How To Lose Weight In A Week 2024: 2 Methods With 5 Simple Steps To Try

Gina Vitale, Health & Wellness Content Writer
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, MS, RDN, LD
Are you curious about how to lose weight in a week in 2024? Eat more plants, cut back on processed foods, and increase your exercise.
how to lose weight in a week
Lose weight in a week: five steps with two methods. Photo: Ba Le Ho

A surprise event invitation leads you to panic. What will I wear? Do I need to go shopping? Then you remember a sharp outfit in the closet that should be perfect, except it’s a little tight. So, now you wonder how you can drop weight in a week to prepare for the event. For sustainable weight loss, experts recommend utilizing lifestyle changes over a time period longer than one week. However, there are a few strategies to try during a time crunch. This article offers five steps for losing weight quickly.

2 Methods To Lose Weight In A Week

Clean up your diet and increase your exercise intensity and frequency to lose weight fast in one week:

  • Method One: Clean up the diet.
  • Method Two: Exercise.

Method 1: How To Lose Weight In A Week With A Clean Diet

The steps listed below are meant to help you lose weight. A well-balanced diet and structured exercise are necessary components of a weight loss journey, especially for long-term results, although the ratios of each may differ from person to person. Rapid weight loss is not usually associated with a healthy lifestyle and often leads to weight regain when the focus changes. Nevertheless, your weight loss goals can be achieved quickly by following these eating tips:

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Eat Mostly Plants

how to lose weight in a week
Lose weight fast with a clean diet by eating mostly plants. Photo: Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

Eating more plant-based foods is often associated with healthy weight loss. Plants are nutrient-dense foods that offer many vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal body function and good health. Vegetables and fruits contain fewer calories than many processed foods, but they are rich in fiber, which can help satisfy your hunger and reduce your temptations to munch on junk food. 

The Mediterranean diet[1] is a model for mainly plant-based eating. It promotes the intake of healthy fats along with a heavy dose of vegetables, fruits, beans, and fish. It is renowned for being one of the healthiest meal plans in the world. Following this type of diet offers cardiovascular health benefits and promotes weight loss in the long term. 

Eat More Fiber And Protein

Consuming fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, with lean protein, satisfies your hunger for longer periods because they process more slowly through the digestive system. They also aid in regulating blood sugar levels, making you less likely to have cravings and make poor food choices.

Healthy breakfast choices, rich in fiber and protein, offer weight loss and health benefits. Excellent examples of this include overnight oats or oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Starting your day with fiber and protein-containing foods helps to fuel and satisfy your body which can be helpful with weight management.

Cut Back On Junk Food And Sugary Foods

Let’s face it – these are high-calorie foods with little nutritional value to a healthy diet. If you want to know how to lose weight fast, cutting back on these foods can be a winning strategy. Highly processed foods[2] do not offer long-term satiety, so you typically consume more calories which can lead to undesired weight gain.

A good rule when grocery shopping is to avoid the middle of the store. Shelves housing boxed foods with chemical names in the ingredients list are highly processed. The outer sections of the store tend to be the ideal areas for most of your food choices when weight loss is your goal. The freezer section is a great option for out-of-season fruits and vegetables. However, try to limit prepared frozen meals, which are also considered highly processed. 

If sweet snacks are your downfall, try to satisfy sugar cravings with low-sugar fruits instead. Munching on a handful of nuts, an apple, or carrot sticks offers more health benefits with fewer calories.  

Eat A Low-Calorie Diet 

Following a low-calorie diet involves creating a calorie deficit of 500-750 calories[3] for weight loss and restricting saturated fats and simple carbohydrates. Eating whole foods like fruits and vegetables and drinking more water, green tea, or black coffee can help keep your calorie count low. 

Low-calorie diets require more planning to be effective. Knowing how many calories you burn in a day can help determine how much of a deficit you require to lose weight.

Try Intermittent Fasting Or Time-Restricted Eating

Time-restricted eating can be done in several ways. Intermittent fasting[3] and structured eating times to reduce calorie intake include 16:8 fasting hours to eating hours, 5:2 normal eating days to restricted calorie eating days, or alternate day fasting. A recent study[4] showed when combined with high-intensity interval training, IF was found to have the most impact on fat loss.

There are indications that IF helps with calorie reduction and may improve insulin resistance and immune strength. This method could be a concern for a person with unstable blood sugar or taking medications affected by food or meal timing. More research is needed to determine possible long-term effects. 

Method 2: How To Lose Weight Fast With Exercise

The right exercise routine can aid weight loss. Plus, implementing consistent exercise habits offers health benefits in addition to losing weight. Physical activity increases caloric burn, and intense exercise is most effective for successful weight loss. 

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training[5] burns calories faster than most other workouts, which can be especially helpful during a time crunch. Research showed higher calorie burn in a shorter amount of time than moderate-intensity continuous training. So, prolonged exercise was less helpful for successful weight loss than HIIT. HIIT is also indicated to help decrease body fat, specifically abdominal fat.

High-intensity intervals can be performed in several ways. For example, HIIT may include bodyweight exercises, running or biking intervals, or a combination of these. The main rule is that your high activity and rest periods are metered. With bodyweight exercises, 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest is a popular interval breakdown. HIIT workouts that involve running or biking sprints might require longer intervals, such as 60 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest or movement at a slower pace.  

Lifting Weights

Weight training increases muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories at baseline than fatty tissue. Therefore, higher muscle mass increases calorie burn even when a person is at rest. Dropping pounds quickly is associated with muscle tissue loss,[6] so performing resistance training to mitigate muscle loss is important. 

Consistent weight training requires some planning to achieve the greatest benefits. Workout days and rest days for different body areas are important to allow recovery time. A possible plan might alternate upper and lower body training days. A more detailed routine could include the back and biceps one day, legs and gluteals another day, and triceps, chest, and core on the third day. Consider these fantastic options for upper-body resistance training for shoulders, triceps, and more.

Walk More

Experts agree there are numerous health benefits of walking[7] daily. Walking adds to your daily calorie burn and is linked to effective weight management over a long period of time. So, if you are trying to cut weight fast, walking more is a simple option that requires no expertise. Walking alone without any other intervention[8] has been shown to improve body composition. 

Consider increasing the intensity to challenge your body when walking, such as walking up and down stairs and hills or using the incline option on the treadmill. The harder your body works while walking, the more calories you can burn.  

Bodyweight Exercises

how to lose weight in a week
Lose weight fast with bodyweight exercises like planking. Photo: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

You do not have to go to the gym to log an effective workout. Traditional resistance and bodyweight exercises increase calorie burn because they require multiple muscle groups to work together. They also involve more functional movements mimicking daily life activities. If lifting weights isn’t an option for you, push-ups, pull-ups, and planks are excellent examples of upper-body and core bodyweight exercises. Squats, walking lunges, and calf raises for the lower body can be performed with or without weights and still be effective.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT,[9] is based on the amount of calories you can burn while doing everyday activities. The premise is that you intentionally move more often to increase your burn rate. Rethink your daily routines, and there may be more opportunities to add activity than you realize.

For example, take the longer route to the bathroom or pace while talking on the phone instead of sitting. The accumulation of calorie burn throughout the day is promising to promote weight loss over a longer period of time. It is not necessarily a quick fix to decrease body weight, but it will help burn more calories daily. 

Should You Try To Lose Weight In A Week?

Experts do not recommend losing weight in a short amount of time. But can you do it? Of course, creating a calorie deficit and increasing the intensity and frequency of your workouts will help you lose weight quickly. However, it is typically not sustainable weight loss. When you stop implementing these extreme efforts, the weight will likely return because you lost mainly from water, not fat.

The safest option for losing weight involves a prolonged approach addressing your diet and activity levels. Learning healthy eating habits is important, and improving your lifestyle habits is recommended for weight loss and prolonged management. If you find the roadblocks to healthy eating[10] and lifestyle change are too much to manage, it is recommended to consult a health professional.

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Precautions & Safety

You can encounter potential health risks when you try to lose weight too quickly. Low-calorie or restrictive diets could cause serious problems for a person prone to hypoglycemia. Falling short of essential nutrients is often associated with a low-calorie diet and is not healthy in the long term. Additionally, losing water weight too quickly could lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and feeling lightheaded.

Studies[11] have indicated that long-term, highly intensive exercise can have a detrimental effect on your heart. Furthermore, extreme dieting[12] is difficult to manage long-term and can lead to regaining weight and developing a disordered relationship with food. It also disrupts normal metabolism processes, affecting your hunger hormones that tell your body when you are hungry. Extreme dieting will likely affect energy levels because you are not giving your body enough fuel to function properly.

Additionally, weight loss medications and supplements should only be taken under the guidance of your doctor. For example, the drug Metformin[13] is one of the most prescribed diabetes medications, but research has shown that it may offer other positive health benefits. The drug demonstrated an effect on fat, thus assisting body weight reduction. More studies are needed to quantify these preliminary results, but there is promise in the fight against obesity with this long-term drug. Currently, no short-term fat loss result has been provided.

The Bottom Line

You can drop weight fast using several of the methods mentioned above. However, weight loss through extreme measures may contribute to several health risks. Methods like severe calorie restriction and cutting out junk foods are not sustainable over long periods. And since you lose mostly water weight with these rapid methods, you will likely regain the weight.

Optimal health and weight management requires adopting healthier lifestyle habits, such as mindful eating, practicing portion control, and maintaining a consistent exercise routine. Diet and exercise together offer the best results over a lifetime. Enjoying life requires balance. All foods can fit into a healthy diet, and exercise should not be a punishment to your body. If you have questions about weight loss, consult your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you lose belly fat in a week?

While not advisable as a long-term solution, cutting calories, increasing exercise intensity, and consuming mostly plant-based whole foods are options to lose belly fat in a week.

What should I eat to lose weight in 7 days?

Eat mostly plant-based foods and increase your water intake. Whole foods have greater nutritional value and contain essential vitamins and minerals for optimal body function. Drinking more water helps to keep you hydrated and more satisfied throughout the day so you are less likely to snack on junk food.

How much weight can you lose in a week? 

Depending on the person and the methods, it is possible to lose weight quickly. However, rapid weight loss is not recommended as a lifestyle approach to weight management.

How can you lose 3 pounds a week?

With calorie restriction, increased exercise intensity, and improving the quality of your diet, you can increase your odds of losing weight in a week.

Can you lose weight fast on Metformin?

Research has shown there may be long-term effects regarding weight loss with Metformin, specifically in a fat-burning capacity. Studies[14] showed a moderate weight reduction decrease by the treatment’s end over 28 weeks, so it is not a quick fix.


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  2. Hall, K.D., Ayuketah, A., Brychta, R.J., Cai, H., Cassimatis, T., Chen, K.Y., Chung, S.T., Costa, E., Courville, A.B., Darcey, V.L., Fletcher, L., Forde, C.G., Gharib, A.M., Guo, J., Howard, R., Joseph, P.V., McGehee, S., Ouwerkerk, R., Klaudia Raisinger and Rozga, I. (2019). Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake. Cell Metabolism, [online] 30(1), pp.67-77.e3. doi:
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  9. Chung, N.-N., Park, M.-Y., Kim, J., Park, H., Hwang, H., Lee, C.H., Han, J.-S., So, J.-M., Park, J. and Lim, K. (2018). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): a component of total daily energy expenditure. Journal of exercise nutrition & biochemistry, [online] 22(2), pp.23–30. doi:
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  11. Thijs M. H. Eijsvogels, Thompson, P.D. and Franklin, B.A. (2018). The ‘Extreme Exercise Hypothesis’: Recent Findings and Cardiovascular Health Implications. Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine, [online] 20(10). doi:
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  13. Khanyisani Ziqubu, Mazibuko-Mbeje, S.E., Sinenhlanhla X. H. Mthembu, Mabhida, S.E., Jack, B., Nyambuya, T.M., Nkambule, B.B., Basson, A.K., Tiano, L. and Dludla, P.V. (2023). Anti-Obesity Effects of Metformin: A Scoping Review Evaluating the Feasibility of Brown Adipose Tissue as a Therapeutic Target. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 24(3), pp.2227–2227. doi:
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