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Just because you can lose 10 pounds in a week, that doesn't mean you should. For healthy weight loss, it's important to know more about your body's needs.

How Much Weight Should You Lose in a Week?

Losing 10lbs in one week, as amazing a concept that is to anyone who has ever been overweight, is very unhealthy and unwise. Here's why: it literally takes 3500 calories to make up a pound, so to lose 1 pound you must reduce your caloric intake by 3500 calories. That means that in order to lose 10 pounds you are going to have to reduce your caloric intake by 35,000 in a week's time. In order to do this you would have to eat 5000 calories less each day or burn that much through exercise. Even with a vigorous workout program, this goal is not only unrealistic, it's potentially dangerous.

It is much more sensible and safe to set your weight-loss goal for somewhere around 10 pounds in 5 weeks. This means you would need to lose about 2 pounds per week, or about 7000 calories a week. This can easily be done by reducing your calorie load by about 600 calories a day through cutbacks in your diet and a few sessions of exercise. Ideally, you should commit to at least a half hour every day of physically burning off extra calories - but if you're new to working out, you can just work towards that goal incrementally over time.

The best way to figure out if you can afford to lose these calories from your daily diet is to figure out what your body needs to cover normal body function on a daily basis. The way to do this is to multiply your body weight by 10; this number is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). For example a person weighing 150 pounds needs about 1500 calories a day for normal body function; this includes digestion, breathing, and maintaining body temperature.

Now you need to figure out how many total calories you need, taking into consideration your physical activity. If you have an idea how many calories your body consumes in a day, add that number to your BMR. Most people have no clue how many calories they actually require every day. Some websites that specialize in weight loss have calculators that can help you figure this out. Otherwise, you can get a rough estimate by taking your weight and multiplying it by 14 if you are an inactive person, and 17 if you an active person. Multiply by 20 if you are very active. Using this formula you will see that an inactive or sedentary person needs about 2100 calories a day to cover regular body functions and his or her normal physical level of activity. So in order to lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks, that person would need to cut 600 calories per day out of his or her diet and exercise for 2 hours in order to burn the other 400 calories. If they were to cut more, there is a risk of unwanted health issues.

There are far too many diets out there now that are promising you fast weight loss. It is wise to remember that these are too good to be true and can be very dangerous on top of it all. Dehydrating yourself or starving yourself can not only alter your moods, but can put you in harm's way for many serious health issues.

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