Ask the Doc – Healthy Amount of Weight to Lose

Anna Lopez-Stratton, MD, of Mission Community Primary Care Haywood, a Service of Transylvania Regional Hospital, answers this common question about how much weight one should lose on a diet without risking their health.

Q: What’s a healthy amount of weight to lose weekly on a diet?

A: A goal of one to two pounds per week is a healthy weight-loss goal. One pound of weight is equivalent to 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound a week, you must consume 500 calories less per day than the basal metabolic needs – the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest – of your body.

There are many basal metabolic calculators available online to determine the amount of calories to maintain your current weight. Once you determine your personal metabolic basal calorie needs, subtracting 500 per day gives you the target maximum calorie intake to lose one pound a week.


Dr. Lopez-Stratton sees patients at Mission Community Primary Care Haywood, a Service of Transylvania Regional Hospital. To schedule an appointment, call (828) 456-9006.

To find a Mission primary care provider near you, call (828) 213-3222 or request an appointment at mission-health.org/needadoc [1].