How To Lose Weight In 3 Weeks – 10 Expert’s Tips In 2024

how to lose weight in 3 weeks
10 effective tricks to help lose weight in 3 weeks. Photo: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

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Are you losing fewer pounds than you hoped despite your efforts? If you want to learn how to lose weight fast, it isn’t enough to eat a healthy diet or follow a particular program. You also need to adopt healthy lifestyle changes.

Some people lose a lot of weight within a week, while others shed only a few kilos in that same duration. You are probably curious about how many pounds one should shed weekly.

How long does it take to lose weight? According to the CDC,[1] a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended.

Read on to learn how to lose weight in 3 weeks. Plus, learn whether or not it’s healthy to lose weight quickly within that duration. Finally, you will learn safe ways of losing weight.

How To Lose Weight In 3 Weeks

There are various ways that may help you lose weight in three weeks. Here are some tried-and-true methods for losing weight quickly:

  1. Maintain a calorie deficit.
  2. Eat low-calorie foods.
  3. Consider intermittent fasting.
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Exercise regularly.
  6. Drink plenty of water.
  7. Limit alcohol consumption.
  8. Manage stress.
  9. Watch less TV.
  10. Eat slowly.

How To Lose Weight In 3 Weeks

Based on a healthy rate of weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week, you may be able to lose as much as 6 pounds in three weeks. Several strategies can help you achieve this rate of weight loss. Here are ten methods of losing weight.

Maintain A Calorie Deficit

Having a calorie deficit is the best way to achieve weight loss. A calorie deficit involves consuming fewer calories than your body needs. With fewer calories in your system, the body must utilize stored body fat for energy.

To shed 1 to 2 pounds per week, you must create a calorie deficit of 500 to 750 calories[2] per day by dietary adjustments. Women should not limit their intake to less than 1200 calories per day.[3] Men should not limit their intake to less than 1500 calories per day.

You must estimate your daily caloric intake based on characteristics such as height, weight, age, and gender before beginning a calorie deficit. This will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Consult a healthcare expert or use an online calculator such as the NIH Body Weight Planner[4] to plan your daily calorie requirements.

Eat Low-Calorie Foods

how to lose weight in 3 weeks
Low-calorie foods can help you lose weight. Photo: sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

To learn how to lose 5 pounds in 3 weeks, you must eat low-calorie foods. One strategy to achieve this is by adopting the Mediterranean diet.[2] This diet involves high consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, and poultry, with little or no consumption of red meat. Besides helping you lose weight, this diet reduces your chances of contracting cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Another way of eating low-calorie meals is to follow a ketogenic diet. The typical daily allowance of carbohydrates on a conventional ketogenic diet is between 10 and 15 grams.[5]  Additionally, it has one gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight, with fat accounting for the remaining calories.

Generally, cutting back on carbohydrates causes the body to run out of blood sugar or fuel. This puts the body into ketosis, using stored fats as fuel. It’s thought that this metabolic shift promotes weight loss.

If you’re following the ketogenic diet, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes. Since fat contains more calories than protein or carbohydrates, over-eating fatty foods can quickly negate the calorie deficit you’re aiming for.

Consider Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an effective way of losing weight quickly because it forces the body to burn fat by using its sugar stores.

There are different approaches to this form of fasting. The widely used method[6] is the 16/8 approach. In this dietary approach, an individual will fast for 16 hours, followed by an 8-hour eating window.

One of the most common ways to accomplish 16/8 fasting is by skipping breakfast and taking your first meal at noon. Then, you eat an early dinner and avoid eating until the next day.

Remember that the health benefits of intermittent fasting depend on what you eat during the eating window. If you want to detox your body, improve your metabolism, and promote weight loss, incorporate healthful eating into your fasting program.

Get Enough Sleep

The number of calories you burn when sleeping varies based on your basal metabolic rate.

Adults burn roughly 50 calories each hour[7] while sleeping on average. That means that if you sleep for 8 hours, you can burn more than 400 calories. However, these calories are part of your basal metabolic rate and do not contribute to a calorie deficit.

Sleep indirectly causes weight loss.[8] It accomplishes this by regulating ghrelin and leptin,[9] two hormones that stimulate hunger and signal fullness, respectively. This may help you maintain a calorie deficit by helping you feel less hungry.

Exercise Regularly

how to lose weight in 3 weeks
Regular exercise can help to burn excess fat. Photo: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

To lose weight, you should have a regular exercise routine. For best results, combine cardio exercises and weight training workouts. The former involves running, walking, or cycling, while the latter involves lifting weights, push-ups, or bodyweight exercises.

Exercise is also great for people who want to learn how to lose belly fat in 3 weeks. Belly fat puts you at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. While it’s not possible to spot reduce fat, exercise can help you lose overall body fat, including belly fat.

Drink Plenty of Water

Considering we drink water regularly, why don’t we notice significant weight loss results quickly?

Remember, water doesn’t contain any calories, which is how it helps reduce your overall daily calorie intake. Additionally, it helps you consume fewer calories by increasing satiety.

Also, water influences your metabolism through its thermogenic effect.[10] That means it can temporarily increase your resting energy expenditure. However, the mechanism by which this occurs is poorly understood.

When you’re dehydrated, the body loses water quickly, forcing the body to retain excess water. You’ll need to drink a lot of water[11] to reduce water weight

Finally, water aids the kidney’s detoxification function[12] by facilitating the removal of excess water and sodium.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption[13] is likely to cause weight gain. It does this in several ways:

  • It contains empty calories, which aren’t a good source of energy during exercise.
  • It increases appetite and cravings for processed foods.
  • It stops fat-burning processes.
  • It compromises the liver’s ability[14] to maintain fluid balance effectively.

To lose weight quickly, you’re advised to limit your alcohol consumption. If you must practice drinking alcohol, you are recommended to consume in moderation.[15] This is two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less for women. 

Overall, drinking less alcohol is better for you than drinking more. 

Manage Stress

Have you ever wondered why some people turn to food when stressed? This is because stress leads to an increase in cortisol[16] levels. High levels of cortisol[17] are associated with an increased body weight.  

Some people turn to alcohol when they are stressed, which can cause weight gain. Therefore, it’s important to have healthy ways of managing your stress. This may include practicing relaxation techniques, prioritizing self-care, and practicing mindfulness.

Watch Less TV

To lose weight, experts recommend[18] watching TV for no more than 2 hours per day. Watching too much TV[19] can lead to mindless snacking, which leads to a high intake of calories. Factors linked to this behavior include the force of habit, emotional eating, distraction, and socio-cultural influence.

By watching less TV, you may have more time for physical activities. These physical activities help you lose weight by burning calories. Plus, you can reduce mindless snacking due to being occupied by activities.

Eat Slowly

It takes time for the body to recognize feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Slow eating[20] allows your body time to recognize such messages. Eating slowly also allows you to judge how hungry or full you are, which could lead to eating less if you realize you are full

Eating slowly helps you lose weight by allowing you to discriminate between physical and emotional eating.[21] Emotional eating can lead to eating too quickly or making poor food choices. Over time, this can lead to weight gain. 

Is It Bad To Lose Weight Too Quickly?

If you’ve been wondering how to lose weight fast, look no further than the strategies listed above. Although reducing weight can be beneficial to your health, losing weight too quickly can have  unfavorable effects.

Rapid weight reduction can result in muscle loss.[22] This is because losing weight too quickly can lead to muscle breakdown for fuel.   This can reduce your metabolic rate,[23] making it more difficult to burn calories and thus lose weight. 

Rapid weight loss also raises the risk of nutritional deficiencies.[24] This is because rapid weight loss usually entails following a strict diet. This may lead to inadequate intake of certain nutrients.

Finally, some people with obesity get gallstones after dropping weight quickly. Gallstones[25] can cause nausea, stomach pain, and other digestive problems. Gallstones are typically caused by a change in the balance of cholesterol, bile salts, and other chemicals in the gallbladder. 

Tips For Safely Losing Weight 

Now that you have learned how to lose weight in 3 weeks, it’s important to understand how to lose weight safely. After all, reducing weight means little if it is accompanied by symptoms like muscle loss or gallstones. Plus, you may fall back into your old eating habits and regain your weight over time.

One approach for losing weight safely[26] is mindful eating, which means eating slowly and enjoying each bite. This will help you enjoy the taste of the food. Plus, you will also be training your body to detect hunger and satiety signals, which may aid with weight loss.

Portion control can also aid in promoting healthy weight loss. When you eat from large plates or cups, you are more likely to take larger portions. Aside from eating in large quantities, there is also the option of eating quickly. Because of this, smaller utensils and plates are recommended.[20]

hronic stress[27] can lead to weight gain and additional health issues such as cancer and diabetes. As a result, you should manage your stress by doing things you enjoy and performing breathing exercises. Alternatively, you can seek support from family, friends, or a healthcare professional.

Finally, when attempting to reduce weight, you should set reasonable goals.[28] Setting goals has been shown to improve weight loss efforts. Try not to set your target too high, as you may feel disappointed if you don’t achieve it.


If you’ve been wondering how to lose weight in 3 weeks, combine diverse approaches to help you achieve long-term weight loss. Exercise, for example, is insufficient by itself[29] for long-term weight loss. It must be combined with a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

You also don’t want to drop too much weight too rapidly. This can lead to weight regain in the long-term due to your body’s reduced metabolism. Instead, focus on a sustainable rate of weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week combined with healthy lifestyle choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you slim down in three weeks?

It is possible to slim down in three weeks. However, slimming down in that duration depends on various factors, such as body composition, exercise, and adherence to a healthy lifestyle. 

How much weight can you lose in 3 weeks?

Depending on your body composition and healthy lifestyle, you can lose 3 to 6 pounds in three weeks.

Can you lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks?

It is possible to lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks, but that is rather unsafe. Generally, experts recommend that people lose 3-6 pounds in 3 weeks. Losing that much weight means experiencing problems such as nutritional deficiencies and muscle loss.

Is weight loss surgery a good way to lose weight?

Weight loss surgery can be a good way to lose weight if all other methods of losing weight fail. However, you should realize that weight loss surgery is a major medical procedure with potential risks.

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Samwel James is a health and wellness coach with over five years of experience assessing fitness and advising clients on behavioral and lifestyle adjustments based on their health conditions and objectives. Through personable healthcare professional, he… See More