By Tracy Teare
Here are a few quick facts about losing a pound: It will make your jeans feel a smidge looser, it's the equivalent of four sticks of butter (picture that for a second!), and it requires that you burn and/or cut a total of 3,500 calories. Sound like a lot? It adds up faster than you think.
Related: How to Lose Two Pounds a Week
To lose one pound in seven days you need to reduce your net calories by 500 every day. The easiest way to do that is a 250 split: Cut half from your diet and burn the other half through exercise. To come up with easy ways to do this, we enlisted trainer Heather Rider, founder and director of Rider Fitness Consulting in Los Angeles, and nutritionist Lauren Slayton, RD, of Foodtrainers in New York City. Choose one strategy from the diet and exercise columns each day (feel free to mix and match) and after seven days you will have cut out 3,500 calories. Losing four sticks of butter has never been such a cinch!
Related: 10 Diet Lessons You Can Learn from the French
- Replace your morning bagel and cream cheese with an English muffin and cottage cheese.
- Skip the large bakery muffin in favor of 1 slice of whole wheat toast topped with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
- Swap your large bran muffin for 3/4 cup of bran flakes.
- Replace eggs and cheese with scrambled egg whites
- Replace your 450-calorie lunch with a 200-calorie protein shake.
- Replace large french fries with a yogurt-and-fruit parfait.
- Modify your lunch: Skip the cheese on your salad or sandwich, substitute mustard for mayo, and replace potato chips with soy chips.
- Skip the cheese in an omelet and a lunchtime sandwich.
- Resist the handful of M&M's at the receptionist's desk.
- Switch from cream soup to vegetable-based soup at lunch and dinner.
- Switch from a chai tea latte to lemon tea.
- Leave behind one-fourth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Have 1 cup of strawberries instead of a whole banana, and cauliflower instead of a baked potato with sour cream.
- Substitute a serving of beef with shrimp or a white flaky fish like cod at two meals.
- Replace ranch or blue cheese dressing with low-fat vinaigrette at lunch and dinner
- Have a vodka and soda instead of a margarita at happy hour.
- Use a pedometer and log an extra 3,600 steps.
- Jog at a 10-minute-mile pace for 20 minutes.
- Walk briskly for 30 minutes.
- Spin for 30 minutes at a moderate pace.
- Do 1 hour of housework.
- Walk 1 mile in the morning and 1 mile in the evening.
- Perfect your swing at the driving range for 60 minutes.
- Hit a punching bag for 30 minutes.
- Do 25 minutes of circuit training.
- Alternate sprinting and walking for 20 minutes.
- Do 35 minutes of Pilates.
- Do 35 minutes of yoga.
- Run up stairs for 15 minutes.
- Jump rope for 20 minutes.
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