While many of us would like to lose five pounds, going on a crash diet is not the way to go about it. Sure, you might see results quickly, but the weight will likely return just as fast. As with any lifestyle or dietary change, losing weight must be done responsibly and carefully if it's going to last.

Losing Five Pounds in the Right Time

Losing weight in the right time frame

We all know that when you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. More specifically, you need to burn around 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight. How effectively you can achieve this depends on both your starting weight and how quickly you try to hit that deficit.

The more weight you have to lose, the more quickly you'll lose it. This is because the body has fat to spare; when you consume fewer calories than you use, your body burns its fat stores to make up for it. To contrast, someone with a low body-fat percentage will use up muscle as well as fat when they experience a calorie deficit since the body does not want to give up its vital fat stores.

If you try to meet the 3,500 calorie deficit too quickly, you'll end up losing muscle mass instead of fat as your body enters panic mode. This also occurs if you diet without exercising. Therefore, in order to properly lose fat instead of muscle, you need to carefully reduce your calorie intake while supporting your muscles with exercise and a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

Following this rule, if you reduce your diet by 500 calories a day, you can expect to lose five pounds in five weeks. However, the 3,500 calorie target does not account for how bodies and metabolisms react to dietary changes, and as such it may take up to 10 weeks to reach the same target.

Everyone's body is different, so when you begin your weight loss journey, recognize that it may take you more or less time to lose weight than this guide suggests. What's most important is that you lose weight in a responsible manner; over time, you're sure to see the results you want.

Tips for Shedding Weight the Right Way

Losing weight the right way

In order to lose weight healthily and effectively, these tips should be implemented into your life on a consistent basis. Better yet, you might want to consider keeping these habits as part of a long-term health strategy that will keep you fit for the rest of your life.

Drink More Water

Whether you know it or not, you're likely dehydrated to some degree. Since drinking water helps boost your metabolism and curb the urge to eat more than necessary, sip on some refreshing lemon water throughout the day.

Boost Your Metabolism

There are a few different ways you can rev your metabolism for weight loss. Consider adding a supplement to your diet plan like L-arginine, which helps promote lean muscle mass. Alternately, incorporate metabolism boosters like high-fiber green vegetables, ginger and Omega-3 fatty acids into your regular diet.

Get Moving

An obvious part of losing weight? Exercising! Join a group exercise class like yoga or spin and hit the gym regularly. Aim to exercise a minimum of three times per week and for at least 30–45 minutes each session.

Cut Out the Bad Stuff

Changing your diet completely isn't all that easy. Instead of setting lofty and unrealistic goals, start by cutting out the foods that are really bad for you—soda, artificial sweeteners and drive-through fast foods. You can also portion your meals so that you don't overeat.

There you have it: with these tools, you'll be able to shed five pounds in a responsible and long-lasting way. And in the long run, you'll feel much better too.

Photos: Daniel_Dash / Shutterstock.com, sergign / Shutterstock.com, Lauren Mancke