For many women, losing weight can feel like an overwhelming challenge, particularly when they need to lose weight quickly for an upcoming event or occasion.
While some people resort to crash diets or extreme exercise routines to achieve rapid weight loss, these methods can be harmful to your health and well-being, leaving you feeling unwell and malnourished.
However, there are simple and painless ways to achieve your weight loss goals without resorting to these extreme measures.
By adopting healthy eating habits, regular exercise, proper sleep and hydration, you can achieve a healthy and fit body. By following these tips consistently, you can even lose up to 20 pounds in just two weeks, as my 47-year-old friend Patricia did.
She lost 10 pounds in the first week alone and went on to lose a total of 54 pounds in the same year, without any crazy exercise or diet.
So, let’s get started on achieving your weight loss goals.
Nutrition is one of the most important parameters that should be kept in mind while following a weight loss regiment. Having a balanced diet is important to ensure that you don’t feel nutrition deprived. If you want to lose 12 pounds in 7 days, you have to make sure you take care of the following things in terms of consuming and maintaing the appropriate nutrition levels for your body.
1. Consume Fewer Calories Than You Burn
Watching your calories is very important when you are trying to lose weight (at least for that first 7 days). In fact, the only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn. It should be kept in mind that one pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories. Thus, you need to burn 3500 calories more than you take in with food. But this does not mean that you go into starvation mode. All you need to do is shave off 600 calories in a day through dietary changes and exercise to lose 1 to 2 pounds each week. Instead of resorting to crash dieting, it is advisable to consume about 1200 to 1600 calories daily and keep a food journal to count your calorie consumption.
2. Burn 5000 Calories More Than You Take In
In order to lose 12 pounds in a week, you need to burn 5000 more calories than you take in per day. Agreed, that’s too much for an average person, but you have to push yourself to achieve this goal. Also, it should be kept in mind that an average person burns about 2000 calories while doing normal routine activities. This means that if you consume exactly 2000 calories through food every day, you will neither gain nor lose weight. To burn extra calories, you can make simple changes in your lifestyle like walking instead of driving, taking stairs instead of the lift and simply breathing.
3. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is, undoubtedly, one of the most important meals of the day and skipping it in an urge to cut calories is not at all a great option. In fact, several studies have shown that people who had breakfast regularly had comparatively lower BMIs than breakfast skippers. So, kick start your day a healthy and nutritious way by having a bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal topped with fruit or low fat dairy. You can also have scrambled eggs to fulfil your protein requirements, but avoid heavy and oily foods for breakfast.
4. Lean Proteins Is A Must In Your Diet
Incorporating lean proteins in your meals and snacks will keep you from overeating by keeping you full for longer. You can try 98% lean beef, skinless chicken breast, eggs and certain fish like salmon. For vegetarians, soy products like edamame or tofu, low fat yogurt, peanut butter, nuts and beans are good sources of lean proteins. Besides, it is advisable to have frequent meals at an interval of 3 to 4 hours to maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid overindulgence.
5. Cut the Consumption of Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs, also known as refined carbohydrates, get absorbed by our body quickly but provide zero nutrition. So it is advisable to stay away from simple carbs like cookies, candies, molasses, honey, cakes and other baked sweets, and packaged cereals.
6. Opt for Complex Carbs
Replace the refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates as they are packed with fibre and other nutrients. Besides, they get digested by the body and released into the blood stream comparatively slower. So incorporate complex carbs like brown rice, whole-grain pasta, beans and legumes, vegetables like asparagus and fruits like apricots in your diet.
7. Avoid Fast Food
Fast foods are synonymous of unhealthy foods. Besides being loaded with trans-fat, fast foods like fries, burgers and shakes contain a whopping amount of sugar and salt which can cause you to pile on the pounds. They are also nil in terms of nutrition. Hence, if you want to shed ten pounds effectively, it is advisable to avoid fast foods completely.
8. Eat Smaller Portions
It will be, indeed, pleasing to know that reducing your portion size by 10% to 20% can also lead to weight loss. You can trim your portion size by using smaller bowls and plates or measuring cups to measure your portion sizes. Eating smaller frequent meals will not only keep you full, but also boost your metabolism, thus leading to weight loss.
9. Opt for Lighter Alternatives
One of the ways to accelerate weight loss is to switch to lighter alternatives in food. In other words, you should use low fat versions of dairy products, mayonnaise, salad dressings, etc. You can use salsa or hummus as a dip, mustard as spread on sandwiches instead of butter, skim milk instead of cream in your coffee and roasted sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. These simple substitutions can make quite a difference to your weight as well as health.
10. Avoid Late Night Snacking
We can’t deny the fact that most of us indulge in mindless late night snacking while watching television or late night working. We don’t realize that we are loading our bodies with unnecessary calories by doing so. It is advisable to have your dinner before 9 at night. If you want to have dessert, you can have a bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt. After that, just brush your teeth so that you are less likely to eat or drink anything else.
11. Eat Low and Medium GI Foods
Foods that have a high glycemic index should be avoided as they create a surge in the sugar levels. This would ultimately cause spikes in insulin levels and increase fat storage in the body. Low GI foods, on the contrary, cause small fluctuations and gradual rise in insulin and blood sugar levels. Besides keeping you fuller and providing your energy, they aid in weight loss and minimize the risk of diabetes.
Proper hydration is as important as proper nutrition for maintaining the ideal body weight. Hydration is an important aspect of health that most of us ignore. It not only keeps your body cool, but also helps to keep several diseases at bay.
12. Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is regarded as synonymous with water and drinking plenty of water is, undoubtedly, one of the best ways to keep oneself hydrated. Ensure to drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day. Besides being devoid of calories, water keeps you full such that you are less likely to overeat. To avoid hunger pangs in between meals, you can have a big glass of water. Apart from water, there are other ways of hydration. Unsweetened green tea, for instance, is a good option as it is rich in antioxidants and has zero calories.
13. Avoid Liquid Calories
As stated earlier, to achieve the desirable weight loss, it is important to control the intake of calories and liquid calories are no exception. The processed fruit juices, energy drinks and aerated drinks might appear tempting, but they load your body with about a third of your entire calories for the day. Instead, you can quench your thirst with water, citrus juices or 100% percent fruit juices. Vegetable juices are also a nutritious option to satisfy your hunger in between meals. Alcohol calories should be particularly avoided as they add up quickly. So it is advisable to restrict the consumption of wine or cocktails to weekends in order to save calories.
If you are serious about losing 10 pounds in a week, you need to pay attention to your fitness. However, this does not mean you have to spend hours in rigorous workouts at the gym. But, it is important to incorporate regular physical activity in your regime so that you can effectively burn calories. Fitness is not just about exercise, it also includes walking, sports activity, dance, etc. Given below are a few ways to stay fit.
Compound exercises involve working out multiple joints and are considered the best bodyweight exercises. For instance, the exercises performed below navel work out your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus, the three largest muscle groups in your body. They create minor afterburn tears in the muscle fibres, causing a large burn in calories post workout as a lot of energy is required to repair those tears. You can try compound exercises like bench press, squats, clean and press etc.
Cardio is basically an aerobic exercise that involves steady and repetitive movements using a person’s arms and legs to increase blood circulation and blood flow throughout the body. Covering a duration of 15-20 minutes, it helps maintain 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.
16. Medicine Ball Slam
This is a simple and energetic workout that can really help in burning calories. With your feet wide apart, lift a medicine ball overhead. Now slam it down on the floor as hard as possible slightly squatting and using your abdominals. Then pick the ball up, stand up and repeat the process. Try to do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
17. Weight Training
Weight training is another way to lose weight effectively. In fact, it is a misconception that weight training is meant for building bigger muscles and not losing weight. Weight training if done properly can speed up your fat burning process during workouts and even long after the workout is over. Training with weight is anaerobic in nature that burns carbohydrates. Unlike aerobic training, it helps build lean body mass. But it accelerates your metabolism, causing you to burn more fat. To effectively lose 10 pounds in a week, it is advisable to indulge in weight training routine involving compound exercises at a higher intensity level.
Walking is also an important part of your fitness regime. This aerobic activity is equally effective in burning calories and can be done by almost everyone! Try using your legs instead of a vehicle, use stairs instead of an elevator or just go for a morning walk. If you find all these to be difficult, you can simply use the treadmill. All you need to do is grab an opportunity to burn extra calories. You can use a pedometer to keep track of the number of steps you take during the day to find out the exact number of calories burnt.
Dancing is an excellent way to work out all your body muscles and stay fit. Those who find their regular workout regimen boring and monotonous can try dancing to include the fun element in your routine. Today there are regular dance courses teaching basic jazz, salsa and hip hop. You can try out any one of these you are comfortable with. Zumba dance form is also gaining popularity these days. This form involves a combination of Latin and international music to provide you a fantastic workout.
20. Cross Training
Cross training is another interesting way to work out your body muscles and burn extra calories. It comprises of different endurance, strength and aerobic exercises that work out different parts of your body and thus, keep you from getting bored.
21. Proper Sleep
Numerous studies have shown that getting less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with increased incidence of obesity. There are several reasons behind this.
Research suggests that insufficient and poor-quality sleep slows down the process in which the body converts calories to energy, called metabolism. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, which also prompt fat storage.
How long and how deep someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain while ghrelin tells your brain you’re hungry.
Without a properly functioning leptin and ghrelin, you’re constantly hungry and nothing you eat will ever make you full.
So, sleep more and sleep well.