How to lose a pound in 7 days: Nutrition, Bootcamp, Sex, and Math

So, as you may know, the majority of individuals who attend my bootcamp want to lose some weight.

And I rightfully take it personally if you don’t reach your goal weight. In fact, it gets to me when I hear people not hitting their expectations. Sometimes these expectations may be unreasonable, but it always gets me thinking of how I can provide you with more information so that you can get the most out of your bootcamp experience.

Even if you don’t hit your goal weight immediately you should focus on the positives – the inches lost, the better fitting clothes, and of course the fitter you, which will enable you to exercise harder and thus burn more calories in subsequent workouts. I like to call this the toppling effect (or the fit effect or the bootcamp effect…) Essentially, the fitter you are, the easier it is to lose weight, as your caloric burn during an hour of exercise will always be greater as you become fitter and are able to push your body harder.

But first I should probably explain calories in, calories out, caloric deficit, and caloric surplus.
The primary cause of excessive body fat is typically an energy imbalance in the body. Let’s look at a caloric surplus (aka gain weight!) This happens when caloric consumption exceeds energy expenditure. And for every 3500 calories of excess food consumed, food that the body does not use as energy, it is stored as fat in your body. Some ways of obtaining this positive energy balance other than the usual suspect (food) would be hormone disturbances (stress), physical inactivity, and even starving yourself (the starvation mode). So this is all well and good if you want to gain weight, but I know that is not why you are here. When you burn more calories than you consume, you are getting that caloric deficit. The best way to obtain this deficit is quality nutrition and exercise. This will ensure that any of your weight loss will be from fat loss and not losing lean muscle. Just dieting by itself will most likely lead you to lose lean muscle and will essentially lower your metabilism as metabolism is dependant on lean muscle. In fact, you should be thinking of putting on as much muscle as possible! This is your best strategy towards long term skinny! The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism.

Whether your goal is 5, 10, or 40lbs it is all simple math and science and I am going to break it down here how you lose fat.

It all starts with measuring your daily caloric requirement which will be calculated by our kick-ass, in-house dietician or ascertained by our trusy bootcamp scale. Now what the heck is daily caloric requirement? It’s the number of calories you require in a day to maintain your bodyweight given your current exercise habits.

So now you have a number of calories that you can consume each day and remain at the same weight. But, your goal is to lose weight so we need to adjust.


So lets say we have a woman and her daily caloric requirement is calculated at 2200 calories (measured by The Bootcamp Effect’s Dietician) and her goal is to lose 20lbs in 2 months. We’ll I like to break things into weeks, so 20lbs in 8 weeks. Hmmmm. Let’s break it down further into her weekly goal aka 2.5lbs every week.

To lose 1 pound in 7 days, she will need a deficit of 3500 calories in 1 week. The easiest way to achieve a 1lb loss each week is for her to reduce her caloric intake by 500 calories a day to 1700 calories. So if she deducts 500 calories each day in the week then she will have 3500 calories or 1 pound of fat lost. Beautiful.

So, being a well rounded person, and knowing that true health comes from physical capacity our girl is also taking part in a weekly exercise regiment such as bootcamp consisting of resistance training and cardiovascular interval training. This is where she will get earn that additional deficit and lose those 2lbs.

Note: You do not want to decrease your caloric intake much more than 500 calories per day. Whatever your daily caloric intake be, NEVER EVER EVER go under 1200 calories per day, this will lower your metabolism and is setting yourself up for failure in the long run. Our example has a daily caloric requirement of 2200 calories. She can go to 1400 calories per day and get a solid deficit of 800 calories per day (5600 calories per week) without risking the effects of starvation mode.

Read this if you want to know more about the starvation mode:

So our girl wants to lose 3lbs though. So let’s calculate how much of a caloric deficit she would need in order to accomplish this:

Her daily caloric intake to maintain her weight = 2200 cals per day
Her weekly caloric intake to maintain her weight = 2200 x 7 = 15400 cals per week

Her goal is to lose 3lbs of fat (3500cals/lb x 3lbs) = 10500 caloric deficit each week

Let’s break it down it down daily: 10500 calories / 7 days = 1500 caloric deficit required each day to lose 3lbs in a week.

How to do this:

Eat less calories. Her body requires 2200 calories/day to maintain her current weight, she’ll eat 1500 calories per day instead (- 700 calories/day)

Exercise. So 800 calories left to burn each day to get 3lbs lost per week. We’ll bootcamp burns 500-1000 per workout and raises your metabolism through the roof, but most of you won’t be attending 7 days per week, (it’s only offered 6 days per week too.) Our girl will attend 4 days per week and if she supplements bootcamp with some sort of low intensity cardio activity 2-3x/week she will be able to hit her 3lb/week goal.

(Low intensity cardio 30mins – 60 mins of slow jogging, biking, elliptical, swimming)

Now for the weekly perspective: It was 1500 caloric deficit to burn each day, so x 7 =
10500 cals per week to hit her goal.

She eats 700 less calories per day (-4900 calories/week)
4 bootcamp workouts at 700 calories per workout (-2800 calories/week)
= 7700 caloric deficit (Note: that’s just over 2lbs of fat lost there)

Leaving 2800 calories left to burn this week for her goal.
2x/week of low intensity cardio for 1 hour = (500 calories x 2) = (-1000 calories/week)
Staying active, walking, playing soccer, errands, and you can see that she would be very close to hitting her goal of 3lbs per week.

(And toss some sex in there too…The average amount of calories burned during 30mins of sex = 150cals…or 4-5 calories per minute!)

Even if she does not hit her goal of 3lbs. Here’s some perspective:
2.5lbs/week = 10lbs per month = 50lbs in 5 months

And the best thing is that your body only gets more efficient at burning calories as you build lean muscle. You will effectively raise your metabolism and thus if you keep up the nutritional habits then you will lose weight even easier.

And now you know why I am always telling you to lift more weight….safely.

Note: If your diet is on point like our example above, you should be losing weight each week. If you are struggling, then you simply are not burning enough calories per week to get that weight loss number that you want. So work out hard, eat right, and have some more sex.

That may have not been appropriate….

Well, it’s all math,

Josh Saunders
The Bootcamp Effect