Figuring out how to lose weight in a week is no mean feat, let alone how to lose 1kg a week. Perhaps you don’t know where to start, or you’ve done some research into the best diets and now feel overwhelmed. Working out what your goal is in the first place is an achievement, so to then turn to the plethora of conflicting information on the internet (including some incredibly suspect advice 👀 ) can make it seem impossible.
Before we go any further, we want to get something straight: the 1kg you’re hoping to shed does not define you. It doesn’t define your worth and it doesn’t define your beauty. Fact. It’s vital you identify the reason you’re hoping to lose 1kg a week.
Plus, why did you pluck 1kg as the number you’re aiming for? Get clear about your health goals and what benefits they could bring to your life.
Next, get realistic.
If you’re on a mission to better your body composition – lose body fat, build muscle and tone up – for health reasons, then spoiler: the route to success does not include fad and crash dieting, restriction or deprivation.
Shrug off the detox tea ads and actively escape from the ‘fat burning’ supplements section of whichever shady internet site has you cornered – we’re about to lay down expert science-backed advice on how to lose 1kg a week safely.
How many calories do you need to burn to lose 1kg?
OK, let’s crunch the numbers and then we can get into the nitty-gritty of exactly what you should be doing for healthy weight loss per week.
A pound of fat – fat is usually measured in pounds – is around 3,500 calories of energy. That means if you want to lose 1kg weight a week (a healthy and sustainable amount for most, although it’s not advised to shoot for more than this) you would need to create a 7,700 calorie deficit over the course of a week.
Is losing 1kg a week healthy?
Providing you go through the right guidance with a fine-tooth comb (starting with why you want to lose 1kg a week and if you’re in a position to do so in the first place) and follow it to a tee, yes.
Losing 1kg a week isn’t going to be right for everyone, though – you simply might not have that amount of excess fat to lose in the first instance and so could end up underweight. Think about the reason you want to lose weight. Is it really going to make you any happier or healthier?
The most important thing to say here is that there is no use in comparing your journey to another’s. Everybody is entirely unique and your results really do depend on your starting weight, activity levels, nutrition and sleep as well as other factors such as stress and hormonal fluctuations.
Can you lose 1kg a week for multiple weeks?
No matter your starting point remember, losing 1kg a week healthily is about remembering that not every week will be the same and trying not to get too stressed about it. Just focus on getting what you can right.
Plus, while 1kg might be a healthy weight loss for a lot of women, keep it mind that it’s just a number. Aiming for 1kg per week for several weeks would require a lot of commitment (and may not actually be healthy!); leading your healthiest lifestyle possible will yield the right results for you.
Also, if you’ve found that your health journey or healthy habits have been put on pause because of various work/life commitments, don’t stress. It’s easier said than done, we know, but give yourself the freedom to relax your goals slightly.
Can you lose 1kg a week without exercise?
You can – losing fat, amongst other factors, is mostly about creating an energy deficit so that your body will then use body fat for fuel. However, fat loss without muscle might not give you the results you’re after, nor will you reap the health rewards that exercise brings.
For the healthiest body, a good plan can be to pair a nutrient-dense diet with regular strength training, like weightlifting, reformer Pilates or standard Pilates and cardio exercise that implements progressive overload. We’ll come on to the best way to do this shortly.
Not only can you lose fat and build muscle with exercise, but there are also a myriad of other benefits to getting sweaty. According to the NHS, it’s medically proven that women who do regular physical activity have:
Up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
Up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
Up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
A 30% lower risk of early death
Up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
Up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
A 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
Up to a 30% lower risk of depression
Up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
Phew! That’s a lot of benefits. Not sure where to start? Let us guide you.
How to lose 1kg a week with exercise
Most experts agree that the best exercise to lose weight in a week is the one you actually do. It’s all well and good having a watertight plan, but unless you actually do it, it’s not worth anything.
‘Whether that’s sweating it out every day or a couple of times a week, it’s more important to focus on the quality of your workouts over their quantity,’ says PT Aaron Vine.
With that being said, a plan that combines strength workouts to build lean muscle and high-intensity interval training – HIIT – sessions to burn fat, as well as low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio (walking, jogging) will suit you best.
‘Ultimately, the more muscle you have, the faster you’ll burn fat,’ explains Vine.
Plus, let us all not forget that there are plenty of benefits of exercise beyond body composition. Everyone can reap rewards from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. And regular exercise can help manage or prevent many health issues including:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Many types of cancer
It can also help boost your sex life. Yup.
The best nutrition tips to support healthy eating
Firstly, creating long-lasting healthy habits relies on taking everything in moderation – including moderation! That means not falling into the trap of cutting out entire food groups or believing that you’ll ‘eat this way’ until you lose the weight and then ‘go back to normal’. It might give you a quick fix and help you lose some weight in a week, but you’ll quickly regain it.
Instead, focus on what you can add to your daily diet for health gains – like actually using your reusable water bottle and drinking more water more regularly.
Here are five handy tips to get you on the right nutritional foot:
1. Drink more water
Aim for at least eight glasses a day. Feeling hungry? Drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes – it could just be thirst.
2. Slow down your eating
Research shows that the longer you take to chew your food, the less you will consume.
3. Fill up with fibre
Whole wheat bread, potato, nuts and grains will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
4. Slightly cut down your portion size
By just a little. This will decrease your calorie intake while being easy to maintain.
5. Eat high-protein meals
Especially within 30 minutes of a workout. This will help you feel full for longer and aid muscle repair.
What should you eat to lose 1kg a week?
To figure out exactly how much you need to be eating to hit your body composition goals as well as stay satiated and happy – working out your macros might be a good shout. Not familiar with macros?
It stands for macronutrients and breaks down food into three key categories of nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve – lose, maintain or gain weight – how you manipulate your macros can be a serious benefit.
For example, those looking to gain lean muscle might have a higher amount of protein in their diet compared to someone looking to gain fat, who might go heavier on the carbs.
To figure out the perfect macronutrient split for you, use this handy infographic:
If eating according to your macros is a step too far, focus on getting smaller things right. E.g. make sure each meal you eat contains protein or be more mindful about the snacks you’re scarfing between meals.
When should you eat to lose 1kg a week?
Meal timings are an individual thing. If your schedule has you getting up at 5 am some days and 11 am other days, you’re not going to stick to a hard and fast routine and everyone’s days are slightly different. That being said, there are some timings that could help you hit your goals if you’re on a 9–5 schedule from home.
First thing after waking up
Now’s the time to down some water – 500ml, in fact – according to a German study that found it boosted metabolism by 24% for 90 minutes afterwards. This is due to the fact your body must expend extra energy to bring the cold water down to your core temperature. Easy hack: pop a bottle in the fridge before you head to Bedfordshire so it’s ready for when you wake up.
According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, getting a sweat on before you tuck into your morning bowl of oats might be the better choice if you’re trying to lose fat as you can burn nearly 20% more if you exercise in a ‘fasted’ state. ‘Your blood-sugar levels are low, so your body has to use fat as fuel for your muscles to work,’ says Dean Hodgkin, international fat loss and fitness expert.
However, fasted workouts don’t work for everyone. Give it a go and see how it makes you feel and check out our guide to eating before a morning workout.
This might only be for the stronger-stomached person, but breaking your fast with a lean protein – be it a turkey breast or a steak, even – could be the key to burning more fat and may well help you on your way to losing 1kg in a week.
Research in the British Journal of Nutrition found eating high-protein meals such as meat and nuts at breakfast time led to a greater feeling of fullness. Try pairing a turkey breast with a handful of almonds – a great source of monounsaturated fat that helps to burn belly fat.
Lunchtime might be the meal that it’s best to up the portion size, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity that found those who ate 40% of their daily calories from carbs and protein before 3 pm, dropped an average of 11% – compared with 9% of those who ate their biggest meal at dinner time.
Lunch might also be the meal that it’s best to take your probiotic with. A study in the European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that taking the probiotic lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced belly fat by a total of 4.6 per cent. Taking your probiotic mid-meal will also ‘boost satiety and the feeling of fullness,’ says nutritionist Carrie Ruxton.
Rich in plant compound ECGC, green tea can promote the burning of fat. In fact, three cups a day could cut your weight by nearly five per cent, says a French study. Plump for matcha green tea powder – it can increase the body’s rate of calorie burn by up to 40 per cent.
Best to dish up early, if you’re trying to lose fat, as the extra hours before bed not eating will help your body digest and get into a rest state before sleeping. To maximise fat loss, eat dinner early, then fast for around 14 hours until breakfast the next day.
After you’ve had dinner, it could be beneficial to go for a 10-minute walk as light post-meal exercise can lower blood sugar and stop you from storing fat. If you don’t live somewhere where you can venture out safely and at a social distance of two metres to others then this yoga pose is also known to relieve indigestion: lie on your back with your hands on your knees, exhale and hug your knees to your chest; gently rock from side to side for 5-10 breaths.
Those who consistently get poor quality of sleep are more likely to suffer major weight gain – so try to aim for at least seven hours each night to keep cortisol levels in check. ‘This [cortisol] hormone regulates appetite says trainer Christianne Wolff. ‘If it’s out of sync, you’ll never feel full,’ she explains. Please
Before embarking on any “weight loss” plan get clear on why “weight” dominates your goal and don’t forget: weight is not a synonym for health.
This article was originally published by Morgan Fargo & Birdie Wilkins on womenshealthmag.com.uk More