus should be your nutrition. 

Yes, exercising does burn calories, however, it’s much easier to watch your calorie intake by the food and drink you’re consuming than it is to try and exercise it all off. 

So, if you want to achieve your weight loss goal, start focusing your attention on your diet, then ensure you have the proper training program.  We’ll provide a sample routine at the end of this article.

Related Article: 11 Reasons To Lose Weight (Backed By Science)

1. Increase Fiber Intake

fiber, a carbohydrate that the body cannot digest, regulates blood sugar levels and bowel movements

Most people tend to pay attention to their macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) as well as their vegetable intake but overlook fiber. Fiber, a carbohydrate that the body cannot digest, regulates blood sugar levels and bowel movements. It keeps us regular as well as fuller for longer. 

The Journal of Nutrition conducted a study to examine the role of dietary fiber in calorie-restricted diets with the goal of weight loss. The study found that ‘fiber was strongly associated with adherence to the macronutrient prescriptions’. 

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends an intake of 28g of fiber for a 2,000 calorie daily diet, which should be adjusted according to your calorie needs. By making sure that you’re hitting your daily fiber intake, you are promoting good gut health, reducing bloating and the risk of constipation and diarrhoea. 

Not to mention, by ensuring you’re satiated for longer, you won’t feel the need to reach for more food in between meals, assisting in keeping you adhering to your deficit.

Vegetables are high in fiber as well as fruits with edible peels such as apples. Legumes are fiber-rich (lentils and dry beans) as are whole grain products like pasta, oatmeal and buckwheat. 

If you want a breakdown of how to calculate your calorie and macros for weight loss, then check out our guide on Macros For Weight Loss.  

2. Don’t Drink Your Liquids

It can be easy to think that your favourite drink from your local coffee shop surely doesn’t have that many calories but the number of calories in liquids can be much higher than you think. 

While there’s nothing wrong with having it once in a while, it’s best to save your calories for food. 

This also applies to drinks like juice. Try eating solid fruits and vegetables instead of consuming them in liquid form. 

A study published in the International Journal of Obseity, total daily energy intake was higher in both lean and obese individuals when they ingested fruits in a beverage as opposed to solid form.

This is because drinks may be temporarily satisfying but it will leave you hungry and craving for more shortly afterwards. Instead, focus on filling meals to keep you full and satisfied.

Related Article: How Much Weight Can You Lose in 60 Days (The Healthy Way)

3. Switch to Zero-Calorie Substitutes

If you can’t completely give up your liquids or you have a sweet tooth and have cravings for dessert, then consider using zero-calorie substitutes. 

There are zero-calorie options that you can choose so that you can get the near-identical taste and satisfy your cravings without all the extra calories. 

Sodas like Coke, Pepsi and Fanta all have zero-sugar options that have bare minimum calories in it. 

Not to mention, there are zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia and saccharin that can give you the sugar taste without the calories that come with it.

4. Make Swaps to Your Food

make smart food swaps when adhering to an energy deficit

When adhering to an energy deficit, make smart food swaps. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to completely shun pasta, for example, because of its high calorie content but it could mean working your way around it so that you can enjoy the taste while cutting down on calories. 

Instead of swapping pasta out with zucchini noodles, only swap out half. This way, you’ll still get the satisfying taste while still working around your deficit. 

You could do the same with rice. Swap out half of your normal rice portion with cauliflower rice (you can buy it frozen or make it yourself by boiling cauliflower and then mashing it).

5. Add Volume to Meals

A really simple and effective way of achieving your weight loss goal is by adding volume to your meals with low-calorie food. 

Add a hearty side salad full of low-calorie vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, kale, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower so you can eat a high volume of food without adding many calories. 

This can make you feel like you’re eating big meals without having to compensate with many calories. Here are some foods to try:

  • Spinach: 23 calories per 100g
  • Lettuce: 15 calories per 100g
  • Kale: 49 calories per 100g
  • Cucumber: 10 calories per 100g
  • Broccoli: 34 calories per 100g
  • Cauliflower: 25 calories per 100 g
  • Popcorn: 31 calories per cup

6. Eat Home Cooked Food

making your meals at home will make adhering to your calorie deficit much easier

Making your meals at home will make adhering to your calorie deficit much easier.  

Check out our article Can Eating At Home Help You Lose Weight?

Eating out means that there’ll be all these added ingredients that could result in many more calories than expected, such as oil. 

Cooking at home means that you’ll be able to control exactly what’s going on your plate and in your body. 

In fact, in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, this published study concluded that “More frequent consumption of home cooked meals was associated with greater likelihood of having normal range BMI and normal percentage body fat.

7. Watch Your Portion Sizes

Increased portion sizes over time can lead to weight gain and excess energy intake. 

When presented with more food during a meal, it’s easy to overeat and consume more than necessary. 

In the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, a study was conducted to examine ‘the effects of repeated exposure to different meal portion sizes on energy intake.’ 

In this study, 19 participants were given free box lunches over a period of two months. For each month, they were given the exact same food items, with only the portion size changed. The first month had an average of 1528 kcal whilst the second month averaged at 767 kcal. 

The study found that in the larger lunch meals, there was an increased energy intake during lunch at an average of 332 kcal higher than the smaller ones. In a 24-hour time frame, this mean energy intake was 278 kcal higher as well.

It goes to show that portion sizes make a difference to not only the total number of calories ingested during one meal, but the impact it’ll have in the day. 

Over time, the extra excess calories can add up, making it harder to lose weight. To combat this when trying to lose weight, cut down on your portion sizes.

Some good tips to cut down on portion sizes are: 

  • Fill half your plate with vegetables
  • Eat a healthy portion of protein
  • Ensure you include fibrous foods
  • Use smaller plates/bowls

Related Article: Should I Lose Weight Before Building Muscle?

8. Regularly Exercise

combining both exercise and diet intervention will yield more results than just focusing solely on diet

According to this study, combining both exercise and diet intervention will yield more results than just focusing solely on diet. 

Not to mention, regularly moving means that you’ll be more likely to hit your physical activity guidelines to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally.

We’ll provide some sample workotus below, but using Fitbod is a great way to get a consistent training program that evolves over time as you make progress.  

You can also check out our other training articles for weight loss: 

9. Hit Your Steps Every Day

One way to make sure that you move every day, even if it’s not a vigorous training session, is to go for walks. 

Not to mention, it’s a flexible way to do so as you can break it up into shorter walks throughout the day or go for one long walk. 

While walking alone won’t result in drastic weight loss, it can definitely assist in individuals shedding a ‘moderate amount of weight loss’, as seen in this study.  

Walking counts towards your daily activity count as well and helps you meet your physical activity guidelines. This study, for example, concluded that accumulating an average of 8,000 steps a day can contribute to 30 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Related Article: Is Walking or Running Better For Weight Loss? (10+ Studies)

10. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is an incredibly important part of keeping healthy and losing weight. Without adequate sleep, not only will you be grumpy and fatigued the next day, it can cause a rise in your hunger, meaning you’ll be more inclined to eat more than usual. 

Your appetite is controlled by a peptide called ghrelin. 

It tells you when you’re hungry, with its levels rising before a meal and falling after one. 

Your quality of sleep makes a significant difference to your ghrelin levels, and hence hunger, the next day. 

This was shown when nine healthy men were tested after 3 different sleep times: 7 hours, 4.5 hours and one night with total sleep deprivation. 

The study showed that the men reported stronger feelings of hunger after the sleep deprived night, with ghrelin levels higher as well. 

This illustrates the importance of good quality sleep when it comes to losing pounds.

Related Article: How To Lose Upper Body Fat (According To Experts)

Workouts To Help You Lose A Pound A Day

workouts to help you lose a pound a day

A mixture of strength and cardio workouts can help you build muscle and strength as well as improving your cardio. It’ll ensure you hit all the major parts of the body and get you moving to help you lose weight. 

Here are 3 workouts that you can find on the FitBod app that’ll get you to your fitness goal of losing weight and getting fit. 

As you input your data onto the app, it’ll update the workouts it generates for you, so you’re constantly being challenged and improving.

Workout #1

This consists of bodyweight strength and cardio exercises, split into 3 sections. Complete each section first before moving onto the next.

  • 3-round exercise circuit. Do each exercise for the prescribed number of reps before moving onto the next exercise with no rest. You can rest during the prescribed rest time.
    • Hip thrust – 30 reps
    • Burpee – 10 reps
    • Mountain climber – 20 reps
    • Rest – 60 seconds
  • 3-round exercise circuit. Do each exercise for the prescribed number of reps before moving onto the next exercise with no rest. You can rest during the prescribed rest time.
    • Tricep push up – 10 reps
    • Backward arm circle – 21 reps
    • Step up – 10 reps
    • Rest – 60 seconds
  • 3-round superset. Do each exercise for the prescribed number of reps before moving onto the next exercise with no rest. You can rest during the prescribed rest time.
    • Bicycle crunch – 30 reps
    • Superman hold – 30 seconds
    • Rest – 60 seconds

Workout #2

5 round circuit. Complete each exercise for the prescribed time before moving onto the next with no rest. You can rest at the prescribed time.

  • Hip thrust – 30 seconds
  • Burpee – 30 seconds
  • Push up – 30 seconds
  • Bicycle crunch – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds

Workout #3

This is a full-body kettlebell workout, split into 3 sections. Complete each section before moving onto the next.

  • 4-round exercise circuit. Do each exercise for the prescribed number of reps before moving onto the next exercise with no rest. You can rest during the prescribed rest time.
    • KB single arm overhead lunge – 9 reps (each side)
    • KB Upright row – 9 reps
    • KB row – 5 reps (each side)
    • Rest – 60 seconds
  • 3-round superset. Do each exercise for the prescribed number of reps before moving onto the next exercise with no rest. You can rest during the prescribed rest time.
    • Alternating single arm KB swing – 9 reps (each side)
    • KB Windmill – 18 reps
    • Rest – 60 seconds
  • KB Sit up and press – 2x20reps (45-second rest in between)

Set Realistic Expectations When It Comes To Weight Loss

Managing your expectations is an integral part in weight loss. It means that you can set realistic targets and goals, avoid ending up being too disappointed or losing motivation. 

It’s not possible to lose a pound a day. However, by being consistent in following these tips, you are setting yourself up to create the best chances of achieving your goal in an entirely attainable way over time. 

This will get you much further than trying to hit unrealistic, both physically and mentally. 

About The Author

Emily Trinh

As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under her belt, she spends her mornings lifting weights, her nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.