Maintain a daily food journal. Writing down what you eat, drink, and in what quantities, would help you keep a track of your diet. Remember, diet accounts for over 70% when it comes to losing weight.
You say you’ve got just a week, which means you don’t have enough time to completely transform your body, but yes, you can definitely get the process started. We bet you’ll come across different diets that will claim to be extremely effective, making you lose around 5 to 7 pounds, or perhaps more in a week, but we do not recommend going for these. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, you can’t continue living on a diet all your life, and secondly, the moment you start eating normally, even if it’s on a weekend, you will instantly put on all the weight that you lost, perhaps even more. The last thing you want is to go for a 10-day holiday, looking slim initially, and returning with the extra weight. Why go for something that is not long-term, and most importantly, not healthy?
The three things you must focus on―all being of equal importance―are: Diet, activity levels, and sleep duration. WebMD cautions its readers to not opt for diets, pills, laxatives, and potions that make you lose more than 2-3 pounds per week. This is because when you drastically drop your calorie intake, your body not only uses fat, but also muscles for energy. Losing muscles means losing the energy to exercise, and who wants a body with saggy skin and no toned muscles? Dieting and exercising should go hand in hand. Even Mayo Clinic suggests that in order to lose weight, you need to create a deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume. Sleep, of course, is as crucial.
Because of the limited time span, the one day of the week―where most dieters break free from counting calories and sink their teeth into some toothsome indulgence―is not applicable to you. To keep yourself motivated, start a reverse countdown, day 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Whenever you crave for those sinister food items, think of the guilt trip you will enter post the indulgence. Think of the impression you wish to make on others when you attend that special event post 7 days; think, stay focused, and determined.
Now that we’re done with the motivational talk, let’s get started.
If you are new to dieting and exercising, the initial weight you’ll lose is the water weight. The best way to do so, is to increase your water intake. As contradictory as it may sound, it is a scientifically proven fact. When the body is dehydrated, it starts retaining water in the body, a.k.a. water retention, which also causes your body to bloat. Water is the safest option, with no calories, no preservatives, and no side effects whatsoever.
- In the morning, have a glass of warm water with 2 tbsp. lemon juice, and a stick of cinnamon. Have breakfast after 30 minutes.
- Have 3 to 5 cups of green tea daily, at regular intervals. Research states that it contains a compound EGCG, which helps in reducing fat absorption, and increasing the amount of fat eliminated by the body.
- Thirsty: Drink water. Bored: Drink water. Craving for juice or soda: Drink more water. The options you have are: Plain water, lemon water with cinnamon stick or mint leaves, and green tea.
- Have water especially around meal times, say 30 minutes before. It will suppress your hunger and you won’t overeat.
Disclaimer: Excessive consumption of lemon may pose threat to pregnant and/or breastfeeding women. High amount of citric acid is also known to erode tooth enamel and irritate stomach ulcers. Consult a trusted medical specialist before going ahead.
Instead of giving you an entire list of what you can eat, we’ll give a rule of thumb―avoid all white-colored food items. This means no white bread, white rice, pasta, sugar, and flour. Minimize your carbohydrate intake, especially simple carbohydrates that easily digest and add to your fat cells. Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, such as, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, low-fat yogurt, whole-grain breads, and the like. These options make you feel full for a longer duration, thereby suppressing your tendency to overeat.
- Never skip meals, especially breakfast.
- Chew your food; 40 times per bite. It makes you feel full, even if you’ve eaten less.
- For mid-meal snacking, carry options such as plain almonds (8), a handful of roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Consume significant amount of protein in your diet, especially if you are planning to exercise as well. Grilled chicken breasts, eggs, fish, especially salmon, trouts, which also contain the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Your options include lean protein, vegetables, fibrous fruits, and the mid-meal snacks mentioned above.
- Avoid dairy and red meat, if not completely, minimize it as much as possible.
Disclaimer: Most dieters completely avoid carbs and go on an all-protein diet. This may have adverse effects on your body. Consult a healthcare specialist before making any changes to your dietary habits, especially if you have a medical condition such as, diabetes and heart diseases.
How many people have we come across, who wished they had exercised along with dieting so that they didn’t have to deal with the saggy loose skin. Exercising is not only important for toning your body, but also to boost the process by converting fat into muscles. And while you may not see the difference on the weighing scale, a measuring tape will definitely show you the results. Cardio exercises, along with strength training and interval training, is something that trainers swear by! If you can’t join the gym, or join any hobby classes, go jogging for 40 to 60 minutes outdoors. Research states that it is more effective than a treadmill.
- Your exercise must include 60 minutes of cardio everyday of that week. Interval training will show better results.
- Do 3 sets of push-ups, squats, and lunges, each set containing 12 reps. If not everyday, then every alternate day.
- More activity means more sweat, which means more fat burning. Unless, absolutely necessary, do not cool down in between exercises. Try to keep the sweat flowing out during the entire workout session.
- Avoid sitting or lying down for long hours. Sedentary lifestyle speeds up the production of fat in the body. Get up from your office chair at least once in an hour, and take a stroll.
- Keep good music with you, the sort that will pump up your adrenaline and make you enjoy your workout even more. Good fast-paced music pushes you towards better performance; use it all this week.
Disclaimer: It is strictly advised to consult a medical expert before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have a chronic health condition. Seek a doctor’s guidance when it comes to the kinds of exercises to be done, and in what intensities.
We know of beauty sleep, but did you know that it is also essential for muscle tone? People who sleep for fewer hours tend to feel more lethargic. Lethargy equals laziness, which might result in you skipping the gym, or going for the morning jog. You might also end up craving for more sugar and carbs, thinking that it might make you feel better. The result? You end up cheating, eating, and missing your exercise routine.
- Sleep half an hour before your normal sleep time. Better sleep will prepare you for the road taken all throughout the week.
- Sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours. Your body needs that time to rejuvenate completely.
- Your body builds muscles while sleeping, in other words, you need it badly for making the exercising fruitful.
- Metabolism plays a crucial role in weight loss, so give your sleep its due share of time.
Disclaimer: Though there are no side effects of sleeping, you must ensure that it is a peaceful one. Consult a medical expert in case of any sleeping disorders.
Different individuals will give you different tips. That doesn’t imply that all are right, or all are wrong. Understand the fact that every one of us is different with different body types. While some tips may do wonders for me, they might be unproductive for you. The aforementioned points cover the major aspect of your 7-day weight loss plan. The tips listed under will assist in the process.
- Get a pedometer and aim for 5,000 steps every day.
- Take vitamin D3 supplements. It is known to boost weight loss. Recommended dosage: 1,000 international units every day.
- Download apps that help track daily calorie intake. MyFitnessPal, FatSecret, and Weight Watchers are among the most popular ones.
You might not transform from a size 10 to size 4, but these tips will definitely help you climb the ladder. All the best!