Is It Possible to Lose Three Pounds in Two Weeks?

A slender woman is measuring her waist.
Image Credit: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Not only is it possible to lose three pounds in two weeks, health professionals endorse this rate of weight loss. The safest amount of weight to lose in a week is one to two pounds. Following a low-calorie diet and exercising are the most reliable ways to do this, and will help build habits that will keep the weight off. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss plan.


Video of the Day


The best way to do lose three pounds in two weeks is by consuming a low-calorie, healthy diet and exercising several times a week. Keep a daily food journal to monitor your caloric intake. This will keep you focused on how many calories you are consuming and how many you need to burn. Online tools like those at LIVESTRONG's MyPlate website can help you track the calories in various foods as well as how many calories are burned during various exercises.



To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you are consuming. Drop 500 calories a day from your diet. Assuming you were previously taking in as many calories as you were expending, this would trim 3,500 calories from your weekly intake. This means you can lose a pound of fat even before exercising. If your daily caloric intake is too low, the Cleveland Clinic warns, you can lose muscle mass and be tempted to binge. For safest results, the National Institute of Health recommend a minimum of 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,500 for men.



Keeping weight off requires a relatively low-calorie diet, but it shouldn't be at the expense of nutrients, the Cleveland Clinic advises. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products. The agency also recommends including lean meats, fish, beans and poultry, as well as eggs and nuts for good protein. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, extra sugar and salt.



A healthy exercise program can help burn off the extra calories that a low-calorie diet alone won't. The Centers for Disease Control recommends exercising at a moderately intense level 60 to 90 minutes five times a week to lose weight. Moderately intense means that your heart rate is increased and you are sweating. You can accomplish this through cardiovascular exercises, such as running or jogging, done alone, or in combination with strength training. If strength training is added, the amount of cardio can be lowered to 45 to 60 minutes three times a week. Strength training should consist of eight to 10 resistance exercises, with eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, twice a week.


Losing three pounds a week is a very reasonable goal, but it requires patience and consistency. By slowly building good habits of diet and exercise, you will be able to lose weight and keep it off. Fad diets and intense exercise can easily lead to giving up, and often any weight lost is quickly gained back, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you are just beginning an exercise or diet program, consult with a doctor. She can help monitor your health and make sure you avoid overdoing it. If you are exceptionally overweight, she may be able to recommend a specific lower-calorie diet.