If you need to know how to lose 5 pounds in a week, then here you’ll find the quickest way to do it naturally.
Maybe you need to rebound quickly from some weight gain. Or maybe you have an event coming up or need to kickstart your weight loss journey. Heck, you might even be part of a weight loss challenge.
There’s nothing worse than having a big vacation or a wedding coming up and desperately needing to lose some pounds fast. But there’s still hope!
Whatever the reason is you need to lose 5 pounds in a week it’s safe to say you’ll find everything you need to know right here.
I know it can feel like it might not even be possible or safe to lose 5 pounds in a week but in the big picture, it’s not a lot of weight. Here you’ll find exactly what you need to do to lose 5 pounds in one week.
Can You Lose 5 Pounds in a Week?
Is it possible to lose 5 pounds in a week?
Yes, it’s more than possible to lose 5 pounds in a week. Your body weight can fluctuate 5 pounds in just one day depending on water weight. So you surely can lose 5 pounds in a week but most will be water weight and not fat.
I’ve heard people losing up to 20 pounds in a week on a 7 day water fast. But I wouldn’t recommend that for just anybody since it can be harder and on the extreme crash diet side.
So losing only 5 pounds in one week is more than doable. Especially if you already have a lot of weight to lose in the first place. 5 pounds of weight is noticeable, especially in the face. Your face holds onto water weight easier than other places and it’s what others see first.
If you’ve been throwing your diet out the window and not working out then you can for sure lose 5 pounds or 10 pounds in a week. The more weight you have to lose then the easier it is for your body to get rid of it.
But if you’ve been dieting, don’t have much weight to lose, and work out regularly then it might be a little more difficult to lose those 5 pounds. But at the very least you can flush out water retention and drop up to five pounds quickly.
Lose 5 Pounds in a Week Without Exercise
The best way to lose 5 pounds in a week is to focus on your diet. There’s a saying among personal trainers that “you can’t out-train a bad diet.”
It’ll be near impossible to lose weight if your diet is bad even if you’re working out a lot. You need to put your body in a caloric deficit in order for your body to have weight loss.
How many calories should you eat to lose 5 pounds in a week?
To lose 5 pounds in a week you’re going to have to lower your calorie intake every day. As a general rule, one pound of body weight is equal to 3500 calories. So you should over the 7 days cut out 17,500 calories or 2500 calories per day.
The average person has a TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) of 2,000 calories. So it doesn’t seem reasonable to not eat anything while still burning off 500 more calories with exercise.
So the trick to losing 5 pounds in a week is to lose mostly water weight as well as body fat. Rapid weight loss can quickly be achieved just by flushing out water retention as well as stored body fat.
Women need fewer calories per day than men so for most trying to lose weight fast it’s best to stick with 800-1200 calories per day. Men need more on average need more calories and do better with 1200-1500 calorie intake.
Cut the Carbs
The easiest way to lose 5 pounds in a week is going to be to cut your carb intake for the week. I’m talking about eating no more than 50g of carbs per day. But ideally, you’d be closer to having none.
When you eat carbs your body stores this energy in the form of glycogen in your body. And each gram of glycogen in your body carries 3-4g of water.1 So the more carbs you eat will cause you to store more water weight.
This is why after a cheat day you might notice your weight spikes up suddenly. This is because your body is now storing all that glycogen (and water weight). Carbing up with a cheat meal once in a while can help trigger a whoosh effect.
So as you cut down on your daily carb intake you’ll burn through these glycogen stores. Your body uses your stored glycogen for fuel first over your body fat stores.
As your body burns through your stored glycogen it’ll also flush out your water weight. Simply cutting out carbs and sugars will flush out 3-5 pounds of water-held weight with a 3 day detox.
Of course, this isn’t the same thing as losing 5 pounds of pure fat. But it’s a good strategy if you need to drop some quick pounds in just one week.
If you do end up eating carbs and sugars then at least take a carb blocker beforehand. It’ll help to blunt the blood sugar and insulin spike which can help with weight loss.
Healthy Carb Management for Advanced Metabolic Wellness
- Supports healthy carb metabolism
- Supports healthy blood sugar metabolism
- May help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- May assist weight management
- Can be used to support ketogenic lifestyle
Flush the Water Weight
If you’re trying to lose those 5 pounds in one week then dropping the water weight is crucial. I’ve already talked about how cutting your carb intake is going to do a lot of the work for losing your water weight.
Water weight is the low-hanging fruit for rapid weight loss. Carrying too much water weight can make you end up looking puffy, bloated, and more “full.” You’re not going to look as lean and thin if you’re holding water weight.
Be sure to watch how much salt you’re eating every day. You’ll be surprised after checking the food label how many foods are loaded with salt. Salt makes you retain water and should be avoided over the week you’re dieting.
So during the next 7 days be sure to cut out processed foods, fast foods, refined carbs, and anything else high in salt. Check the food labels and it’s always best to eat real whole foods.
If you’re a woman then your body will retain water leading up to menstruation. In this study, 92.7% of women had retained water up to a week before menstruation. But after that, your body should flush a lot of it out and you’ll go back to your normal weight.2
Try to lower your stress levels as best you can too. If your body is releasing too much of the stress hormone cortisol then it’ll be harder for your body to lose weight.3
So make sure you de-stress the best way you can during the next 7 days. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping more will make it easier to de-stress and you’ll naturally be less hungry with sleep.4
If you have access to a sauna you can use it to “sweat out” the water weight. You don’t have to use it every day during the next week but I’d go 3-5 times for 20-minute sessions.
Using intermittent fasting for weight loss is also a very powerful strategy to lose weight fast. Intermittent fasting is a simple way to instantly lower your calorie intake for the day an average of 550 calories.5
Fasting also causes your body to naturally release fat-burning hormones like growth hormone and norepinephrine.6 Plus you’ll also be lowering your insulin levels which will lead to weight loss too.
Try going on a 16-hour fast during the 7 days you’re trying to drop 5 pounds. Have your last meal at 8 PM then try not to eat again until noon the next day.
If you really want to take your fasting up another level then try OMAD (one meal a day). This is essentially when you only eat one meal per day. This can be a simpler method of cutting your calories since you don’t have to worry about counting them all day.
Hunger is going to be the most challenging part of fasting and dieting. But there are some things you can drink to suppress your appetite.
What Can I Drink to Lose 5 Pounds in a Week?
While you’re fasting and dieting it’s always a struggle to battle the hunger pangs. But there are some beverages you can drink to curb hunger while boosting your results.
First off, drinking water can help to curb hunger and flush out water. If your body becomes too dehydrated then it’ll want to hold onto body water even more. You don’t have to drink a ton of water but enough to stay hydrated.
Here’s what else you should be drinking:
- lemon water
- black coffee
- unsweetened teas
- zero-calorie sparkling waters
- super greens powders
Another tip is to take some fiber such as psyllium husk to “fill out” your stomach. You can also sip on chicken broth to help fight off the hunger pangs. I’ll usually have some chicken broth at night before bed if I’m still feeling hungry.
Caffeine can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism while also suppressing your appetite.7 Black coffee and unsweetened teas such as green tea are great choices.
It goes without saying that if you’re trying to drop those 5 pounds in a week, you should cut back on the alcohol.
Drinking alcohol aka “empty calories” is going to sabotage your weight loss efforts over the week. Each gram of alcohol contains 7g of calories. This is compared to 4g for protein and carbs or 9g for fats.
Plus drinking alcohol will decrease your fat-burning metabolism. After drinking alcohol your body places a priority on burning off the alcohol over burning the fat off your body.8
I recommend adding C8-MCTs to your morning coffee. C8-MCTs are the most efficient form of MCTs that your liver converts into ketones.9
Ketones are your body’s backup source of energy and burn through fat stores to make them. So by taking these MCTs they can help to flip the “metabolic switch” and kickstart burning more fat stores for fuel.
Support Many of the Keto Benefits Associated With Increased Ketones, & Support Them FAST, but Without the Difficulty of Doing Keto...
- 3X Better Than Coconut Oil, Butter or MCTs
- Heightened energy levels
- Reduced cravings & appetite
- Graceful aging
- Healthy metabolism
- Increased mental clarity & focus
- Heightened physical performance and recovery
Meal Plan to Lose 5 Pounds in a Week
So what foods should you be eating on a 5 pounds a week weight loss program?
Following a low-carb and high-protein diet is best. Protein is more satiating than other foods which will help make you feel fuller longer.10
Protein has a higher thermic effect of food meaning you’ll burn more calories just by consuming more protein. Protein is needed for healthy weight loss so you aren’t losing muscle mass.11
Your meals should consist of lean protein like chicken breast, turkey, fish, beef, etc., and a low-carb non-starchy vegetable. Dark green leafy veggies like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are great. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are also great choices.
8 PM – Eat your last meal. Something very low carb, higher in protein, and healthy fats. Grilled chicken breast, broccoli, and a handful of almonds for example.
6 AM – Wakeup and drink a glass of lemon water
6:15 AM – Fasted cardio for 20 minutes.
7 AM – Drink black coffee or unsweetened green tea with a keto coffee creamer
10 AM – Drink MetaboGreens (if hungry)
(6 AM – 12 PM) – Drink water regularly throughout the morning
12 PM – Break your fast. One grilled chicken breast + 1 cup of steamed broccoli.
3 or 4 PM – Second meal of the day. Same as before keep it low carb.
8 PM – Dinner
Losing 5 Pounds in a Week With Exercise
While your diet is going to give you the bulk of your results when it comes to losing weight that doesn’t mean exercise doesn’t help.
Exercise will increase your daily calorie burn as well as give a boost as your body burns fat. Many who crash diet also lose muscle mass but you’ll more likely keep this muscle mass with weight workouts.
Here are the methods you should include in an exercise plan for rapid weight loss…
There are a lot of controversies when it comes to fasted cardio being more effective for weight loss than cardio after eating.
But if you want that extra edge then I’d also recommend adding in some fasted cardio workouts. 3-5 sessions of 20-40 minutes of cardio in a fasted state (towards the end of your fast is best) will help to increase fat burning.
Fasted cardio workouts are effective for weight loss because your body becomes depleted of glycogen. Glycogen is stored carbs and sugars your body prioritizes for fuel. But once those are gone after fasting you’ll then start utilizing body fat more for fuel.
One study found fat burning over 24 hours was increased when exercising before breakfast compared to after breakfast.12 Working out while fasted will force your body to burn more fat than when fed.13
Depending on your current fitness level you can do anything from jogging, cycling, stair climbing, hiking, etc. at a steady pace. You can even drop the 5 pounds by walking if that’s your preferred method of exercise.
If you have a heart rate monitor try to stay in Zone 2 heart rate zone. This is equal to about 65% to 75% of your maximum heart rate. Studies have found this is the optimal range to maximize fat burning.
To maximize how many calories you burn then High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT workouts) is the best. You’ll maximize weight loss while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Numerous studies have found HIIT workouts to be much more effective for weight and fat loss than traditional workouts. Here’s a new study finding HIIT workouts resulted in 28.5% greater fat loss.14
This is because these workouts create an Afterburn effect known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). This “metabolic disturbance” in your body forces it to continually burn calories for many hours after you’ve finished working out.15
It’s pound for pound the most effective form of working out. You can get significantly better results in half the time you would with any other workout out there.
But the tradeoff is it can be quite difficult when done correctly. If you’re already dieting hard then this might not be the best strategy.
This is because you’re going to be cutting down on calories and carbs and your body will have lower energy levels. Most people’s bodies are used to burning carbs, sugars, and glycogen for fuel. But once you cut these out it can take a while for some to adapt to using more fat for fuel.
For a complete HIIT and Afterburn workout plan check out The Flat Belly Formula.
So now that you know how to lose 5 pounds in a week it’s time to put it into action. Whatever the reason is for your want to lose 5 pounds in 7 days just remember that it’s more than possible when you stick to the meal plan and exercise program above.
Can you safely lose 5 pounds in a week?
Yes, it’s more than safe to lose 5 pounds in a week. Your body can fluctuate 5 pounds a day on water weight alone.
What is the fastest way to lose 5 pounds in a week?
Cutting your carbohydrates, reducing your calorie intake, and getting rid of your water weight are the fastest ways. I like to add in fasted cardio and HIIT but it’s not necessary especially if you’re looking for the easiest way possible.
If you’re used to eating junk food all the time then losing those 5 pounds can put you outside your comfort zone. Just remember your end goal and why you’re doing this in the first place.
It’s crucial to follow a simple meal plan like the one above and have tools to help fight off hunger. Whether you want to drop 5 pounds in 7 days or 20 pounds in 2 weeks it all comes down to following the plan.
Best wishes on your journey to lose 5 pounds in a week and remember it’s more than possible when you stick to the plan.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.