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So, How Do I Lose 10 lbs? Medical Minute #29

How Do I Lose 10 Lbs?

Hi, I’m Dr. Craig Primack from Scottsdale Weight Loss Center. Today’s question is about losing fat. In January, which right now it’s January 2021, when we have New Year’s resolutions, normally our New Year’s resolutions have something to do with our weight or our health.

So, the question today is how do I lose fat? This is actually a five-pound fat model. Five pounds of fat historically is about 17,500 calories worth of food. So, let’s first attack that as a myth. So, when you lose a pound of fat, historically, we’ve always learned that it’s 3,500 calorie deficit. If you eat 500 less calories for seven days in a row, that’s 3,500, you should lose a pound a week. Well, that’s not exactly true. Maybe for the first pound, it is true. But for each pound after that, you actually have to decrease your calorie deficit, or increase your calorie deficit more, decrease your calories more to lose continued weight.

Our Efficient Body

Our body is a tremendously efficient machine. The more weight we lose, the more our body wants to hold on to the weight it has because that’s how we survive over the centuries and centuries that humans have been around. And so if it starts at 3,500, after you’ve lost a few pounds, it may go to 4,000. It’s been estimated sometimes to go to 4,500 or 5,000 calories per pound, which is as we talk about losing that last few pounds, it does get harder. And so the question that comes up all the time in the clinic is so how do I lose 10 pounds? And I think the easy answer is figure out first, how to lose one pound. If you can lose one pound, you most likely can lose 10 pounds. And I say that it’s not just skipping breakfast. It’s not just not drinking some water to lose a pound.

1 lb is 3500 Calories?

We want to lose a pound of fat, which is at least a 3,500 calorie deficit. And so a certain way to do that obviously is by decreasing your calories and the easiest and best way to decrease calories is under supervision from a medical professional, whether that be a physician, or a nurse practitioner, or someone who is certified in obesity medicine. And how to do it safely and effectively for you inside of all the other medical things you may or may not have going on. The second is through activity. The third is through adequate restorative sleep.

When you put all three of those together, I think that we lose weight on a regular basis. When you want to lose a pound, the first thing you do is implement dietary change. And hopefully, these are dietary changes that we can keep up over time, that is actually the goal. Dietary changes that keep our appetite low. Sometimes using what we call anti-obesity medications, or weight loss medications.

Diet, Exercise and Sleep

An exercise program to get us feeling good, also to burn some calories and adequate restorative sleep. Let’s lose that first pound and then let’s do it again. Now we’ve lost two pounds. Do it again. And we’ve lost three pounds. Do it again. And we’ve lost four pounds. Do it again. And we’ve lost five pounds. Do it five more times and we lost 10 pounds.

And so the way to answer our question from the beginning, to lose 10 pounds is to learn how to lose one pound first and then keep doing it. When you put a program, or a structured plan together to lose a pound, it isn’t just on a whim because we’ve done the whim before, the whim doesn’t work. It’s not a fad. It’s not something you’re buying on the internet that three of your friends have been successful on.

Remember  that medical science has put together as a package of tools that have been shown to work well for you. So, first, learn how to lose one pound and then keep doing it at least 10 times over to lose 10 pounds, maybe 50 times over to lose 50 pounds.


That has been our medical minute for today. How to lose a pound of fat. Thanks for tuning in. Please come to the website, sign up for my blog to get notified when new posts are posted, or subscribe to the channel on the screen next to you. Happy New Year, let’s have a better 2021 than we had in 2020. Thanks. And I’ll see you next week.


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