To lose 3 pounds in one week, maintain a weekly calorie deficit of 10,500 calories, based on the calculation of 3,500 calories per pound. For a 3-pound loss in one week, pursue a goal of a 1,500-calorie deficit each day. A calorie deficit equals the difference between calories in and calories out, so you can achieve the 10,500 calorie deficit through a combination of reducing food intake and increasing exercise to burn calories.
- Eat healthy foods
Avoid foods containing sugars and saturated fats or that have high starch content. Instead, choose vegetables, lean meats and fish. By cutting salt out of the diet, you can also decrease water retention, thereby stimulating a temporary loss of water weight but not fat. Try replacing high-calorie foods with lower-calorie substitutes.
- Increase daily exercise
Reduce sedentary time, and replace it with time spent on calorie-burning activities. Set a goal of at least 30 minutes per day of low-intensity activity. For example, 30 minutes of walking burns between 100 and 200 calories.
- Keep a food diary
Weight-loss experts agree that keeping a journal of food and exercise increases a dieter's success rate. Record the emotional and situational triggers that lead you to eat more unhealthy foods, and learn to avoid unhealthy scenarios.