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How do people lose several pounds in a week?

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With a new calendar year leading many people to try fad diets or new exercise, I see many posts of people claiming to have lost 5 pounds, with mainly claiming 6...8+.  I think they are being honest but I do not understand how it is possible. 


I do not understand how it is possible.  Most research concludes that a pound of body fat is about 3500 calories.  So while other caloric variables might be in play, that would mean someone who lost 5 pounds in a week, which is the low of the many claims I have seen, create a roughly 17,500 caloric deficit during the week.  Absent direct exercise, it is estimated the average person burns 2000 calories a day.  So that is only 14,000 in a week. That leaves 3500. Perhaps these people add exercises.  If they rarely worked out before, I doubt they do much in new exercises - maybe they jog 20 minutes or lift some light weights, either would be vigorous for someone who did not workout before. Maybe that gets them to 400 extra calories burned in a day.  They are still short, and that is if they ate nothing the whole week. 


Is it water loss - they are dehydrating themselves?  If so, that does not seem healthy. 

Edited by 9 Nines
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9 minutes ago, reo said:

You don't. If someone's weight drops that much that quickly, its mostly likely mostly water weight aka bloating. 

Thanks.  I just found:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lose-10-pounds-in-one-week

While losing 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a week is technically possible, it is not recommended.

Short-term, intense eating plans are considered crash diets — meaning that your weight is likely to rebound after you finish the program. Furthermore, because of their restrictive nature, these diets aren’t appropriate if you have a history of eating disorders.

Thus, these diets aren’t a healthy, sustainable, or long-term solution.

With rapid weight loss, most of the weight you lose is water weight, not body fat. That’s because you can’t safely burn through 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body fat in just 1 week (1Trusted Source).

Rather, fast weight loss lowers your insulin levels and flushes out stored carbs known as glycogen, which hold around three times their weight in water. Reduced insulin levels also make your kidneys shed excess sodium, which leads to a drop in water retention (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

Instead of quick weight loss programs, we recommend checking out these tips or trying one of these diet plans.

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