According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WebMD, attempting to lose 15 pounds in two weeks is unsafe. To achieve such results, individuals must resort to unhealthy amounts of exercise or near-starvation levels of calorie consumption. The healthy, safe rate of weight loss ranges between 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Weight loss occurs when a person uses up more calories than they consume. To lose a pound of fat, about 3,500 calories needs to be burned, according to the CDC. When trying to lose 15 pounds in two weeks, this requires a calorie deficit of 3,750 calories per day. Such a rate would require consuming almost no food in addition to rigorous exercise, which is extremely unsafe.
The better, healthier alternative, is to create a caloric deficit of about 500 to 1,000 calories a day. At this rate a person can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. According to studies conducted by the CDC, people who lose weight at a slower, healthier pace have more success keeping it off long term.
To see big numbers on the scale at the beginning of a weight loss journey, Michael Dansinger, MD, suggests reducing sodium and cutting out starches. Doing this reduces fluids and fluid retention in the body, which may allow for as much as a 5-pound loss of excess fluid weight.
When trying to lose weight at any rate, WebMD suggests eating plenty of vegetables. These help you feel full for a small amount calories. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water, and while it may seem counter intuitive, don't skip any meals. Skipping meals causes feelings of deprivation and cravings for less healthy options.