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How To Lose Weight In 2 Days: New Year Expert’s Tricks


Reviewed by Sevginur Akdas, PhD
how to lose weight in 2 days
Is it possible to lose weight in just 2 days? Photo: Cozine/Shutterstock

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It is not uncommon for people to want to lose weight quickly. Some people may even want to learn how to lose weight in two days. 

If this sounds like you, it’s important to understand that sustainable, healthy weight loss takes time. There is no safe way to lose a significant amount of weight in just two days.

Losing weight doesn’t happen overnight, and rapid weight loss isn’t healthy. You can get started with a new diet over the course of two days. However, if you want lasting weight loss, you must stick with it for much longer.

Below are some tips that may help you figure out how to lose pounds in two days. If you don’t see a significant drop on the scale, don’t be discouraged. You will need to keep going with your diet plan to see noticeable results. 

How To Lose Weight In 2 Days

The idea of losing weight in two days is unrealistic and unhealthy. You can only reduce water weight if you have edema. Or you can empty your bowels’ general digestive system load in two days. This changes your weight on the scale. But you should know that it is not a fat loss. If you’re looking for healthy strategies to lose weight fast, follow these steps: 

  • Step 1: Decrease your calorie intake.
  • Step 2: Add some exercise. 
  • Step 3: Limit sodium intake. 
  • Step 4: Cut carbohydrates.
  • Step 5: Try a fast.

5 Steps To Lose Weight In 2 Days

Significant weight loss in just two days is unlikely. However, you can get a head start on weight loss in just a few days. As you read the tips below, keep in mind that slow, steady weight loss is preferable.

You shouldn’t expect to lose a large amount of weight in such a short time. Also, keep in mind that there isn’t much research on rapid weight loss. 

So, the tips below are mostly based on what generally works for weight loss. Some strategies that could promote faster weight loss are discussed, but use these with caution. 

Decrease Your Calorie Intake

how to lose weight in 2 days
A reduced calorie intake is required for weight loss. Photo: Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock

If you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn off each day. If you’re looking for advice on how to lose weight fast, you’ll need to restrict calories

It’s not an exact science, but the rule of thumb is that there are 3,500 calories per pound of fat. This means you’d need to burn 3,500 more[1] calories than you consume in order to lose a pound.

It would be nearly impossible to be in a deficit of 3,500 calories per day for a 2-pound weight loss in two days. A person would have to starve themselves and exercise for several hours to achieve such a deficit.

The reasoning behind this is that most people aren’t even burning 3,500 calories per day. Consider this: the typical active man, aged 26-30, needs about 3,000[2] calories per day. The recommendation for an active woman the same age is 2,400[2] calories per day.

The point is that it would be virtually impossible to create a large enough deficit to lose a pound a day. Following the same logic, you just aren’t going to lose much weight in two days.

That being said, if you reduce your calorie intake for two days, you can start to lose weight. Using the formula of 3,500 calories per pound, you could maintain a deficit of 1,000 calories per day. After two days, you’d be down over half a pound. 

A severe calorie restriction generally isn’t recommended, though. A deficit of 500 to 1000[3] calories a day is the general recommendation. 

You’d be better off sticking to a smaller deficit for sustainable weight loss. If you cut calories lower than this, it should be just for a short time. 

Add Some Exercise 

We’ve established that weight loss requires calorie restriction. You could achieve this through reduced calorie intake alone, but you’ll burn more calories if you exercise. You might be disappointed if you want to know how to lose weight in two days without exercising.

You may not like exercise, but it will make it easier to be in a calorie deficit. This will make it more likely that you lose a noticeable amount of weight in two days. You shouldn’t expect dramatic fat loss during this time, but you can get off to a good start. 

There are various different types of physical activity that are beneficial for fat loss. If you’re looking for advice on how to lose belly fat in two days, sprint training or high-intensity intervals are an efficient option.

Not only do sprint training and high-intensity intervals burn calories during the workout. They also burn calories through the rest of the day by speeding up your metabolism. Research[4] has shown that post-exercise calorie burn is higher with sprints and high-intensity exercise compared to moderate-intensity exercise. 

Sprints are especially effective for speeding the metabolism for increased calorie burn. Incorporate some sprints into your routine for a few days to speed up your weight loss.

A sprint workout could involve warming up with a five-minute walk and then sprinting for five minutes or more. Recover between sprints to catch your breath, and finish with a cool-down walk. This type of workout will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day. 

Limit Sodium Intake

Eating too much sodium can cause weight gain because your body will retain more water.[5] If you want to drop weight quickly, reduce your sodium intake. 

Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious that a food is high in sodium. For example, salty restaurant food and potato chips are clearly higher in sodium than other foods. However, sodium can also be hiding in unexpected places, like salad dressings 

Be sure to check food labels for sodium content. The average American consumes around 3,400 milligrams[6] of sodium a day. The government recommendation is no more than 2,300 milligrams[6] of sodium daily.

You might be surprised to find that you’re taking in too much sodium. Now is the time to reduce it to the recommended levels. This is probably the best advice for how to lose water weight fast in two days. 

Just remember that cutting sodium won’t necessarily help you lose fat. The weight loss will be from water, but this can make you feel smaller and less bloated. 

Cut Carbohydrates 

Cutting carbohydrates will also help you drop excess water weight. When you consume large amounts of carbohydrates, your body stores glycogen[7] in the liver and muscles. 

Glycogen in liver provides fuel to the body by sending glucose to the blood as needed. Glycogen storage in muscles fuels muscles for contraction and helps muscle recovery after exercise. 

All of this relates to weight management because the muscles store three grams[8] of water per gram of glycogen. So, when you consume excess carbohydrates and store glycogen, you’ll experience weight gain from water. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to lose three pounds in two days, cutting your carbs low could help. Lost weight will be from water rather than fat. However, if you also reduce calories, you could lose fat, too. 

So, what does low carb mean for you? There are various definitions of a low-carb diet. In the medical world, a carbohydrate intake of under 130 grams[9] per day is considered low-carb. 

Try A Fast

how to lose weight in 2 days
Intermittent fasting can reduce calorie intake for weight loss. Photo: Pheelings media/Shutterstock

Intermittent fasting has become a popular way to boost weight loss. One type of fast is the 5:2 diet,[10] in which a person has a very low-calorie intake for two days. They resume their usual eating habits on the other five days of the week.

Research shows[10] that fasting regimens like this can promote weight loss through reduced calorie intake. However, they also lead to hunger, making it difficult to maintain a fasting regimen.

If you want to quickly drop weight, you could fast for two days. Keep in mind that this should just be a temporary approach. It’s also important to understand that long-term fasting could cause nutrient deficiencies.

Nonetheless, scientific research[11] has shown that intermittent fasting can provide health benefits. It can improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of heart disease. If this is a strategy you can stick to, it could be helpful for you. 

As with any strategy, intermittent fasting must be maintained for longer than two days to see significant results. A two-day fast could be a quick strategy to jumpstart weight loss, but don’t expect to drop more than a pound or so. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose In 2 Days?

Losing a significant amount of weight in two days is not sensible. Given that it takes about 3,500 calories to drop a pound of fat, two-day weight loss will be low. It would take a deficit of 1,750 calories per day just to drop a pound in two days. 

Achieving such a large deficit over a period of two days would require a very low-calorie intake. You’d also have to do large amounts of cardio exercises to increase calorie burn. 

It is possible to see the scale go down a few pounds over the course of two days. However, if you lose more than half a pound or so, it’s probably water weight. It’s just not physiologically possible to drop large amounts of fat in two days.

2 Days Diet Plans

A two-day diet plan is typically a very strict diet that limits a person to 500 to 600 calories a day. It is not recommended by health professionals and guidelines.  On these diets, you focus on limiting carbs while prioritizing lean protein. 

Keep in mind that this is a very low-calorie diet, and it’s not sustainable. People who follow these diets do so for just a few days. They might be trying to jumpstart weight loss or lose water weight for an event like a wedding. 

Risks And Safety Tips

When you’re looking for strategies to help you lose weight, you might be interested in rapid weight loss. However, this is often unsafe. If you’re trying to reduce belly fat or lose weight in just two days, you need to know the risks. 

First, extremely low-calorie intake can lead[12] to malnutrition and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you’re severely restricting calories to help you lose weight, be mindful of this risk. Consult with your doctor about taking supplements to lower the risk of deficiencies. 

Rapid weight loss can also cause your body to use lean muscle tissue[12] for fuel. Not only does this reduce[12] your metabolic rate, but it can also make you feel weak. 

Finally, in extreme cases, water weight loss can cause dehydration.[12]

Given the risks, two-day diets aren’t really medically recommended. If you must drop weight quickly, the two-day diet should be a short-term solution. Ideally, you should be under a doctor’s supervision with any rapid weight loss plan. 

Final Thought

You might have been looking to lose five pounds in two days, but hopefully, you now understand that this isn’t realistic. Weight loss takes time, and you can’t drop much fat in two days.

If you follow a strict, low-calorie diet for two days, you might be able to lose small amounts of fat. You will probably also need to do some form of exercise to burn enough calories for weight loss.

A two-day diet that is low in carbs and sodium might also help you drop water weight. While this isn’t actual fat loss, it could help you feel lighter.

The bottom line is that trying to cut weight in two days isn’t the best idea. If you need to lose weight, you’re better off giving yourself a few months or longer to do so.

A two-day diet should only be used in extreme circumstances. Even so, understand that you won’t see dramatic results in just two days. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you lose 4 pounds in 2 days?

Losing 4 pounds in this short amount of time is likely impossible. If you do drop four pounds in this amount of time, it’s probably water weight.

Can you lose weight in 2 days?

If you reduce your calorie intake, exercise, and limit carbs and salt, you could lose weight in two days. However, most of the weight will be water weight. You might lose small amounts of fat with a calorie deficit.

Can you lose fat in 2 days?

You can drop small amounts of fat in two days. A pound of fat requires cutting about 3,500 calories. If you had a deficit of 750 calories a day for two days, you’d lose a little under half a pound of fat.

What is the strict 2-day diet?

A strict two-day diet usually involves severely restricting calories to about 500-600 a day for two days. You focus on limiting carbs and keeping protein intake high.

+ 12 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Thomas, D.M., Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Pereira, A.Z., Redman, L.M. and Heymsfield, S.B. (2014). Time to Correctly Predict the Amount of Weight Loss with Dieting. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, [online] 114(6), pp.857–861. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.02.003.
  2. United States Department of Agriculture (2020). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 -2025 . [online] Available at: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf.
  3. Volkan Yumuk, Constantine Tsigos, Fried, M., Schindler, K., Luca Busetto, Dragan Micić and Hermann Toplak (2015). European Guidelines for Obesity Management in Adults. Obesity Facts, [online] 8(6), pp.402–424. doi:https://doi.org/10.1159/000442721.
  4. Panissa, V.L.G., Fukuda, D.H., Staibano, V., Marques, M. and Franchini, E. (2020). Magnitude and duration of excess of post‐exercise oxygen consumption between high‐intensity interval and moderate‐intensity continuous exercise: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 22(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13099.
  5. Rakova, N., Kento Kitada, Lerchl, K., Dahlmann, A., Birukov, A., Daub, S., Kopp, C.W., Pedchenko, T.V., Zhang, Y., Beck, L., Johannes, B., Marton, A., Müller, D.N., Rauh, M., Luft, F.C. and Titze, J. (2017). Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake. Journal of Clinical Investigation, [online] 127(5), pp.1932–1943. doi:https://doi.org/10.1172/jci88530.
  6. Center (2023). Sodium Reduction. [online] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/sodium-reduction#:~:text=The%20Dietary%20Guidelines%20for%20Americans%2C%202020%2D2025%20recommends%20limiting%20sodium,those%2013%20years%20and%20younger.
  7. Adeva‐Andany, M.M., González-Lucán, M., Cristóbal Donapetry‐García, Fernández‐Fernández, C. and Ameneiros-Rodríguez, E. (2016). Glycogen metabolism in humans. BBA clinical, [online] 5, pp.85–100. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.02.001.
  8. Fernández-Elías, V.E., Ortega, J.F., Nelson, R.K. and Mora‐Rodriguez, R. (2015). Relationship between muscle water and glycogen recovery after prolonged exercise in the heat in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology, [online] 115(9), pp.1919–1926. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3175-z.
  9. Jedha Dening and Shariful, M. (2020). Defining a low carbohydrate diet: Proposal for a standardized consensus of carbohydrate intake (Carb-Cal Model). Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, [online] 166, pp.108284–108284. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108284.
  10. Johnstone, A.M. (2014). Fasting for weight loss: an effective strategy or latest dieting trend? International Journal of Obesity, [online] 39(5), pp.727–733. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2014.214.
  11. Mattson, M.P., Longo, V.D. and Harvie, M. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews, [online] 39, pp.46–58. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2016.10.005.
  12. Fletcher, G.O., Dawes, J. and Spano, M. (2014). The Potential Dangers of Using Rapid Weight Loss Techniques. Strength and Conditioning Journal, [online] 36(2), pp.45–48. doi:https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0000000000000043.


Jennifer Jacobsen is a university professor and mental health professional with over 10 years of experience writing in the health and wellness space. See More